Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

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

Retaining Structures

  • Rosalind MunroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_238


Retaining walls


Retaining structures are walls, dams, barriers, or bins that hold Earth materials or water in place or keep Earth materials or water from encroaching into an area. Retaining structures also are used to create stable surfaces for building pads, roads, bridge abutments, or wharves. Retaining structures can be used to limit the volume of excavations or to allow utilization of space near the boundary of a particular piece of land. Other structures that appear to be earth-retaining structures may have erosion protection as their primary purpose.


Retaining structures commonly are engineered features that are designed and constructed to hold soil or water in place. Structures that retain water are called dams, levees, or flood walls; structures that retain Earth are called earth-retaining structures or retaining walls, which are described here. Retaining structures can be installed at a site prior to excavation as structures that become...
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amec Foster WheelerLos AngelesUSA