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Laboratory Analyses of the Effect of the Pre-Existing Notch On the Direction of Secondary Crack Propagation in Coastal Slopes

ZHAO, YUNMO (2018) Laboratory Analyses of the Effect of the Pre-Existing Notch On the Direction of Secondary Crack Propagation in Coastal Slopes. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research, carried out as series of laboratory experiments on prismatic clay samples, addresses the question of how different shape of openings and different angles of the initial notch in a simulated slope affect propagation of secondary cracks. The research resulted in the introduction of a novel experimental approach. To study the secondary crack propagation, experiments were performed on clay samples of two types: prismatic clay samples with openings of different shape and semi-prismatic clay samples with pre-existing notches with different open angles. These tests were used to simulate, respectively, underground tunnels and the damage zone around these openings and the development of secondary crack propagation from the notch in coastal slopes. The Mohr-coulomb failure criterion and Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) were applied to understand the failure process of these clay samples undergoing uniaxial compression and direct shear. The result of the first part of the experiment, plus the use of LEFM theory, illustrated how the shape of the opening affects the maximum stress around the openings and the crack propagation in the damage zone. Furthermore, in order to predict the direction of the secondary crack propagation in notch samples, the laboratory experiments and theory derived from LEFM were used to study the propagation mechanism of toe notches in coastal slopes and their behavior. This propagation mechanism of the notches in the slopes was predicted very well by the use of LEFM theory, therefore showing the usefulness of LEFM theory in solving geotechnical engineering problems.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVallejo, Luis
Committee MemberGarcia, Calixto
Committee MemberIannacchione, Anthony
Date: 24 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 November 2017
Approval Date: 24 January 2018
Submission Date: 21 November 2017
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 105
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: slope, notch, clay, LEFM, secondary crack propagation
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 18:47
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2019 06:15


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