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Introduction to Rock Mechanics

Introduction to Rock Mechanics

Second Edition, John Wiley and Sons

DOI: 10.1016/0013-7952(82)90015-1

Some knowledge of rock mechanics is vital for civil engineers although it is only since about 1960 that rock mechanics has come to be recognized as a discipline worthy of a special course of lectures in an engineering program. That recognition is an inevitable consequence of new engineering activities in rock, including complex underground installations, deep cuts for spillways, and enormous open pit mines. Rock mechanics deals with the properties of rock and the special methodology required for design of rock-related components of engineering schemes. Rock, like soil, is sufficiently distinct from other engineering materials that the process of "design" in rock is really special. In dealing with a reinforced concrete structure, for example, the engineer first calculates the external loads to be applied, prescribes the material on the basis of the strength required (exerting control to insure that strength is guaranteed), and accordingly determines the structural geometry. In rock structures, on the other hand, the applied loads are often less significant than the forces deriving from redistribution of initial stresses. Then, since rock structures like underground openings possess many possible failure modes, the determination of material "strength" requires as much judgment as measurement. Finally, the geometry of the structure is at least partly ordained by geological structure and not completely within the designer's freedoms. For these reasons, rock mechanics includes some aspects not considered in other fields of applied mechanics- geological selection of sites rather than control of material properties, ??easuremen(of initial stresses, and analysis, through graphics and model studies, of multiple modes of failure. The subject of rock mechanics is therefore closely allied with geology and geological engineering.

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