Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 313–335 | Cite as

Development of Synthetic Rock Mass Bonded Block Models to Simulate the Behaviour of Intact Veined Rock

  • Alexandr Turichshev
  • John Hadjigeorgiou
Original paper


Synthetic rock mass (SRM) modelling, based on bonded particle models (BPM), has been successfully used to model jointed and veined rock. BPM models, however, have significant limitations in simulating some key elements of the behaviour of intact rock. In particular, BPMs have difficulties in reproducing the compressive to tensile strength ratio and determining the angle of internal friction characteristic of typical hard rock specimens. Use of bonded block models (BBM), where angular blocks are used in place of spherical particles in BPM, demonstrated improvements in modelling the behaviour of intact rock. However, SRM-style models using BBM have been only used on a limited basis to model foliated and veined rock. In previous applications the BBM based models lacked use of discrete fracture networks which are key in SRM simulations. This paper reports on an original application of bonded block SRM for modelling of intact veined rock and presents the developed methodology for SRM modelling of intact veined rock based on BBM. It has been demonstrated that that BBM models of intact rock are an improvement over modelling of intact rock using BPM. Finally, this paper presents the results of BBM SRM numerical simulations of compressive experiments on intact veined rock under a series of confining pressures.


Synthetic rock mass Bonded block models Intact veined rock 3DEC Mafic intrusive complex of El Teniente (CMET) 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mining Construction (RTC-UMC) and the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) for financial support. The technical input of Dr. Matthew Pierce (Itasca) is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lassonde Institute of MiningUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Itasca Consulting Canada Inc.TorontoCanada

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