Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Rock Mass Classification

  • William H. GodwinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_244

Synonyms

Ground classification; Rock strength classification

Definition

A classification system that captures all relevant information on the composition and characteristics of a rock mass to provide initial estimates of support requirements and to provide estimates of the strength and deformation properties of the rock mass.

Characteristics

One of the earliest classification systems for rock was developed by Terzaghi (1946). The classification system was developed as a method of classifying rock masses and evaluating rock loads based on qualitative assessments.

The rock-quality designation (RQD) developed by Dr. Don U. Deere (Deere and Deere 1988) is a method of logging sound drilled rock core to calculate and quantify the percentage of “good” rock in a core run. RQD is a quantitative method of evaluating rock quality and is widely used as one of the parameters in other more numerical rock classification systems.
$$ \mathrm{RQD}=\mathrm{Sum}\ \mathrm{of}\ \mathrm{length}\...
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References

  1. Barton NR (2002) Some new Q-value correlations to assist in site characterization and tunnel design. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 39(2):185–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bieniawski ZT (1989) Engineering rock mass classifications: a complete manual for engineers and geologists in mining, civil, and petroleum engineering. Wiley, New York, p 251Google Scholar
  3. Deere DU, Deere DW (1988) The rock quality designation (RQD), index in practice. In: Kirkaldie L (ed) Rock classification systems for engineering purposes. ASTM, Philadelphia. 1984Google Scholar
  4. Marinos P, Hoek E, Marinos V (2006) Variability of the engineering properties of rock masses quantified by the geological strength index: the case of ophiolites with special emphasis on tunneling. Bull Eng Geol Env 65(2):129–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Terzaghi K (1946) Rock defects and loads on tunnel supports. In: Proctor RV, White T (eds) Rock engineering with steel support. Commercial Shearing, Youngstown, pp 15–99Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CarmelUSA