Rock Engineering Risk: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rock Engineering Risk

1st Edition

By John A. Hudson, Xia-Ting Feng

CRC Press

572 pages

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Hardback: 9781138027015
pub: 2015-05-05
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This book provides a new, necessary and valuable approach to the consideration of risk in underground engineering projects constructed within rock masses. There are Chapters on uncertainty and risk, rock engineering systems, rock fractures and rock stress, the design of a repository for radioactive waste, plus two major case examples relating to the headrace tunnels and caverns for a hydroelectric project. These Chapters highlight in detail the authors’ new rock engineering risk approach, especially how monitoring during construction can significantly reduce the construction risks. The book is particularly timely given the current increasing emphasis on geo-engineering safety, accountability and sustainability—which requires stricter attention to risk and greater reliability than ever before.

Written by two eminent authors, the two most recent past-Presidents of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), this modern and well-illustrated guide on Rock Engineering Risk complements the authors’ previous 2011 book on Rock Engineering Design, also published by Taylor & Francis. The book will benefit engineers, contractors, clients, researchers, lecturers and advanced students who are concerned with rock engineering projects in civil, mining, geological and construction engineering worldwide.


This invaluable book reports the outcome of the work of the Commission on Design Methodology of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) in the ISRM’s 2011-2015 term of office during which Professor John Hudson acted as Commission President while Professor Xia-Ting Feng served as ISRM President. It provides a sequel to the authors’ previous book, Rock Engineering Design (Feng and Hudson, 2011), which reported the work of the Commission in the ISRM’s 2007-2011 term of office when Professor Feng acted as Commission President and Professor Hudson served as ISRM President. […]

This book is extremely well written, easy to follow and well-presented on high quality paper. […] The publication of this book reinforces and adds to the already high reputation of the ISRM Commission on Design Methodology. It brings great credit to its authors, Professors John Hudson and Xia-Ting Feng; to the other members of the Commission on Design Methodology in the 2011-2015 period (their names are listed in the book’s Acknowledgements); to the staff of the Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China; to the ISRM itself; and to the publishers. The subject of the book is highly topical and is central to all modern rock engineering undertakings. The writer is pleased to be able to recommend this outstanding book unreservedly to all advanced students, researchers, teachers and practitioners in rock mechanics and rock engineering, particularly, but far from exclusively, those having an interest in underground excavations in rock. He believes that they will find the study this book to be as rewarding as he did.

E.T. Brown, Senior Consultant, Golder Associates Pty Ltd, Milton, QLD, Australia, quoted from the Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 2012a; 4(1): III-IV (June 2015).

This book will apeal to rock engineers world-wide as it addresses generic rather than specific topics. The book covers the topic fully. John Hudson is one of the most highly regarded people in his field. I cannot think of two people in a better position to write this book.

John Cosgrove, Professor of Structural Geology, Imperial College, London.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements: International Society for Rock Mechanics

About the authors

1 Introduction and background

1.1 The previous book “Rock Engineering Design” and this book “Rock Engineering Risk”

1.2 Rock engineering risk

1.3 Governing flowchart for the book

1.4 Structure and content of the book

1.5 Chapter summary

2 Uncertainty and risk

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Approaches to risk management

2.3 Epistemic and aleatory uncertainties

2.3.1 Explanation of the terms ‘epistemic’ and ‘aleatory’

2.3.2 Procedures for dealing with epistemic/aleatory uncertainties and Eurocode

2.4 Chapter summary

3 Rock Engineering Systems (RES), auditing and Protocol Sheets

3.1 Introduction to the systems approach and auditing concepts

3.2 Reducing epistemic uncertainty using the rock engineering systems approach

3.3 A review and explanation of the Rock Engineering Systems (RES) methodology

3.3.1 The interaction matrix

3.3.2 Coding the interaction matrix, and the Cause–Effect plot

3.3.3 Mechanism pathways

3.3.4 Step-by-step evolution of the interaction matrix

3.4 Examples of Rock Engineering Systems (RES) applied to rock mechanics and rock engineering design

3.4.1 Natural and artificial surface rock slopes Surface blasting Natural slopes Instability of artificial rock slopes

3.4.2 Underground rock engineering Underground blasting Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) Tunnel stability

3.4.3 Underground radioactive waste disposal

3.4.4 Use of the RES interaction matrix in other subject areas

3.5 Further development of the RES methodology

3.6 Auditing and Protocol Sheets

3.6.1 ‘Soft’, ‘semi-hard’ and ‘hard’ technical audits and the audit evaluation

3.7 Chapter summary

4 Rock fractures and in situ rock stress

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Rock fractures

4.2.1 The spectrum of brittle and ductile rock deformation

4.2.2 Multiple deformational sequences

4.2.3 The risks associated with different types of rock mass

4.3 In situ rock stress

4.3.1 The stress state in a rock mass In situ rock stress scales

4.3.2 Stress perturbation factors Rock inhomogeneity Rock anisotropy Rock fractures The influence of a free surface

4.3.3 Evidence of in situ stress variability Stress vs. depth compilations The ways ahead for improving the understanding of rock stress variability

4.3.4 A case study of modelling in situ rock stress at the Olkiluoto site, western Finland

4.4 Chapter summary

5 Radioactive waste disposal: overcoming complexity and reducing risk

5.1 The disposal objective

5.1.1 An example of radioactive waste repository statistics

5.2 Features, Events and Processes

5.3 Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM+) processes

5.3.1 The THM+ issues in context

5.3.2 The excavation, operational and post-closure stages The excavation stage Operational stage Post-closure stage Heterogeneity and multiple stage data needs Modelling phases and scaling

5.3.3 The use of numerical computer codes The nature of numerical codes Uncoupled and coupled codes Technical auditing of numerical codes Capturing the essence of the problem The overall Technical Auditing (TA) procedure and risk Validation The future of numerical codes

5.4 The DECOVALEX programme

5.4.1 The development of the DECOVALEX programme

5.4.2 Research work in the current DECOVALEX phase: D-2015 Task A: The Sealex in situ experiment, Tournemire site, France Task B1: The HE-E in situ heater test, Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory, Switzerland Task B2: The EBS experiment at Horonobe, Japan Task C1: THMC modelling of rock fractures Task C2: Modelling water flow into the Bedrichov Tunnel, Czech Republic

5.5 Underground Research Laboratories (URLs)

5.5.1 The purpose of URLs

5.5.2 The Swedish Äspö URL

5.6 Chapter summary

6 Risks associated with long deep tunnels

6.1 Introduction

6.1.1 Development of long deep tunnels

6.1.2 Flowchart to develop risk management for long, deep tunnels

6.2 Epistemic uncertainty analysis of design and construction for long deep tunnels

6.2.1 Geological settings Geological factors relating to rockbursts in deep tunnels Geological conditions exhibiting squeezing or large deformation behaviour

6.2.2 Rock stress

6.2.3 Hydrogeology

6.2.4 Properties of the rock mass

6.2.5 Project location

6.2.6 Excavation and support methods

6.3 Aleatory uncertainty analysis of design and construction for long deep tunnels

6.3.1 Detailed geology variations

6.3.2 Rock stress variations

6.3.3 Local water variations

6.3.4 Mechanical behaviour of the rock mass after excavation and in the long term

6.4 Methods to assess and mitigate risk for long deep tunnels

6.4.1 Rockbursts Rockburst risk assessment Risk mitigation concepts in rockburst prone tunnels New approaches and optimisation of the risk-reduced construction procedures

6.4.2 Water inrush Procedures for water inflow assessment Assessment of water inrush potential Assessment of tunnel water inflow Treatment technologies for tunnel water inrush

6.4.3 Large deformations of weak rock in deep tunnels Large deformation assessment Treatment technologies for large deformations

6.4.4 Long term stability Long term stability assessment in deep tunnels Treatment technologies to ensure long term stability in deep and long tunnels

6.5 Illustrative example: Assessment and mitigation of risk for deep tunnels at the Jinping II Hydropower Station, China

6.5.1 Epistemic uncertainty analysis of headrace long deep tunnels Geological setting Rock stress Hydrology Properties of the rock mass Specific project location Excavation and support method Water inrush Rockbursts Large deformations Long term stability

6.5.2 Aleatory uncertainty analysis of the headrace tunnels Geological variations at different chainage intervals Rock stress variations affecting the threedimensional stress field Local water variations based on prediction in advance Mechanical behaviour of the rock mass after excavation and in the long term

6.5.3 Assessment and mitigation of local risk during the construction of the headrace tunnels Water inrush Rockburst: monitoring, in situ tests, warning and mitigation Large deformation: monitoring and treatment Long term stability

6.6 Chapter summary

7 Risks associated with hydropower cavern groups

7.1 Introduction

7.1.1 Development of large hydropower cavern groups

7.1.2 Current status of design and risk management for large rock caverns

7.1.3 Why is a new method of risk management required?

7.1.4 Outline flowchart for risk management for large hydropower cavern groups

7.1.5 Initial and final risk management for assessing and mitigating the risks for a large hydropower cavern group

7.2 Database of 60 large hydropower cavern groups in China

7.2.1 Principles for establishing a database

7.2.2 Content of the database

7.2.3 Statistical analysis of key issues Lithological character and rock mass quality Structure and strength of the rock mass Stress conditions Arrangement of cavern group by size Excavation scheme and parameters Support parameters Monitoring Rockbolt stresses Stress in cable anchors Relaxation depth of the surrounding rock Fractures in the surrounding rock mass Typical failure modes Effect of loss of cable anchors and rockbolts Measures used to reduce local risks

7.3 Epistemic uncertainty analysis

7.3.1 Geological setting

7.3.2 In situ rock stress

7.3.3 Hydrogeology

7.3.4 Properties of the rock mass

7.3.5 Specific project location

7.3.6 Excavation and support method

7.4 Aleatory uncertainty analysis

7.4.1 Detailed geology variations

7.4.2 Rock stress variations

7.4.3 Local water variations

7.4.4 Mechanical behaviour of the rock mass after excavation and in the long term

7.5 Risk assessment method for a large hydropower cavern group

7.5.1 Principles

7.5.2 Method for assessment and mitigation of overall risk for a large hydropower cavern group before construction Method to determine the membership degree of the assessment index Weight vector determining method Determining the overall risk frequency Determining overall risk consequence Overall risk control analysis

7.5.3 Method for assessment and mitigation of local risk for a large hydropower cavern group before construction Large deformation local risk assessment model before construction Index membership degree determining method

7.5.4 Method for assessment and mitigation of local risk for a large hydropower cavern group during construction

7.6 Illustrative example: Assessment and mitigation of risk for the underground powerhouse at Jinping II Hydropower Station, China

7.6.1 Epistemic uncertainty analysis Geological setting Rock stress Hydrology Specific project location Excavation and support method

7.6.2 Assessment and mitigation of overall risk before construction Assessment Risk mitigation measures

7.6.3 Assessment and mitigation of local risk before the construction Assessment Risk mitigation measures

7.6.4 Aleatory uncertainty analysis Estimation of geological conditions at different layers Estimation of three dimensional stress field Local water variations Mechanical behaviour of the rock mass after excavation and in the long term

7.6.5 Assessment and mitigation of local risk during construction Construction of the main powerhouse layer I Construction of main powerhouse layer II and transformer chamber layer I Construction of main powerhouse layer III and transformer chamber layer II Construction of main powerhouse layer IV and transformer chamber layer III Construction of layer V of the main powerhouse Construction of layers VI, VIII and IX of the main powerhouse Construction of layer VII of the main powerhouse Construction of different types of tunnel Overall evaluation of the complete construction and final design

7.6.6 Important points Optimisation of bench height of layers II and III, and the excavation procedure for layers IV–IX More than ten local warnings and reinforcement improved the main powerhouse and transformer chamber Support reinforcement for different types of tunnel Overall evaluation of the complete construction process and final design

7.7 Chapter summary

8 Concluding remarks

Appendix A: Cavern risk events during construction

Appendix B: The Chinese ‘Basic Quality’ (BQ) system for rock mass classification

B1 Introduction

B2 Terminology and symbols

B2.1 Terminology

B2.2 Symbols

B3 Classification parameters for the rock mass basic quality

B3.1 Classification parameters and the method of their determination

B3.2 Qualitative classification of rock mass solidity

B3.3 Qualitative classification of rock mass integrity

B3.4 Determination and classification of quantitative indices

B4 Classification of rock mass basic quality

B4.1 Determination of the rock mass basic quality class

B4.2 Qualitative characteristics of the basic quality and the basic quality index

B5 Engineering classification for a rock mass

B5.1 General rules

B5.2 Engineering rock mass classification

B6 Establishing the KV and Jv indices

B6.1 The KV index

B6.2 The Jv index

B7 Preliminary assessment of the rock stress field

B8 Physical and mechanical parameters of the rock mass and discontinuities

B8.1 Rock mass parameters

B8.2 Discontinuity parameters

B9 Corrected value of the rock mass basic quality index

B10 Stand-up time for an underground rock mass

B11 Acknowledgements

About the Authors

John A. Hudson graduated from the Heriot-Watt University, UK, and obtained his PhD at the University of Minnesota, USA. He has spent his professional career in consulting, research, teaching and publishing in engineering rock mechanics, and was awarded the DSc. degree by the Heriot-Watt University for his contributions to the subject. He has authored many scientific papers and books, and was the editor of the 1993 five-volume “Comprehensive Rock Engineering” compendium, and from 1983–2006 editor of the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. Since 1983, he has been affiliated with Imperial College London as Reader, Professor and now Emeritus Professor. In 1998, he became a Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and was President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) for the period 2007–2011. In 2015, the 7th ISRM Müller Award was conferred on Professor Hudson in recognition of “an outstanding career that combines theoretical and applied rock engineering with a profound understanding of the basic sciences of geology and mechanics”.

Xia-Ting Feng graduated in 1986 from the Northeast University of Technology and obtained his PhD in 1992 at the Northeastern University, China. He was then appointed and acted as Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor at the same university. In 1998, he was admitted by the Hundred Talents Programme to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Subsequently, he permanently joined CAS’s Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics at Wuhan, China. In 2003, he obtained the support of the China National Funds for Distinguished Young Scientists; in 2010, he became a Chair Professor of the Cheung Kong Scholars’ Programme, Ministry of Education, China; and, in 2009, he was elected as President of the International Society for Rock Mechanics for the period 2011–2015. He is currently Director of the State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in Wuhan. Additionally, in 2012, Professor Feng became the Co-President of the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering. He has made original contributions to the subject of ‘intelligent rock mechanics’ and his methods have been applied to large rock engineering projects in China and other countries.

About the Series

ISRM Book Series

The ISRM Book Series comprises significant scientific publications in rock mechanics and related disciplines. The aim of the Series is to promote the scientific output of ISRM (International Society for Rock Mechanics).

The Series will be published on a regular basis, according to the emergence of noteworthy scientific developments. Each volume in the Series is prepared independently and focuses on a topical theme. Volumes are published on an occasional basis, and include high quality scientific contributions that have not been published elsewhere before. Contributions will be rigorously peer-reviewed by experts in the field, ensuring strong scientific standards, and are expected to be leading in rock mechanics and related disciplines. The Series may include edited volumes, textbooks, reference works and books on advanced scientific topics. ISRM members benefit from a 40% discount on ISRM Book Series volume purchases.

- Rock and rock mass characterization
- Field and Laboratory testing methods in rock mechanics and rock engineering
- Crustal stresses and earthquakes
- Rock dynamics
- Rock mechanics modelling
- Rock engineering design of foundations, slopes, open pit and underground excavations, tunnels and caverns, and other types of works
- Coupling thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in rocks, etc.
- Petroleum Geomechanics
- Preservation of ancient stone monuments

The expected readers of the book are all those involved in rock mechanics and rock engineering activities, in the fields of civil, mining and petroleum engineering, and engineering geology. This includes professionals working in field and laboratory testing, modelling of rock structures, rock engineering design or petroleum geomechanics. The ISRM book series will also be of interest to scientists, researchers and post-graduate students carrying out their investigations in rock mechanics.

The Initial Editorial Board during the establishment of the ISRM Book Series (i.e. the current ISRM Board—which will change for the period 2015–2019):

Prof. Xia-Ting Feng, China
Dr. Eda Freitas de Quadros, Brazil
Mr. Jacques Lucas, South Africa
Dr. Yingxin Zhou, Singapore
Dr. David Beck, Australia
Prof. Frederic Pellet, France
Dr. John Tinucci, USA
Dr. Antonio Samaniego, Peru
Prof. Yuzo Ohnishi, Japan
Prof. Ivan Vrkljan, Croatia
Dr. Manoj Verman, India
Dr. Luís Lamas, Portugal

Learn more…

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