1st Edition

Practical Rock Mechanics

By Steve Hencher Copyright 2015
    378 Pages 31 Color & 317 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    378 Pages
    by CRC Press

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    An Ideal Source for Geologists and Others with Little Background in Engineering or Mechanics

    Practical Rock Mechanics provides an introduction for graduate students as well as a reference guide for practicing engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers. The book considers fundamental geological processes that give rise to the nature of rock masses and control their mechanical behavior. Stresses in the earth’s crust are discussed and methods of measurement and prediction explained. Ways to investigate, describe, test, and characterize rocks in the laboratory and at project scale are reviewed. The application of rock mechanics principles to the design of engineering structures including tunnels, foundations, and slopes is addressed. The book is illustrated throughout with simple figures and photographs, and important concepts are illustrated by modern case examples. Mathematical equations are kept to the minimum necessary and are explained fully—the book leans towards practice rather than theory.

    This text:

    • Addresses the principles of rock mechanics as it applies to both structural geology and engineering practice
    • Demonstrates the importance of and methods of geological characterisation to rock engineering
    • Examines the standard methods of rock mechanics testing and measurement as well as interpretation of data in practice
    • Explains connections between main parameters both empirically as well as on the basis of scientific theory
    • Provides examples of the practice of rock mechanics to major engineering projects

    Practical Rock Mechanics teaches from first principles and aids readers’ understanding of the concepts of stress and stress transformation and the practical application of rock mechanics theory. This text can help ensure that ground models and designs are correct, realistic, and produced cost-effectively.

    Introduction to rock mechanics
    Differentiating between soil and rock
    Mechanics of failure
    Classification of intact rock
    Compressive strength of weak rock
    Origins of shear strength in intact rock
    Shear strength parameters for the sample in Figure
    Stability of a cut slope in weak rock
    Discontinuities in rock masses
    The importance of discontinuities to stability
    Early lessons and the relevance of rock mechanics
    Application of rock mechanics
    History of the subject area
    Rock mechanics as a scientific discipline
    Load changes
    Fundamental mechanics
    Mohr circle representation of stress-state
    Stress concentration in underground openings
    Stresses below foundations
    Effective stress
    Rock deformation and behaviour
    Direct shear
    Simple shear and associated rock structures
    Surface features on rock fractures
    Conclusions to this section
    Geological processes and the nature of rock masses
    Earth stresses
    Rock textures, fabrics and effect on properties
    Rock joints and other discontinuities
    Major geological structures
    Hydrogeology of rock masses
    Fundamental concepts and definitions
    Hydraulic conductivity and permeability
    Measuring hydraulic conductivity
    Typical parameters
    Unconfined and confined aquifers and storage
    Compartmentalisation, aquicludes and aquitards
    Flow paths
    Characterisation and prediction of hydrogeological conditions for projects
    Hydrogeological modelling
    Characterising rock for engineering purposes
    Initial stages of site investigation
    Field mapping
    Trial excavations
    Discontinuity surveys
    Remote measurement
    Rose diagrams
    Stereographic interpretation
    Roughness measurement
    Ground investigation techniques
    Description and classification of rocks
    Rock mass classifications
    Interpreting ground conditions and reporting
    Contracts for construction
    Instrumentation and monitoring
    Properties and parameters for design
    Role of index testing
    Basic characterisation
    Rock strength and its measurement
    Rock deformability
    Rock shear strength at mass scale
    Hydraulic conductivity and related parameters
    Foundations on rock
    Design of shallow foundations
    Difficult sites
    Deep foundations
    Case example: The Izmit Bay crossing: Rock engineering for the anchorage of a major suspension bridge
    Site formation
    Rock slopes
    Design of engineering works
    Slope formation
    Open-pit slopes
    Underground excavations
    Difference between tunnels and caverns
    Stability categories for underground excavations
    Cavern construction
    Conversion factors (to two decimal places)


    Steve Hencher is research professor in engineering geology at the University of Leeds, UK, and an honorary professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. Up until recently, he was a director of Halcrow (China) and head of Geotechnics in the Hong Kong Office for approximately ten years. Previously, he worked with Bechtel on the design of the high-speed railway in South Korea and for the Geotechnical Control Office of the Hong Kong Government. He also spent 12 intervening years teaching an MSc course in engineering geology and conducting research at the University of Leeds.

    "in my opinion, the great strength of this book, and the feature that distinguishes it from any other book that I am familiar with in the field of rock mechanics and rock engineering, is its emphasis on (these) basic geological factors and their influence, often their over-riding influence, on the design and performance of engineering projects constructed in and on rock. … I know of no other book that explains as thoroughly or as well the centrally important relationship between the geological history and the resulting geological features of a site on the one hand, and the investigation, design, construction and performance on an engineering project on the other."
    —Professor Edwin T Brown AC, Senior Consultant, Golder Associates Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia, Emeritus Professor, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, President, International Society for Rock Mechanics, 1983-87

    "Steve Hencher's book has an Earth scientists approach to practical rock mechanics and his in-depth knowledge of geological structures and mechanical properties of rock material offer an excellent introduction to rock mechanics and rock engineering. … excellent case studies from civic works, mines and underground constructions. … written so that students with a basic knowledge in geology can follow the more mechanistic parts and apply the knowledge to rock engineering problems and field cases.
    —Ove Stephansson, GFZ Potsdam, Germany and SRC Berlin

    "… gives very good description of the rock materials and rock mass. It is very suitable for civil engineers."
    —Jian Zhao, Monash University