Un-Complicating the Stabilization Selection Process – Part I

This webcast aired on Wednesday, November 6th at 12:00pm CST.


Selecting the right material for channel and bank stabilization is critical, but the selection process is often complicated by limited performance criteria, abundance of new materials, and limited installation information. Stabilization methods incorporating native vegetation are increasing in popularity because they are engineered to provide stability and enhance overall project designs. Traditionally, performance criteria for channel stabilization materials have focused on hydraulic parameters such as shear stress and flow velocity, but field performance is also dependent on non-hydraulic factors. Material selection, design, construction, and installation procedures are all critical to performance and project success. The objective of this webinar is to illustrate appropriate Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM) applications, summarize necessary hydraulic and non-hydraulic performance determination methods, present paramount installation considerations and provide design examples. 

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the hydraulic parameters used in designing with Turf Reinforcement Mats (TRMs)
  • To gain an understanding of the effects of non-hydraulic stresses on TRMs
  • To become familiar with the proper site preparation and installation procedures for TRMs
  • To recognize what applications are appropriate for the use of TRMs
  • To learn the hydraulic benefits permanent earth anchors provide for TRMs

Dr. Christopher Thornton, PhD, PE, currently hold an Associate Professor position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering serves as the Director of the Engineering Research Center and Hydraulics Laboratory at Colorado State University.

Dr. Thornton is currently the PI on the United States Army Corps of Engineers Full Scale Wave Overtopping Simulation project. This project is intended to simulate waves hitting levees, crashing across the top and accelerating down the backside to see what effect they have on different types of grass and armoring systems. In addition, during the past six years, work conducted at the Hydraulics Laboratory has been instrumental in defining and developing standards for performance testing of engineered erosion control solutions. Partnerships formed with other research institutions have resulted in interdisciplinary collaborations that have defined frameworks describing the complex problem of soil erosion and stability.

Dr. Thornton provides technical expertise to University and local communities in areas of hydraulics, open-channel flow, bio-engineering, river mechanics and erosion control. He supervises hydraulic modeling in areas of river mechanics, dam safety, flow measurement, erosion and sedimentation, riprap design, bank revetment and stabilization, stream monitoring, environmental aspects of rivers, hydraulic structures, and tailings management. Dr. Thornton earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. He is a member of ASCE, ASTM, AWRA, ECTC, EWRI and IECA.

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1. The function of a Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM) is to
2. What are major index properties of TRMs?
3. TRMs have been evaluated over the past 20+ years to determine their hydraulic performance with varying vegetation types, vegetation densities, and soil types.
4. The hydraulic performance of TRMs is dependent on:
5. TRMs provide resistance to hydraulic shear stress and velocity, minimizing soil erosion.
6. Hydraulic test results for ARMORMAX® 75, a combination of PYRAMAT® 75 High Performance Turf Reinforcement Mat (HPTRM) and Engineered Earth Anchors, showed that the inclusion of anchors
7. Wave overtopping testing was performed on which of the following scenarios?
8. Based on the wave overtopping test results, which vegetation qualities were found to be critical to performance?
9. Based on the wave overtopping test results, which correlation between HPTRM index property and hydraulic performance was determined?
10. While both high vegetation root density and low light penetration contribute to improved overall performance, did the low light penetration of the HPTRM reduce the vegetation root density during the density?
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