Mechanical response of a jointed rock beam - Numerical study of centrifuge models

Michael Tsesarsky, Mark L. Talesnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a comparison between a set of benchmark centrifuge models of a jointed beam and the predictions of two numerical models: fast Lagrangian analysis of continua (FLAC) and discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA). The primary objective of this paper is a comparison between the measured deformation profiles and thrust evolution to predictions of the numerical methods employed. A secondary objective is an attempt to clarify the issue of compressive arch geometry which is still in controversy among researchers. It is found that both FLAC and DDA result in insufficiently accurate predictions to the measured displacements. The mode of deformation is only partially captured and is dependent on the aspect ratio of the individual blocks which made up the beam. It is shown that the accuracy of the predicted displacements is a function of the assigned interface stiffness. The thrust predicted by both methods is found to be considerably lower than that measured in the model; however, the linear evolution of thrust and equilibrium conditions are correctly captured. The geometry of the compressive arch as predicted by FLAC compares extremely well with the data measured in the physical model. Based on the FLAC analysis it is found that for a beam composed of equidimensional blocks the thickness of the compressive arch varies from 0.8t at the abutment interface to the entire beam thickness (1t) at a distance of a half block width from the abutment face, extending across the interface separating the block and its neighbour, and attains a value of 0.5t at the beam mid span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-1006
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Centrifuge model
  • DDA
  • FLAC
  • Voussoir beam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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