Comparisons between centrifuge and numerical modeling results for slope toppling failure

Zuyu Chen, WenJun Gong, Guowei Ma, Jie Wang, Lei He, YiChuan Xing, JianYing Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents series studies on the toppling mechanism by centrifuge tests and numerical simulations. Two different discrete element methods, i.e., the continuum-based discrete element method (CDEM) and the discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA), are adopted. The modeling results show that both the methods can accurately capture the failure modes of the centrifuge tests, including three distinct zones and two failure surfaces. Comparisons are made between the physical test and numerical simulation results. The critical inclination angle of the tilting table where the slope models are fixed on can be moderately predicted by the two methods, with different degrees of precision. The error between the test results and the simulated results is within 1% for the slope models without rock-bridges by both CDEM and DDA. However, it is amplified for the staggered-joint models that simulate the rock-bridges. With DDA, the average error is about 5%, and the maximum error is up to 17%. While with CDEM, the errors for the aligned-joint models are ranged from 1% to 6%, and it is from 10% to 29% for the staggered-joint models. The two numerical methods show the capability in simulating toppling failure of blocky rock mass with and without rock-bridges. The model with rock-bridges which provides a certain bending resistance is more stable than the one without any rock-bridge. In addition, the two failure surfaces were observed, which is different from the common understanding that only one failure surface appears.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497 - 1508
Number of pages12
JournalScience China Technological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2015

Cite this