Shear Behavior of Unfilled-Planar Quartzitic Rock Joints with Reference to Weathering Grade of Joint Surfaces

  • B. K. Ram
  • A. BasuEmail author
Technical Note


Shear strength of rock discontinuities (e.g., joints, bedding planes, shear planes, faults, etc.) plays a crucial role in controlling the rock mass behavior particularly at shallow depth where chances of intact rock failure are minimal because of low stresses (Hoek 2007). A number of researchers investigated the influence of various factors like joint roughness coefficient (JRC), joint compressive strength (JCS), magnitude of normal stress, stiffness of surrounding rock mass, rate of shearing, nature and thickness of infilling material, and degree of saturation on shear behavior of rock discontinuities (e.g., Barton and Choubey 1977; Kulatilake et al. 1995; Grasselli and Egger 2003; Hencher and Richards 2015; Singh and Basu 2016, 2018; Tang and Wong 2016; etc.).

The ongoing process of weathering in nature, which is slow yet complex, alters rocks and hence the discontinuity surfaces at shallow depth where most engineering works are confined (Basu et al. 2009). Although it...


Quartzite Natural joints Weathering grade Joint roughness coefficient Shear behavior 



Joint roughness coefficient


Joint wall compressive strength (MPa)


Normal stress (MPa)


Peak shear strength (MPa)


Peak friction angle (o)


Root mean square of first derivative of the joint profiles


Length of joint profile (mm)



The authors are thankful to Prof. Giovanni Barla for his suggestions that helped improve the readability of the article. B. K. Ram acknowledges research fellowship from UGC, Government of India. The authors acknowledge the overall support by IIT Kharagpur for carrying out this investigation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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