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Title: Strength And Deformation Behaviour Of Jointed Rocks : An Equivalent Continuum Model
Authors: Maji, Vidya Bhushan
Advisors: Sitharam, T G
Keywords: Rock Mechanics
Continuum Model
Jointed Rocks
Rocks - Deformation
Rocks - Modelling
Joint Roughness Coefficient (JRC)
Jointed Rock Mass
Equivalent Continuum Model
Jointed Rock Masses
Submitted Date: Aug-2007
Series/Report no.: G21660
Abstract: Most rock masses encountered in civil and mining engineering projects contain pre-existing discontinuities. These discontinuities weaken the rock masses to an extent, which depends very much on the size of engineering structure relation to discontinuity spacing. The strength and deformability of rock mass is controlled not only by the intact portion of rock, but by the characteristic of the joints that break up the mass, particularly their pattern and their orientation with respect to the in-situ stresses. In considering the effect of joints, the discrete approach emerged as an efficient tool and advocated since 1970s (Cundall, 1971). However, the numerical approach with modelling the joints explicitly has the limitation of computational complexity for modelling large-scale problems with extremely large number of joints. As an alternative to this limitation, the equivalent continuum approach models the jointed rock masses as a continuum with the equivalent properties that represent implicitly the effects of the joints. Several numerical methods have been developed by various researchers to model jointed rock masses as equivalent continuum, using various techniques. However, the existing equivalent continuum models are complicated and need more input data from experimental or field testing in order to carry out the analysis. Present approach attempts to use statistical relations, which are simple and obtained after analyzing a large data from the literature on laboratory test results of jointed rock masses. Systematic investigations were done including laboratory experiments to develop the methodologies to determine the equivalent material properties of rock mass and their stress-strain behaviour, using a hyperbolic approach (Duncan and Chang, 1970). Present study covers the development of equivalent continuum model for rock mass right from developing statistical correlations to find out equivalent material properties based on experimental results, to the implementation of the model in FLAC3D for 3-dimensional applications and subsequently verification leading to real field application involving jointed rocks. Experimental work carried out to study the strength and deformation characteristics of jointed rock by using standard laboratory tests on cylindrical specimens of plaster of Paris by introducing artificial joints. The objective was to derive the compressive strength and elastic modulus of rock mass as a function of intact rock strength/modulus and joint factor. The obtained experimental results and developed relations were compared with the previous experimental data on jointed rocks. Further, a failure criterion as proposed by Ramamurthy (1993) has been validated from these experimental results of intact and jointed rock specimens. Empirical relationships similar to Ramamurthy’s relations are established for the prediction of rock mass strength and were compared with proposed equation by Ramamurthy (1993) and are found comparable. However, the equations by Ramamurthy were based on different variety of rocks and therefore recommended for further use and were used in numerical models. For efficient application to the field problems the equivalent continuum model is implemented in the program Fast Lagrangian analysis of continua (FLAC3D). The model was rigorously validated by simulating jointed rock specimens. Element tests were conducted for both uniaxial and triaxial cases and then compared with the respective experimental results. The numerical test program includes laboratory tested cylindrical rock specimens of different rock types, from plaster of Paris representing soft rock to granite representing very hard rock. The results of the equivalent continuum modelling were also compared with explicit modelling results where joints were incorporated in the model as interfaces. To represent highly discontinuous system, the laboratory investigation on block jointed specimens of gypsum plaster (Brown and Trollope, 1970) was modelled numerically using equivalent continuum approach. To extend the applicability of the model to field applications, investigation were done by undertaking numerical modelling of two case studies underground caverns, one Nathpa Jhakri hydroelectric power cavern in Himachal Pradesh, India, and the other one Shiobara hydroelectric power cavern in Japan. This study verifies the efficiency of the present approach in estimating ground movement and stress distribution around the excavations in jointed rock masses. The modelling results were also compared with six other computation models as presented by Horii et al. (1999) for the Shiobara power house cavern. An attempt has also been made to numerically model the support system for the cavern and investigate the efficiency of reinforcements using FLAC3D. The model was also used for analyzing large scale slope in jointed rocks using the equivalent continuum model by undertaking numerical modelling of Anji bridge abutment slopes, in Jammu and Kashmir, India. Slope stability analysis is done using equivalent continuum approach for both, the original profiles as well as with the pier loads on cut profiles. Attempt was also made to exhibit the shear strength dependency of the strain though the hyperbolic stress- strain model. The shear strain developed in the slope increases with reducing the shear strength. The relationship between the shear strength reduction ratio ‘R’ and axial strain ‘ε’, for different values of failure ratio ‘Rf’ was studied and it was observed that, the value of ‘ε’ increases, as the value of ‘R’ increases especially it increases rapidly when the value ‘R’ approaches certain critical value, which varies with the value of ‘Rf’. This critical value of R is known as the critical shear strength reduction factor Rc and is highly sensitive to the confining stress. As the value of Rf increases, representing a transition from linear elastic nature to nonlinear nature, the value of critical shear strength reduction ratio also decreases. Relationship between the critical shear strength reduction ratio and the safety factor were examined to elucidate their physical meaning. It was observed that at critical value of the shear strength reduction ratio, a well defined failure shear zone developed from the toe to the crest of the slope. Intelligent models using ANNs were also developed to predict the elastic modulus of jointed rocks as an alternative to empirical equations and without predefining a mathematical model to correlate the properties.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/545
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering (civil)

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