Root-soil mechanical interaction

A. Savioli, C. Viggiani, J. C. Santamarina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Root growth in granular materials resembles the formation of open-mode discontinuities driven by the invasion of an immiscible phase. Root-soil interaction is studied in this work by means of complementary full-field measurement techniques based on X-ray computer tomography and finite element numerical simulations. High resolution X-ray images captured the root tip geometry in detail, and an analytical function was fitted to describe the root shape. Numerical simulations provided the evolution of the stress and strain fields in the soil around a root-shaped object as it swelled in the soil mass. These analyses show that the increase in the root internal pressure creates a zone of unloading and expansion ahead of the root tip, which facilitates cell multiplication at the root tip resulting in root growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeo-Congress 2014 Technical Papers
Subtitle of host publicationGeo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability - Proceedings of the 2014 Congress
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages8
Edition234 GSP
ISBN (Print)9780784413272
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2014Feb 26 2014

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
Number234 GSP
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


Other2014 Congress on Geo-Characterization and Modeling for Sustainability, Geo-Congress 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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