General report, session I: Engineering properties of carbonate rocks

  • Dearman W. R. 
Symposium on Engineering Geolgoical Problems of Construction on Soluble Rocks


After reviewing the geological classification of carbonate rocks, a method of describing carbonate rocks for engineering purposes is developed following the recommendations set out by the I.A.E.G. Mapping Commission. Particular attention is paid to the details of the weathering profile developed on carbonate rocks.

The engineering classification of carbonate rocks is based on both the engineering behaviour of the rock as a material and in the mass. Physical properties, including strength and deformation characteristics, are used to determine a modulus ratio for a wide range of limestones including the English chalk. In addition to rock material properties, and engineering classification of the rock mass has to take account of structure, discontinuities, and details of the weathering profile.

Assessment of rock mass properties requiresin situ testing to determine deformation characteristics. If the usually limited amount of data on such quantitativein situ properties is related to other measures of rock quality, then engineering geological mapping can be used to extend the applicability of the limitedin situ data to a whole site. RQD has been related to the compressibility of the rock mass, and a rock mass factor has been proposed that links the deformability of the rock material to that of the rock mass.

Rock mass classifications for large underground openings may be used with limestones.

Engineering problems associated with carbonate rocks are briefly reviewed, as are the properties of limestones as a building stone and as aggregate.


Dolomite Rock Mass Carbonate Rock Chalk Unconfined Compressive Strength 

Rapport general, session I: Proprietes geotechnique des roches carbonatees


Après avoir revu la classification géologique pour les roches carbonatées, on développe une méthode décrivant les roches carbonatées pour des ingénieurs. On suit les recommandations de la commission de l'AIGI sur la cartographie. On fait particulièrement attention aux détails des profils d'altération se développant sur les roches carbonatées.

La classification géotechnique des roches carbonatées est basée sur le comportement des roches aussi bien comme matériau que comme massif. Les propriétés physiques—la résistance et la déformation y compris—sont utilisées pour déterminer un rapport de module pour un grand nombre de calcaires, y compris la craie anglaise. En plus des propriétés des roches en tant que matériau une classification des massifs de roches à but géotechnique doit considérer la structure, les discontinuités et les détails des profils d'altération.

L'estimation des propriété ses massifs rocheux exige des expériencesin situ pour déterminer les caractéristiques de déformation. Si l'on met en rapport la quantité des informations sur ces propriété, généralement limitée, avec d'autres mesures sur la qualitè des roches, la cartographie géotechnique peut être utilisée, pour étendre l'applicabilité des informations ponctuelles obtenuesin situ au site en général. Le RQD a été relié à la compressibilité du massif rocheux; on a proposé un facteur de massif qui rellie la déformabilité du matériau des roches à celle du massif.

La classification des massifs rocheux pour de grandes cavités souterraines peut être utilisée pour des calcaires.

Les problèmes de l'ingénieur concernant les roches carbonatées sont brièvement passés en revue ainsi que les propriétés des calcaires come pierre à bâtir et comme agrégat.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dearman W. R. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Engineering Geology UnitUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle, upon TyneUK

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