Ewe, E 2020, 'Reinforced soil bund as passive protection structures: the New Zealand experience', in PM Dight (ed.), Proceedings of the 2020 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1069-1082, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2025_71
Reinforced soil structures are well known for their excellent performance in resisting external loads such as seismic shaking. The superior performance over rigid structures is due to the very ductile behaviour of the structures as a result of relatively closely spaced soil reinforcement inclusions in soil. The ductility of these structures is utilised in the field of very high dynamic impact energy of rockfall with an aim to protect infrastructure. Back-to-back reinforced soil structures or bunds are constructed with layers of reinforcement and suitable facing units designed to resist dynamic impact energy. Full-scale impact trials have been carried out on these structures in Italy and simplified design charts have been developed from there. Several of these reinforced soil bunds have been designed and constructed in Christchurch following the 2011–12 earthquake and in Kaikoura after the 2016 earthquake. This paper details case studies of two of these structures across Christchurch and Kaikoura in the south island of New Zealand.
Keywords: reinforced soil structures, at source control, passive protection structures, rockfall protection, hazard mitigation
Brunet, G, Giacchetti, G, Bertolo, P & Peila, D 2009, ‘Protection from high energy rockfall impacts using Terramesh embankments: design and experiences’, Proceedings of the 60th Highway Geology Symposium, Highway Geology Symposium, pp. 107–124.
Colgan, T & Ewe, E 2019, ‘Design of a large scale rockfall protection bund for coastal transport corridor recovery following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake’, Proceedings of 2019 Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, Wellington, paper 221.
European Organisation for Technical Approvals 2013, Guideline for European Technical Approval of Falling Rock Protection Kits (ETAG 27), European Organisation for Technical Approvals, Brussels.
Ewe, E 2016, ‘Reinforced soil structures used in mitigating dynamic rockfall and debris flow impact applications – New Zealand examples’, NZ Geomechanics News, issue 97.
Grimod, A & Giacchetti, G 2011, ‘Protection from high energy impacts using reinforced soil embankments: design and experiences’, Proceedings of the Second World Landslides Forum.
Lambert, S & Bourrier, F 2013, ‘Design of rockfall protection embankments: a review’, Engineering Geology, vol. 154, pp. 77–88.
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment 2016, Rockfall: Design Considerations for Passive Protection Structures, Wellington.
Peila, D 2013, Design of Embankments for Rockfall Protection, presentation notes, International Rockfall Technical Workshop.
Ronco, C, Oggeri, C & Peila, D 2009, ‘Design of reinforced ground embankments used for rockfall protection’, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, vol. 9, 1189–1199.