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Sediment/Erosion Control and Geosynthetics

Frank Urbina

Posted on November 19 2020

In simple terms, soil erosion is the shift of the upper layer of soil caused by water, ice, wind, or tillage. While this can be a relatively slow process it can cause a wide range of problems during construction and agriculture. For this reason, geosynthetics are used to stabilize land and for erosion control. 


Sedimentation is the deposition of soil particles transported by water and wind. It happens when the medium in which the soil particles are carried, either air or water, is slowed long enough to allow particles to settle out. Sediment control goes in hand with erosion control and it’s designed to keep eroded soil on a construction site, so it doesn’t wash off and cause water pollution to a nearby location.


Geosynthetics are synthetic products used to solve civil engineering issues namely erosion and sedimentation. Geotextiles, geogrids, and geocells are some common categories of geosynthetics that are widely used in sediment and erosion control. Made in both synthetic and biodegradable options, geosynthetics are able to control sediment in your land and prevent further erosion. 

Geotextiles

Geotextiles are fabrics that have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain soil. They are made of synthetic fibers, making them less susceptible to biodegradation. These textiles are designed with the intent of improving and or managing soil, either for conservation or agricultural purposes.

Geogrids

Geogrids are usually made from polymers such as polypropylene, polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene or polyester to provide tensile reinforcement of soil. Geogrids are mainly used to reinforce retaining walls, as well as subbases or subsoils below roads or structures.

Geocells

Cellular confinement systems, also known as geocells, are used as a durable material for protection and stability. Geocells efficiently maintain the soil’s compaction and create a stronger structure for both the infill and pavement.

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