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Convened by:

18-20 June 2019

Telford International Centre, UK

Randy Thompson

Randy Thompson

Randy Thompson

Propex Operating Company LLC Speaking On: Day 2 (21st March) Session: Technology & innovation presentations

Adding resilience to earthen flood defence structures with re-inforced vegetation

Adding resilience to earthen flood defence structures such as dams and levees is critical to future risk mitigation as building higher and stronger structures to prevent overtopping waves, storm surge, and flood waters becomes more prohibitive.  Traditional hard armour structures, such as rip-rap, articulated concrete blocks (ACBs), or concrete slope paving, are commonly used for this purpose without consideration of more natural, vegetative solutions.  The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began an intensive research program to determine the hydraulic performance threshold, cost effectiveness, and long-term durability of vegetation reinforced with a High Performance Turf Reinforcement Mat (HPTRM) to add resilience to the 214 km (133 miles) of earthen levees currently being rebuilt post Hurricane Katrina (2005). The USACE's research at the Hydraulics Laboratory of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado has established the HPTRM reinforced vegetation performance in the world's largest, full scale Wave Overtopping Simulator.  This presentation will focus on the results of this decade long laboratory and field research program and how the findings can be applied to increasing the resiliency of earthen flood defence structures in the United Kingdom through the use of reinforced vegetation.

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