Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Research article
30 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 30 Mar 2016

The effectiveness of jute and coir blankets for erosion control in different field and laboratory conditions

Jana Kalibová, Lukáš Jačka, and Jan Petrů

Abstract. Vegetation cover is found to be an ideal solution to most problems of erosion on steep slopes. Biodegradable geotextiles (GTXs) have been proved to provide sufficient protection against soil loss in the period before vegetation reaches maturity, so favouring soil formation processes. In this study, 500 g m−2 jute (J500), 400 g m−2 (C400), and 700 g m−2 coir (C700) GTXs were first installed on a 9° slope under “no-infiltration” laboratory conditions, then on a 27° slope under natural field conditions. The impact of GTXs on run-off and soil loss was investigated to compare the performance of GTXs under different conditions. Laboratory run-off ratio (percentage portion of control plot) equalled 78, 83, and 91 %, while peak discharge ratio equalled 83, 91, and 97 % for J500, C700, and C400 respectively. In the field, a run-off ratio of 31, 62, and 79 %, and peak discharge ratio of 37, 74, and 87 % were recorded for C700, J500, and C400 respectively. All tested GTXs significantly decreased soil erosion. The greatest soil loss reduction in the field was observed for J500 (by 99.4 %), followed by C700 (by 97.9 %) and C400 (by 93.8 %). Irrespective of slope gradient or experimental condition, C400 performed with lower run-off and peak discharge reduction than J500 and C700. The performance ranking of J500 and C700 in the laboratory differed from the field, which may be explained by different slope gradients, and also by the role of soil, which was not included in the laboratory experiment.

Short summary
Jute and coir geotextiles (GTXs) significantly reduced the volume of surface run-off induced by simulated rainfall. “No-soil” conditions used during the laboratory experiment guarantee data based on GTX properties only. Contrary to our expectations, the performance ranking of GTXs in the laboratory did not match the field records. Soil did not influence all GTX samples equally. Further research may shed light on the variability of GTX effectiveness reported in available studies.