Geotechlab The site of the Geotechnical Lab

Cyclic loadings

The study of the mechanical behaviour of granular soils subjected to cyclic loadings is of fundamental importance for understanding long-term serviceability conditions of many structures. For example, foundations of offshore wind turbines must withstand cyclic environmental loads and maintain the required operational level throughout their intended design life.

Recently the discrete element method (DEM) was proved to be able to simulate basic macroscopic behaviour of granular soils such as grain densification and ratcheting phenomena ().


Gabrieli, F., Zorzi, G., & Wan, R. (2014). Granular ratcheting phenomena behind a model retaining wall. Geomechanics from Micro to Macro, 1, 601–606.
Zorzi, G., Baeßler, M., & Gabrieli, F. (2017). Influence of Structural Stiffness on Ratcheting Convection Cells of Granular Soil under Cyclic Lateral Loading. Procedia Engineering, 175, 148–156.
Zorzi, G., Artoni, R., & Gabrieli, F. (2017). Experiments and DEM Simulations of Granular Ratcheting. EPJ Web of Conferences, 140, 03061.