Dry Stone Retaining Structures

DEM Modeling

Dry Stone Retaining Structures

Eric Vincens, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France
Jean-Patrick Plassiard, University of Savoy Mont Blanc, France
Jean-Jacques Fry, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France

ISBN : 9781785480805

Publication Date : February 2016

Hardcover 162 pp

100.00 USD



Dry stone retaining structures are made of individual decimeter stone blocks in contact with one another. One of the advantages of this construction technology lies in the weak amount of embodied energy required for their construction using only local materials. This technology may therefore be a good answer to the challenges brought about by sustainable policies in civil engineering.

Many of these structures are more than one hundred years old and damage due to aging is a challenging issue for owners. Indeed, normal scientific tools cannot address the specific behavior of such structures and cannot help in the decision-making process. In fact, due to the discrete nature of the system, a large amount of energy can be dissipated at contact level before failure. The shape, arrangement and possible breakage of blocks may play a major role in their overall behavior which is specific to these structures.

This book summarizes two decades of research on dry stone retaining walls and rockfill dams with stone pitching, highlighting how DEM has contributed to a breakthrough in the understanding of their mechanical behavior.


1. Dry Stone Retaining Walls.
2. Rockfill Dams with Dry Masonry.

About the authors/editors

Eric Vincens is Associated Professor at Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France. He has developed research which aims to better understand and model the behavior of granular soils and geotechnical works including dykes, dams and masonry structures. He is a member of the Geotechnical Risk and Safety Commission of Lyon.

Jean-Patrick Plassiard is Assistant Professor at the University of Savoy Mont Blanc, France. He has developed research on the static and dynamic behavior of structures including reinforced concrete, rammed earth and masonry, focusing on the modeling of their non-linear behavior under extreme loadings.

Jean-Jacques Fry is an embankment dam expert working at Electricité de France (EDF), the French utility firm. With more of 40 years of experience in geotechnics, he was successively consultant for UNDP, the general secretary of the French committee on large dams, Professor at Ecole Centrale de Lyon, the chairman of the working group on Internal erosion of the European Club of ICOLD and he is currently the chairman of the working group on Dams and Earthquakes of the European Club of ICOLD.