A new DDA model for kinematic analyses of rockslides on complex 3-D terrain

Hong Zhang, Shu guang Liu, Wei Wang, Lu Zheng, Ying bin Zhang, Yan qiang Wu, Zheng Han, Yan ge Li, Guang qi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Landslides are common phenomena in mountainous regions worldwide. Over the past two decades, catastrophic rockslides in mountainous regions have caused serious damage and fatalities. To develop effective preventive countermeasures, it is important to estimate the kinematic behavior of displaced masses after slope failures, such as the velocity, run-out distance, and extent. Discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA) is an appropriate tool to analyze the dynamics, kinematics, and deformability of a block assembly. Many studies have reported applications of DDA to kinematic analyses of rockslides on two-dimensional (2-D) terrain. However, because of the restrictions of numerical techniques, few kinematic analyses of rockslides on three-dimensional (3-D) terrain have been performed using DDA. This study developed a new DDA model for the analysis of rockslides on 3-D terrain. First, contact treatment techniques for the 3-D model were developed to create an accurate and efficient computational scheme. The new model was then verified by the benchmark tests on the four basic types of block motion on 3-D terrain. Finally, the new model was applied to a designed rockslide with complex terrain to demonstrate its practical applicability. The results indicate that the new 3-D DDA model is an effective tool to analyze 3-D rockslides and could potentially be used to optimize protection designs for rockslides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-571
Number of pages17
JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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