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Training Course 2016 - Cambridge

The first MPM–DREDGE Training Course "Modelling large deformation and soil–water interaction using the material point method" as part of the MPM–DREDGE project has been held on 3 May 2016 led by Prof Kenichi Soga at the University of Cambridge, Engineering Department.

Soil–water interaction

Interaction between soil and water plays an important role in many environmental and civil engineering problems, such as landslides induced by rainfall, fluidisation and sedimentation processes in submerged slopes, internal erosion in dykes, scouring around offshore structures, settlement due to consolidation processes, installation of piles in saturated soils, and many more. Modelling these processes is challenging due to soil--water coupling and large deformations occurring. In this training course the material point method (MPM) will be introduced to analyse these type of problems.

MPM is a point-based numerical method capable of modelling large deformations and recently, within the framework of the MPM–DREDGE project, it has been extended and implemented in the MPM Software "Anura3D" of the MPM Research Community to cope with advanced soil–water interaction.

The theoretical lectures of this training course focus on presenting an MPM formulation capable of simulating the interaction between solid and liquid phases. Two different approaches will be addressed. In the first one, a single set of material points describes the behaviour of a saturated porous continuum understood as a mixture of solid skeleton and pore water. The second approach describes the movement of each constituent (i.e. solid and liquid) individually by means of two sets of material points, thereby enabling the simulation of free surface water, the in– and outflow of water (e.g. Figure 1), as well as fluidisation and sedimentation processes.

In two practical lectures further applications of MPM are illustrated focusing on submerged slope stability, the simulation of cone penetration tests in partially drained soil conditions and applications in fluid dynamics.

Figure 1: Modelling seepage flow through a slope using two sets of material points. Displacement of solid material points (top). Location of liquid material points (bottom).

Tutored exercises

Course participants will gain experience as users of the MPM Software "Anura3D" developed by the MPM Research Community. During three training exercises, the attendees will learn capabilities of Anura3D by means of a set of practical problems that will be solved following a tutorial specially designed for the course:

Programme and presentations


  • Prof Kenichi Soga, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Dongfang Liang, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Francesca Ceccato, University of Padova, Italy
  • Dr Mario Martinelli, Deltares, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Dr Alba Yerro Colom, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Dr Alexander Rohe, Deltares, Delft, The Netherlands

Tutorial manual

The tutorial manual of the First MPM–DREDGE Training Course can be downloaded here: Tutorial – MPM Training Course 2016.pdf

Anura3D problemtype

Anura3D is a software tool for MPM analyses developed by the MPM Research Community and is used in the First MPM–DREDGE Training Course. This software is a 3D implementation of the material point method and it is used for simulating the physics involved in soil–water–structure interaction and large deformation problems. Anura3D can be used freely for the purposes of this training course. However, it cannot be used in any form for any commercial or academic purposes without the prior agreement of the MPM Research Community. There is no warranty or liability in any sense for the use of the provided software or results.

The Anura3D problemtype to be used in the GiD pre-processor can be downloaded here: MPM Training Course.gid
Copy the unpacked folder into the installation directory of your GiD software as described in Section 2.2.1 of the Tutorial Manual.

Exercise 1 – Oedometer problem

A detailed description of the exercise can be found in Chapter 3 of the Tutorial Manual. The input files for the basic version of exercise 1 can be downloaded here:

Exercise 2 – Column collapse

A detailed description of the exercise can be found in Chapter 4 of the Tutorial Manual. The input files for the basic version of exercise 2 can be downloaded here:

Figure 3: Result of exercise 2 – collapse of a dry soil column on a frictional surface.

Exercise 3 – Seepage flow

A detailed description of the exercise can be found in Chapter 5 of the Tutorial Manual. The input files for the basic version of exercise 3 can be downloaded here:

Figure 4: Result of exercise 3 – seepage flow through a soil slope inducing liquefaction. Movement of water (top) and displacement of soil (bottom).


Any questions or more information about the First MPM–DREDGE Training Course?
Alexander Rohe (Deltares) or Alba Yerro Colom (University of Cambridge)

File summary

# File name File type File size Description
1 Tutorial - MPM Training Course 2016.pdf PDF 33.7M Tutorial manual (v1.0)
2 MPM Training Course.gid.zip ZIP 15.6M Anura3D problemtype for GiD (rev 4853)
3 oedometer.A3D.zip ZIP 3.73k Input files for exercise 1
4 columncollapse.A3D.zip ZIP 351k Input files for exercise 2
5 slope.A3D.zip ZIP 112k Input files for exercise 3
6 soga.pdf PDF 3.73M Presentation Kenichi Soga
7 ceccato.pdf PDF 3.93M Presentation Francesca Ceccato (updated 30-May-2016)
8 liang.pdf PDF 2.00M Presentation Dongfang Liang