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International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics

image of International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics
ISSN: 1346-213X
E-ISSN: 2042-6550

IJPMG is accepted to be indexed by Web of Science.

International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics contains the latest research and analysis in all areas of physical modelling at any scale, including modelling at single gravity and at multiple gravities on a centrifuge, shaking table and pressure chamber testing and geoenvironmental experiments.

Topics covered: all areas of physical modelling, at any scale, including modelling at single gravity and at multiple gravities on a centrifuge, shaking table and pressure chamber testing and geoenvironmental experiments, but excluding full scale field projects unless they are part of a programme of modelling which includes tests at a smaller scale. Papers on particular instrumentation, apparatus or procedures developed for model testing and simulation of construction processes at model scale, and papers concerned with the scaling criteria for interpretation of results of model tests for application at larger scales will be welcome. The editors will be happy to advise potential authors on the acceptability of their papers for the journal.

  • - 2013 average time to acceptance 92 days.
  • - See the Call for Papers here.
  • - It is free to publish in this journal. Papers appear Ahead of Print (below) as soon as they are ready to be published. Ahead of print articles are fully citable using the DOI system.



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  • Internal imaging of saturated granular free-surface flows
    Author(s):  Nicoletta Sanvitale; Elisabeth T. Bowman
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  • This paper presents a novel method to investigate the internal behaviour of saturated granular free-surface flows in the context of high-speed movement. Such an approach aims to study the motion of the solids and fluid within the flow in small-scale model flume tests with a view to better understanding debris flows mechanics. Through the employment of a particular solid, liquid and fluorescent dye and the application of an optical technique that relies on precise matching of refractive indices, the arrangement and re-arrangement of the grains within the fluid can be determined by way of planar laser-induced fluorescence. The adopted methodologies, together with the physical and optical properties of the selected fluid and solid phases, are described. The results of a series of experiments performed in a small laboratory flume are presented. The results show the effectiveness of this technique and the reliability of an artificial glass–oil mixture in reproducing the key features of flows composed of natural materials.
  • A new apparatus for modelling excavations
    Author(s): Sze Yue Lam; Mohammed Z. E. B. Elshafie; Stuart K. Haigh; Malcolm D. Bolton
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  • Underground space is commonly exploited both to maximise the utility of costly land in urban development and to reduce the vertical load acting on the ground. Deep excavations are carried out to construct various types of underground infrastructure such as deep basements, subways and service tunnels. Although the soil response to excavation is known in principle, designers lack practical calculation methods for predicting both short- and long-term ground movements. As the understanding of how soil behaves around an excavation in both the short and long term is insufficient and usually empirical, the judgements used in design are also empirical and serious accidents are common. To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in soil excavation, a new apparatus for the centrifuge model testing of deep excavations in soft clay has been developed. This apparatus simulates the field construction sequence of a multi-propped retaining wall during centrifuge flight. A comparison is given between the new technique and the previously used method of draining heavy fluid to simulate excavation in a centrifuge model. The new system has the benefit of giving the correct initial ground conditions before excavation and the proper earth pressure distribution on the retaining structures during excavation, whereas heavy fluid only gives an earth pressure coefficient of unity and is unable to capture any changes in the earth pressure coefficient of soil inside the zone of excavation, for example owing to wall movements. Settlements of the ground surface, changes in pore water pressure, variations in earth pressure, prop forces and bending moments in the retaining wall are all monitored during excavation. Furthermore, digital images taken of a cross-section during the test are analysed using particle image velocimetry to illustrate ground deformation and soil–structure interaction mechanisms. The significance of these observations is discussed.
  • An Image-based Deformation Measurement System for the Geotechnical Centrifuge
    Author(s):  Dave White; M.F. Randolph; Bart Thompson
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  • New techniques of image capture and analysis have been recently applied to geotechnical centrifuge modelling. These techniques improve the utility of the geotechnical centrifuge by increasing the detail and precision of deformation measurements. This paper describes the use of a simple image-based deformation measurement system on a drum centrifuge. Precise deformation fields comprising many thousands of measurement points can he evaluated from images of plane strain tests using small soil models typically comprising 2 litres of soil. Digital still photography is used to capture high resolution images. A weighted shutter allows a continuous sequence of images to he captured without the need for an onboard PC or communication with the camera via sliprings. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and close range photogrammetry are used to process the resulting images. Target markers are not needed since PIV operates on the spatial variation in image brightness to measure displacement. Close range photogrammetry allows image distortion to be corrected. Distortion leads to a 5% variation in image scale (or pixel size) for this test geometly. An example test of a skirted strip foundation under eccentric vertical load is analysed. The instantaneous velocity field at failure is manipulated to allow the realism of simple upper bound failure mechanisms to be examined. It is interesting to note that although the measured failure load matches almost exactly the optimal upper hound solution, the observed deformation mechanism differs significantly.
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  • Enhancing accuracy and precision of transparent synthetic soil modelling
    Author(s): Samuel A. Stanier; Jonathan A Black; Charles C Hird
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  • Over recent years non-intrusive modelling techniques have been developed to investigate soil–structure interaction problems of increasingly complex geometry. This paper concerns the development of a small-scale, 1 g , modelling technique using a transparent analogue for soil with particle image velocimetry for internal displacement measurement. Larger model geometry achieved in this research using fine-grained transparent synthetic soils has led to an increased need for rigorous photogrammetric correction techniques. A correction framework, based upon a modified version of the pinhole camera model, is presented that corrects for lens and camera movement induced errors as well as scaling from image space to object space. An additional statistical approach is also developed to enhance the system precision, by minimising the impact of increased non-coplanarity between the photogrammetry control plane and the target plane. The enhanced data correction and statistical precision is demonstrated using a case study examining the failure mechanism around a double helical screw pile installed in transparent synthetic soil representative of a soft clay.
  • Simulation of precipitation on centrifuge models of slopes
    Author(s):Satoshi Tamate; Naoaki Suemasa; Toshiyuki Katada
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  • This paper discusses methods for realistic simulation of slope failure owing to heavy precipitation in a centrifuge. A rain simulator was developed to provide precipitation that satisfies the conditions in a centrifuge so that the impact pressure on the ground surface in the centrifuge (p m) was reduced to the same level in the prototype (p p). Pneumatic spray nozzles, producing fine droplets with a mean diameter of 20 µm, yield large precipitation intensity of 1500 mm/h on the model at 50g. Accordingly, the model precipitation intensity (r m) was provided by n times the corresponding prototype precipitation intensity (r p). Several sets of centrifuge tests were conducted to observe the progress of failure in the shallow section of the slope. Heavy precipitation induces an increase in the saturation of the soil from the surface. Flow failure was observed repeatedly in the shallow section through progress of the wetting front. In addition, experiments using different viscosity used in the liquid for precipitations were carried out to compare the types of failure. Larger failure by precipitation of the viscous liquid was observed than that of water even when equivalent permeability conditions are maintained. This paper also introduces a method of measuring shear deformation in the shallow section by bending strains, allowing monitoring of the progress of failure.
  • Centrifuge modelling of geogrid reinforced soil walls subjected to pseudo-static loading
    Author(s): J Izawa; J Kuwano
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  • A study on centrifuge modelling of geogrid reinforced soil walls was carried out through centrifuge tilting table tests. Special attention was focused on the effect of the properties of geogrid and backfill material, and the interaction between geogrid and backfill material on the seismic stability of geogrid reinforced soil walls using different types of model geogrids and backfill materials. As a result, it was found that the seismic stability of geogrid reinforced soil walls is highly influenced by the tensile stiffness of the geogrid and the deformation modulus of the backfill material. The geogrid reinforced soil walls collapsed after clear formation of slip lines in the reinforced area due to failure of the backfill material. The effects of disagreements about similitude in this test series on the behaviour of geogrid reinforced soil walls are discussed with results of centrifuge tilting table tests and stability analyses with the two-wedge method. It was found that the pullout resistance at the displacement corresponding to the failure of geogrid reinforced soil walls should be used in the seismic stability analysis rather than the peak pullout resistance.
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