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Suitability and propagation of plants for the stabilisation of landslides in Nepal (Thankot)

Project Leader
Florineth Florin, Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
Rauch Johann Peter, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction
Funded by
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Dr. Ignaz- Seipel Platz, 1010 Wien, Austria
The Himalayan mountain environment is one of the most dynamic and active landscapes of the world. The combination of young folded mountains still undergoing uplift, a humid climate with seasonal monsoon rains and intense land use ensure that the Nepalese Himalayas are among the most unstable landscapes worldwide. Phenomena such as landslides, debris flows, soil erosion, earthquakes and river flooding are natural and common hazards. Comprehensive soil bioengineering work has been carried out in Nepal during the last 20 years and large experience has been collected in slope stabilization using vegetation (Howell, 1999). Generally, the Department of Roads (DOR), part of His Majesty¿s Government of Nepal Ministry of Works and Transport, did most of the soil bioengineering works during the premonsoonal time, mainly in June. The problem with such constructions is that the soil surface is vulnerable to erosion, since the time necessary for natural compaction of the upper soil layer is not allowed for before the heavy monsoon rain sets in. The research work of the Department of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction is focussed on testing plant species in soil bioengineering works for their suitability for winter plantations. Successful applied soil bioengineering measures during the winter time gain an advantage that a covered plant layer is already installed before the heavy monsunrainfalls constitute and the soil is protected against erosion. Different layer constructions (drainfascine, hedge brush layer, vegetated bamboo cribwall, vegetated checkdams) will be carried out on a landslide in Thankot. Thankot is located 12 km to the west of Kathmandu. The project area is at an altitude of about 1750 m above sea level. All of the practical work wil be done in co-operation with the local people of Thankot (Women Forest User Group) and will be completed by the end of May 2004. One of the main objective is to find suitable plants to apply in combination with the technique of soil bioengineering to stabilise and revegetate the landslide in Thankot. Another objective of this research project is to find an alternative to use logs or anchor logs as auxiliary material for a cribwall. So a new method will be developed for the first time which uses bamboo trees as construction elements for a vegetated cribwall. A monitoring system will be installed to obtain more knowledge on the propagation of bamboos. In Nepal, bamboo could well be a useful alternative to timber.
botany; plant sociology; erosion (erosion control);
land slide; Soil bioengineering; Nepal;

Florineth, F. (2002): Grabensicherung mit ingenieurbiologischen Massnahmen in den europäischen Alpen und in NepalStabilisation of gullies with soil-bioengineering methods in the European Alps and in Nepal.

Zeitschrift für Wildbach-, Erosions- und Steinschlagschutz, 147, 69-88

Florineth, F., Rauch, H.P., Wibmer, S., Lammeranner, W. (2002): Untersuchungen ingenieurbiologischer Hangsicherungen in Nepal.

Endbericht im Auftrag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Kommission für Entwicklungsfragen

Florineth, F. (2002): Stabilisation of Gullies with Soil-Bioengineering Methods in the Alps and in Nepal.
[2nd International Symposium on Gully Erosion under Global Change 2002, Chengdu, PR China, 22.05.2002 - 25.05.2002]

In: Center for mountain Envirement Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Ed.), 2nd International Symposium on Gully Erosion under Global Change, 22.-25.05.2002, Chengdu, China, 30, Chengdu

Florineth, F., Rauch, H.P., Staffler, H.P. (2002): Stabilization of landslides with bio-engineering measures in South Tyrol/Italy and Thankot/Nepal.
[INTERPRAEVENT 2002, Matsumoto, Japan, 14.10.2002 - 18.10.2002]

In: Interpraevent 2002 in the Pacific Rim (Ed.): Interpraevent 2002 in the Pacific Rim, 2002, Matsumoto/Japan; Congress publication, Volume 2, p. 827-837, Matsumoto/Japan

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