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Evaluation of Rhizobium tropici-derived Biopolymer for Erosion Control of Protective Berms. Field Study: Iowa Army Ammunition Plant

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Technical Report

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U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Vicksburg United States

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A Rhizobium tropici-produced biopolymer was applied to an explosion protection berm at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant IAAAP to stabilize the soil, prevent loss of berm height, reduce erosion, and increase the rate and extent of revegetation. The berm was recontoured, and a hydroseeder was used to apply biopolymer with grass seed. The control area received plain water and seed. Evaluated biopolymer application methods include single surface application, double surface application, and a double application at depth, with the first application 2-ft below ground surface bgs, and the second on the surface. A LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging survey evaluated soil movement from the berm slope over three years. The double application of the biopolymer at depth was the most effective application method as determined by calculating soil loss and surface roughness, followed closely by the double surface application. At 19 months post-treatment, a landslip was observed in the treated area that received the double surface application of biopolymer. There was no evidence of soil cracking in any other treated areas.

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