A direction-dependent shear strength criterion for rock joints with two new roughness parameters

  • Liren Ban
  • Chengzhi QiEmail author
  • Chunsheng Lu
Original Paper


The surface morphology of a rock joint is closely related to its mechanical properties. To reasonably characterize a rock surface, two new roughness parameters were proposed in this paper. One is related to the average slope angle of asperities that contribute to the shear strength, and the other reflects the frictional behavior of asperities that is defined as the maximum possible contact area in the shear direction. Taking the standard joint roughness coefficient profiles as example, these two roughness parameters can be applied to describe the directional characteristics of shear strength. Based on their relationships with initial dilation angles, the proposed roughness parameters were incorporated into a peak shear strength criterion. It is shown that the predicted peak shear strength is consistent with experimental data, and there is a power–law relationship. The application range of new roughness parameters was determined, which may facilitate a measurement process.


Rock joints Rectangular-shaped asperities Rock surface morphology Roughness parameters 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (973) (Project No. 802015CB575) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Nos. 51478027 and 51774018). C. Lu is supported by the Open Fund of State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology (Beijing) (Project No. SKLGDUEK1516).


  1. Barton N (1973) Review of a new shear-strength criterion for rock joints. Eng Geol 7(4):287–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barton N, Bandis S (1990) Review of predictive capabilities of JRC-JCS model in engineering practice. In: Proceeding of International Conference on Rock Joints. A, A, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 603–510Google Scholar
  3. Belem T, Homand-Etienne F, Souley M (2000) Quantitative parameters for rock joint surface roughness. Rock Mech Rock Eng 33(4):217–242 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gentier S, Lamontagne E, Archambault G, Riss J (1997) Anisotropy of flow in a fracture undergoing shear and its relationship to the direction of shearing and injection pressure. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 33(34):412–412. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ghazvinian AH, Taghichian A, Hashemi M (2010) The shear behavior of bedding planes of weakness between two different rock types with high strength difference. Rock Mech Rock Eng 43(1):69–87. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Grasselli G, Egger P (2003) Constitutive law for the shear strength of rock joints based on three-dimensional surface parameters. Int J Rock Mech Min Sciences 40(1):25–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huang SL, Oelfke SM, Speck RC (1992) Applicability of fractal characterization and modelling to rock joint profiles. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 29(2):89–98. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jing L (1990) Numerical modeling of jointed rock masses by distinct element method for two and three dimensional problems. Dissertation, Lulea University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  9. Kang MC, Kim JS, Kim KH (2005) Fractal dimension analysis of machined surface depending on coated tool wear. Surf Coat Technol 193(1):259–265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kulatilake PH, Shou G, Huang TH (1995) New peak shear strength criteria for anisotropic rock joints. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 32(7):673–697. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kwon TH, Hong ES, Cho GC (2010) Shear behavior of rectangular-shaped asperities in rock joints. KSCE J Civ Eng 14(3):323–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lee YH, Carr JR, Barr DJ (1990) The fractal dimension as a measure of the roughness of rock discontinuity profiles. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 27(6):453–464. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu XG, Zhu WC, Yu QL (2017) Estimation of the joint roughness coefficient of rock joints by consideration of two-order asperity and its application in double-joint shear tests. Eng Geol 220:243–255. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maerz NH, Franklin JA, Bennett CP (1990) Joint roughness measurement using shadow profilometry. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 27(5):329–343. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Maksimović M (1992) New description of the shear strength for rock joints. Rock Mech Rock Eng 25(4):275–284. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maksimović M (1996) The shear strength components of a rough rock joint. Int J Rock Mech Mining Sci Geomech Abstr 33(8):769–783. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Olsson R, Barton N (2001) An improved model for hydromechanical coupling during shearing of rock joints. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 38(3):317–329. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Patton F D (1966) Multiple modes of shear failure in rock. Proceedings of the 1st international congress on rock mechanic. Lisbon, pp 509–513Google Scholar
  19. Salari-Rad H, Mohitazar M, Dizadji MR (2013) Distinct element simulation of ultimate bearing capacity in jointed rock foundations. Arab J Geosci 6(11):4427–4434. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schneider HJ (1976) The friction and deformation behaviour of rock joints. Rock Mech 8(3):169–184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Scholz CH (1998) Earthquakes and friction laws. Nature 391(6662):37–42. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tatone BSA, Grasselli G (2010) A new 2D discontinuity roughness parameter and its correlation with JRC. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 47(8):1391–1400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tse R, Cruden DM (1979) Estimating joint roughness coefficients. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 16(5):303–307. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang WL, Wang TT, Su JJ (2001) Assessment of damage in mountain tunnels due to the Taiwan Chi-Chi Earthquake. Tunnelling & Underground Space Technology Incorporating Trenchless Technology Research 16(3):133–150. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Xia CC, Tang ZC, Xiao WM (2014) New peak shear strength criterion of rock joints based on quantified surface description. Rock Mech Rock Eng 47(2):387–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Xie H, Wang JA, Xie WH (1997) Fractal effects of surface roughness on the mechanical behavior of rock joints. Chaos, Solitons Fractals 8(2):221–252. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yang ZY, Lo SC, Di CC (2001) Reassessing the joint roughness coefficient (JRC) estimation using Z 2. Rock Mech Rock Eng 34(3):243–251. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yeo IW, Freitas MD, Zimmerman RW (1998) Effect of shear displacement on the aperture and permeability of a rock fracture. International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Science 35(8):1051–1070. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Yi C, Wang CJ, Zhang L (2006) Study on description index system of rough surface based on bi-body interaction. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 25(12):2481–2492. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yu X, Vayssade B (1991) Joint profiles and their roughness parameters. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 28(4):333–336. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanics and Civil EngineeringChina University of Mining & Technology (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Future Urban Design High-Tech Innovation Center and 2011 Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Collaborative Innovation CenterBeijing University of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Civil and Mechanical EngineeringCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations