Project Leader: Mr Ross Stirling, Dr Stephanie Glendinning, Dr
Start/end dates: 2011-2013
Contact: Mr Ross Stirling
Through development of a numerical model capable of simulating desiccation cracking in clay soils, the project aims to assess the effect cracking has on infiltration in infrastructure embankments. An enhanced infiltration rate, brought about by the presence of cracks, results in greater fluctuation as well as magnitude of positive pore-water pressures- the driver for progressive slope failure.
Modelling has been undertaken using the finite difference code FLAC in addition to a two-phase flow option allowing the partially saturated behaviour of the desiccated medium to be included. Factors affecting the incidence and scale of cracking have been investigated and incorporated into the modelling. Where necessary, influential trends have been empirically established, this has given rise to the design of a laboratory test to define the tensile strength of compacted fills under drying. It is intended that the project combine the numerical model in line with research at the BIONICS full scale trial embankment...