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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15319-15341;

Comparing Potential Unstable Sites and Stable Sites on Revegetated Cut-Slopes of Mountainous Terrain in Korea

Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture & Life Science, Seoul National University, San 56-1 Sillim-Dong, Gwanak-Gu, Seoul 151-743, Korea
Interdisciplinary Program in Landscape Architecture, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-743, Korea
Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Bio-Resources Science, Dankook University, Cheonan 330-714, Korea
Department of Forest Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-743, Korea
Department of Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Eric Vaz and Jamal Jokar Arsanjani
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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This study employs a diverse set of variables to explain slope stabilization on stable versus failure-prone revegetated cut-slopes in Korea. A field survey was conducted at potential unstable sites and stable sites using 23 variables. Through a non-parametric test of the field survey results, 15 variables were identified as primary determinants of slope failure. Of these variables, one described physical characteristics (elapsed year); four variables described vegetation properties (plant community, vegetation coverage rate, number of trees, and number of herbs); and 10 variables represented soil properties (porosity, soil hardness, water content, sand ratio and silt ratio of soil texture, tensile strength, permeability coefficient, soil depth, soil acidity, salt concentration, and organic matter). Slope angle, which was mainly considered in previous studies, of variables in physical characteristics was not statistically selected as one of the 15 variables because most of sites were located on steep slopes. The vegetation community, vegetation coverage, and number of trees influence slope stabilization. Vegetation coverage is highly correlated with other soil and vegetation variables, making it a major indicator of slope stabilization. All soil variables were related to slope failure such that subsequent slope failure was related to the method of slope revegetation rather than the environmental condition of the slope. Slope failure did not occur in revegetated slopes that matched the characteristics of the surrounding landscape and contained a large number of native trees. Most soil and vegetation variables showed differing values for whether a revegetated slope is potentially unstable or stable. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological restoration; environmental engineering; biotechnical engineering; slope revegetation; slope failure ecological restoration; environmental engineering; biotechnical engineering; slope revegetation; slope failure

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kil, S.-H.; Lee, D.K.; Kim, H.G.; Kim, N.-C.; Im, S.; Park, G.-S. Comparing Potential Unstable Sites and Stable Sites on Revegetated Cut-Slopes of Mountainous Terrain in Korea. Sustainability 2015, 7, 15319-15341.

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