Strength Estimation of Evaporitic Rocks Using Different Testing Methods
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Rock strength is recognized as the ability of a rock to resist stress or deformation without breaking down. Testing methods are suggested by ISRM (International Society of Rock Mechanics) and ASTM (American Standards Testing Material), and include Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS), Point Load Index (PLI), Indirect Tensile Strength (ITS), Schmidt Hammer Rebound (SHR) and Sonic Velocity (SV). In the investigation presented here a comparison of these methods was performed using evaporitic rocks. These sedimentary rocks are common in the Arabian Peninsula as exposures or in the subsurface and they may constitute the foundations of buildings. We have chosen samples of the Lower Miocene evaporitic rocks from Al Ain city, United Arab Emirates (UAE). 35 UCS, 51 PLI, and ITS, 640 SHR and 86 SV tests were carried out on either core samples or rock blocks according to ASTM Standards. The results revealed moderate to weak correlations between the UCS and Vp, PLI, ITS and SHRRcor for the evaporitic rocks. This behavior may relate to textural and mineralogical heterogeneity within the samples, despite overall homogenous hand specimen characteristics, and calls for caution in applying a single rock strength value in engineering applications.
KeywordsRock strength Evaporitic rocks Unconfined compressive strength Schmidt Hammer Point load index
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