Geosynthetic drainage for improved stability of fine-grained materials in slopes & embankments

Innovative geosynthetic drainage products have been developed that have the potential to significantly benefit the stability of constructed embankments or reconstructed slopes especially where these are constructed from soil (or soil-like materials such as tailings) that are finer and less permeable (and thus weaker) then free-draining coarse-grained granular fills. Applications include reconstruction and stabilisation of natural slopes, embankments or dams constructed of (or at least partly from) mine tailings or other finer-grained materials. The project will consist of testing the DrainTube® material to determine its ability to convey water in saturated and unsaturated conditions. A computer numerical model will be developed using the properties of the DrainTube®, and a small physical model will be constructed to verify the numerical model. Parameters including spacing of tubes, slope of the ground, soil permeability, infiltration, and anticipated rainfall will be analyzed. The numerical simulation will then be optimized based on these parameters, and design guidelines will be recommended. The project partners will benefit from results that allow the DrainTube® product to be used confidently in engineering design.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ian Fleming


Michael Gregory Andree


Groupe CTT


Environmental sciences


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Saskatchewan



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