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Re: Analysis of a dome

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It sounds like you want to look at the stability of the wall as a rocking block, or as a pair of stacked rocking blocks.
If so, you can probably figure it all out by hand with a free body diagram, with the lower block rocking on its edge opposite the force, and the upper block rocking edge-to-edge on the edge of the lower block that is nearest the force.  If the wall cracks at its base, and at the level of maximum tension near mid-height, considering combined flexure and gravity load, you can come up with a reasonable estimates of the dimensions of the blocks.  If the lower block is on soil, a value of soil modulus would help you determine the dimension of the compression block on which the lower edge rocks, so you can take the soil compression block into account for determining a realistic location for the lower fulcrum.
Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA