School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

Desiccation cracks in vegetated geo-infrastructures

Project Title:

Desiccation cracks in vegetated geo-infrastructures

Supervisor(s):

Thomas Baumgartl

Contact person and email address:

Professor Thomas Baumgartl - email: t.baumgartl@federation.edu.au

A brief description of the project:

Desiccation cracks have detrimental effects on the functioning of engineered infrastructures such as embankment slopes, dams, landfill liner, bio-engineered slope, green roof and vegetated embankment. Majority of studies on desiccation crack characterisation consider only bare soil. The formation and propagation of surface desiccation cracks in vegetated infrastructures involve coupled factors including unsaturated soil mechanics, atmospheric conditions and vegetation parameters. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of vegetation parameters on desiccation cracking including inter-related aspects of unsaturated soil. The outcome of the project will be the enhanced understanding of soil-plant-water interaction and the development of an analytical model to capture the hydro-thermal processes in soil-plant-water system.