The width of the geometrical model can be usually estimated without much of a trouble (care must be take in the stability analysis to provide for sufficiently large space surrounding the critical region). The depth of a mesh however is quite important. The lowest point of a mesh can be imagined as incompressible subsoil. If there is no such layer of the soil or rock material in the geological profile it is possible to assume that at a certain depth from the ground the internal forces will vanish so that there will be no deformation. This will be the lowest point of the geometrical model.
If you are not certain about the margins of the geometrical model it is useful to proceed as follows:
- First enter larger margins, use coarser mesh and compute changes in the stress distributions within a soil body.
- In the next step modify the initial margins (regions with no apparent deformation or changes in stresses can be cut off), generate new and finer mesh and carry out a new and more accurate analysis.
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