Numerical Modelling

Numerical modelling is an important tool to specify the processes taking place during subrosion and collapse events, hence the conditions in which sinkholes form. The large variation of different time-dependent processes needs a detailed analysis of single time frames. Part of the numerical studies is the simulation of dissolution and transport; however a first focus is the simulation of mechanical deformation processes.

For the mechanical simulation the roxol™ code is used, a tool for fracture network evolution based on latest XFEM (eXtended Finite Element Modelling) routines. The code was developed by geomecon GmbH in Potsdamhttp://www.geomecon.de/. Failure induced by fracture initiation, activation and propagation can be simulated under the given state of stress. Primarily, the aim of the numerical modelling is a better understanding of the underground structures, subrosion processes and collapse mechanisms. Additionally scenario analysis will be calculated by varying material parameters and boundary conditions. Those methods are suitable to predict time-dependent rock failure to realize a geomechanical assessment and estimate the risk of regional hazard.