Shear Strength Behaviour of Jointed Rock Masses
Rocks encountered in civil and mining engineering structures are generally jointed in nature. The presence of joints renders anisotropy in rock and makes them weaker in their engineering response. Assessment of shear strength response of such jointed rocks, subject to given stress state, is a challenging task. Large size field tests are very expensive and time consuming and hence not feasible for majority projects. The best alternative available is to use indirect methods to describe the shear strength behaviour of jointed rocks.
The present articles presents some of the most widely used techniques developed during last few decades, using which the shear strength response of jointed rock can be assessed with reasonable accuracy. Relatively simple tests and observations are required for applying these techniques and hence input data can be procured without much difficulty. The shear strength response is divided into two broad categories i.e. strength behaviour of joints and strength behaviour of jointed rock mass. Shear strength models described in this article cover linear as well as non-linear strength response. Classification systems are widely used to characterize the rock masses in the field. It has been explained, how, these classification systems could be used to assess the shear strength response of the rock masses.
KeywordsJointed rock Shear strength Strength criteria Classification systems
The author gratefully acknowledges the contributions made by Dr. T. Ramamurthy, Professor (Retd.) and Dr. K.S. Rao Professor from IIT Delhi; Dr. Bhawani Singh, Professor (Retd.), Prof. M. N. Viladkar and Prof. N. K. Samadhiya from IIT Roorkee, Roorkee for their valuable technical inputs during the research presented in this paper. Some part of the research presented in this paper was conducted under the research projects (Project No. DST-209-CED, IIT Roorkee, 2005-08; and DST-697-CED, IIT Roorkee, 2013-14) sponsored by Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi. The author sincerely puts on record the appreciation for the financial support from DST New Delhi, and the co-operation and encouragement from Dr. Bhoop Singh, Director NRDMS, DST, New Delhi, in carrying out research related to slope stability problems.
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