Indian Geotechnical Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 595–614 | Cite as

Realistic Parameters Adoption to Solve Rock Engineering Problems

  • T. RamamurthyEmail author
Original Paper


Strength and modulus of rock mass as obtained from RMR, Q and GSI have been examined with reference to modulus ratio, Mrj, for their reliability. The design parameters adopted in some case studies based on these rock mass classifications are presented. The modulus ratios in these case studies are found to be much higher than those of the corresponding values of intact rocks, even after back analyses. Based on joint factor, Jf, compressive strength, modulus, cohesion and friction angle were estimated and applied in the analyses of a few cases. The predictions of deformations agreed well with the field measurements. Based on extensive experimental data of jointed specimens of rock and rock-like materials, a joint factor, Jf, was defined as a weakness coefficient in rock mass compared to the corresponding intact rock. Jf is linked to the strength, modulus and modulus ratio of rock mass. The modulus ratio, Mrj, of rocks is less than the modulus ratio of intact rock. The Mrj concept has been adopted to present a unified classification for intact rocks and rocks masses, to define soil that rock boundary and penetration rate of TBMs.


Case studies Classifications Equivalent continuum model Joint factor Modulus ratio Numerical modeling Penetration rate of TBMs Properties Rock mass Soil–rock boundary 



Authors thank the IGS Executive Committee for offering the opportunity to present this Sixth Terzaghi Oration, M/S Ferro co for initiating and supporting this Oration activity, the local chapter of IGS at Indore for making arrangements, Prof. Seetharam and Prof. Madhavi Latha promoting our researching findings in predicting the performance of rocks, my research scholars who guided research in characterizing the rock mass, and also my colleagues for establishing a healthy environment at IIT Delhi for nurturing Rock Mechanics activity.


  1. 1.
    Deere DU, Miller RP (1966) Engineering classification and index properties for intact rocks. Technical report no. AFNL-TR-65-116, Air Force Weapons Laboratory, New MexicoGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hobbs NB ((1975) Factors effecting the prediction of settlement of structures on rock: with particular reference to chalk and Triass in settlement of structures. In: Proceedings of the conference on settlement of structures, Prentech Press, pp 579–610Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bieniawski ZT (1973) Engineering classification of jointed rock masses. Trans S Afr Inst Civ Eng 15(12):335–344Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barton N, Lien R, Lunde J (1974) Engineering classification of rock masses for the design of tunnel support. J Rock Mech 6(4):189–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hoek E (1994) Strength of rock and rock masses. ISRM News J 2(2):4–16Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hoek E, Brown ET (1997) Practical estimates of rock mass strength. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 34(8):1165–1186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bieniawski ZT (1976) Rock mass classification in rock engineering. In: Bieniawski ZT (ed) Proceedings of the symposium on exploration for rock engineering, vol 1. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 97–106Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Serafim JL, Pereira JP (1983) Consideration of the geomechanics classification of Bieniawski. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on engineering geology and underground construction, Lisbon, Portugal, no II, pp 33–44Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Barton N (2002) Some new Q-value correlations to assist in site characterisation and tunnel design. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 39(2):185–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Moretto O, Pistone RES, DelRio JC (1993) A case history in Argentina—Rockmech. For underground works in pump storage development of Rio Grande No. 1. In: Hudson JA (ed) Comprehensive rock engineering, vol 5. Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, pp 159–192Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Barla G (1993) Case study of rock mechanics in Masua mine, Italy. In: Hudson JA (ed) Comprehensive rock engineering, vol 5. Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, pp 291–334Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hoek E, Moy D (1993) Design of large power house caverns in weak rocks. In: Hudson JA (ed) Comprehensive rock engineering, vol 5. Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, pp 85–110Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yu C, Liu SC (1993) Power caverns of Mingtan pumped storage project, Taiwan. In: Hudson JA (ed) Comprehensive rock engineering, vol 5. Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, pp 111–131Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ermekov TM, Abuov MG, Shashkin VN, Freidin AM, Uskov VA (1985) Providing of stability of horizontal mine working in soft rock. In: Proceedings of the 8th international congress on ISRM, Japan, vol 2, pp 671–674Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zhou Y, Zhao J, Cai JG, Zhang XH (2003) Behaviour of large-span rock tunnels and caverns under favourable horizontal stress conditions. In: Proceedings of the 10th international congress on ISRM, Johanesburg, vol 2, pp 1381–1386Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stabel B, Samani FB (2003) Mashed-e-soloiman hydroelectric power project, rock engineering investigations, analysis, design and construction. In: Proceedings of the 10th international congress on ISRM, Johanesberg, vol 2, pp 1147–1154Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tabanrad R (2003) Monitoring and stability analysis of intake tunnels, Karun III hydroelectric power project. In: Proceedings of the 10th international congress on ISRM, Johanesberg, vol 2, pp 1189–1193Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lim H, Kim CH (2003) Comparative study on the stability analysis methods for underground pumped power house caverns in Korea. In: Proceedings of the 10th international congress on ISRM, Johanesberg, vol 2, pp 783–786Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Carvalho JL, Kennard DT, Lorig L (2002) Numerical analysis of east wall of Toquepala mine, Southern Andes of Peru. In: Proceedings of EUROCK, Lisbon, pp 615–625Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Clark IH (2006) Simulation of rock mass strength using ubiquitous joints. In: Hart R, Varona P (eds) Proceedings of the 4th international FLAC symposium on numerical modeling in geomechanics, MiniapolisGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lorig LJ (2007) Using numbers from geology, keynote lecture. In: Proceedings of the 11th international congress on ISRM, Lisbon, vol 3, pp 1367–1377Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Read JRL (2008) Large open pit project, keynote lecture. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on 6ARMS, New Delhi, pp 119–131Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sari M, Karpuz C, Ayday C (2010) Estimating rock mass properties using Monte Carlo simulation: Ankara andesites. Comput Geosci 36:959–969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Richards L, Read SAL (2007) Newzealand Greywacks characteristics and influences on rock mass behaviour. In: Proceedings of the 11th international congress on ISRM, Lisbon, vol 1, pp 359–364Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hoek E, Diederichs MS (2006) Empirical estimation of rock mass modulus. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 43(2):203–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bronshteyn VI, Zhukov VN, Yufin SA, Zertsalov MG, Ustinov DV (2007) Proceedings of the 11th international congress on ISRM, Lisbon, vol 2, pp 1015–1018Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ramamurthy T (2001) Shear strength responses of some geological materials in triaxial compression. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 38:683–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Walsh JB, Brace WF (1966) Elasticity of rock: a review of some recent theoretical studies. Rock Mech Eng Geol 4(4):283–297Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ramamurthy T (2004) A geo-engineering classification for rocks and rock masses. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 41(1):89–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Singh M, Rao KS, Ramamurthy T (2002) Strength and deformational behaviour of a jointed mass. J Rock Mech Rock Eng 35(1):45–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Gupta AS, Rao KS (2000) Weathering effects on the strength and deformational behaviour of crystalline rocks under uniaxial compression state. Int J Eng Geol 56:257–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Natau O, Fliege O, Mutcher TH, Stech HJ (1995) True triaxial tests of prismatic large scale samples of jointed rock masses in laboratory. In: Proceedings of the 8th international congress on rock mech, Tokyo, vol 1, pp 353–358Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rocha M (1964) Mechanical behaviour of rock foundations in concrete dams. In: Transactions, 8th congress on large dams, Edinburgh, paper R-44, Q.28, pp 785–832Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ramamurthy T (1993) Strength and modulus responses of anisotropic rocks. In: Hudson JA (ed) Chapter 13, comprehensive rock engineering. Pergamon Press Ltd., Oxford, pp 313–329Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Desai CS (1994) Hierarchical single surface and disturbed state constitutive models with emphasis on geotechnical application. In: Saxena KR (ed) Chapter 5 in geotechnical engineering. Oxford & IBH Pub. Co., New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Varadarajan A, Sharma KG, Desai CS, Hashemi M (2001) Constitutive modelling of a schistose rock in the Himalaya. Int J Geomech 1(1):83–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Varadarajan A, Sharma KG, Desai CS, Hashemi M (2001) Analysis of a powerhouse cavern in the Himalaya. Int J Geomech 1(1):109–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Desai CS (1997) Manual for DSC-SST-2D: computer code for static and dynamic solid, structure and soil-structure analysis, Tucson, ArizonaGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sitharam TG, Sridevi J, Shimizu N (2001) Practical equivalent continuum characterization of jointed rock masses. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 38:437–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sridevi J, Sitharam TG (2000) Analysis of strength and moduli of jointed rocks. Geotech Geol Eng 18:3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Sitharam TG, Madhavi Latha G (2002) Simulation of excavation in jointed rock masses using practical equivalent continuum model. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 39:517–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Latha GM, Sitharam TG (2004) Comparison of failure criteria for jointed rock masses. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 41:3 (proceedings of sinorock symposium paper 2B08, CD-ROM) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Duncan JM, Chang CY (1970) Non-linear analysis of stress and strain in soil. J Soil Mech Found Eng ASCE 5:1629–1652Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Brown ET, Trollope DH (1970) Strength of model of jointed rock. J Soil Mech Found Div ASCE 96(SM2):685–704Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Horii H, Yoshida H, Uno H, Akutagawa S, Uchida Y, Morikawa S, Yambe T, Tada H, Kyoya T, Fumio I (1999) Comparison of computational models for jointed rock mass through analysis of large scale cavern excavation. In: Proceedings of the 9th international congress on ISRM, Paris, vol 1, pp 389–393Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sjoberg S (1999) Analysis of large scale rock slopes. Doctoral thesis, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, Lulea University of Technology, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Sitharam TG, Maji VB, Varma AK (2005) Equivalent continuum analyses of jointed rock mass. In: 40th US rock mechanics symposium, 25–29 June, Anchorage, Alaska, paper no. 05-776 (in CD ROM)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Sitharam TG, Maji VB (2007) Slope stability analysis of a large slope in rock mass: a case study. In: Proceedings of the 11th international congress on ISRM, Lisbon, vol 2, pp 1185–1188Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Arunakumari G, Latha GM (2007) Effect of joint parameters on stress–strain response of rocks. In: Proceedings of the 11th international congress on ISRM, Lisbon, vol 1, pp 243–246Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Garaga S, Latha GM (2010) Intelligent prediction of stress–strain response of intact and jointed rocks. Comput Geotech 37:629–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Arora VK (1987) Strength and deformational behaviour of jointed rocks. Ph.D. Theses, Indian Institute of Technology DelhiGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Latha MG, Garaga A (2012) Elasto-plastic analysis of jointed rocks using discrete continuum and equivalent continuum approaches. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 53:56–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Vardakos S (2003) Distinct element modeling of Zhimizu tunnel no. 3 in Japan. MS Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, BlacburgGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Barton N (1992) TBM performance in rock using Q TBM. Tunn Tunn Int Milan 31:41–48Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Ramamurthy T (2008).Penetration rate of TBMs. In: Proceedings of world tunneling congress Agra, India, vol 3, pp 1551–1567Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    NTH (Norwegian Institute of Technology) (1988) Hard rock tunnel boring, Project report Trondheim, Norway, pp 1–86Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Sapigni M, Berti M, Bethaz E, Busillo A, Cardone G (2002) TBM performance estimation using rock mass classifications. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 39:771–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Geotechnical Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Angron Geotech Pvt. LtdNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations