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Numerical solution

Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK

Numerical modeling of cyclic mobility in saturated soil

Yu Bao, Yu-Ning Ge, Stein Sture & Hon-Yim Ko

Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a theoretical framework with a numerical procedure for modeling cyclic
mobility, liquefaction and spreading of a two-phase saturated soil.A versatile, transparent and accurate kinematic-
cyclic constitutive model for the soil skeleton based on the Fuzzy Set plasticity theory is presented. Traditional
concepts related to critical state and state parameter are employed in the enhanced model to describe the nonlinear
volumetric changes in granular soils subjected to cyclic loading. The new development of characterizing the
strongly dilative/contractive behavior beneath the failure surface is added and a new expression for the dilatancy
parameter is proposed. The progressive pore pressure build-up as well as the cyclic pore pressure variations for
unusual and non-proportional loading is also predicted. The numerical model presented in this paper can be used
for simulating seismic problems particularly related to soil liquefaction, as well as assessing traditional concepts
related to pore-water-pressure build-up, deformation and spreading behavior.

1 INTRODUCTION set plasticity theory to describe the nonlinear volu-

metric changes for granular soils. Traditional concepts
Cyclic mobility, triggered by cyclic loading, is a liq- of critical state, state parameter and phase transfor-
uefaction related phenomenon. Deformations due to mation surface are introduced in the enhanced model
cyclic mobility develop incrementally during an earth- and a new expression for the dilatancy parameter is
quake. Lateral spreading is a typical result of cyclic presented. Fuzzy-set plasticity theory was first pro-
mobility. posed by Klisinski (1988). Due to its transparency and
Strong ground motion induces a tendency for vol- simplicity, this concept has received increasing atten-
ume change and the soil-skeleton dilation/contraction tion recently. The model is capable of simulating all
effects are of great importance to cause a progressive essential nonlinear characteristics of soils, including
pore pressure build-up as well as cyclic pore pressure nonlinear stress-strain and volume change behavior
variation depending on the drainage condition and soil during unloading and reloading cycles. In fuzzy-set
permeability. The soil dilation phase at large cyclic plasticity, it is assumed that there exists an ultimate
shear strain excursions can cause significant regain yield surface where the material behavior is entirely
of shear stiffness and strength, and therefore restrain plastic. In addition, the material behavior inside an ini-
the magnitude of cyclic and accumulated permanent tial yield surface is purely elastic. The elasto-plastic
shear strains. A number of computational models have response between the initial and the ultimate yield
been developed to simulate the processes associated surfaces is characterized by a fuzzy set representing
with sand dilation during liquefaction (Prevost 1981, conditions between the elastic and plastic states.
1985, Sture, Ko and Mould 1982, Klisinski 1988,
1991, Iai 1991, Bardet et al 1993, Manzari and Dafalias
1997, Yang and Elgamal 2000) and many essential 2 CONSTITUTIVE MODEL BASED ON THE
features of cyclic mobility have been successfully FUZZY SET PLASTICITY
modeled. However, due to the complexity of lique-
faction problems, such as nonlinearity of responses, For the fuzzy set plasticity theory, a real number ( )
sudden phase transition from solid to liquid behavior, on the interval [0, 1] is assigned to each point in the
material instability, interaction and relative movement region F < 0 (F is the yield function). If the point lies
between the soil skeleton and interstitial water, limita- on the yield surface F = 0, the value of the membership
tions on experimental and numerical techniques, and function ( ) is equal to zero; while the point lies
so on, reliable and accurate predictive methods have in the purely elastic region, the corresponding value of
yet to be developed. The main objective of this paper ( ) is equal to one. Thus, the membership function
is to describe and implement an efficient, transparent ( ) for the fuzzy set F 0 represents the member-
and accurate constitutive model based on the fuzzy ship degree of to the set of purely elastic material

Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK
Figure 2. Effective stress path under undrained cyclic
Figure 1. The Fuzzy yield surface specified by a given
constant value of the membership function.
The deviatoric ultimate yield surface can be
behavior. Instead of determining the plastic modulus H described as
from classical plasticity theory, H is defined in terms
of the value of a membership function ( ) (0, 1).
Stress control formulation for the model is relatively
straightforward and easily implemented. The stress where a1 = Mc + ; a0 is a material constant;
control incremental stress strain relation in the p q is the Lode angle. The elliptical function g() deter-
space can be formulated as follows: mines the shape of the trace of the ultimate yield
surface in any deviatoric plane. The state parameter
is the difference between the current void ratio
and the critical void ratio, i.e. = e ec . For loose
soil, > 0; and for dense soil, < 0. Assuming that
dev 0, plastic volumetric strain is related to the void
ratio increment de.

where K = K0 is the elastic bulk modulus and 1) For loose soil, e > ec , < 0
 np 0 p
G = G0 is the elastic shear modulus, which
relate to the effective confinement. p0 is the reference
confining pressure, and K0 and G0 are measured at p0 .

2) For dense soil, e < ec , > 0

Md dsdp
where Hd = Hd + , is the devi-
1 dsd +1
atoric plastic modulus, which is related to the effective
confinement; Hd is the hardening modulus of the
deviatoric ultimate yield surface; d is the deviatoric From equation (8), we observe that this model can
membership function; Md and sd are model param- describe the softening behavior of dense sands.
eters; nd is the normal of the deviatoric loading q
surface and md = Tnd is the flow direction. The trans- The effective stress ratio is defined as = .
formation matrix T is introduced here to apply the Below Phase Transformation Surface (PTS), i.e.
non-associated flow rule of the deviatoric portion of < PT : contraction takes place, pore pressure u
the plastic
 increases and the mean effective confining stress p
B 0 decreases.
T= , where B is the dilatancy parameter.The
0 1 On PTS, i.e. = PT : no volumetric change takes
parameter B determines the dilatancy behavior, such place, and the mean effective confining stress p
that B = 0 represents no dilatancy at all. remains constant.

Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK
Above PTS, i.e. > PT : dilation takes place, pore 30
pressure u decreases and the mean effective confining
stress p increases. 20

deviatoric stress q (kPa)

Based on experimental results and observations, the
coupled shear-dilation mainly relates to: 1) Current 10
effective stress ratio ; 2) State parameter ; 3) Load-
ing, unloading and reloading conditions. Therefore, a 0
feasible expression for B is:
Loading: -10
Below PTS:

-0.03 -0.02 -0.01 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04
deviatoric strain

Above PTS:
Figure 3. Deviatoric stress deviatoric strain response


pore water pressure (kPa)




where 1 , 2 and are model parameters needed to be 20
The locking ultimate yield surface can be 10
described as 0
-0.03 -0.02 -0.01 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04
deviatoric strain

Figure 4. Pore water pressure deviatoric strain response

The explicit expression for the fuzzy set plasticity curve.
model is,

deviatoric stress q (kPa)




20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
effective mean stress p (kPa)
Figure 5. Deviatoric stress effective mean stress response
Example 1: Undrained cyclic shear test, the total mean curve.
stress is kept constant of 100 kPa and the deviatoric
stress increases gradually from 0 to 30 kPa. The model initial deviatoric stress increases gradually from 0 to
responses are shown in Figures 3 through 6. 30 kPa and then the cyclic loading is from 15 to 30 kPa.
Example 2: Undrained cyclic shear loading, the The parameters are the same as those of example 1. The
total mean stress is kept constant of 100 kPa and the model responses are shown in Figures 7 through 10.

Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK
pore water pressure ratio (u/p)


deviatoric stress q (kPa)


0.4 15


0.1 5

0 5 10 15 20 25 0
30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
number of cycles
effective mean stress p (kPa)

Figure 6. Pore pressure build-up number of loading cycles

Figure 9. Deviatoric stress effective mean stress response

25 0.6
pore water pressure ratio (u/p)
deviatoric stress q (kPa)




0 0
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
deviatoric strain number of cycles

Figure 7. Deviatoric stress deviatoric strain response Figure 10. Pore pressure build-up number of loading
curve. cycles curve.

80 1) Deviatoric stress-strain curves, as shown in Figures

70 3 and 7, describe a cycle-by-cycle degradation in
pore water pressure (kPa)

60 2) Figures 4 and 8 show that the volume change of soil
50 skeleton tends to approach a steady state value.
3) Figures 5 and 9 show that under undrained condi-
40 tions, the dilation induced increase in volume leads
to an immediate reduction in pore water pressure
and associated increase in effective confinement.
20 4) Figure 6 and 10 clearly show that cyclic shear
loading causes a progressive pore water pressure
build-up as well as cyclic pore water pressure
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16
deviatoric strain 5) Comparing Figure 10 with Figure 6, we observe that
under smaller loading cycles, pore pressure build-
Figure 8. Pore water pressure deviatoric strain response up is slower.

The numerical simulation responses are consistent 4 CONCLUSION

with a large number of undrained laboratory exper-
iments conducted to study the cyclic behavior of A stress control kinematic cyclic plasticity constitu-
sands. tive model based on the fuzzy set plasticity theory is

Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK
proposed to simulate soil dilation and cyclic mobility Castro, G. 1975. Liquefaction and cyclic mobility of saturated
under cyclic loading. The fuzzy set plasticity for- sands. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Division,
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