What are Gabion Walls? – Application, Advantages & Disadvantages

September 26, 2021 | Gabion Box, Insights

Rather than being steep, gabion walls are generally battered (angled back towards the slope) or rearward beside the slope.

They can be used to control flood water flow around a susceptible structure.

The stepped design of a gabion stepped weir is commonly used for river training and flood control; the stepped shape increases the rate of energy dissipation inside the channel.

Gabion Wall Types

These walls are chosen for their cost and function, and the following are the most popular gabion wall types:

1. Gabion Basket:

It is a pure wire mesh that comes in box sizes and a variety of sizes and is utilized in highway and railway construction.
If filler material is accessible or mines are close to the project site, it is cost-effective.

2. Gabion Mattress:

They’re also called as reno mattresses gabion walls since they’re shorter than the others.
It’s used in channel coating to prevent corrosion; thus, it’s concerned with wave and erosion-induced velocity.
6 meters long, 2 meters wide, and 0.3 meters high is the typical size.

3. Gabion Sacks:

Gabions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they are porous and flexible structures.
In emergency situations, they are utilized in hydraulic works.

4. Gabion Wire Mesh:

They are used to protect roadway and railway surfaces against rock and stone falls.
It keeps the slope stable near highways and railways, which are utilized as anti-erosion slopes.
The strength of embankment soil is increased by combining this with geogrid reinforcement.

Advantages of Gabion Walls

1. Construction and Handling

Gabion wall-building components are simple to transport to job locations, unload, and install. The rock fill is available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit the volume and style of each wall, allowing them to be tailored to each application. Gabions can be used to follow a grade along a wall, construct stream bed banks, and strengthen coastal dunes. Gabion walls’ tops can taper to match any change in landscape height.

Construction is continuing at a rapid pace.

2. Endurance

Because of the elasticity of their wire mesh structure, gabion walls withstand breaking and separation. They can withstand repeated hammering from waves and stream flow without disintegrating. Gabion Construction uses environmentally friendly gravel and pebbles that can withstand years of damage from water erosion. The galvanized wire in the mesh is corrosion and rust-resistant.

3. Application

Gabion walls can be used to create pond and dam walls, as well as serve as cladding for structures. Cement caps, similar to the way sidewalks cap the tops of wall constructions 2, can be used to cover gabion walls. Gabions can be used to create linked beds, riverbanks, and drainage channels for slope stability. They guard against mudslides and hill slides in areas where the topsoil is unstable and has no root base. On beaches and tidal berms, gabion barriers defend against storm surge and wave erosion.

4. Drainage

The permeability of gabion walls remains good due to the pebble and gravel structure, enabling sufficient natural drainage of runoff while reducing water velocity by breaking it up and spreading the pressure over a large region.

Disadvantages of Gabion Walls

1. Aesthetics

In river, pond, and beach environments, gabion constructions have a reputation for being ugly and unnatural. Rather of forming natural-looking rock barriers, the front-facing walls appear boring and mechanical in design. Huge gabion walls built on tourist beaches serve as a diversion from the need to defend large beach areas with particularly thick and lengthy barriers.

2. Maintenance

The entire wall must be disassembled to reach the damaged area if the rocks shift or become worn down inside the metal baskets as a result of heavy water and wave activity. Any damage to the bottom sections of very tall gabion stacks necessitates the removal of the upper wall elevations, which can be costly and time-consuming.

3. Wall Assembly and Cost

Gabion walls are more expensive to erect than natural vegetated slopes or riprap, despite the fact that they are a solid economic choice for most applications. Because mechanical lifting is necessary to install large wall pieces in position, gabion walls necessitate the use of heavy machinery.

4. Endurance

Gabion wall wire mesh baskets can abrade and tear open in high-velocity streams and wave interaction, spilling the rock fill.

5. Inspection

To ensure the integrity of gabion barriers, they must be examined on a regular basis. They must also be inspected and assessed right after any storm that results in higher-than-normal water flow.


Retaining structures, including as retaining walls, revetment, and foot walls, are used in dams and sculptures.
They are used to protect sea walls, riverbanks, canal banks, dams, weirs, reservoirs, and lakes with corrosion protection structures.

1) The cylindrical metal gabion is used to build a foundation or a dam.
2) They are used to reduce noise.
3) As a temporary flood wall, a gabion wall is employed.
4) They can also be used to redirect flood water away from a vulnerable structure.
5) Stepped gabions improve channel power dissipation.
6) It’s mostly utilized for aesthetic purposes.
7) It’s utilized as part of a retaining wall at the bottom of a steep slope.
8) It’s used to slow down and prevent weathering and erosion.


Can gabion boxes be used in coastal areas?

Absolutely! Gabion boxes are widely used in coastal areas for shoreline protection against erosion caused by waves and tides.

How long do gabion boxes typically last?

Gabion boxes have a long lifespan, often lasting for several decades, thanks to the durability of the wire mesh and the stability of the fill material.

Are gabion boxes suitable for retaining walls?

Yes, gabion boxes are commonly used for retaining walls as they provide structural stability, excellent drainage, and an attractive appearance.

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