Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • Rosalind MunroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_131


Box-shaped wire baskets that are filled with durable rock fragments and used as retaining walls or for erosion control.

The word “gabion” is derived from Italian “gabbione,” meaning “cage.” The early gabions were sack-shaped wire mesh containers produced by Maccaferri beginning in 1893 (Maccaferri 2016, www.maccaferri.com) for work along the channel of River Reno at Casalicchio de Reno near Bologna, Italy. The gabions were positioned where they were needed and filled with rock fragments. The sack shape was replaced by a box shape in 1907; the box-shaped gabions could be placed in efficient arrangements and connected to each other with wire fasteners. The primary use of gabions is for stabilizing slopes. Typical applications along river channels were related to erosion control. The rock-filled containers maintained their positions simply because of the combined mass of rock fragments act as a gravity retaining wall. The rock fragments without finer particles of soil were...

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  1. Maccaferri (2016) Maccaferri Corporate website. Grupo Industriale Maccaferri, Zola Predosa (Bologna), Italy. http://www.maccaferri.com/products/gabions/. Accessed Oct 2016

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amec Foster WheelerLos AngelesUSA