Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 2473–2484 | Cite as

Objective Determination of Crack Initiation Stress of Brittle Rocks Under Compression Using AE Measurement

  • X. G. Zhao
  • M. Cai
  • J. Wang
  • P. F. Li
  • L. K. Ma
Technical Note


Experimental observations indicate that under compression, the failure process of brittle rocks consists of several stages: crack closure, elastic deformation, crack initiation, crack growth, crack coalescence, failure and post-peak deformation (Brace et al. 1966; Bieniawski 1967; Wawersik and Fairhurst 1970; Lockner 1993). The measurable stresses associated with these stages, namely crack closure stress ( σ CC), crack initiation stress ( σ CI), crack damage stress ( σ CD), and peak stress ( σ c) represent important stress thresholds during the deformation process of brittle rocks under compression, as presented in Fig.  1. Among the three characteristic stress magnitudes, σ CI obtained from laboratory compression tests is considered by some to be an important parameter for estimating field spalling strength of brittle rocks (Martin 1997; Diederichs 2007; Andersson et al. 2009; Martin and Christiansson 2009). However, it is difficult to determine σ CIfrom direct examination of the...


Crack initiation stress Brittle rocks Uniaxial compression Acoustic emission monitoring Cumulative acoustic emission hit Strain measurement 



This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 11102061) and the China Atomic Energy Authority through the geological disposal program and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. The authors would like to thank Mrs. C. Smith for proofreading the manuscript and anonymous reviewers and the co-editor for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. G. Zhao
    • 1
  • M. Cai
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Wang
    • 1
  • P. F. Li
    • 4
  • L. K. Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.CNNC Key Laboratory on Geological Disposal of High-level Radioactive WasteBeijing Research Institute of Uranium GeologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Bharti School of EngineeringLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  3. 3.MIRARCO, Laurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  4. 4.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina

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