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Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences An open-access publication for refereed proceedings in hydrology
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Volume 372
Proc. IAHS, 372, 63–68, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-63-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Proc. IAHS, 372, 63–68, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-372-63-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  12 Nov 2015

12 Nov 2015

Modelling ground rupture due to groundwater withdrawal: applications to test cases in China and Mexico

A. Franceschini1, P. Teatini1, C. Janna1, M. Ferronato1, G. Gambolati1, S. Ye2, and D. Carreón-Freyre3 A. Franceschini et al.
  • 1Department ICEA, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  • 2School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 3Laboratorio de Mecanica de Geosistemas, Mexican National University, Queretaro, Mexico

Abstract. The stress variation induced by aquifer overdraft in sedimentary basins with shallow bedrock may cause rupture in the form of pre-existing fault activation or earth fissure generation. The process is causing major detrimental effects on a many areas in China and Mexico. Ruptures yield discontinuity in both displacement and stress field that classic continuous finite element (FE) models cannot address. Interface finite elements (IE), typically used in contact mechanics, may be of great help and are implemented herein to simulate the fault geomechanical behaviour. Two main approaches, i.e. Penalty and Lagrangian, are developed to enforce the contact condition on the element interface. The incorporation of IE incorporation into a three-dimensional (3-D) FE geomechanical simulator shows that the Lagrangian approach is numerically more robust and stable than the Penalty, thus providing more reliable solutions. Furthermore, the use of a Newton-Raphson scheme to deal with the non-linear elasto-plastic fault behaviour allows for quadratic convergence. The FE – IE model is applied to investigate the likely ground rupture in realistic 3-D geologic settings. The case studies are representative of the City of Wuxi in the Jiangsu Province (China), and of the City of Queretaro, Mexico, where significant land subsidence has been accompanied by the generation of several earth fissures jeopardizing the stability and integrity of the overland structures and infrastructure.

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The stress variation induced by overdraft of aquifers in sedimentary basins may cause ground rupture in the form of activation of pre-existing faults or earth fissure generation. The process is severely threatening many areas in China and Mexico. Ruptures yield discontinuity in the displacement and stress fields that classic finite element (FE) models cannot address. We proved how Lagrangian approach provides more stable solutions than Penalty approach.
The stress variation induced by overdraft of aquifers in sedimentary basins may cause ground...
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