Efficient and realistic 3-D boundary element simulations of underground construction using isogeometric analysis

Gernot Beer*, Christian Duenser, Vincenzo Mallardo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper outlines some recent developments of the boundary element method (BEM) that makes it more user friendly and suitable for a realistic simulation in geomechanics, especially for underground excavations and tunnelling. The innovations refer to the introduction of isogeometric concepts, elasto-plastic analysis and the simulation of ground support. The introduction of isogeometric concepts for the description of the excavation boundaries results in less user and analysis effort, since complex geometries can be modelled with few parameters and degrees of freedom. No mesh generation is necessary. Heterogeneous and inelastic ground conditions are considered via general inclusions and rock bolts via linear inclusions. A comparison of results of test examples with other numerical methods and analytical solutions confirm the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed implementation. A practical example with a complex geometry is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104055
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • BEM
  • Elasto-plasticity
  • Geomechanics
  • Inclusions
  • Isogeometric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science
  • Sonstiges

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