Simulations of underground structures subjected to dynamic loading using combined FEM/DEM/SPH

Presented at Golden Rocks 2006, The 41st U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS), Golden, Colorado, June 2006.


Results are presented from a study investigating the effect of explosive and impact loading on underground structures using the Livermore Distinct Element Code (LDEC). LDEC was initially developed to simulate tunnels and other structures in jointed rock masses with large numbers of intact polyhedral blocks. However, underground structures in jointed rock subjected to explosive loading can fail due to both rock motion along preexisting interfaces and fracture of the intact rock mass itself. Many geophysical applications, such as projectile penetration into rock, concrete targets, and boulder fields, require a combination of continuum and discrete methods in order to predict the formation and interaction of the fragments produced. In an effort to model these types of problems, we have implemented Cosserat point theory and cohesive element formulations into the current version of LDEC, thereby allowing for dynamic fracture and combined finite element/discrete element simulations. In addition, a Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) capability has been incorporated into LDEC, permitting the simulation of fluidstructure interaction. Results of a large-scale LLNL simulation of an explosive shock wave impacting an elaborate underground facility are also discussed. It is confirmed that persistent joints lead to an underestimation of the impact energy needed to fill the tunnel systems with rubble. Non-persistent joint patterns, which are typical of real geologies, inhibit shear within the surrounding rock mass and significantly increase the load required to collapse a tunnel.