Suffusion constitutes a major threat to the foundation of a dam, and the likelihood of suffusion is always determined by the internal stability of soils. It has been verified that internal stability is closely related to the grain size distribution (GSD) of soils. In this study, a numerical model is developed to simulate the suffusion process. The model takes the combined effects of GSD and porosity (n
) into account, as well as Wilcock and Crowe’s theory, which is also adopted to quantify the inception and transport of soils. This proposed model is validated with the experimental data and shows satisfactory performance in simulating the process of suffusion. By analyzing the simulation results of the model, the mechanism is disclosed on how soils with specific GSD behaving internally unstable. Moreover, the internal stability of soils can be evaluated through the model. Results show that it is able to distinguish the internal stability of 30 runs out of 36, indicating a 83.33% of accuracy, which is higher than the traditional GSD-based approaches.
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