Granular Matter

, 20:76 | Cite as

PFC/FLAC coupled simulation of dynamic compaction in granular soils

  • Mincai JiaEmail author
  • Ye Yang
  • Bo Liu
  • Shaohai Wu
Original Paper


This paper presents the PFC/FLAC coupled method to simultaneously reveal the macro- and micro-mechanisms of granular soils during dynamic compaction. A good agreement was found between the numerical simulation and model test. By analyzing the soil displacement field, motion of tracer particles, and evolution of local porosity, the dynamic densification process of granular soils was reproduced. The results show that soil deformations under dynamic compaction can be divided into two modes: the punching deformation caused by the wedging effect of a conical core based on the bearing capacity mechanism, and the compaction deformation induced by the propagation of dynamic waves based on the densification mechanism. The dynamic compaction process is composed of two phases: compaction because of the transient impact and compaction because of the vibration of soil particles.


Dynamic compaction PFC/FLAC coupled analysis Dynamic response Densification mechanism 



The authors thank the NSFC for the financial support of the first author (Grant number 40972214). Furthermore, the authors would like to thank the reviewers and Prof. Mingjing Jiang for their constructive comments and suggestions that contribute to improve the quality of this paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.


  1. 1.
    Menard, L., Broise, Y.: Theoretical and practical aspects of dynamic consolidation. Geotechnique 25(1), 3–18 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gu, Q., Lee, F.H.: Ground response to dynamic compaction of dry sand. Géotechnique 52(7), 481–493 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Leonards, G.A., Cutter, W.A., Holtz, R.D.: Dynamic compaction of granular soils. J. Geotech. Eng. Div. ASCE 106(1), 35–44 (1980)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mayne, P.W., Jones, J.S.: Impact stresses during dynamic compaction. J. Geotech. Eng. 109(10), 1342–1346 (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ramaswamy, S.D., Aziz, M.A., Subrahamanyam, R.V., Abdulkhader, M.H., Lee, S.L.: Treatment of peaty clay by high-energy impact. J. Geotech. Eng. 105(8), 957–967 (1979)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mayne, P.W., Jones, J.S., Dumas, J.C.: Ground response to dynamic compaction. J. Geotech. Eng. 110(6), 757–774 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Slocombe, B.C., Moseley, M.P.: TN7. Experience with Dynamic Compaction on Derelict Sites, pp. 799–806. Thomas Telford, London (1987)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Thilakasiri, H.S., Gunaratne, M., Mullins, G., et al.: Investigation of impact stress induced in laboratory dynamic compaction of soft soils. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Methods Geomech. 20(10), 753–767 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zou, J.F., Sheng, Y.M., Xia, Z.Q.: Dynamic stress properties of dynamic compaction (DC) in a red-sandstone soil–rock mixture embankment. Environ. Earth Sci. 76(12), 411 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hu, R.L., Yue, Z.Q., Tham, L.G., et al.: Digital image analysis of dynamic compaction effects on clay fills. J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng. 131(11), 1411–1422 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chow, S.H., Nazhat, Y., Airey, D.W.: Applications of high speed photography in dynamic tests. In: Proceeding of 7th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, ICPMG, Zurich, pp. 313–318 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nazhat, Y., Airey, D.: Applications of high speed photography and X-ray computerised tomography (Micro CT) in dynamic compaction tests. In: International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials. Seoul, Korea, 1–3 September, pp. 421–427 (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nazhat, Y., Airey, D.: The kinematics of granular soils subjected to rapid impact loading. Granular Matter 17(1), 1–20 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith, I.M.: Programming the finite element method with application to geomechanics. Wiley, New York (1982)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chow, Y.K., Yong, D.M., Yong, K.Y., et al.: Monitoring of dynamic compaction by deceleration measurements. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Geomech. Abstr. 10(3), 189–209 (1990)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chow, Y.K., Yong, D.M., Yong, K.Y., et al.: Dynamic compaction analysis. J. Geotech. Eng. 118(8), 1141–1157 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chow, Y.K., Yong, D.M., Yong, K.Y., et al.: Dynamic compaction of loose sand deposits. Soils Found. 32(4), 93–106 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pan, J.L., Selby, A.R.: Simulation of dynamic compaction of loose granular soils. Adv. Eng. Softw. 33(7), 631–640 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yulek, M.: Dynamic compaction of a thin subgrade layer overlying weak deposit. Masters thesis, Concordia University (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ghassemi, A., Pak, A., Shahir, H.: Numerical study of the coupled hydro-mechanical effects in dynamic compaction of saturated granular soils. Comput. Geotech. 37(1–2), 10–24 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bradley, A., Jaksa, M.B., Kuo, Y.L., et al.: A finite element model for heavy tamping on dry sand. Eur. Conf. Soil Mech. Geotech. Eng. 3, 1377–1382 (2015)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pourjenabi, M., Ghanbari, E., Hamidi, A.: Numerical model of dynamic compaction in dry sand using different constitutive models. In: 4th ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Computational Methods in Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Kos Island, Greece, 12–14 June (2013)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cundall, P.A., Strack, O.D.L.: A discrete numerical model for granular assemblies. Géotechnique 30(3), 331–336 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cundall, P.A.: Numerical experiments on localization in frictional materials. Ingenieur-Archiv 59(2), 148–159 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Iwashita, K., Oda, M.: Rolling resistance at contacts in simulation of shear band development by DEM. J. Eng. Mech. 124(3), 285–292 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cheng, Y.P., Nakata, Y., Bolton, M.D.: Discrete element simulation of crushable soil. Géotechnique 53(7), 633–642 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wada, K., Senshu, H., Matsui, T.: Numerical simulation of impact cratering on granular material. Icarus 180(2), 528–545 (2006)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ma, Z.Y., Dang, F.N., Liao, H.J.: Numerical study of the dynamic compaction of gravel soil ground using the discrete element method. Granular Matter 16(6), 881–889 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jiang, M.J., Wu, D., Xi, B.: DEM simulation of dynamic compaction with different tamping energy and calibrated damping parameters. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods, Dalian, China, 1–4 August, pp. 845–851 (2016)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jiang, M.J., Yu, H.S., Harris, D.: Discrete element modelling of deep penetration in granular soils. Int. J. Numer. Anal. Methods Geomech. 30(4), 335–361 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Nakashima, H., Oida, A.: Algorithm and implementation of soil–tire contact analysis code based on dynamic FE–DE method. J. Terrramech. 41(2), 127–137 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cai, M., Kaiser, P.K., Morioka, H., et al.: FLAC/PFC coupled numerical simulation of AE in large-scale underground excavations. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 44(4), 550–564 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Saiang, D.: Stability analysis of the blast-induced damage zone by continuum and coupled continuum–discontinuum methods. Eng. Geol. 116(1–2), 1–11 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jin, W.F., Zhou, J.: Two-scale coupled simulation of tunnel-soil vibrations under train excitation. Chin. J. Rock Mechan. Eng. 30(5), 1016–1024 (2011)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Itasca Consulting Group: Particle Flow Code in 2 Dimensions version 4.0, User’s manual, ITASCA Consulting Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USAGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Itasca Consulting Group: Fast Lagrangrian Analysis of Continua (FLAC) user’s guide, Version 5.00, user’s manual. ITASCA Consulting Group Minneapolis, Minnesota, USAGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Qian, J., You, Z., Huang, M., Gu, X.: A micromechanics-based model for estimating localized failure with effects of fabric anisotropy. Comput. Geotech. 50(3), 90–100 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Feng, Z.Y., Lo, C.M., Lin, Q.F.: The characteristics of the seismic signals induced by landslides using a coupling of discrete element and finite difference methods. Landslides 14(2), 1–14 (2016)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Jia, M.C., Wang, L., Zhou, J.: Meso-mechanical analysis of characteristics of dry sands in response to dynamic compaction with PFC2D. Rock & Soil Mech. 30(4), 871–878 (2009)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Jiang, M.J., Shen, Z.F., Zhu, F.Y.: Numerical analyses of braced excavation in granular grounds: continuum and discrete element approaches. Granular Matter 15(2), 195–208 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mullins, G., Gunaratne, M., Stinnette, P., Thilakasiri, S.: Prediction of dynamic compaction pounder penetration. Soils Found. 40(5), 91–97 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geotechnical EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. LTDChengduChina

Personalised recommendations