Gabions (from Italian "gabbione" meaning "big cage"; from Italian "gabbia" and Latin "cavea" meaning "cage") are cages, cylinders, or boxes filled with soil or sand that are used in civil engineering, road-building, and military application. For erosion control caged riprap are used. For dams or foundation construction, cylindrical metal structures are used. In a military context, earth or sand-filled gabions are used to protect artillery crews.

Civil engineering

The most common civil engineering use is to stabilize shore against erosion. Other uses include retaining walls, temporary floodwalls, to filter silt from runoff, and for small or temporary/permanent dams. They may be used to direct the force of a flow of flood water around a vulnerable structure. Gabions are also used as fish barriers on small streams.

Gabion baskets have some advantages over loose riprap because of their modularity and ability to be stacked in various shapes. They also have advantages over more rigid structures because they can conform to ground movement, dissipate energy from flowing water and drain freely. Their strength and effectiveness may increase with time in some cases, as silt and vegetation fill the interstitial voids and reinforce the structure. They are sometimes used to keep stones which may fall from a cutting or cliff from endangering traffic on a thoroughfare.

Military use

In era, gabions round cages open tops bottom, made wickerwork and filled earth use as military fortifications. These early military gabions were used to protect field artillery gunners. The wickerwork cylinders were light and could be carried relatively conveniently in the ammunition train, particularly if they were made in several diameters to fit one in another. At the site of use in the field, they could be stood on end, staked in position, and filled with soil to form an effective wall around the gun.

ee also

*Cellular confinement, a highly adaptable, attractive, modern form of gabion cages.
*Hesco bastion, a modernized version of the same concept.


* Freeman, Gary E.; Fischenich, Craig J.(May 2000), " [ Gabions for Streambank Erosion Control] ", Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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  • gabion — [ gabjɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1525; it. gabbione, de gabbia « cage » 1 ♦ Techn., milit. Cylindre de clayonnage, de branchages tressés, de grillage, destiné à être rempli de terre, etc., pour servir de protection. Les gabions d un parapet. 2 ♦ Région. Grand… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • gabion — GABIÓN, gabioane, s.n. Coş de nuiele sau din sârmă umplut cu pământ, cu pietriş etc., care serveşte la apărarea malurilor de valuri, la construirea barajelor etc. [pr.: bi on] – Din fr. gabion. Trimis de gall, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  gabión s …   Dicționar Român

  • Gabion — Ga bi*on, n.[F., from It. gabbione a large cage, gabion, from gabbia cage, L. cavea. See {Cage}.] 1. (Fort.) A hollow cylinder of wickerwork, like a basket without a bottom. Gabions are made of various sizes, and filled with earth in building… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gabion — (fr., spr. Gabiong), Schanzkorb. Daher Gabionnade, Korbschanze, Korbbecher …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • gabion — Gabion, Gabionner. Gabions, a Paradino in Rhodi expugnatione vocantur vasa viminea terra oppleta …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • gabion — GABION. s. m. Espece de panier haut & large en forme de tonneau, qu on remplit de terre, & dont on se sert pour couvrir des batteries de canon dans les sieges des places. Faire des gabions. dresser des gabions. remplir des gabions. pousser des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • gabion — [gā′bē ən] n. [Fr < It gabbione, large cage < gabbia, cage, coop < L cavea: see CAGE] 1. a cylinder of wicker filled with earth or stones, formerly used in building fortifications 2. a similar cylinder of metal, used as in building dams… …   English World dictionary

  • Gabion — Gabions en grillage métallique inoxydable utilisés en murs de soutènement. Sur des sols limoneux, faute de fixation par la végétation, l eau peut emporter de la terre au travers du gabion …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gabion — (ga bi on) s. m. 1°   Terme de guerre. Grand panier qu on remplit de terre dans les siéges pour mettre à couvert les travailleurs et les soldats. •   L armée à cet échec s enflamme davantage, Sous de forts mantelets et d épais gabions, Elle vient …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • gabion — noun Etymology: Middle French, from Old Italian gabbione, literally, large cage, augmentative of gabbia cage, from Latin cavea more at cage Date: 1573 a basket or cage filled with earth or rocks and used especially in building a support or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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