Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Graduate Defense: Eli Blackhat

May 3 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm MDT

Thesis Defense

Thesis Information

Title: The Influence Of Block Characteristics On The In-Plane Settlement Disturbance Zone Of Dry Stacked Rock Walls

Program: Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Advisor: Dr. Nicholas Hudyma, Civil Engineering

Committee Members: Dr. Bhaskar Chittoori, Civil Engineering and Dr. Yang Lu, Civil Engineering


Dry-stacked stone has been used throughout the history of mankind as property dividers, retention walls, fortifications, temples, and other structures of significance. Many of these historical structures have been labeled as culturally significant. In modern infrastructure, dry-stacked stone is often limited to retaining walls and is used more for its aesthetic appeal as opposed to its quality as a building material. The aim
of this thesis is to add to engineering knowledge of how these structures behave. Specifically, on how in-plane differential settlement affects shear stress redistribution and vertical displacement as well as determining how block characteristics influence these reactions. This study compares the results obtained from models created using UDEC, a two-dimensional software that utilizes the distinct element method. Discontinuities were implemented into the models to simulate joints between blocks. Material and joint properties were then applied. The resulting data was then exported and analyzed using GoldenSoftware to create contour plots and extract an area of disturbance and maximum values that could then be compared to analyze the effects of the joint properties and various conditions that were targeted in this study.