Two-dimensional experimental and numerical modelling of a soil-filled masonry arch

S. H. S. Ahmad, L. Augusthus-Nelson, Gareth Michael Swift

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The ultimate load carrying capacity of soil-filled masonry arches is significantly higher than that of bare masonry arches. The soil fill has a stabilizing effect on the masonry arch, distributing the live load and providing passive resistance to deformation of the arch. The masonry arch behaves in a discontinuous manner, governed by interaction between masonry units and soil-masonry interfaces, where forces and displacements are concentrated. In order to understand the behaviour of this soil-structure system, a full scale masonry arch was constructed under laboratory conditions within a stiff, very low-friction chamber to accommodate backfill and confine the system to planar deformation. The system was subjected to monotonic quasi-static loading to collapse. The experimentally observed behaviour is compared with that of a 2-dimensional numerical model of the system using commercial distinct element software.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherICE Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-0-7277-6067-8
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
EventEuropean Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - EICC, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sept 201517 Sept 2015


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Abbreviated titleXVI ECSMGE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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