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Hydraulically Applied Erosion Control Products for Soil Erosion

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The railway embankment in Rajasthan was at a risk of formation of rills and rain-cuts, leading to a surficial slide

 A railway embankment of maximum slope height 18m was constructed in Rajasthan using silty sand. The embankment slope was at risk of failing due to soil erosion because of heavy precipitation, steep gradient, absence of vegetation cover and drainage issues. The barren slopes also had the risk of formation of rills and rain-cuts, leading to a surficial slide or undermining of the edges of the embankment.

Soil erosion prevention measures were required to protect the slope. These measures for slope consisted of different solutions based on the slope height to be protected. First, trials were carried out for required soil amendments (nutrients, pH balancing agents) and seed selection. On the slope of height upto 4m, Hydraulically Applied Erosion Control Products (HECPs) – MacFlex and MacGanics along with the soil amendments and seeds was sprayed. For heights 4m to 7m, HECPs were applied on the surface followed by installation of a biodegradable erosion control mat (BioMac®). On heights over 7m, HECP was followed by the unreinforced 3-D geosynthetic mat (MacMat®).

Extremely high temperatures, absence of organic content in soil and long slopes made the project very challenging. The embankment slope was covered with vegetation in a short period.

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