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Open AccessArticle

Coupled Analysis of Desiccation Cracking in Unsaturated Soils through a Non-Local Mathematical Formulation

by Shashank Menon and Xiaoyu Song *,†
Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100428
Received: 9 August 2019 / Revised: 26 September 2019 / Accepted: 28 September 2019 / Published: 2 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior of Expansive Soils and its Shrinkage Cracking)
The formation of desiccation cracks in unsaturated soils as a discontinuity phenomenon can compromise the integrity of civil infrastructure on unsaturated soils. Because of the singularity at such discontinuities, the mathematical modeling of desiccation cracking is challenging. In this study, we apply a coupled nonlocal peridynamic poroelastic framework to model desiccation cracking in unsaturated soils. The soil skeleton is modeled by a nonlocal peridynamic elastic solid. A peridynamic equivalence of the generalized Darcy’s law is utilized to model unsaturated fluid flow. Cracking is determined by a critical stretch criterion between material points as well as an energy criterion. We present numerical simulations of desiccation cracking in soil bars and thin soil discs for one-dimensional cracking and two-dimensional cracking networks, respectively. The numerical results have demonstrated that the proposed nonlocal mathematical framework is a promising and robust method for modeling desiccation cracking in unsaturated soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: desiccation cracking; peridynamics; poroelasticity; non-local; unsaturated soils desiccation cracking; peridynamics; poroelasticity; non-local; unsaturated soils
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Menon, S.; Song, X. Coupled Analysis of Desiccation Cracking in Unsaturated Soils through a Non-Local Mathematical Formulation. Geosciences 2019, 9, 428.

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