Ubiquitous joint constitutive models have been available for numerical analysis for a few decades. However, mis-understanding of the true behavior of these models is still quite prevalent among users. The purpose and goal of addressing strength anisotropy through a ubiquitous joint model embedded in a constitutive model has been successful, but the deformations do not follow the intuitive behaviour in many cases. This paper dissects the constitutive formulation of the ubiquitous joint model and compares its behaviour against explicitly modelled joint networks to show the range of applicability of ubiquitous joint models and when they fall short of capturing the correct deformation behaviour. The paper will show that ubiquity does not equate to continuity and that ubiquitous joint models are not able to capture the correct behaviour for discontinuities of large extent, such as bedding or faults. The paper will also show that this behaviour is inherent in the incremental stress/strain formulation of constitutive models and not specific to any finite element or finite difference code.

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