Third M.I.T. Conference on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics June 14–17, 2005  

Simulation of an extensive underground structure subjected to dynamic loading using the distinct element method

J.P. Morris*, M.P. Bonner
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94550, USA

  Full Text
We present results from an investigation into the stability of underground structures in response to explosive loading. Field tests indicate that structural response can be dominated by the effect of pre-existing fractures and faults in the rock mass. Consequently, accurate models of underground structures must take into account deformations across fractures and not simply within the intact portions of the rock mass. The distinct element method (DEM) is naturally suited to simulating such systems because it can explicitly accommodate the blocky nature of natural rock masses. We will discuss details specific to our implementation of the DEM and summarize recent results.

Keywords:  Numerical methods; Geophysics; Structural stability; Fractures; Joints; Distinct element methods

* Corresponding author. E-mail: