Dual Random Lattice Modeling of Internal Erosion


Backward erosion piping (BEP) is an internal erosion mechanism that occurs when soil is gradually eroded from the foundation of a structure, creating a pipe that connects the upstream side with an exit condition generated by localized damage on the downstream side of the structure. The process is driven by seepage forces that progressively erode cohesionless material from the foundation of the structure. This phenomenon can have catastrophic consequences on dams and levees as it has been identified as the cause of nearly one third of all piping failures occurred in the last century.

In our research, we developed a novel Dual Random Lattice Modeling (DRLM) approach for the simulation of the degradation processes that occur in soil systems due to internal erosion. An important capability of the proposed approach is the accurate calculation of the hydraulic gradient to enforce the stability criterion. Based on the values of the hydraulic head scalar field defined on both lattice systems, a scheme for the gradient calculation is obtained by exploiting the geometrical features of the DRLM.


Graphical interpretation of the proposed Dual Random Lattice Model (DRLM) for the prediction of internal erosion in FPI


Critical hydraulic gradient that drives the progression of erosion: comparison between numerical and experimental results