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Application of Path-Independent Integrals to Soil-Structure Interaction


García Suárez, Antonio Joaquín (2020) Application of Path-Independent Integrals to Soil-Structure Interaction. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/MMWW-B046.


Assessing seismic pressure increment on buried structures is a critical step in the design of infrastructure in earthquake-prone areas. Due to intrinsic complexities derived from the need to match the solution in the far-field to the localized solution around the structure, the near-field, researchers have aimed at finding simplified models focused on engineering variables as the seismic earth thrust. One such model is the so-called Younan-Veletsos model, which pivots on a stringent assumption on the stress tensor.

At the same time, the might of the path-independent integrals of solid mechanics to deal with problems in Geotechnical Engineering at large, and Soil-Structure Interaction in particular, has remained unexplored, despite of a rich landscape of potential applications. The unbridled success of these path-independent integrals in Fracture Mechanics, a discipline which cannot be understood without them currently, may be mirrored in problems in Geotechnical Engineering, since the two fields, despite appearing very detached from each other at first glance, share deep traits: in both cases, the system under consideration can be conceptualized as a domain with simple, easy-to-assess regions (the areas where remote loading is applied and the far-field, respectively) and also with other complex, hard-to-understand regions (the crack tip, the near-field).

We present the first derivation of the exact solution of the Younan-Veletsos problem, which is later analyzed to reveal phenomena not captured by previous approximate solutions. Then, we introduce a novel model which relies on the path-independent Rice’s J-integral, a customary tool in Fracture Mechanics, which is applied here in the Soil-structure Interaction context for the first time. This novel model captures those features of the exact solution that were missed by prior approximations. The capabilities of the J-integral to, first, find an upper bound of the force induced by earthquakes over the walls of underground structures, under some conditions, and, second, to understand the soil-structure kinematic interaction phenomenon are also assessed.

Additionally, the intermediate step of analyzing of the far-field yielded some results concerning Site Response Analysis which are also included in the text.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Geotechnical engineering, J-integral, Earthquake engineering, Site response analysis
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Applied And Computational Mathematics
Awards:Demetriades-Tsafka-Kokkalis Prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection, 2020.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Asimaki, Domniki
Thesis Committee:
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami (chair)
  • Ortiz, Michael
  • Meiron, Daniel I.
  • Asimaki, Domniki
Defense Date:27 September 2019
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:11212019-100323260
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription containing results adapted from Ch. 3 preprint, contains results adapted from Ch. 3
García Suárez, Antonio Joaquín0000-0001-8830-4348
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13587
Deposited By: Antonio Garcia Suarez
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 18:26
Last Modified:28 Oct 2021 22:45

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