Special Issue "Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Engineering"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Geomechanics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Valentina Lentini
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, University of Enna “Kore”, 94100 Enna, Italy
Interests: geotechnical earthquake engineering; dynamic characterization of soil; liquefaction; site response analysis; foundation; landslide
Dr. Maria Rossella Massimino
Website
Guest Editor
University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: soil structure interaction; numerical modeling; earthquake engineering; tunnels; geotechnical innovative materials
Dr. Maurizio Ziccarelli
Website
Guest Editor
University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy
Interests: soil behaviour; foundation; tunnel
Dr. Dimitris Pitilakis
Website
Guest Editor
ARISTOTLE University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 541 24, Greece
Interests: geotechnical earthquake engineering; soil-foundation-structure interaction; experimental soil-foundation-structure interaction; performance based design; structural dynamics; numerical analysis; foundation design and analysis; seismic behavior and rehabilitation of historical buildings and monuments; soil dynamics; soil mechanics

Special Issue Information

In recent decades, numerical simulation has increasingly been used for the analysis of stress–strain levels in many fields of geotechnical engineering toward better accounting for the possible initial and boundary conditions associated with micro- to megascale problems, including groundwater flow, fully coupled soil–structure systems, and environmentally friendly innovative materials.

In addition to the developments related to the methods itself (new constitutive models for soil and rock, new numerical procedures, and calculation methods), the role of the numerical approach has evolved from the research field into a daily engineering tool due to the increase of computer power.

This Special Issue will collect contributions on recent research advances and/or well-documented applications of numerical modeling in static and dynamic geotechnical engineering.

Contributions regarding tunnels and deep excavations in urban areas, soil–structure interaction issues, cultural heritage protection, retaining walls, foundations, dams, slope stability, and innovative materials are welcome. Applications of numerical modeling to dynamics, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and constitutive models including of unsaturated soil and soil–structure interface are also welcome.

Finally, we encourage the submission of contributions concerning operative applications with the experimental validation of the models.

Dr. Valentina Lentini
Dr. Maria Rossella Massimino
Dr. Maurizio Ziccarelli
Dr. Dimitris Pitilakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • constitutive models
  • numerical modeling
  • soil–structure interaction
  • earthquake engineering
  • liquefaction
  • slope stability
  • foundation
  • tunnels
  • environmentally friendly innovative materials
  • cultural heritage protection

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Innovative Seismic Microzonation Maps of Urban Areas for the Management of Building Heritage: A Catania Case Study
Geosciences 2020, 10(12), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10120480 (registering DOI) - 26 Nov 2020
Abstract
Several urban areas in the Mediterranean have already been subjected to seismic microzonation studies aimed at determining the acceleration expected on the ground surface, therefore mitigating the associated seismic risks. These studies have been generally related to free-field conditions. The present paper shows [...] Read more.
Several urban areas in the Mediterranean have already been subjected to seismic microzonation studies aimed at determining the acceleration expected on the ground surface, therefore mitigating the associated seismic risks. These studies have been generally related to free-field conditions. The present paper shows innovative seismic microzonation maps based on a large-scale estimate of soil-structure interaction (SSI) effects on design accelerations for some areas characterized by a high seismic risk in Catania, Italy. The proposed procedure combined: (1) geotechnical characteristics; (2) building features; and (3) 1-D seismic response analyses in free-field conditions. The seismic hazard and site effects were evaluated using artificial inputs and inputs recorded recently in Catania. Structural fundamental periods and related spectral accelerations, considering both the fixed-base building configuration and flexible-base configuration, were mapped in the Google My Maps environment. These results showed that SSI often had a beneficial effect, but sometimes it had detrimental effects, especially for some masonry buildings. These maps provided important information for planning the seismic retrofitting of investigated buildings, which were based on more detailed analyses of SSI and the developed maps requiring them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Engineering)
Open AccessArticle
Geotechnical Analysis and 3D Fem Modeling of Ville San Pietro (Italy)
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110473 - 22 Nov 2020
Abstract
The paper describes the three-dimensional numerical model of Ville San Pietro, an Italian village subject to slope movements causing damage. The church (dating back to 1776), which is the most significant building of the area, is modelled too. The information from geotechnical and [...] Read more.
The paper describes the three-dimensional numerical model of Ville San Pietro, an Italian village subject to slope movements causing damage. The church (dating back to 1776), which is the most significant building of the area, is modelled too. The information from geotechnical and geophysical surveys on field are used to define the model geometry and the soil properties. A finite element code is adopted to simulate the slope behavior in occurrence of water table fluctuations, detected by piezometers, and to evaluate the slope displacements and stability. The validation of the model is carried out using the inclinometer and interferometry measures and by on-site inspections. The model demonstrated a good ability to simulate the slope behavior during the raising and lowering of the water table. The critical areas computed by the numerical code are in good accordance to the actual portions affected by soil displacements and damages. The modelling presented in this paper is crucial for future analyses that will take advantage of an innovative monitoring system, which will be installed on site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Engineering)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: New Stress Reduction Factor for Evaluating Soil Liquefaction in the Catania Area (Italy)

Title: Stability of embankments resting on foundation soils with a weak layer

Title: Effects of soil-structure-interaction on the seismic response of petrochemical facilities by 3D-FEM analysis

Title: An application of the early-warning SLIP model to landslides occurred in the Parma Apennines

Title: The use of polyurethane as a geotechnical seismic isolation method in large-scale applications - A numerical study

Title: Dynamic behaviour of a retaining wall with a structure on the backfill
Abstract: In an urban environment it is often required to locate structures close to existing retaining walls due to congestion in space. When such structures are in seismically active zones, the dynamic loading attracted by the retaining wall can increase due to the presence of the structure on the backfill side. In this paper, finite element based numerical analyses will be presented for the case of a flexible, cantilever sheet pile wall with and without a structure on the backfill side. This will allow a direct comparison of the influence exerted by the structure on the dynamic behaviour of the retaining wall. In this paper, the initial static bending moments and horizontal stresses prior to application of any earthquake loading will be presented. The increase in the static bending moments due to the structure on the backfill will be considered. The dynamic behaviour of the retaining wall will be compared in terms of wall-top accelerations and bending moments for sinusoidal and realistic earthquakes. In addition, the response of the structure to these earthquakes and any differential settlements of the structural foundations will also be presented. The accelerations generated in the soil body will be considered in three zones i.e. the free field, the active zone on the backfill side and the passive zone in front of the wall. The differences caused by the presence of the structure will be highlighted. Finally, the distribution of horizontal soil pressures generated by the earthquake loading behind the wall and in front of the wall will be considered and compared to the traditional Mononabe-Okabe type analytical solutions.

Title: System identification of mosques resting on soil. The case of the Suleiman mosque in the Medieval city of Rhodes, Greece
Abstract: This study focuses on the dynamic system identification of the Suleiman mosque situated in the Medieval City of Rhodes, in Greece. Suleiman mosque was built in 1522 at the site of the destroyed Christian Church of the Apostles. First, we model the structure in three dimensions, using the finite element method, considering six numerical models. Model 1 is the simplest one (isolated, fixed base minaret) and Model 6 is the most complicated one (simulation of the whole mosque considering also soil-structure interaction). Next, the calculated predominant periods and mode shapes of Models 1-6 are validated against microtremor field measurements, recorded on the two floors of the minaret, and at the ground level. Analysis of the ambient response produces a slightly stiffer system (about 7%) compared to the numerical one. For all examined Models it is observed that there is no significant difference in the first two modes, implying that the response of the minaret is slightly affected by the presence of the whole mosque

Title: A geospatial approach for mapping the earthquake-induced liquefaction risk at European scale
Affiliation: European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering, EUCENTRE Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Pavia
Abstract: This paper presents a geospatial methodology for zoning the earthquake-induced soil liquefaction risk at continental scale, set-up in a GIS (Geographic Information System) environment by coupling data-driven and knowledge-driven approaches. It is worth mentioning that liquefaction is a phenomenon of soil instability occurring at a very local spatial scale, thus the megazonation of liquefaction risk at continental scale is a hard facing challenge. Since the risk from natural disasters is the convolution of hazard, vulnerability and exposure, the liquefaction risk mapping is based on the combination of geospatial explanatory variables, available at continental scale, of the previously listed three assumed independent random variables. First, by applying a geospatial prediction model calibrated for Europe, the probability of liquefaction is mapped for the whole continent. Then, the AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) is adopted to identify areas that have high risk of liquefaction, taking into account proxy data for exposure. Indeed, the population density, a reasonable and well-established approach in the case of residential and public buildings, is combined with additional open-access data, such as the CORINE initiative in order to provide the geo-referenced distribution of strategic infrastructures in Europe. The maps are computed for different levels of severity of ground shaking specified by three return periods (i.e. 475, 975 and 2475 years).

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