Rock Mechanics: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rock Mechanics

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Nagaratnam Sivakugan, Sanjay Kumar Shukla, Braja M. Das

CRC Press

254 pages | 144 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415809238
pub: 2013-01-18
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Rock mechanics is a multidisciplinary subject combining geology, geophysics, and engineering and applying the principles of mechanics to study the engineering behavior of the rock mass. With wide application, a solid grasp of this topic is invaluable to anyone studying or working in civil, mining, petroleum, and geological engineering.Rock Mechanics: An Introduction presents the fundamental principles of rock mechanics in a clear, easy-to-comprehend manner for readers with little or no background in this field.

The text includes a brief introduction to geology and covers stereographic projections, laboratory testing, strength and deformation of rock masses, slope stability, foundations, and more. The authors—academics who have written several books in geotechnical engineering—have used their extensive teaching experience to create this accessible textbook. They present complex material in a lucid and simple way with numerical examples to illustrate the concepts, providing an introductory book that can be used as a textbook in civil and geological engineering programs and as a general reference book for professional engineers.


"These topics give an excellent introduction to the subject. … very easy to follow … A must for all those dealing with civil engineering."

—Prof. D.N. Singh, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

"The book has better coverage of topics relevant to rock engineering, good practical examples, [and it is] written by experts in the area."

—Professor G L Sivakumar Babu, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

"I think the topics are very relevant for undergraduates … . The topics cover basic rock mechanics and deal with subjects most important to practicing engineers. The content provides a good introduction to anyone who is planning to enter the profession. … It is an excellent book, very useful for engineering undergraduates and graduates. The book is well written and easy to understand, and I am sure it would be a very popular textbook."

—Jay Ameratunga, Senior Principal, Coffey Geotechnics Pty Ltd, Newstead, Queensland, Australia

Table of Contents

Fundamentals of engineering geology


Structure and composition of the Earth

Minerals and mineralogical analysis

Rock formations and types

Geological structures and discontinuities

Weathering of rocks and soil formation



Site investigation



Spherical presentation of geological data


Orientations of planes and lines

Coordinate system with longitudes and latitudes

Intersection of a plane and a sphere

Spherical projections

Slope failure mechanisms and kinematic analysis



Rock properties and laboratory testing


Engineering properties of intact rock

Uniaxial compressive strength test

Indirect tensile strength test

Point load strength test

Slake durability test

Schmidt hammer test

Triaxial test

Empirical correlations



Rock mass classification


Intact rock and rock mass

Factors affecting discontinuities

Rock mass classification

Rock mass rating

Tunnelling quality index: Q-system

Geological strength index



Strength and deformation characteristics of rocks


In situ stresses and strength

Stress–strain relations

Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion

Hoek–Brown failure criterion

Mohr–Coulomb cand f ′for rock mass from the Hoek–Brown parameters

Deformation modulus

Strength of rock mass with a single plane of weakness



Rock slope stability


Modes of rock slope failure

Slope stability analysis

Slope stabilisation



Foundations on rock


Shallow foundations

Deep foundations

Foundation construction and treatment



Appendix A


About the Authors

Dr. Nagaratnam Sivakugan is an associate professor and head of civil and environmental engineering at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. He received his MSCE and Ph.D. from Purdue University, USA. Dr. Sivakugan is a fellow of Engineers Australia, a chartered professional engineer, and a registered professional engineer of Queensland. He does substantial consulting work for geotechnical and mining companies in Australia as well as some overseas organisations including the World Bank. Dr. Sivakugan serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering and Indian Geotechnical Journal. He is the coauthor of 3 books, 7 book chapters, 90 refereed international journal papers, and 60 international conference papers.

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Shuklais an associate professor and program leader of civil engineering at the School of Engineering, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. He has more than 20 years of teaching, research, and consultancy experience in the field of geotechnical and geosynthetic engineering. Dr. Shukla has authored and edited 3 books and 12 book chapters, and 115 research papers and technical articles including 72 refereed journal publications. Currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering and Indian Geotechnical Journal, he is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and a life fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India) and the Indian Geotechnical Society.

Dr. Braja M. Dasis the author of several geotechnical engineering texts and reference books, a number of which have been translated into several languages and are used worldwide. He has authored more than 250 technical papers in the area of geotechnical engineering. Dr. Das is a fellow and life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers as well as an emeritus member of the Committee on Chemical and Mechanical Stabilization of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council of the United States. From 1994 to 2006, he served as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento.

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