Any undisturbed rock mass is subject to natural stresses including gravitational stresses due to the mass of the overburden and possibly tectonic stresses due to the straining of the earth’s crust and remanent stresses due to past tectonism. Knowledge of the in situ stress field must be integrated into any rock engineering design along with general rock mass characteristics such as deformability, strength, permeability and time dependent behavior. For example, the choice of optimum orientation and shape of deep underground caverns or complex underground works will be controlled by the orientation and the magnitude of the in situ stress field if it is necessary to minimize stress concentration problems. Long term variation of the in situ stress field may also help to evaluate the potential hazard of earthquake occurences.
KeywordsPermeability Anisotropy Sandstone Stratification Bedding
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