Notes on Numerical Modeling in Geomechanics
This book is an introduction to numerical analysis in geomechanics and is intended for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate study of the mechanics of porous, jointed rocks and soils. Although familiarity with the concepts of stress, strain and so on is assumed, a review of the fundamentals of solid mechanics including concepts of physical laws, kinematics and material laws is presented in an appendix. Emphasis is on the popular finite element method but brief explanations of the boundary element method, the distinct element method (also known as the discrete element method) and discontinuous deformation analysis are included. Familiarity with a computer programming language such as Fortran, C++ or Python is not required, although programming excerpts in Fortran are presented at the end of some chapters.
This work begins with an intuitive approach to interpolation over a triangular element and thus avoids making the simple complex by not doing energy minimization via a calculus of variations approach so often found in reference books on the finite element method. The presentation then proceeds to a principal of virtual work via the well-known divergence theorem to obtain element equilibrium and then global equilibrium, both expressed as stiffness equations relating force to displacement. Solution methods for the finite element approach including elimination and iteration methods are discussed. Hydro-mechanical coupling is described and extension of the finite element method to accommodate fluid flow in porous geological media is made. Example problems illustrate important concepts throughout the text. Additional problems for a 15-week course of study are presented in an appendix; solutions are given in another appendix.