An innovative approach based on the combined finite-discrete element method (FEM/DEM) has been applied to rock fall simulation. Such a numerical tool explicitly takes into account rock deformability, fracturing and fragmentation and allows to simulate multiple interacting bodies. Results from rock fall full-scale tests were used to calibrate the numerical model and demonstrate how experimental trajectories can be accurately reproduced. An example of rock fall with fracturing boulder illustrates the ability of the numerical approach to better reproduce field observations where blocks break and the fragments accumulate along the slope.
2010 Symposium Rock Slope Stability (RSS2010). Proceedings of the 2010 Symposium Rock Slope Stability (Paris 24-25 November, 2010)