, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 385-392
Date: 28 Oct 2012

Comparison of indirect boundary element and finite element methods

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Because of the high importance of transportation tunnels, most precise analyses of stress concentration and displacement around them are essential to provide safety of them as much as possible. Recently, various numerical methods such as finite element method (FEM), discrete element method (DEM), finite difference method (FDM) and boundary element method (BEM) have been used extremely in geosciences problems, but among these numerical methods, BEM has been used less than others because the computational algorithm is not so straightforward. This paper suggests the implementation of the indirect boundary element method (IBEM) as a formulation of BEM to analyze displacement around Shiraz-Esfahan railway tunnel in Zagros Mountains southwest of Iran. For this purpose, this tunnel has been modeled numerically using two-dimensional fictitious stress method (TWOFS) algorithm. To validate the results, they were compared with FEM results as a commonly used numerical method. Results of current theoretical study have shown that the presented approach using IBEM is reasonably accurate and can be used for analysis of displacement in geosciences problems. In rock mechanics, for problems with a low ratio of boundary surface to volume, FEM is not very well suited and may be cumbersome, but use of such a proposed IBEM approach can be particularly attractive.