Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Research
AREAS & GROUPSGeomechanics Group
Research
1. COMPUTATIONAL GEOMECHANICS
  • Constitutive models and numerical methods for analysis of unsaturated soils and rocks. PI: E. Alonso
    • Particle Methods in Geomechanics
      Research activity in this area covers Material Point Methods (MPM) and Discrete Element Methods (DEM). MPM research focusses on coupled fluid-mechanical analysis for saturated and unsaturated soils. The group is a founding member of the MPM Research Community (Deltares, Cambridge, Hamburg, Barcelona) which works in a wide range of geotechnical subjects. DEM has been realistically applied to granular materials experiencing particle breakage (ballast, rockfill). In parallel a significant laboratory experimental program supports theoretical and numerical developments.

      Research team: Eduardo Alonso, Núria Pinyol, Alba Yerro, Mauricio Alvarado. Mauricio Tapias, Ferran Parera.
    • Unsaturated Soil Mechanics
      Main emphasis is the development of constitutive models for compacted soils and swelling clays. Prototype testing cells under suction control are being developed. The current general purpose FE code for THM and Chemical analysis is being updated and applied to a number of practical problems ranging from earthdam analysis to nuclear waste disposal.

      Research team: Eduardo Alonso, Núria Pinyol, Anna Ramon, Christian Hoffmann, Clara Alvarado, René Mora.
      • Unsaturated Soils Behaviour: Thermo-hydro-mechanical laboratory testing, Microstructure, Expansive soils, Compacted soils, Earth dams, Clay barriers in radioactive waste disposal, Slope stability, Atmospheric and Mine tailings. PI: Antonio Lloret
      • Advanced soil mechanics experiments. Innovative techniques and test equipment in Unsaturated Soil Mechanics. PI: Antonio Lloret.
    • Landslides
      The group has developed concepts and computational tools to model:
      • Very fast landslides, by incorporating thermal pressurization phenomena into a THM analysis of the motion
      • Creep-like motions, based on rate dependent constitutive laws, and its relationship with rapid landslide triggering
This is a research activity closely linked with safety issues in landslide risk analysis.

Research team: Eduardo Alonso, Núria Pinyol, Christian Hoffmann, Víctor Serri.
  • FEM for coupled problems in geotechnical engineering. Particle-based and discrete element methods for geomechanical problems. PIs: A. Gens & S Olivella
  • Bio-geo-chemical processes in artificial recharge practices. PI: Xavier Sanchez-Vila
    Artificial recharge of aquifers is a technique to replenish exploited aquifers. The research involves a suite of coupled physical, geochemical and biological process to assess the fate of the different pollutants carried by water through the infiltration process.
  • Reactive transport, emerging contaminants (ECs) and associated risk. PI: Xavier Sanchez-Vila
    The aim is studying the fate of ECs present in subsurface water bodies. It studies the link between degradation of EOCs linked to given redox conditions and under the presence of bacteria catalysing reactions. The resulting heavily non-linear system of equations is formulated and solved numerically using meshless methods. Results are extended to evaluate risk upon human health and ecosystems.

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