Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Finite Element Modeling and Stress Analysis of Underground Rock Caverns
by Greer, Amber Jasmine, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2012, 169; 3512688
Abstract (Summary)

The 2000 year old Longyou Grottoes in China have become of significant interest to the research community, but the amount of available information on the historical underground rock caverns is limited. With the possibility of failure increasing with each passing year, there has been augmented need to identify possible mechanisms of failure for each cavern. This ultimately requires a state of stress analysis of the caverns to identify potential areas of failure.

However, in order to determine the state of stress in the present, as well as the future, requires an advanced analysis of the cavern cluster. This dissertation was able to successfully combine the technique of both rock engineering and structural engineering to develop and analyze an advanced finite element model for an identified cavern at the Longyou site (Cavern 2). The research progressed in four stages. In the first stage, ambient vibration measurements were obtained over two on-site investigations on two specific columns in the cavern. From these results, a simplified global finite element model was calibrated (second stage). In order to adequately identify the proper level of simplification, the development of a four-part criterion was used to aid in the simplification process. In the third stage, a comparative analysis was conducted between the simplified global model and two local models created using the results from the on-site investigation and two different optimization techniques. Consequently, it was determined the global model is a more adequate fit for future analysis, which led directly into the final stage where an advanced non-linear finite element analysis was performed on the global model. In addition, it was determined that the Hoek-Brown failure criterion shows the most appropriate representation of the characteristics of the rock material.

Through this research, it was determined the cavern would have increased probability of failure surrounding one of the columns, which would fail due to an exceedance of the tensile strength at the junction between the top of the column and the roof. Furthermore, it is advised that retrofit techniques should be designed and applied at this location.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Feng, Maria Q.
Commitee: Bachman, Mark, Sun, Lizhi
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: Engineering - Ph.D.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geophysics, Civil engineering
Keywords: Finite element modeling, Hoek-brown failure criterion, Longyou grottoes, State of stress analysis, Stress analysis, Underground rock caverns
Publication Number: 3512688
ISBN: 9781267419088
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