Simulation of cyclic strength degradation of natural clays via bounding surface model with hybrid flow rule

Z. Shi, G. Buscarnera*, R. J. Finno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Strength loss of natural clays subjected to seismic loading is a critical factor contributing to earthquake-induced ground failure and associated hazards. This work proposes a bounding surface constitutive law to simulate cyclic strength degradation of natural clays resulting from the loss of structure and attendant accumulation of excess pore pressures. The proposed model employs an enhanced plastic flow rule that can simulate accurately the development of pore pressure and explicitly incorporates soil structure effects. The validation of the model with reference to the experimental evidence available for 3 structured clays shows that with a single set of parameters the proposed model can reasonably represent the mechanical behavior of natural clays under various loading conditions (1D compression, monotonic shearing in compression and extension, cyclic loading, and postcyclic shearing). Particularly, its satisfactory performance in terms of quantification of cyclic strength degradation encourages the use of the model in simulating boundary value problems related to the stability of geotechnical facilities under earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1719-1740
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 10 2018


  • constitutive relations
  • cyclic strength degradation
  • natural clays
  • plastic flow rule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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