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Dynamic Numerical Study of Traditional Dry-Stone Walls with YADE

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Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions (SAHC 2023)

Part of the book series: RILEM Bookseries ((RILEM,volume 46))

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On the hills of some Andean cities in South America, the population has built their homes on terraces supported by traditional dry-stone retaining walls (“pircas”) without any regulation or code. Because this zone is prone to strong earthquake ground motions, it is necessary a better understanding of the pircas’s out-of-plane behavior and collapse mechanism for risk prevention and mitigation. However, no dynamic studies of this traditional construction exist to date. This work addresses a numerical study of the response of pircas subjected to ground motions in the out-of-plane direction and how different construction techniques (i.e. block arrangements and wall configurations) can affect this response. The dynamic analysis was carried out with the YADE (open-source software for discrete numerical models and focused on the Discrete Element Method, DEM). By varying the vertical separation of Through stones (tie stones) and overlap of stones in the cross-section of the walls, we obtained 5 models which were subjected to a representative seismic signal. Regular and parallelepiped clumps (groups of rigidly joined spheres) were selected for modeling the wall blocks due to their versatility in their geometry and lower computational cost than other types of particles supported by YADE [1]. The effect of the backfill has not been considered yet, since we are focused on the wall configuration effects on the dynamic response. In the absence of dynamic experimental results, the precise calibration of the numerical model has yet to be sought. The results obtained are preliminary. At a later stage, an experimental dynamic test will be carried out, and they can be properly calibrated. The numerical results showed that when the wall presents a cross-section with adequate overlap, the amount of Through Stone (from 2.2 to 3.6 per m2) is not important. On the other hand, when the wall cross-section has no overlap, the wall presents the least resistance to moderate damage levels and collapse. Additionally, it was possible to verify that the pseudo-static out-of-plane response (obtained in a previous study) is more conservative than the dynamic one.

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The numerical part was founded by Dirección de Gestión de la Investigación at the PUCP through grant DGI-2020-PI0770.

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Correspondence to Sandra Santa-Cruz .

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Ita, P., Santa-Cruz, S., Daudon, D., Tarque, N. (2024). Dynamic Numerical Study of Traditional Dry-Stone Walls with YADE. In: Endo, Y., Hanazato, T. (eds) Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions. SAHC 2023. RILEM Bookseries, vol 46. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-39449-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-39450-8

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