Prior to excavation, any point in a rock mass is subjected to stress, which has to be considered in the overall stress distribution after the excavation work is completed. Over the past three decades, empirical, analytical, and field studies have shown that the ratio of average horizontal stress to vertical stress plays a dominant role in engineering structure design. Notationally, this ratio is referred to as the coefficient of lateral stress K, which is a dimensionless positive quantity. The intent of this paper was to bring out the intrinsic characteristic of K with the use of probabilistic and statistical techniques, which have not been considered extensively in any previous context.
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