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Collapses of underground cavities and soil-structure interactions : experimental and numerical models

Abstract : The great subsidences result from the collapses of underground cavities man-made (mines or careers) or formed naturally by water flow in soluble solid masses of rocks (limestone, gypsum). Their impact on the existing structures standing on the surface is generally very important as show the recent examples of Auboué (1996), Moutiers (1997) and Roncourt (1999) which damaged more than five hundred buildings and the sinkhole on building site of METEOR subway in 2003. It is thus necessary to forecast the movements of the soil surface (subsidence and horizontal deformation) resulting from these phenomena and especially to determine the impact that may have the presence of structures on the form and the amplitude of these movements. The current practice to forecast the effects on the structures consists in determining the movements caused by the subsidence of the cavity without the building (in greenfield) then to use these results to check the capacity of the structure to resist the phenomenon. This approach can largely underestimate or over-estimate the generated loading, which in both cases has negative impacts (risk remaining for the structure or overcost of project in the other hand). In the present communication, soil-structure interaction during a sinkhole phenomenon is studied by a dual approach using a physical model and a numerical method. First of all, the physical model will use the bidimensionnal Schneebeli material in a small-scale model allowing fully controlled tests. The Schneebeli material is modified in order to allow the presence of cohesion. The soil mass of great dimensions (2m width for 1m height) makes it possible to represent the happening of a sinkhole with a scale factor of 1/40. The use of a building model will allow us to shed some light on the soil-structure interaction during the sinkhole. Thereafter we will set a numerical model using a coupled approach betwen finite difference and discrete element (FLAC2D – PFC2D coupled computations). This will allow us to study more easier different case of parameters : the size of the cavity, the thickness of the roof over the cavity, the position of the structure compared to the cavity, etc ...
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https://hal-ineris.archives-ouvertes.fr/ineris-00145379
Contributor : Matthieu Caudron <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 10, 2007 - 8:45:13 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 12:42:33 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 1:20:23 AM

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  • HAL Id : ineris-00145379, version 1

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Matthieu Caudron, Fabrice Emeriault, Richard Kastner, Marwan Al Heib. Collapses of underground cavities and soil-structure interactions : experimental and numerical models. 2006, pp.311-316. ⟨ineris-00145379⟩

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