ReporterProf.  Anthony Leung

TimeThursday, September 12, 2019, 14:30 PM

Location206 of Tunnel Center

Introduction of the reporterProf. Anthony Leung is an Assistant Professor in geotechnics and the Associate Director of the Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Prior to his appointment at HKUST, Prof. Leung was a Senior Lecturer and has been working Dundee University, U.K for more than 5 years. His research expertise is unsaturated soil mechanics, root biomechanics and soil-vegetation-structure interaction, and he has published more than 50 SCI journal articles and conference proceedings in this subject area. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He is also serving the Editorial Boards of international journals, including Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Landslides Journal and Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Geotechnical Engineering Journal.

IntroductionThe use of vegetation to stabilise natural and man-made slopes has gained increasing interest as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional engineering methods. Plants affect soil shear strength via mechanical reinforcement provided by root anchorage and hydrologic reinforcement induced by transpiration as soil strength increases with soil drying. Coupling effects between these two reinforcement mechanisms are not fully understood. The presentation will share some latest field and laboratory findings about the root drying effects due to plant transpiration on root biomechanical properties and soil strength. The first part of the talk will focus on the seasonal behaviour of a full-scale 20 m-wide embankment vegetated with contrasting woody species. The embankment was heavily instrumented for monitoring soil hydrological changes, plant-water relation and their effects on plant hydromechanical reinforcement to the slope. To assist the interpretation of the field observation, the second part of the talk will investigate the effects of soil drying on root biomechanical properties. A new concept of “root water retention curve” will be introduced to explain the mechanism of coupled hydromechanical root reinforcement.

PublisherGuoqing CaiExperimental Center