Officine Maccaferri


Avoiding the common causes of embankment scouring


Effective soil reinforcement systems and geosynthetic materials can stabilise artificial embankments and protect them from water erosion

Heavy storm water can burst even reinforced soil embankments that have a poorly designed storm-water system, use non-compliant materials or that break procedural violations during installation. Our anti-erosion geosynthetic materials and soil reinforcement technologies provide reliable soil stabilisation and protect embankments from destructive elements.

Embankment scouring is a common issue. Slopes with reinforcement procedural violations can slide after experiencing their first heavy rainfall. As water penetrates, it disintegrates the body of the embankment, causing a landslide. The case of the Volgograd Arena stadium, where storm water destroyed a filled slope, highlights three key areas that should be avoided when designing reinforced slope structures:

An unsuitable water removal system. With an ineffective storm-water system, water enters the embankment, causing soil disintegration and erosion. On the day of the Volgograd Arena slope collapse, the rainfall amounted to the two-month average for that area, and the slope’s 300-millimetre storm-water pipes were not designed for such a flow rate.

The use of 3D geogrid. While 3D geogrid has been used effectively for the horizontal protection of improvised roads, it is ineffective for slope reinforcement. The force of gravity causes 3D geogrid with breakstone filling to slide down, and it does not protect against the infiltration of water into the body of the embankment. This makes the soil material moist, causing it to segregate and collapse.

Ineffective slope formation process. If slopes are not formed properly, there is a higher risk of embankment landslide. Slopes at the Volgograd Arena stadium were filled with sand, which is not favourable for rapid vegetation growth – a process that uses roots to strengthen the soil. Sand should, therefore, usually be covered with a layer of fertile soil.

We develop soil stabilisation solutions that help protect structures from a variety of erosion processes. Our engineers have years of technical experience in implementing projects to reinforce slopes across the boreal, temperate and subtropical climatic zones.

When it comes to embankment filling, we suggest Terramesh® System, Reno Mattress® and MacMat® R geomat technologies.

In 2007, for example, we cooperated with the State Design Institute, NizhegorodgrazhdanNIIproekt, to develop an engineered slope protection solution to improve the Fedorovsky embankment in Nizhny Novgorod. The steepness of the embankment slopes, and their proximity to the river, meant they were prone to strong erosion processes. Here, MacMat R contributed to the reinforcement of the embankment slopes and the growth of vegetation, and after 11 years, the reinforced slope still shows no sign of damage.

Other projects that illustrate the effectiveness of our slope reinforcement technologies include:

  • Reinforcement of the slope near Oktyabrsky bridge, Krasnoyarsk
  • Retaining wall along the Kalinino-Belaya Gora highway, Kungursky district of the Perm region
  • Volga riverbank reinforcement near discharging quay, Samara region

Our engineers are always ready to support the development of anti-erosion systems for civil and transport infrastructure.

If you need reliable slope reinforcement, contact us.

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