Efficacy of Erosion Control Blankets and Soil Stabilizers

Author(s):

Scott Benik , Bruce Wilson , David Biesboer , Brad Hansen

May 2000

Report no. MnDOT 2000-15

Topics:

Erosion control

This report presents the results of a two-year field study on the performance of erosion control products under natural and artificial rainfall conditions. Vegetation, run-off, and erosion data were collected at a newly constructed roadway. Run-off and erosion data were gathered using natural rainfall events and using a rainulator to spray water onto the surface. Treatments included a wood fiber blanket, a straw/coconut blanket, a straw blanket, a bonded fiber matrix, and disk-anchored straw mulch for natural rainfall events. For the rainulator events, a bar soil treatment also was used. Biomass, percent cover, and species composition also were measured at the research site. Five run-off events from natural rainfall were measured and revealed very little difference in sediment production between the straw, straw/coconut, and the wood fiber blankets. These blankets had approximately one-tenth the erosion that was observed for the straw-mulch plots. The impact of the erosion control treatment was substantial for early season artificial events. The sediment loading rates from the blankets and bonded fiber matrix plots were roughly one hundred times smaller than the bare soil plots and 10 times smaller than the straw mulch plots. For late season events, the erosion from these products were approximately one-half of that from straw mulch treatments.

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