Strain and Displacement Discontinuities in Soil

by Guy T. Houlsby, Research Student; Cambridge Univ., Cambridge, United Kingdom,
C. Peter Wroth, Prof. of Engrg. Sci.; Univ. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 4, Pg. 753-771

Document Type: Journal Paper


A classification is made of the various possible types of kinematic discontinuity. The commonly accepted condition that a velocity discontinuity should coincide with a direction of zero extension is shown to be unnecessary, although this condition may apply if certain constitutive relations are chosen. The hypothesis of a critical state at very large shear strains results in the absence of dilation on a velocity discontinuity. A statement is made of the general compatibility requirements for strain and velocity discontinuities and of the equilibrium requirement for a stress discontinuity. The restrictions imposed by constitutive relations on strain and velocity discontinuities are reviewed for a cohesive material and frictional materials with associated and nonassociated flow.

Subject Headings: Strain | Displacement (mechanics) | Discontinuities | Soil stress | Constitutive relations | Kinematics | Shear stress | Equilibrium

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