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Numerical modelling of desiccation crack induced permeability

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ross Stirling, Dr Colin DavieORCiD, Professor Stephanie Glendinning


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ABSTRACT: The development of cracking as a result of desiccation and the apparent increase in permeability of cracked fill is increasingly under investigation. Rainfall infiltration into soil surfaces that experience cracking increases due to the additional, preferential transmission of water. This in turn results in cycles of rapidly elevated pore water pressure and is widely cited as a significant mechanism for strength reduction that leads to embankment failure. A two-phase flow numerical model that allows the partially saturated behaviour of the desiccated medium to be captured is presented based on the finite difference code FLAC 2D. The material properties of the developed model, including soil stiffness and strength, are incorporated as a function of drying. The model has allowed investigation into the factors influencing the incidence and scale of cracking.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stirling RA, Davie CT, Glendinning S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering

Year of Conference: 2013