Retaining walls are structures designed to restrain the soil. They are normally used in areas with steep slopes or where the landscape needs to be shaped severely for construction or engineering projects. However, retaining walls have been found to be a very efficient solution against landslides. There are various ways of constructing a retaining wall, the most common types being:
- Gravity walls: they manage to resist pressure from behind due to their own mass
- Piling walls: made of steel they are usually used in tight spaces with soft soil having 2/3 of the wall beneath the ground
- Cantilever walls: they have a large structural footing and convert horizontal pressure from behind the wall into vertical pressure on the ground below
- Anchored walls: they use cables or other stays anchored in the rock or soil behind to increase resistance
The type of wall that will be used depends on the circumstances of every case. Soil type, slope angle, groundwater characteristics, and other specifics will be considered before deciding on the proper solution.