The Analytical Challenge

Installation of foundations requires the calculation of potential settlement or bearing capacity failure. Excavations can cause unloading of stresses and resulting heave. The application of loads or the excavation of a earth around a potential foundation require the calculation of stresses and potential deformations induced by the foundation design.

The SVOFFICE™ Solution

The SVOFFICE™ suite of software packages contains the SVSOLID™ 2D/3D finite element software package for the calculation of applied loads and foundation deformations. Failure conditions due to applied loads can also be calculated in 2D/3D by the SVSLOPE® software package.


  • The Challenge
    The design of irrigation trenches has implications in terms of the stress / deformation properties of the soil as well as potential impacts on groundwater regimes. Improper design can lead to failure of the design structure.

    The Solution
    SVFLUX™ is well-suited for analyzing the flow of water around any potential trench design. Maximum gradients can be plotted as well as flowlines to determine the new flow regime. For excavations beneath the water table the amount of flow exiting the model can be calculated to determine reasonable pumping rates which will be necessary. SVSOLID™ is well-suited for performing a stress analysis of trench designs.

    Software Solutions

  • The Challenge
    Consolidation of soft soils under engineered earth structures can lead to slope instability and excessive deformations. Mine tailings from various types of mining operations are often deposited on the area surrounding the mine site in the form of a slurry. The solids settle out over time and a tailings pile may have a number of lifts corresponding to deposition over different time intervals. The rate of drain-down of the wet tailings pile is of interest for understanding the mine site hydrology and stability of the tailings pile.

    The Solution
    SVFLUX™ & SVSOLID™ can be coupled in order to perform small or large-strain consolidation settlement under earth structures or due to self-weight of materials. Numerical modeling of mine tailings can provide value in a number of specific areas:

        1) Understanding the rate of discharge of contaminated water out of the tailings, and,
        2) obtaining the pore-water pressure conditions at different deposition stages to aid in stability analysis, and,


      3) estimation of long-term groundwater conditions.

    Problems are commonly encountered in numerical models of mine tailings due to the following reasons:

        - Mine tailings typically have irregular 3D geometry.


        - Mine tailings are often deposited in different lifts at different stages of the mine life requiring proper specification of initial conditions and staged models.


      - Mine tailings deposited as a slurry become unsaturated over time and therefore require a numerical model capable of handling the particular nonlinearities associated with unsaturated seepage modeling.

    Software Solutions

  • The Challenge
    Spread footings are a common type of foundation utilized in structures. The design of the spread footing requires the analysis of bearing capacity and potential deformation prediction based on anticipated loads. Footings can be rectangular or circular and, if a group are installed, a 3D analysis may be required to determine the extent of the overlapping stress conditions.

    The Solution
    SVSOLID™ is ideal for the analysis of spread footings and can analyze footings in a 2D or 3D environment. Groups of footings may be analyzed in 3D with many elasto-plastic or Cam-Clay constitutive models. SVFLUX™ can be utilized to determine the pore-water pressures under a foundation in order to perform an effective stress analysis. SVSLOPE® is ideal for calculating the potential slip surface and factor of safety for a particular loading scenario for a 2D or 3D analysis.

    Software Solutions

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