Slope Failure of Noncohesive Media Modelled with the Combined Finite–Discrete Element Method
Slope failure behaviour of noncohesive media with the consideration of gravity and ground excitations is examined using the two-dimensional combined finite–discrete element method (FDEM). The FDEM aims at solving large-scale transient dynamics and is particularly suitable for this problem. The method discretises an entity into a couple of individual discrete elements. Within each discrete element, the finite element method (FEM) formulation is embedded so that contact forces and deformation between and of these discrete elements can be predicted more accurately. Noncohesive media is simply modelled with assembly of individual discrete elements without cohesion, that is, no joint elements need to be defined. To validate the effectiveness of the FDEM modelling, two examples are presented and compared with results from other sources. The FDEM results on gravitational collapse of rectangular soil heap and landslide triggered by the Chi-Chi earthquake show that the method is applicable and reliable for the analysis of slope failure behaviour of noncohesive media through comparison with results from other known methods such as the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), the discrete element method (DEM) and the material point method (MPM).
Keywords: noncohesive media, landslide, slope stability, seismic excitation, combined FDEM