Soil and rock structure interaction
The analysis of soil and rock structure interaction problems using analytical, numerical and physical modelling techniques forms a central theme of research within the NCG. The problems of particular interest include bearing capacity of shallow and deep foundations, slope stability, behaviour of earth anchors, wellbore instability and underground excavation.
The bulk of our numerical research work in this area can be divided into three main approaches. In the first approach, novel numerical procedures and software are developed to carry out limit and shakedown analysis of the stability of geotechnical structures under both static and cyclic loading conditions. Secondly, newly developed advanced constitutive models are implemented into existing finite element (FEM) software (eg ABAQUS) to derive both deformation and stability solutions for various soil and rock structure interaction problems. In the third approach, analytical techniques such as finite difference (FDM) and discrete element modelling (DEM) have been applied to solve particular soil and rock structure interaction problems.
In addition, physical modelling is also being used to provide solutions to soil structure interaction problems. The recently acquired geotechnical centrifuge allows actual soil to interact with model structures in a stress environment where the behaviour is representative of full-scale conditions. Loads in the structures can be monitored, as well as movement of the structure and soil.