A novel approach to structural anisotropy classification for jointed rock masses using theoretical rock quality designation formulation adjusted to joint spacing


JOURNAL OF ROCK MECHANICS AND GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING, vol.14, no.2, pp.329-345, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jrmge.2021.08.009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.329-345
  • Keywords: Anisotropy index of jointing degree, Anisotropy of rock mass, Rock mass classification, Jointing degree, Theoretical rock quality designation, DEFORMATION MODULUS, BLOCK SIZE, RQD, SYSTEM
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Rock quality designation (RQD) has been considered as a one-dimensional jointing degree property since it should be determined by measuring the core lengths obtained from drilling. Anisotropy index of jointing degree (AI(jd)) was formulated by Zheng et al. (2018) by considering maximum and minimum values of RQD for a jointed rock medium in three-dimensional space. In accordance with spacing terminology by ISRM (1981), defining the jointing degree for the rock masses composed of extremely closely spaced joints as well as for the rock masses including widely to extremely widely spaced joints is practically impossible because of the use of 10 cm as a threshold value in the conventional form of RQD. To overcome this limitation, theoretical RQD (TRQD(t)) introduced by Priest and Hudson (1976) can be taken into consideration only when the statistical distribution of discontinuity spacing has a negative exponential distribution. Anisotropy index of the jointing degree was improved using TRQD(t) which was adjusted to wider joint spacing by considering Priest (1993)'s recommendation on the use of variable threshold value (t) in TRQD(t) formulation. After applications of the improved anisotropy index of a jointing degree (AI(jd)') to hypothetical jointed rock mass cases, the effect of persistency of joints on structural anisotropy of rock mass was introduced to the improved AI(jd)' formulation by considering the ratings of persistency of joints as proposed by Bieniawski (1989)'s rock mass rating (RMR) classification. Two real cases were assessed in the stratified marl and the columnar basalt using the weighted anisotropy index of jointing degree (W_AI(jd)'). A structural anisotropy classification was developed using the RQD classification proposed by Deere (1963). The proposed methodology is capable of defining the structural anisotropy of a rock mass including joint pattern from extremely closely to extremely widely spaced joints. (C) 2022 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.