The theme of the 31st US Symposium on Rock Mechanics is 'Rock Mechanics contributions and challenges', having as objective the examination and quantification of the progress that has been achieved in addressing the major practical challenges facing the science of rock mechanics and mine design.
The 124 papers included in the proceedings cover areas such as: experimental studies (laboratory and field); conceptual, analytical, and numerical modeling; design and construction methods. 35 papers deal with practical mining problems and include information on rock reinforcement technology, blasting, rock bursts, open pit mining, remote sensing and borehole geophysics, mechanical fragmentation, and subsidence. Areas emphasized are coal and metal mine design problems. Other papers deal with the newest computer models, new instruments, fracture mechanics, new laboratory testing techniques, and in situ testing.