Physical Modelling of Interaction Problems in Geotechnical Engineering

Subhamoy Bhattacharya, Hasan Emre Demirci, George Nikitas, Ganga Kashi Prakhya, Domenico Lombardi, Nicholas A Alexander, George Mylonakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Physical Modelling is an established tool in geotechnical engineering for studying complex interaction problems involving soils. This chapter provides an over-arching narrative of different aspects of such physical modelling include the challenging issue of designing meaningful (useful) tests and interpretation of the results for predicting prototype consequences. There are mainly two types of scaled physical modelling: (a) Geotechnical Centrifuge Modelling under enhanced pseudo gravity; (b) Scaled modelling under 1-g i.e. (Earth’s gravity). Both the approaches are briefly described together with the advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, this chapter also discusses the two types of methods for designing and scaling model tests: (a) Use of standard scaling laws available in textbooks which is “Black-box” type modelling; (b) Mechanics Based Scaling. Few physical modelling examples (such as buckling instability of piles in liquefied soils, behavior of buried pipelines crossing faults and landslides, response of foundations for offshore wind turbines) are considered to show the mechanics-based scaling method. It has been shown that none of the techniques are perfect and one needs the right tool for the right job. Blackbox type modelling is suitable for simple interaction problems. However, for an unknownunknown problem (typical of a multiple interaction problem), mechanics-based scaling method is appropriate. Do’s and Don’t in physical modeling are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModeling in Geotechnical Engineering
EditorsPijush Samui, Sunita Kumari, Vladimir Makarov
PublisherElsevier Limited
Number of pages52
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-821205-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2021


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