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Subject : Multiscale modeling of maritime dikes under cyclic hydraulic loading.

In a context of climate change, coastal structures such as dikes will be subjected to increasingly more extreme loads in the future. This PhD project aims at improving the understanding of the mechanical behavior of these protective structures as well as the soil beneath them for a better management of their structural integrity and failure. A distinctive feature of these hydraulic structures is that they are subjected to cyclic hydraulic loadings that can ultimately reduce their bearing capacity.

To achieve this, a numerical and analytical approaches will be employed, through the use both Discrete Element Method (DEM) coupled with Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). The former is to study the behavior of solid grains, and the latter is for simulating the fluid at hand. This will be helpful to analyze the mesoscale mechanisms occurring during the saturation/drying cycles as well as homogenizing the resulting mechanical behavior to bridge the gap between the local physics and the overall mechanical stability of the hydraulic structures.

The long-term objective of this PhD project will be to exploit computational tools in order to
better assess and predict the stability and durability of coastal dikes.

Keywords : Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), Discrete Element Method (DEM), DEM-LBM, Stability, Numerical Approaches, Capillary bridges.