TENAX logo International web site
  International web site Geosynthetics Erosion control BANKS FOR EARTHEN CANALS AND WATERWAYS  
earthen canal banks canali in terra Canales de tierra y bordos para conducción de agua berges de canaux en terre et voies d'eau Берега земляных и водных каналов
sitemap contact us
  Erosion control  

Erosion control of banks for earthen canals and waterways


Erosion protection of a surface water drainage channel Ashford (GB):
Erosion protection of a surface water drainage channel with TENAX MULTIMAT geomats


Completed channel section during the germination process

Grass growth established three months after hydroseeding Ashford (GB):
Grass growth established three months after hydroseeding









Earthen canals and waterways in general are continuously exposed to erosion and flooding from rainfall, runoff and surface runoff, both on the canal bed and their banks.

Under these conditions, the concentrated forces produced by the velocity can cause the formation of holes, longitudinal and transversal furrows and undercutting at the base. The subsequent sliding of earth down the embankment onto the canal bed can also affect the hydraulic properties of the canal itself.

A dense vegetative plant covering on the bed and banks of the canal guarantees an effective defence considering that it increases the profile roughness (subsequently reducing the flow velocity), the sedimentation of suspended solid particles and prevents the detachment of soil.

The formation of plant growth covering is accelerated by using a three-dimensional TENAX MULTIMAT geomat which, due to its flexibility, is easy to place on both the bed and banks of the dry canal.

Anchored to the slopes and base by means of U shaped anchors, the geomat is filled with topsoil and seeded. The planting process allows the roots of the grass to firmly anchor themselves to both the three-dimensional structure and the underlying soil, together forming permanent protection.

Even before vegetation begins to grow, TENAX MULTIMAT geomat is capable of drastically reducing the quantity of soil erosion from slopes and above all it eliminates the formation of rivulets and furrows.

Full-scale tests performed at the University of Utah (USA) have demonstrated that the limit of water velocity, below which erosion of the bank and the base does not occur, greatly increases when the channel is protected by TENAX MULTIMAT geomats.




Earth channels and ditches shall withstand the passage of water without incurring in erosion of the streambed and of the side banks, even in case of high water flow and velocity.
In such conditions the erosive forces produced by the fast water movement may produce local holes, longitudinal and transversal rills, toe excavation with subsequent side slope failures, thus altering the hydraulic condition of the water way.


The establishment of a dense vegetative cover on the bottom and on the side slopes of channels and ditches provide the most effective solution to the erosion problem: the vegetation decreases the water speed at the contour, allows the sedimentation and trapping of suspended soil particles, prevents the detachment of soil and resist the shear forces of the flow by transferring them into the base soil through the root system.

TENAX geomats allow a fast and unobstructed vegetation growth and permanently reinforce the roots system. The TENAX geomats-vegetation composite is the best permanent protection of earth channels and ditches.


Concrete channels provide a sound solution to the transport of large volumes of water with high velocity. However their environmental impact may cause problems: the present environmental awareness often requires that old concrete channels be re-vegetated in some way and that new concrete channels shall be designed to allow for the establishment of vegetation on the side slopes.


TENAX geocells can be easily fixed on the side slopes of concrete channels by means of nails or grouted rebars. Filling the cells with top soil and seeding allows for rapid vegetation of the side slopes, outside the water level. The wet contour usually is not lined with the geocells, in order to avoid disturbance to the water flow.

TENAX geocells are the most effective soil confinement system. They ensure a stable topsoil layer to support the growth of grass and vegetation even on impervious surfaces like concrete. For long slopes, the installation of a TENAX geomat or biomat on the geocells may be advisable.




TENAX geomats are installed on the slopes and at the bottom of an earth channel
TENAX geomats are installed on
the slopes and at the bottom
of an earth channel


TENAX geomats are installed on the slopes and at the bottom of an earth channel


Revegetation of the channel

1 - Erodible soil
2 - Top soil
4 - TENAX TENWEB geocells
5 - Nail
6 - Vegetation
7 - Concrete lining
8 - Concrete wedge



revegetation of concrete channel

Revegetation of concrete channel

  TENAX © 1995-2014 All rights reserved