Numerical Modelling

Traditional geotechnical analysis techniques are often limited due to complexities such as construction staging, soil-structure interaction, non-linear behaviour, pore-pressure effects, in-situ stress conditions and complex deformation mechanisms.

The estimation of displacement caused by excavation activities - and imposed on structures by soil and seismic loading - is also becoming more important. We have adopted sophisticated numerical modelling methods (such as finite-element and finite-difference) to solve these complex problems.

These methods are based on fundamental constitutive behaviour and are ideally suited to the analysis of complex geotechnical systems. In many cases they prevent overly conservative solutions and allow more economic design.


We have developed expertise in applying numerical modelling techniques to:

  • Landslide assessment and stabilisation
  • Embankment shear keys and piles
  • Retaining walls, bridge abutments and MSE walls
  • Deep excavations and effects on adjacent structures
  • Tunnels
  • Quay walls
  • Earth and concrete dams
  • Seismic behaviour and liquefaction
  • Staged excavation and construction works
  • Settlement and consolidation
  • Soil structure interaction
  • Groundwater seepage flow
  • 3D numerical modelling

Our expertise includes practical application of these methods to ensure the best outcome is obtained. Our team has experience with leading geotechnical numerical modelling packages - FLAC, Plaxis, Sigma/W, Seep/W and Phase2.

We have developed an extensive in-house library of bespoke applications. These increase efficiency of modelling processes and allow assessment of a range of specialised issues. We operate all of these packages on a regular basis and select the most appropriate method on a project-by-project basis.

Analysis has little value if the results are not clearly communicated. Tonkin + Taylor has developed a range of presentation formats to convey critical information to clients, structural engineers, consent authorities and peer reviewers.

Key Contacts

Andrew Kennedy Andrew Kennedy

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