Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

Living Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Mohr-Coulomb Failure Envelope

  • Robert (H. R. G. K.) Hack
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-12127-7_207-1



A constitutive model that describes the shear strength of ground.

Exceeding the shear strength results in failure of the ground which can be described by the Mohr-Coulomb Failure Envelope. This is also used, sometimes, as a constitutive model for the shear strength along surfaces of, for example, discontinuities.

Ground materials are diverse and may be gasses, fluids, solids (i.e., minerals, grains, and aggregates of grains or minerals), and any mix. Also, man-made ground, such as fills and waste dump materials, may often be modeled with the Mohr-Coulomb failure envelope. Ground is commonly differentiated in soil and rock, soil being an aggregate of loose or weakly bonded particles, and rock consisting of particles cemented or locked together, giving rock a tensile strength. Soil and rock are by some differentiated based on a compressive strength difference mostly soil being weaker than 1 MPa and rock being stronger. A differentiation...

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert (H. R. G. K.) Hack
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering Geology, ESA, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands