Modelling Coastal Cliff Recession Based on the GIM–DDD Method

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Journal Article
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 2018, 51, (4), pp. 1077-1095
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The unpredictable and instantaneous collapse behaviour of coastal rocky cliffs may cause damage that extends significantly beyond the area of failure. Gravitational movements that occur during coastal cliff recession involve two major stages: the small deformation stage and the large displacement stage. In this paper, a method of simulating the entire progressive failure process of coastal rocky cliffs is developed based on the gravity increase method (GIM), the rock failure process analysis method and the discontinuous deformation analysis method, and it is referred to as the GIM–DDD method. The small deformation stage, which includes crack initiation, propagation and coalescence processes, and the large displacement stage, which includes block translation and rotation processes during the rocky cliff collapse, are modelled using the GIM–DDD method. In addition, acoustic emissions, stress field variations, crack propagation and failure mode characteristics are further analysed to provide insights that can be used to predict, prevent and minimize potential economic losses and casualties. The calculation and analytical results are consistent with previous studies, which indicate that the developed method provides an effective and reliable approach for performing rocky cliff stability evaluations and coastal cliff recession analyses and has considerable potential for improving the safety and protection of seaside cliff areas.
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