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Rock Mechanics: Meeting Society’s Challenges and Demands – Eberhardt, Stead & Morrison (eds)

© 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-44401-9

Peak and Residual Strengths of Jointed Rock Masses and Their

Determination for Engineering Design
M. Cai & P.K. Kaiser
Geomechanics Research Centre, MIRARCO, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Y. Tasaka
Department of Advanced Engineering, Tokyo Electric Power Services Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
M. Minami

ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the rock mass strength is required for the design of many engineering structures
in or on rocks. GSI system, proposed by Hoek et al. (1995), is now widely used for the estimation of the rock
mass peak strength and the rock mass deformation parameters. There are no guidelines given by the GSI, or
by any other system, for the estimation of the rock mass’ residual strength that yield consistent results. In the
present study, numerical simulations of laboratory strength tests are carried out to investigate the residual
strength behavior of rock masses. Based on the results from numerical simulation and laboratory and field
tests, the GSI system is extended to cover the residual strength of jointed rock masses. It is proposed to adjust
the peak GSI to the residual GSIr value based on the two major controlling factors in the GSI system, i.e., the
residual block volume Vbr and the residual joint surface condition factor J cr . Methods to estimate the residual
block volume and joint surface condition factor are presented. The peak and residual strength parameters de-
termined from the GSI system are compared to the data from field block shear tests and the validity of the
proposed method is verified.

1 INTRUCTION centrates on the description of two factors, rock

Knowledge of the rock mass strength and deforma- structure and block surface conditions. It should be
tion behaviors is required for the design of many en- noted that the guidelines given by the GSI system
gineering structures in or on rock, such as founda- are for the estimation of the peak strength parame-
tions, slopes, tunnels, underground caverns, drifts, ters of jointed rock masses.
and mining stopes. A better understanding of the Recently, a means to quantify this approach by
rock mass strength behavior, including the peak and use of field data, which employs the block volume
residual strengths, will facilitate the cost-effective (Vb) and a joint surface condition factor (Jc) as quan-
design of such structures. titative characterization factors, was presented in Cai
However, the determination of the global me- et al. (2004). The newly developed approach adds
chanical properties of a jointed rock mass remains quantitative means to facilitate use of the system,
one of the most difficult tasks in the field of rock especially by inexperienced engineers. It can also
mechanics. Because there are so many parameters facilitate the use of probabilistic design approach to
that affect the deformability and strength of an arbi- tunnel and cavern design using the GSI system (Cai
trary rock mass, it is generally impossible to develop & Kaiser 2006a). In addition, the approach has been
a universal law that can be used in any practical way developed and tested for rock mass’s residual
to predict the strength of the rock mass. Traditional strength estimation (Cai et al. 2006).
methods to determine these parameters include In this paper, we will first illustrate some numeri-
plate-loading tests for deformation modulus and in- cal simulation results for the complete stress-strain
situ block shear tests for strength parameters. These curves of rocks and then present a quantitative ap-
tests can only be performed when the exploration proach for the determination of the peak and resi-
adits are excavated and the cost of conducting in- dual strengths of jointed rock masses for engineering
situ tests is high. design.
The Geological Strength Index (GSI), proposed
by Hoek et al. (1995), is now widely used for the es-
timation of the rock mass peak strength and the rock
mass deformation parameters. The GSI system con-
2.1 PFC simulation
PFC (Itasca 2002) model simulation is used to ob-
tain the complete stress-strain relations of samples
consisting of disks. The model, which is 50 mm in
width and 100 mm in height, contains disks of dif-
ferent diameters. The minimum disk radius is 0.4
Experimental study of the complete stress-strain re-
mm and there are 4721 disks. Load is applied by as-
lations of rocks revealed that peak and residual
signing a fixed vertical velocity to the top and bot-
strengths of rocks increase with increasing confining
tom walls. Confinement is applied using servo-
pressures (Wawersik & Fairhurst 1970, Rummel &
controlled sidewalls. The normal velocity of the si-
Fairhurst 1970). In the following discussion, numer-
dewalls is continuously updated to keep the pre-
ical simulation was performed to investigate some of
scribed confining stress within a small error range.
the dominant factors that control the peak and resi-
When the bonds fail, the cohesion strength (bond
dual strengths of rocks.
strength) is lost. Because material heterogeneity is
considered, the bonds fail gradually and hence the
cohesion strength is lost gradually. In the simulation,
only peak bond strength is prescribed. The residual
50 bond strength is zero and only the frictional and di-
lational effect contributes to the residual strength of
the sample.
40 In the first simulation, the ball friction coefficient
(= tanφ) at contacts is varied from 0.4 to 1.2. The
stress-strain relations for different ball friction coef-
Differential stress (MPa)

30 ficients are presented in Figure 1. The confining

pressure is 10 MPa for all cases. When the bond
breaks, the bond strength is lost and the balls can
20 support only the frictional strength. It is seen that the
ball friction coefficient affects not only the residual
strength but also the peak strength because at the
10 pre-peak stage, as some weak bonds are broken, the
friction strength components are mobilized gradual-
ly. In the post-peak region, strain-softening is ob-
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
served. The residual strength is similarly affected by
Axial strain (%) the ball friction coefficient as the peak strength. Due
Figure 1. Influence of ball friction coefficients on the stress- to high confining pressure and the interlocking along
strain relations. the shear plane, large residual strength fluctuation is
observed. However, a general trend can be detected
that as the friction coefficient decreases, the residual
Bond normal strength 25 MPa strength level decreases.
50 Next, the influence of the bond strength (normal
σ c and shear σ s ) on the stress-strain relations is in-
Differential stress (MPa)

45 20 MPa
40 15 MPa
vestigated and the results are presented in Figure 2.
The confining pressure is 10 MPa and the friction
coefficient is 1.0 for all cases. The bond strength and
the strength standard deviation vary at the same rate,
25 with a COV of 20%. The simulation result shown in
20 Figure 2 demonstrates that the bond strength (cohe-
15 sion) influences primarily the peak strength and has
limited impact on the residual strength. After large
deformation, the bond strength is completely ex-
hausted. If the friction strengths are the same, then
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
the residual strengths of the samples are roughly the
Axial strain (%) same.
Figure 2. Influence of bond strength on the stress-strain rela-

grates the rock into smaller blocks. Note that the
displacement loading condition in the model simula-
tion corresponds to a loading system with infinite
system stiffness. Hence, the post-peak load does not
drop to zero as would be observed from laboratory
The influence of the lateral confining pressure on
the stress-displacement relation is studied and the
results are presented in Figure 4A. The residual load
is substantially higher at a higher confining stress.
This is due to the fact that cracking development is
affected by the confining stress and the contribution
of the frictional strength component depends on the
normal stress (σn tanφ). The crack patterns are
shown in Figure 4B. Spalling type failure is ob-
served at zero confining stress. As the confinement
Figure 3. Damage initiation and propagation and residual increases, the shear band changes its inclination an-
strength of a rock (φ = 40o) for an unconfined sample.
gle with respect to the horizontal direction.
It is concluded from the above simulations that
the friction of the block surface influences the rock
residual strength considerably. The interlock and
2.2 ELFEN simulation cohesion, on the other hand, also influence the rock
residual strength. The post-peak failure disintegrates
ELFEN (Rockfield 2003) is a FEM/DEM combined
the rock into smaller blocks or volumes. In other
numerical simulation tool. The major advantage of
words, the residual strength of the rocks is governed
this simulation tool is that it can capture the transi-
by the shear or kink bands which are formed by
tion from a continuum to a discontinuous state.
smaller blocks. In addition, the rock residual
Again, biaxial compression test simulations are
carried out. The model is 50 mm in width and 100
mm in height. The bottom is fixed in vertical direc- 120
tion and a constant displacement loading is applied
on the top of the sample. Confining pressure can be 100 3 = 15 MPa
applied to the vertical sidewalls. The cohesion sof- d
tening and frictional and dilation strength mobiliza- = 10 MPa
Vertical stress (MPa)

80 3
tion are based on a softening/hardening parameter, = 5 MPa
which is essentially a measure of plastic shear strain
increment. Material model-19 (RCMC – Rotating
Crack Mohr-Coulomb model in ELFEN), which al-
lows heterogeneity consideration, is used for the si- 40
3 = 0 MPa
mulation. a

An example of fracture pattern without confining 20

pressure is presented in Figure 3. In the pre-peak re-
gion, there is random crack formation, due to the 0
material heterogeneity. Immediately after the peak 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
load, the number of cracks increases drastically and Vertical displacement (mm)
the spalling process begins and continues as the (A)
strain further increases. At a vertical displacement of
about 1.7 mm, the rock is highly fractured but a re-
sidual load can be carried by the spalls. The reduc-
tion in the load-bearing capacity in the post-peak re-
gion is therefore due to the cracking of the specimen
resulting in area sample with some loading bearing (a) (b) (c) (d)
spalls and some sheared spalls. Hence, the load σ3 = 0 MPa σ3 = 5 MPa σ3 = 10 MPa σ3 = 15 MPa

bearing capacity is partially cohesive and partially (B)

frictional. The fracturing process eventually disinte- Figure 4. (A) Influence of confining pressure on the post-
peak behavior; (B) crack pattern.

strength depends on the loading system stiffness. 3.2 Determination of GSI value based on Vb and Jc
For displacement loading (rigid loading system), the To facilitate the use of the system, Cai et al. (2004)
residual strength is not zero even without confining presented a quantitative approach that employed the
pressure. The understanding of the complete rock block volume Vb and a joint surface condition factor
failure process from both experiments and numerical Jc as quantitative characterization factors. The quan-
simulations will assist us in the development of a titative approach was validated using field test data
method for the residual strength estimation of and applied to the estimation of the rock mass prop-
jointed rock masses. erties at two cavern sites in Japan. The quantified
GSI chart is presented in Figure 5. It provides a
means for consistent rock mass characterization and
thus improves the utility of the GSI system.
3.1 Generalized Hoek-Brown criterion for peak Block size, which is determined from the joint
strength spacing, joint orientation, number of joint sets and
joint persistence, is an extremely important indicator
The generalized Hoek-Brown criterion for jointed
of rock mass quality. The block volume can be cal-
rock masses (Hoek & Brown 1988) is
culated from
⎛ σ ⎞ s1 s2 s3
σ 1 = σ 3 + σ c ⎜⎜ mb 3 + s ⎟⎟ (1) Vb = (5)
⎝ σc ⎠ sin γ 1 sin γ 2 sin γ 3 3 p1 p2 p3
where mb, s, a are constants for the rock mass, and where si, γi and pi are the joint spacing, the angle be-
σc is the uniaxial compressive strength of the intact tween joint sets, and joint persistence factor, respec-
rock. In order to apply the Hoek-Brown criterion for tively. If the joints are not persistent, i.e., with rock
estimating the strength of jointed rock masses, three bridges, the rock mass strength is higher and the
properties of the rock mass have to be obtained. The global rock stability is enhanced. This effect can be
first one is the uniaxial compressive strength of the considered using the concept of equivalent block vo-
intact rock. The second is the value of the Hoek- lume as suggested in Cai et al. (2004). The consider-
Brown constant mi for the intact rock and the last ation of joint persistency has been verified using
one is the value of GSI for the rock mass. σc and mi numerical simulation by UDEC and 3DEC (Kim et
can be determined by statistical analysis of the re- al. 2006). For persistent joint sets, pi = 1.
sults of a set of triaxial tests on carefully prepared In the GSI system, the joint surface condition is
core samples. GSI values can be obtained from a defined by the roughness, weathering, and infilling
chart provided in Hoek et al. (1995) or other rele- condition (Hoek et al. 1995, Cai et al. 2004). The
vant references. Once the GSI value is known, other combination of these factors defines the strength of a
Hoek-Brown parameters mb, s, a are given as (Hoek joint or block surface. The joint surface condition
et al. 2002): factor is defined as
⎛ GSI − 100 ⎞ JW ⋅ J S
mb = mi exp⎜ ⎟ (2) Jc = (6)
⎝ 28 − 14 D ⎠ JA

⎛ GSI − 100 ⎞ where JW, JS, and JA are the joint large-scale wavi-
s = exp⎜ ⎟ (3) ness factor, small-scale smoothness factor, and alte-
⎝ 9 − 3D ⎠ ration factor, respectively. The tables for peak Jw, JS,
and JA are given in Cai et al. (2004). Once Vb and Jc
a = 0.5 +
1 −GSI / 15
− e −20 / 3 ) (4) are determined, users can refer Figure 5 or the fol-
lowing equation (Cai & Kaiser 2006b) to calculate
GSI value.
where mi is a Hoek-Brown constant for the intact
26.5 + 8.79 ln J c + 0.9 ln Vb
GSI (Vb , J c ) =
rock, D is a factor that depends on the degree of dis-
turbance to which the rock mass has been subjected (7)
1 + 0.0151ln J c − 0.0253 ln Vb
by blast damage and stress relaxation.

Joint or Block Wall Condition is defined by the combination of the block volume
spectrum and the joint surface condition factor spec-

compact coating or fillings of angular fragments

Slickensided, highly weathered surfaces with

Slickensided, highly weathered surfaces with
trum. Hence, the generalized Hoek-Brown criterion

Very rough, fresh unweathered surfaces

for the residual strength of jointed rock masses can

Smooth, moderately weathered or

be written as

soft clay coatings or fillings

Rough, slightly weathered,
⎛ σ ⎞

iron stained surfaces

σ 1 = σ 3 + σ c ⎜⎜ mr 3 + sr ⎟⎟ (8)

altered surfaces
⎝ σc ⎠
Very good

Very poor
Block Size


Massive - very well interlocked
undisturbed rock mass blocks formed 10E+6 where mr, sr, ar are the residual Hoek-Brown con-
by three or less discontinuity sets
with very wide joint spacing 150
stants for the rock mass. It is postulated that these

Joint spacing > 100 cm
constants can be determined from a residual GSIr

100 cm 90 ure

(1 m3)
Blocky - very well interlocked
value using the same equations for peak strength pa-


80 75


undisturbed rock mass consisting 70


of cubical blocks formed by three 60 80 65 rameters, i.e.,


orthogonal discontinuity sets 50


Joint spacing 30 - 100 cm 100E+3

⎛ GSI r − 100 ⎞
40 70
30 cm 55
mr = mi exp⎜ ⎟ (9)

Block Volume Vb (cm )

Very Blocky - interlocked, partially

⎝ ⎠
disturbed rock mass with multifaceted
angular blocks formed by four or more
45 10E+3
discoutinuity sets
Joint spacing 10 - 30 cm 50 35

⎛ GSI r − 100 ⎞
10 cm
40 1000
Blocky/disturbed - folded and/or 25
(1 dm3)
s r = exp⎜ ⎟ (10)
faulted with angular blocks formed by
many intersecting discontinuity sets
5 30
⎝ 9 ⎠
Joint spacing 3 - 10 cm 100

( )
1 −GSI r / 15
a r = 0.5 + − e −20 / 3
Disintegrated - poorly interlocked,
heavily broken rock mass with a
2 10 e (11)
mixture or angular and rounded
rock pieces 6
Joint spacing < 3 cm
1 cm
1 Because the rock masses are in a damaged, resi-
Foliated/laminated/sheared - thinly
laminated or foliated, tectonically sheared
weak rock; closely spaced schistosity N/A N/A 5
dual state, D = 0 is used for the residual strength pa-
prevails over any other discontinuity set,
resulting in complete lack of blockiness 0.1
rameter calculation. According to the logic of the
Joint spacing < 1 cm 12 4.5 1.7 0.67 0.25 0.09 original GSI system, the strength of a rock mass is
Joint Condition Factor Jc
controlled by its block size and joint surface condi-
Figure 5. GSI chart (Cai et al. 2004). tion. The same concept is valid for failed rock
masses at the residual strength state. In other words,
the residual GSIr is a function of residual joint sur-
face condition factor J cr and block volume Vbr .
STRENGTH 4.2 Residual block volume
The block volume spectrum from “massive” to
So far, much research has been focused on the de- “very blocky” rock masses ranges from 103-107 cm3,
termination of peak strengths, and limited attempts and for “disturbed” to “sheared” rock from 0.1-103
have been made to approximate the residual strength cm3. If a rock experiences post-peak deformation,
of jointed rock masses. Several attempts have been the rock in the broken zone is fractured and conse-
made to estimate the residual strength of jointed quently turned into a poor and eventually “very
rock masses (e.g., Hoek 2000, Russo et al. 1998, Ri- poor” rock.
bacchi 2000), however, these methods lack generali- For the residual block volume, it is observed that
ty and lead to inconsistent results for different rock the post-peak block volumes are small because the
masses. A new approach is proposed here to esti- rock mass has experienced tensile and shear fractur-
mate the residual strength parameters of jointed rock ing. After the peak load, the rock mass becomes less
masses. interlocked, and is heavily broken with a mixture of
angular and partly-rounded rock pieces. Numerical
4.1 Generalized Hoek-Brown criterion for residual simulation using ELFEN revealed that the rock
strength masses in the fracture zone around underground
openings are broken to small blocks. Detailed ex-
It is observed that the rock mass in its residual state amination of the rock mass damage state before and
represents one particular kind of rock mass in the after the in-situ block shear tests at some under-
spectrum in the GSI chart. The rock mass spectrum ground cavern sites in Japan revealed that in areas

that were not covered by concrete, the failed rock served from fault outcrop also support the concept of
mass blocks are 1 to 5 cm in size. The rock mass is block size of rock mass at residual state.
disintegrated along a shear zone in these tests. The In summary, the residual block volumes can be
strength of a fault can be regarded as the lower considered independent of the original (peak) block
bound strength of the rock mass. Shearing disinte- volumes for most strain-softening rock masses. The
grates and damages the rock mass and weathering fractured residual rock mass will have more or less
further weakens the fault strength. Block sizes ob- the same residual block volume in the shear band for
intact rocks, moderately jointed and highly jointed
rock masses, as illustrated in Figure 6. As an esti-
mate, if the peak block volume Vb is greater than 10
cm3, then, the residual block volume Vbr in the dis-
integrated category can be taken to be 10 cm3. If Vb
is smaller than 10 cm3, then, no reduction to the re-
sidual block volume is recommended, i.e., Vbr = Vb .

4.3 Residual joint surface condition factor

The failure process affects the joint surface con-
dition, especially the joint roughness. According to
Barton et al. (1985), the difference between peak
and residual JRC is large if the peak JRC value is
high. The underlying implication is that the drop of
GSI from peak to residual values should be larger
for rock masses with fresh and rough joints.
The major factor that alters the joint surface con-
dition in the post-peak region is the reduction of
joint surface roughness, as shown in Figure 7 for the
gradual degradation of JRC. Peak mobilized rough-
ness angle is given as JRC ⋅ log( JCS / σ n ) , where
Figure 7. Normalized joint roughness – shear displacement re- JCS is the joint wall compressive strength, and σn is
lationship (Barton et al. 1985). the normal stress acting on the joint. The mobilized




Initial state Residual state

Figure 6. Illustration of the residual block volume.

joint residual roughness is zero according to the are broken into smaller pieces) so that the mechani-
same figure, which can only be achieved when the cal parameters (σc and mi) should be unchanged.
joint experiences a very large shearing displacement. What has changed are the block size and joint sur-
On the other hand, the concept of ultimate mobilized face condition (especially the roughness). Once the
joint roughness was suggested by Barton et al. reduced GSIr is obtained, the residual Hoek-Brown
(1985). According to Figure 7, the joint surface strength parameters or the equivalent residual Mohr-
roughness is gradually destroyed during the shearing Coulomb strength parameters can be calculated.
process and the ultimate mobilized roughness is The proposed method for the estimation of rock
about half of the peak roughness (JRCmob/JRCpeak = mass peak and residual strength has been validated
0.5). It is therefore proposed here that the large-scale using in-situ block shear test data from some large-
waviness and the small-scale smoothness of joints scale cavern construction sites and the data from the
be calculated by reducing its peak value by half to back-analysis of a rock slope stability. Duo to space
calculate the residual GSI value. In a short time pe- limitation, only one example is given in the next
riod, joint alteration is unlikely to occur so that the section.
joint alteration factor JA will be unchanged in most
circumstances. However, when water and clay infill
material is involved, the fractured rock surface can 5 APPLICATION EXAMPLE
have a lower residual JA.
Hence, the residual joint surface condition factor The Kannagawa pumped hydropower project (Mae-
J cr is calculated from jima et al. 2001) in Gumma Prefecture in Japan is
now under construction with a maximum output of
2,820 MW. The powerhouse cavern at 500 m depth
J Wr ⋅ J Sr
J =
c (12) has a width of 33 m, a height of 52 m, and a length
J Ar of 216 m. The cavern excavation was started in 1998
and the last bench was completed in 2000.
where J Wr , J Sr , and J Ar are residual values for large- The rock mass at the site consists of conglome-
scale waviness, small-scale smoothness, and joint al- rate, sandstone, and mudstone. The rock masses are
teration factor, respectively. The residual values are classified into five major groups or domains. Sixty-
obtained based on the corresponding peak values as- four uniaxial compressive tests were conducted to
sessed from field mapping. The reduction of J Wr and determine the average strength and standard devia-
J Sr are based on the concept of mobilized joint tion of each rock type. The parameter mi for each
roughness, and the equations are given as rock types was obtained from a limited number of
JW J tri-axial tests. A total of 21 block shear tests were
If < 1, J Wr = 1; Else J Wr = W (13) conducted at six test locations. Since the intact rock
2 2 strength, joint spacing, and joint surface condition
vary even within the same rock type designation
JS J zone, the point estimate method (PEM) (Rosenblu-
If < 0.75, J Sr = 0.75; Else J Sr = S (14)
2 2 eth 1981) is used to represent the encountered varia-
bility of rock mass properties.
The average peak and residual strength parame-
4.4 Residual GSI value and strength parameters ters estimated from the GSI system are given in Ta-
ble 1, along with the data obtained from the in-situ
Once the residual block volume and joint surface block shear tests, for domain FS1. The average peak
condition factor are obtained, one can refer to the strength estimated from the GSI system is slightly
GSI chart or use the following equation to obtain the lower than the field data average, and the average
residual GSI value residual strength estimated from the GSI system is
26.5 + 8.79 ln J cr + 0.9 ln Vbr slightly higher than the field data average. However,
GSI r (V , J ) =
r r
(15) the differences are well within the data variability
1 + 0.0151ln J cr − 0.0253 ln Vbr
b c
shown in the field test data (Cai & Kaiser 2005).
As for the intact rock properties, fracturing and
shearing do not weaken the intact rocks (even if they

GSI (peak)
Test data (peak)
GSI (residual) The Geological Strength Index (GSI) system is a
Test data (residual)
rock mass classification system that is directly
linked to engineering parameters such as Mohr-
Coulomb or Hoek-Brown strength parameters or
rock mass modulus. The original GSI system, which
Shear stress (MPa)

15 is applied mainly for the estimation of the peak

strength, is based on a descriptive approach, render-
ing the system somewhat subjective and difficult to
use for inexperienced personnel. To assist the use of
10 the GSI system, a supplementary quantified ap-
proach for the GSI system has been proposed by in-
corporating quantitative measures of block volume
and joint surface condition factor. The concept of re-
sidual block volume Vbr and residual joint surface
condition factor J cr is introduced to extend the GSI
system for the estimation of rock mass’s residual
0 strength.
0 2 4 6 8 10 The residual block volume is found to be in the
Normal stress (MPa)
category of the “disintegrated” rocks in the GSI
Figure 8. Comparison of peak and residual strength calculated chart, characterized by the facts that the failed rock
from the GSI system and field test data (FS1). masses at the residual strength level are poorly inter-
locked, heavily broken with a mixture of angular
and rounded rock pieces. The average block size of
10 cm3 is suggested for the residual GSIr value esti-
mation. For joint surface condition, the major factor
The quantitative approach presented in this paper that alters the condition in post-peak region is the
uses the block volume and joint surface condition reduction of joint surface roughness. The actual de-
factor to determine both the peak and residual GSI gradation of the joint surface is based on the concept
values. These input parameters in the example were of mobilized residual joint roughness. The large-
obtained from field mapping and from borehole log- scale waviness and the small-scale smoothness of
ging data. The strength and deformation parameters joints can be calculated by reducing their peak val-
estimated from the GSI system are very close to ues by half with conditions to meet the minimum
those obtained from in-situ tests, indicating that the values. The residual GSIr value is calculated from
GSI system can be effectively applied to the design the relationship between GSIr and Vbr and J cr .
of engineering structures in rocks. The residual strength parameters are calculated
using the same form of the generalized Hoek-Brown
strength criterion by assuming that the intact rock
Table 1. Characterization of the rock mass peak and residual properties such as σc and mi remain unchanged as
strengths for FS1 at the Kannagawa site using the GSI system. the rock mass changes from its peak to residual
FS1 state.
Peak Residual The proposed method for the estimation of rock
Jw 1.5 1 mass peak and residual strength is demonstrated us-
Js 1.5 0.75 ing field mapping and in-situ block shear test data
JA 1 1 from a large-scale cavern construction site. The es-
Jc 2.25 0.75 timated peak and residual strengths, calculated using
GSI system
Vb (cm )3
295000 10 the peak GSI and residual GSIr values, are in good
GSI 64.8 27.8 agreement with field test data. The proposed method
σc (MPa) 126 126 for peak and residual strength estimation extends the
mi 19 19 GSI system and adds quantitative means to deter-
c (MPa) 3 0.96 mine the complete set of rock mass strength proper-
φ =φb+i (0) 56.6 49.3 ties needed for design.
Block shear test c (MPa) 3.4 0.5 The proposed method is applicable to most rock
φ =φb+i (0) 57 49 types when failure is dominated by shear failure.

Care must be given for brittle failure of massive Hoek, E., Carranza_Torres, C., & Corkum, B. 2002. Hoek-
rocks involving spalling failure and very weak rocks Brown failure criterion - 2002 edition. Proc. 5th North
American Rock Mech. Symposium. Toronto, Canada, 1:
that have been “over consolidated” or “re-bonded.” 267-273.
In such a case, special failure criteria such as brittle Hoek, E., Kaiser, P. K., and Bawden, W. F. 95. Support of
Hoek-Brown failure criterion (Martin et al. 1999) Underground Excavations in Hard Rock. A.A. Balkema.
should be used and proper test program be planned Itasca. 2002. PFC2D-Particle Flow Code, Itasca Consulting
for the determination of the residual strengths. Fur- Group Inc. 3.0.
thermore, if the rock mass fails by block rotation and Kim, B.H., Cai, M., Kaiser, P.K., & Yang, H.S. 2006. Estima-
tion of block sizes for rock masses with non-persistent
local crushing, probably a different analysis ap- joints. Rock Mech. Rock Engng in press.
proach such as UDEC or 3DEC should be consi- Maejima, T., Morioka, H., Mori, T., & Aoki, K. 2001. Evalua-
dered instead of a continuum analysis. The users tion of the loosened zone on excavation of the large under-
must be aware of the limitations when applying the ground rock cavern. Modern Tunnel Science and Technol-
GSI system and the methodology for determining ogy. Kyoto, Japan, 1033-1038. A.A. Balkema.
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