This is a video of slope failures in the HKUST centrifuge with suction induced by artificial roots:

“Slope bioengineering using vegetation has been recognised as an environmentally- and ecologically-friendly solution for shallow slope stabilisation. This centrifuge experiment investigates the contributions of transpiration-induced suction and mechanical reinforcement of different root geometries (i.e., tap-shaped and heart-shaped) to the slope stability subjected to rainfall infiltration. New model roots that have scaled mechanical properties reasonably close to real roots were used to simulate the effects of transpiration and to create suction in the centrifuge. Test results suggest that heart-shaped roots provided stronger stabilisation effects to a 60-degree steep silty sand slope than the tap-shaped roots, when subjected to an intense rainfall.”


Kamchoom, V., Leung, A.K. and Ng, C.W.W. (2014) Effects of root geometry and transpiration on pull-out resistance. Géotechnique Letters. 4(4), 330-336.

Ng, C.W.W., Kamchoom, V. and Leung, A.K. (2015) Centrifuge modelling of the effects of root geometry on the transpiration-induced suction and stability of vegetated slopes. Landslides. 12(5), 1-14.

Leung, A.K., Kamchoom, V. and Ng, C.W.W. (2016) Influence of root-induced soil suction and geometry on slope stability: a centrifuge study. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. Accepted on 3rd September.