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Eleventh Rank& Lecture JAEGER, J. C. (1971). GCotechnique 21, No. 2, 97-134.



The similarities and differences between soil and Les similitudes et les differences entre la meca-
rock mechanics are discussed with particular nique des sols et la mecanique des roches sont
reference to the stability of slopes. The effects of etudiees, avec reference particuliere a la stabilite des
pentes. Les effets des contraintes et de la rigidite
constraints and of the stiffness of the system apply- du systeme appliquant les contraintes ont plus
ing stress are of greater importance in rock mech- d’importance dans la mecanique des roches. Les
anics. The criteria for failure of rocks are mostly criteres pour la rupture des roches sont pour la plu-
empirical and lead to linear or power laws. Similar part empiriques, et suggkrent des lois lineaires ou de
puissance. On peut supposer des lois similaires pour
laws might be expected to hold for friction. While
le frottement. Alors que la loi de Coulomb est
the Coulomb law is in general adequate for soils, it generalement correcte en ce qui concerne les sols, il
appears that the frictional behaviour of rocks is semble que le frottement des roches serait plus
described better by a non-linear law and if a Coulomb correctement diifini par une loi non lineaire, et si
law is used factors of safety are sensitive to the value l’on applique une loi de Coulomb les facteurs de
securite sont affect&s par la valeur adopt&e pour la
adopted for the cohesion. The various methods for
cohesion. Les differentes methodes de mesure du
measuring friction are described and their limitations frottement sont decrites, et leur champ d’application
discussed. The process of wear and the area of est etudie. On tient compte Cgalement du pro-
contact between sliding surfaces are considered. cessus d’usure et de la superficie de contact entre les
It appears that in some cases residual values of surfaces en glissement. 11 semble que dans certains
cas on obtienne des valeurs r6siduelles de frottement
friction are attained after small amounts of sliding.
apres des glissements de faible importance. Des
Gouge is built up during sliding and its behaviour cavites se produisent pendant le glissement et leur
appears to be time-dependent. At present, nu- comportement semble dependre d’un facteur temps.
merical values for friction and other parameters of Actuellement, les valeurs numeriques de glissement
jointed systems are uncertain and so simple formulae et les autres parambtres des systemes joints ne sont
are still useful. A number of formulae for factors of pas certains, et une formule aussi simple rend encore
de grands services. On donne un certain nombre de
safety for sliding on one or two plane surfaces are formules pour les facteurs de securite du glissement
given. For the case of rock with closely spaced pour une ou deux surfaces planes. Pour les roches
joints the use of soil mechanics theory for circular avec des joints rapproches on peut utiliser la theorie
and other surfaces of sliding is reasonable. In this de mecanique des sols pour les surfaces de glissement
case, values of friction obtained from single joint circulaires et autres. Dans ce cas, les valeurs de
frottement obtenues pour les surfaces a joint unique
surfaces or crushed rock are conservative since the
ou les roches CcrasCes sont plutot en de& de la
interlocking of rock elements may cause a substantial &rite puisque l’enchevetrement des roches peut
increase in strength. resulter en unimportant accroissement de la solidite.


Most of the previous Rankine Lectures have dealt with topics in Soil Mechanics but
Rankine by no means confined his attention to soils. In fact, much of his work is devoted to
that historical branch of rock mechanics: the study of masonry structures. The past two
decades have seen a stabilizing of the subject of soil mechanics and a rapid development of
rock mechanics so that the two are now sometimes, as in Australia, joined into one geo-
mechanics society.
It is therefore desirable to examine the similarities and differences between the two subjects
and this is done with particular reference to a topic of great importance to both: the stability
of slopes.

* Department of Geophysics and Geochemistry, Australian National University, Canberra.

1 97
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Soil mechanics is essentially a form of continuum mechanics in which the continuum is

composed of small grains with the region between them filled with pore fluid. The grains may
usually be taken to be rigid and the constitutive equations for the material involve their
relative movement and the variation of pore pressure.
Rock mechanics is derived originally from another continuum: the elastic material.
Much of the early work in it consisted of elastic analysis of stresses around openings and
tunnels, and this is still needed and used extensively. However, the distinctive feature of
rock mechanics, as emphasized in the classical works of Talobre (1957) and Mtiller (1963), is
that a rock mass is not a mathematically uniform body but is broken up by a network of joints
and faults into blocks on a scale of from inches to feet. To emphasize the fact that this is no
longer a continuum, Trollope (1968) describes it as a discontinuum. Essentially, the position
as set out by John (1969) is that the whole body of rock, described as a rock system, is broken
up by joints into rock elements which are of such a size that they contain no joints or planes of
weakness and may be regarded as elastic bodies subject to brittle failure under appropriate
conditions. The term joint is used to cover all discontinuities; these might technically be
joints, faults, bedding planes or other surfaces of weakness. The properties of the rock
system are determined by the properties of the rock elements and of the joints as well as by the
geometry of the system. The properties of the rock elements may be studied by conventional
laboratory testing although it is not altogether clear how relevant these methods are. Under
conditions in which all stresses are compressive and normal stresses on all joints are high it is
realistic to treat the rock system as approximated to by an elastic continuum with the pro-
perties of the elements. It is only when larger displacements, either by sliding on joint sur-
faces or by passing over the top of the stress-strain curve (Fig. 5), are in question that a new
formulation needs to be introduced. Several attempts have been made to measure the pro-
perties of joints in the laboratory or field, the ultimate aim of which is to provide a quantitative
description of the mechanical properties of the joints. If the mechanical properties of the
elements and the joints are known as well as the geometry of the system, the mechanical
properties of the system could, in principle, be determined by putting the problem on a com-
puter. Beginnings have been made in this direction, e.g. by Goodman et al. (1968), Zien-
kiewicz et al. (1970). However, it seems that in most cases neither the mechanical laws nor
the numerical values entering into them are sufficiently well known at present, so that there
is still scope for the use of simple models and mathematical formulae, particularly in feasibility
A further complication arises from the fact that any displacements in the rock system may
change the relative position of rock elements and result in high localized stresses on them,
which may cause individual failures. These failures may be of indirect tensile type or involve
crushing. The stresses in the rock system may redistribute themselves in characteristic
fashion after localized failures.
A large range of stresses is involved in the various branches of rock mechanics. In deep
mining the stresses may be very high while in rock slopes they are relatively small. In the
abutments of arch dams they may be of the order of 50 bars (the bar and kbar are units
frequently used in geophysical literature; 1 bar = 14.5 lb/sq. in. = 1.02 kg/cm2).
The obvious similarity between soil and rock mechanics comes from the fact that both deal
with discontinua and that the primary mechanism of distortion is by sliding between the ele-
ments. Among the differences may be listed: the jointing in rock systems may be compara-
tively regular, the ratio of the size of elements to the size of the system is much smaller for
soils, failure of individual elements of soils is less important, the elements of a rock system are
frequently interlocked, the influence of the water pressure is more important and more com-
plicated in soils, and large stress gradients may occur in rock elements.
Compression is reckoned positive throughout this Paper.

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The mechanical testing of soils is in a highly developed state. The principal tests, triaxial
and direct shear, are conducted under conditions comparable to those which occur in practice
and more exotic tests to study failure criteria are easily carried out.
By contrast, the position in rock mechanics is chaotic. The measurements which have been
made have to a large extent been determined by historical accident and the requirements of
different disciplines. Of the various groups concerned, the geophysicists have been concerned
with behaviour at relatively high confining pressures, usually in the range of l-20 kbars; the
petrologists are interested in the deformation of minerals in this pressure range; workers in
fracture mechanics are interested in precise measurements under well defined conditions,
usually in a lower pressure range; engineering observations have to be made on specified rocks
and are frequently confined to a determination of uniaxial compressive strength and modulus.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the effects of constraints and of the stiff-
ness of the testing machine are of great importance in engineering rock mechanics. Also,
although many different systems of stressing have been used to study the failure of ideal rock
specimens under polyaxial conditions of stress, it is not clear how relevant these are to the
failure of rock elements in practice.
Uniaxial compression has always been, and remains, the most common test; a review
paper by Hawkes and Mellor (1970) contains over a hundred pages. Nevertheless, the effects
of machine stiffness and constraint at the platens, clearly appreciated by Tredgold (l&42), are
not fully understood and the general process of failure appears to be one of great complexity
(Wawersik, 1968; Wawersik and Fairhurst, 1970).
Triaxial compression and extension have been increasingly used by geophysicists and
engineers, following the pioneer work of von K&-man (1911) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclama-
tion (1953), to specify the behaviour of rock under combined stresses and form the basic
information for the study of criteria of failure. However, it is not clear how far this system
conforms to that applied to rock elements since unrestricted lateral dilation of the specimen is
Direct tension has always been used, but sparingly because of the difficulty of avoiding
bending stresses. For this reason the indirect tensile (Brazilian) test has been increasingly
used. In the simplest form of this (Fig. l(a)) a cylinder of radius R and length L has line
loads W applied to it at opposite ends of a diameter. On the classical theory of elasticity
there is a uniform tensile stress WlrrRL across this diameter so that if W is the load at failure,
the tensile strength T, is given by
T,, = W/?IRL . . . . . . . . (1)
Values of T, determined in this way are in reasonable agreement with those obtained in direct
tension. Further, if the load is distributed over a small region, the size of this region does not

0 (b) (Cl (d) 0

Fig. 1. Indirect tensile failures; cylinder: T,, = W/xRL; sphere : 2’0= kW/dP, k =OG!SO*~

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100 J. C. JAEGER

have much influence on T, and nor does the shape of the specimen (Fig. 1 (b)). The same
remarks apply to spheres and cubes loaded along diameters. If the test is carefully conducted
in a stiff testing machine, the fracture is accurately plane (cf. Fig. 2 for a sphere), the shattering
frequently found with soft machines being a subsidiary effect. If a cylinder is loaded by
several line loads (Figs l(c) and 1 (d)) failure takes place approximately along the dotted
curves of maximum tensile stress or strain (Jaeger, 1967). Measurements of this type are
probably much more relevant to rock mechanics than those of direct tension since slight move-
ments of a rock mass will cause localized stresses to be set up on the individual rock elements
which may well then fail in indirect tension (cf. Fig. 25 and the section of the effect of con-
straints). The effect is related to the axial cleavage fracture of Gramberg (1962).
Direct shear tests have been used relatively little for solid isotropic rocks but are of great
importance for the study of anisotropic rocks, joints and friction. Essentially, in all cases the
specimen S is held in two boxes, B and B’ (Fig. 3), of which one, B, is made to slide over the
other by force T while it is pressed down by force N. Shear failure occurs on the plane PP’.
The constraints applied to the block, and therefore the detailed stress distribution in it, vary
greatly with individual arrangements. For example, N may be applied through a ball-
jointed link or through rollers as shown in Fig. 3(a). Results obtained vary greatly with the
stiffness and the constraints. In principle, the system has five degrees of freedom : horizontal
and vertical (dilation) translation and rotation about a vertical axis and two horizontal axes.
Equipment in use varies from large, specially built machines (Krsmanovic, 1967; Hoek and
Pentz, 1969) through fittings built for testing machines, to commercial shear boxes built for
use in soil mechanics.
Ideally the stress system is that of Fig. 3(b) in which the principal stresses are

01 = $Jd+[ 7d 2+&J;]l’2
. . . . . . (2)
(T2 = i&d - [Ti + *cry >

and the principal axes are inclined to PP’ at an angle 0 given by

tan 28 = -27,/a, . . . . . . . * (3)

where rd and Us are the shear and normal stresses over the area. This system occurs in torsion
combined with axial compression which has been used in careful laboratory experiments
(Baker, 1915; Handin et al., 1960, 1967).
This stress system is only a crude approximation to conditions in the shear box of Fig. 3(a) ;
it should not lead to a shear fracture in the plane PP’ on any of the conventional theories of
failure. These lead to a possibility of extension fracturing in a plane perpendicular to CS~or to
shear failure; they appear in torsion (Handin et al., 1960), and in secondary failures on sliding
surfaces (Fig. 4). They also occur in discussion of secondary faulting (McKinstry, 1953;
Lajtai, 1969). It appears subsequently that, for sliding surfaces, microfractures in these
directions can be seen (cf. Fig. 27) so that it is possible that initial cracking occurs in these
directions which combine to give a final major fracture in the direction of 7d.
These simple tests are those most directly relevant to the behaviour of rock elements.
There are, of course, many others which have been devised to study the behaviour of rock
under various systems of combined stresses.
The most important development of the past decade has been the full realization that any
test involves a composite system consisting of the specimen and the testing machine, so that
energy is stored in both and may be released suddenly in the specimen at failure. This has
three repercussions: the machine may not be able to follow the stress-strain curve, the energy
released may cause subsidiary fractures and it is not possible to stop the test during failure so
that its microscopic behaviour may be observed. These considerations have led to the develop-
ment of first stiff, and subsequently servo-controlled, testing machines which are beginning a

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new era in rock mechanics. The development of these was due in the first instance to workers
in concrete (Turner and Barnard, 1962).
The significance of machine stiffness may be seen from Fig. 5(a) which represents an idealized
load-displacement curve for uniaxial or triaxial compression. Frequently such a curve con-
tains a region OA which is concave upwards, corresponding to closing of internal cracks; a
moderately straight region AB; a region BC which is concave downwards with a maximum at
C, in which internal cracks grow stably and the specimen is dilating; and a falling region CD
in which the specimen, while technically failed, can still support a considerable load. Suppose
that at a point P in CD a small displacement PQ=dx takes place, then the load which the
specimen can support will fall by QR= (dF/&) Ax. If the stiffness of the testing machine is
A, then the load applied by the machine will fall by /\Ax. Thus, if

h > IdF/dxj . . . . . . . . . (4)

the specimen can still support the load and the machine will follow the stress-strain curve.
On the other hand, if h < JdF/dzJ the specimen will be overloaded and will fail and the machine
will register a line PS whose slope is h. If h is small (a soft machine) failure will take place
at C. Alternatively, a discussion may be given based on the energy stored in the machine and
the specimen. Wawersik (1968) and Wawersik and Fairhurst (1970) have shown that for
some rocks the curve CD (Fig. 5(a)) has a vertical tangent so that the curve cannot be followed
even by a very stiff machine and so it is necessary to extract strain energy from the specimen
to prevent violent failure. This effect has led to the development of servo-controlled machines.
Although this argument has been stated for compression, it applies in all cases. Fig. 5(b)
shows the effect in a shear box experiment in which the machine is not able to follow the load-
displacement curve in the dotted regions.
Apart from the value of knowing the complete stress-strain curve OABCD it is of great
value to be able to stop the experiment in the region of CD to study changes in the micro-
structure of the specimen. In fact, with the development of the servo-controlled machine
and the scanning electron microscope, an era is beginning in which the process of failure can
be observed instead of speculated about.
These concepts of stiff and soft loading systems carry over from the laboratory to the
practical scale. Thus in rock slopes the loading system (gravity) is soft, while in much under-
ground work it is stiff and the descending portion CD of the stress-strain curve is achieved.


Frictional processes involve brittle fracture and in turn criteria for brittle fracture of rocks
have been influenced by the concept of friction. The same empirical laws are frequently used
in both cases. The various criteria for brittle fracture of rocks are discussed from this point of
view for two-dimensional cases only. Essentially, a criterion for failure consists of a relation
between principal stresses (TVand ug at failure. Such criteria may be derived in various ways :
phenomenologically, empirically, mathematically and mechanistically.
The simplest and most important of the phenomenological criteria is that of Coulomb
(1773), who suggested as a direct generalization of the laws of friction that shear failure takes
place in that plane for which 171-pun first reaches a constant S,, which may be described as the
intrinsic shear strength (adherence) of the material. Here un and T are the normal and shear
stresses across the plane and CL=tan 4 is a constant called the coefficient of internal friction.
In terms of principal stresses this leads to a linear relation between u1 and u3 at failure,

u1= C,+qu, . . . . . . . . (5)

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102 J. C. JAEGER

(b) (4 (4
Fig. 6. Simple criteria for failure: (a) Coulomb, (b) Poncelet,
(c) GrifBth, (d) power law

where C, is the uniaxial compressive strength and

C, = 2S0 tan C(
, -*.-...

7-r 4
. . . . .
tancc = p+d(p2+l) = set++ tan+ I

In the discussion it is assumed that (T,> 0 and this may be shown to imply that equation (5)
holds only for cI < C,/2. The criterion is shown in Fig. 6(a). The Mohr envelope correspond-
ing to equation (5) is
7 =&+pLa, . . . . . . . (8)
The plane of failure is inclined at an angle

--“=;r-2 v
4 . . . . . . . .
to the crl direction. Equations (4)-(g) also apply for the general case (To> g2 > cr3in which case
the plane of failure passes through the o2 direction.
A second phenomenological law which goes back at least to Poncelet is that of maximum
tensile strain. Suppose that failure occurs when Em= -A, where A is a constant. Then on
elastic theory the uniaxial tensile and compressive strengths, T, and C,, are
-AE = -To = -VC, . . . . . . (10)
For triaxial conditions
as-v(u,+u,) = -AE
or using equation (10)
l..rl= C,+[(1-v)/v]a, . . . . . . . (11)
This is a linear relation of the type of equation (5) (Fig. 6(b)) with
tan + = +(l-2~)/2/[~(1 -v)]
so = &C,z/[V/(l-V)] > * * * . . .

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Clearly v need not be the elastic Poisson’s ratio but simply a constant relating C,, and T,.
This theory has been revived from another point of view by Trollope (1963). It has the
advantage of explaining simply the longitudinal cracking observed in uniaxial compression.
The history of strain theories of failure is discussed briefly by Timoshenko (1953). It is
interesting that Todhunter and Pearson (1886) regard maximum stretch as the correct theory
of rupture and remark that ‘Lame, Clebsch and innumerable English writers have fallen into
the error of taking the maximum stress’.
Of the theories based on simple mechanical models, that of Griffith (1924) has been by far
the most exploited. This is based on the assumption that tensile fracture is initiated at stress
concentrations at the end of hypothetical flat elliptic Griffith cracks in the material. It leads
to the result

(?--Q = C&1+%) ifa,+3u3 >O . . . * (13)

u’3 = -tc, ifa1+3u3 < 0 . . . . (14)
and to the parabolic Mohr envelope

72 = +&(a+&) . . . . . . . . (15)

The curves of equations (13) and (14) are shown in Fig. 6(c). The criterion is valuable as
covering the transition from negative to positive values of us. The parabolic form of equation
(13) does not fit the experimental results, but it was pointed out by McClintock and Walsh
(1962) that it remains valid only so long as cracks remain open. For conditions in which
compressive stresses are so high that cracks are closed, they assume that sliding can take place
on their surfaces with coefficient of friction p and give an approximate theory which leads to
the CouIomb relation, equation (5). Their modified Griffith theory consists of equations (13)
and (14) for low values of u1 and a transition region tending asymptotically to the linear form
of equation (5) shown dotted in Fig. 6(c). Griffith theory has proved extraordinarily useful
as a mathematical model for studying the effect of cracks on rock, for example, on its elastic
properties (Walsh, 1965) but it is essentially only a mathematical model; on the microscopic
scale rocks consist of an aggregate of anisotropic crystals of different mechanical properties
and it is these and their grain boundaries which determine the microscopic behaviour.
When experimental results are plotted as in Fig. 6 it is found that, while for some rocks they
are approximately linear, for most rocks the curves are slightly concave downwards. This
has led to a number of empirical attempts to represent them by a power law. Hobbs (1966)
suggested that

u1-u3 = C,+FuS . . . . . . . . (16)

but states (Hobbs, 1970) that

u1 = C,+Fu$ . . . . . . . . (17)
fits his later observations better. Hoek (1968) proposed the law

(T,-T,,&/& = F(u&)f . . . . . . . (18)

where 7, = +(ul - uJ and urn = $(ul + uJ. In equations (16)-(18), F and f are constants and
Alternatively, laws of the form
T=T,,+FuJ~ . . . . . . . . * (19)

where 7 and u,, are the calculated shear and normal stresses across a plane of failure or are
derived from the Mohr envelope have been proposed (Murrell, 1965).

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104 J. C. JAEGER

Although equations (16)-(19) give a reasonable representation of the results, they have not
been adequately studied for low values of c3 and IS,,and it is in this region that they are least
reliable since the curves have a vertical tangent. They are also not mathematically related;
for example, the Mohr envelopes of equations (16)-(18) do not take the form of equation (19).
The case of planar anisotropy is of great importance in practical rock mechanics. Such
rocks are usually tested either in direct shear parallel to the plane of weakness or triaxially
with the plane of weakness orientated so that failure takes place in it. It is assumed that such
measurements give S, and ,LL corresponding to the plane of weakness and that failure under any
system of stresses is given by the theory discussed for failure of jointed rock. However,
anisotropic rocks probably exhibit a continuous variation of both S, and p with direction.
This problem was studied graphically by Casagrande and Carrillo (1953) for soils and Jaeger
(1960) showed that for the case of constant p the simple theory of Coulomb could be extended
to the case of rock whose intrinsic shear strength in a plane inclined at /3to u1 is given by
s = S, -s, cos Z(w-/3) . . . . . . . (20)
so that S varies from a minimum of S, -.S, in the direction p= w to a maximum of S, +S, in
the perpendicular direction. In this case the relation between (Jo and u3 is
(a,+S1 cot +)z-(7m+b)2 case? 4 = .Sz cot2 + (30s~(2w+$) . . (21)
where o,,, = :p++;
7, = CT1 u’3
b = S, sin (2~ + #I) cos 4
This may be used in various ways, one simple one being that uniaxial compression normal
to the plane of weakness gives a relation between S, and Sz so that, if S, -S, and $ are deter-
mined by direct shear, all the constants can be found.


Many different types of measurement on the sliding of rock surfaces have been made under
different conditions and for different purposes. There is a lack of any systematic study and so
these tend to be lumped together and figures quoted without real appreciation of the com-
plexity of the situation. From the point of view of practical rock mechanics it is desirable to
have numbers describing the behaviour of a joint and these numbers may be found either by
in situ measurements, which are slow and costly, or by laboratory measurements on much
smaller samples which may not be representative.
The methods which have been used to study the sliding of rocks may be classified as

Use of small sliders on larger surfaces

This is the classical method of studying friction (Fig. 7(a)) and a few observations on
minerals are reported by Bowden and Tabor (1950). Usually the normal loads N are low and
the system, both in N and T,is soft. This method has been used by Horn and Deere (1962)
and Byerlee (1967a). In a modified form it has been used at higher normal loads by Jaeger
and Cook (1970). A unique characteristic of the method is that although the same surface of
the slider is always engaged it is continually moving on to new material and thus the method
is valuable for studying the mechanism of wear.

Use of triaxial a@aratus

Triaxial apparatus has been extensively used and is probably the simplest method of
studying drill core. A cylindrical sample with a joint or saw cut inclined at a suitable angle

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0 (b) Cd) (e)

Fig. 7. Systems for measuring friction

01tothe cylinder is jacketed and tested in an ordinary triaxial pot (Fig. 7(b)). If the axial
and confining stresses are errand a3 the normal and tangential stresses across the plane are
un = a3+(al-a,) sin2cc . . . . . . * (22)
T= (a,-ug)sinacosa . . . . . . . (23)
The method seems to have been used first for testing the bond between mortar and aggre-
gate by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (1954). A pioneer series of experiments using a
variety of surfaces and angles was made by Jaeger (1959). The method is particularly useful
for studying the residual sliding on surfaces of shear fracture which have been produced in
intact rock in the apparatus, the angle a being measured subsequently and the surface being
verified as suitable, and it has been used in this way by Lane and Heck (1964), Murrell(1965)
and Hobbs (1970).
In practice, it follows from equation (22) that the normal a, is at least of the order of two or
three times c3 so that the method is not particularly suitable for low normal stresses, say
a,, < 10 bars. On the other hand, it is suitable for high normal stresses and has been used under
these conditions by Byerlee (1967b) and Wiebols et al. (1968). Specimens with diameters as
large as 6 in. may be used without difficulty (Jaeger, 1970).
The main objection to the method arises from its geometry. If one spherical seat is used,
as is often done, this will rotate when sliding begins and conditions across the sliding surface
become uncertain (Jaeger, 1959; Hobbs, 1970). Some workers, e.g. Byerlee (1967b) and Wie-
bols et al. (1968), use no spherical seat, so that additional normal stresses determined by the
transverse rigidity of the system are introduced. Rosengren (1968) made a careful study of
the possibility of improving the system by using either two spherical seats or lubricated pads
(Fig. 7(c)) to permit easy sliding at the ends of the specimen. This latter method proved
successful and a correction can readily be applied for friction at the pads. With this system
there is no constraint on lateral motion of the specimens.
One difficulty with the triaxial system, even with proper end conditions, is that only
limited amounts of displacement are possible. A second difficulty is that dilation is not easily
The effect of water is easily studied by using a pair of fine tubes leading from the platens
along saw cuts in the sides of the specimen to the ends of the joint.

Conventiolzal shear box

Shear boxes (Fig. 3(a)) either built for use in soil mechanics or specially constructed
(KrsmanoviC, 1967; Hoek and Pentz, 1969; Edvokimov and Sapegin, 1967; Mathews, 1970)

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106 J. C. JAEGER

have been extensively used for testing joints. The usual practice is to drill along the joint,
setting the core in the shear boxes with the joint plane between its two halves. Dilation is
easily measured by this system but the constraints on the system are uncertain. Some
workers (e.g. Lecher, 1968) maintain the normal displacement constant.

Double shear
Hoskins et al. (1968), Jaeger and Rosengren (1969) and Dieterich (1971) used a simple
double shear apparatus on accurately prepared specimens (Fig. 7(d)). The tangential load T
was applied by a testing machine, a jack or a proving ring and the normal load N by flat or
ordinary jacks or a proving ring. Specimens were usually 3 in. or 12 in. square. Rosengren
(1968) made a careful comparison of results obtained by this method and those obtained by
triaxial testing. Even with this relatively rigid system the constraint is not perfect and there
may be a tendency for the side blocks to rotate slightly about a horizontal axis.

In this system hollow cylinders are pressed together with axial load N and torque M is
applied to them (Fig. 7(e)). An apparatus of this type has been built by the Mining Research
Laboratory, Johannesburg. This system has great advantages, notably that indefinitely
large amounts of sliding may be obtained without disturbing the surfaces. Also, it is easy to
study the effect of water by introducing it inside the hollow cylinder.

Large scale in situ tests

Large scale in situ tests are being used increasingly for engineering testing (Rocha, 1964;
Wallace et al., 1969; Serafim and Guerreiro, 1968). Essentially a block containing a joint of
interest is exposed by quarrying, and normal and transverse loads N and T are applied to it in
some manner by appropriate jacks (Fig. 7(f)). 0 ccasionally only one inclined jack is used.
Sizes of up to 6 ft square or more have been used. The method has the advantage that it
operates on a joint of interest and over a reasonably large area. One disadvantage is that the
stresses may vary considerably over the area as Ruiz et al. (1968) show from a finite element
analysis. Obvious disadvantages are the time and cost involved and the fact that relatively
few can be made; this emphasizes the importance of obtaining comparisons on the same
material of in situ and laboratory tests as has been done by the ComitC National Francais
(1967) and Bernaix (1969).
Many different types of surface have been tested by various of these methods.

Cut and ground or polished surfaces. These have two properties : flatness and roughness. The
roughness is usually measured by one of the commercial instruments and quoted in microinches
or microns. Unless special precautions are taken, the departure from flatness will be much
greater than this. As a result, relatively small surfaces of about 0.1 in. square are in approxi-
mate contact over the whole of their area and larger surfaces of about the order of 1 in. square
may be in approximate contact only at their higher points. The extent of the initial contact
when rock surfaces are pressed together may be judged from the sliding of rock on metal.
Fig. 8 shows the early stages of sliding of rock with a surface roughness of 100 pin. on mild
steel. The distance of sliding was 0.04 in., which sets a scale for the number of initial contacts.

Laboratory extension fractures. A number of workers (e.g. Byerlee, 1967b) have used extension
fractures produced in the laboratory and subsequently replaced together. Such surfaces are
highly interlocked.

Laboratory shear fractures. In many cases, after solid specimens have failed by shear fracture
in triaxial or direct shear apparatus, testing is continued to study sliding on the fractured sur-

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Fig. 10. Load-displacement curves 2 I

for ground surfaces ; area :
9 sq. in. ; normal load: 1325 lb MO. I Sandstone

]1 Bowal trachyte
m Carrara marble

0 0.15 05 075
Displacement: in.

face (Jaeger, 1959; Maurer, 1965; Hobbs, 1970). The surfaces are frequently very irregular
(Fig. 9) and contain a considerable amount of detrital material from the original failure. The
amount varies greatly with the conditions under which the original failure took place.

Natural o$en joints. These may be obtained in large numbers from drill core. They can
usually be mated together before testing so that there is macroscopic contact over most of their

Natural filled joints. Frequently open joints have been filled with materials such as calcite
and testing of these gives a peak value corresponding to failure of the filling material followed
by sliding on the failure surface. Natural shear faults are usually wider and clay filled. Their
properties may be determined by testing the clay but with large scale tests on such joints great
increases of strength can occur caused by interlock of rock material on opposite sides of the
fault (Romero, 1968).

Artificial &?led joints. Cut surfaces with coatings of plaster have occasionally been used to
simulate filled joints (Jaeger, 1959).

ArtiJicially constructed surfaces. Several workers (Patton, 1966; Lajtai, 1969; Barton, 1971)
have used shaped surfaces of plaster or similar materials to demonstrate the effects of surface
roughness. Although such experiments are instructive, the frictional behaviour of different
rock types is very different (cf. Fig. lo), and so the behaviour of artificial materials may be
different again.

The range in normal stresses used by various workers has been wide. Those interested in
geophysical applications (Byerlee, 1967b; Raleigh and Paterson, 1965) use stresses up to
15 kbars confining pressure. Most workers in rock mechanics have used stresses comparable
with those in underground rock mechanics, say 500-10 000 Ib/sq. in. Lower values are needed
in rock slope studies and for some foundation work.
Given a particular apparatus and rock type, various methods of testing are possible. The
simplest and most usual is to set the normal load at a prescribed value and measure the varia-
tion of shear force and dilation with displacement.
Even with ground surfaces it is usually found that there is a considerable variation of shear
force with displacement during sliding. Fig. 10 shows curves of tangential force against
displacement for three rock types in the apparatus of Fig. 7(d), the surfaces being approximately
flat and of roughness 100 p in. In all cases, a constant value of tangential force is approached
fairly slowly. The reason for this behaviour is discussed later.

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Fig. 11. (a) Typical curve of shear stress against displacement for a natural joint,
(b) idealized curve

For natural joints behaviour is much less regular (Fig. II), the tangential force usually
rising to a peak and falling sharply. The peak is usually followed by considerable fluctuations
(cf. Krsmanovic, 1967) but the tangential force again tends to a final residual value. For
tightly interlocked joints, the fall in tangential force after the peak may be so rapid that the
machine is unable to follow it (cf. Fig. 5(b)).
In describing results such as those of Figs 13 and 14 it is sometimes convenient to refer to
the tangential and normal forces on the specimen. Alternatively, these may be divided by
the area of the specimen to give the shear and normal stresses G-and u,,. These are macro-
scopic stresses and not those over the areas of real contact.
In the method of testing described, individual samples are tested at a fixed value of Q’,
giving a curve of 7 against displacement S shown in Fig. 11(b). From this the residual value
T,,,, the peak value T,,,~~and the displacement AS at which it occurs can be read off as well as
the shear stress TVat any specified displacement S (KrsmanoviC and Langof, 1964; KrsmanoviC,
1967). From a series of tests of this type on different samples at different values of a,, any of
the quantities of interest, -r,,*, rres, r,,,/AS, may be plotted against CT,. The disadvantage
of this method is that specimens from the same joint may vary considerably so that a wide
scatter in results may be found.
An alternative method, sometimes called the incremental method, uses only one specimen.
In this, after the peak has been passed and conditions are stabilized to some extent, the normal
stress is changed by specified amounts and the corresponding shear stresses are measured.
Examples of measurements of this type in a triaxial apparatus on two graphite coated joints
of different roughness are shown in Fig. 12. This method allows a plot of 7 against a,, to be
made for sliding of one pair of surfaces at some stage of its development, usually chosen as
near as possible to residual conditions. Some workers (e.g. Jaeger, 1959) raise the normal
stress; others (e.g. Ruiz et al., 1968) lower it. These procedures are not the same since the
nature of the sliding surface at any time depends on the normal stresses to which it has been
subjected and some rocks show considerable hysteresis (cf. Fig. 13).
As a further variant of this method, CT,, may be varied continuously and 7 plotted against
c,, on an X-Y recorder. Examples of this using the apparatus of Fig. 7(d) on ground surfaces
are shown in Fig. 13 and in the rotating apparatus of Fig. 7(e) in Fig. 14. These give a direct
indication of the amount of hysteresis involved.
Plots showing the values of T at fixed values of u,, are shown in Figs 15 and 16. Fig. 15 is
for ground surfaces in the apparatus of Fig. 7(d) obtained by the incremental method. Fig. 16
shows the results of residual sliding on a number of different natural joints. These results are
discussed later.

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Fig. 12 (left). Load-displace-

Smooth joint Rough joint
ment curves for graphite
2oooa 25w coated joints in six-inch
3om r core tested triaxiallg. Num-
bers on curves are confIning
pressures in lb/sq. in.

f loacoc 1500

I Carran
1 Bownl trachyte

0' 100 200

0 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.6
Q,,: Iblsq. in.
Displacement: in.
Fig. 13. Shear stress against
(a) (b) normal stress for ground
surfaces, showing hysteresis

4000 -

Karoo shale. dry Karoo shale, wet

400 800 2000

0;: Ib/sq. in. u” :Ib/sq. in.


Witwatersrand quartzlte, dry Witwaterrrand quartzite. wet

4ou 8M) 0 2000 4000

9 : lb/rq. in. en: Ib/rq. in.

Q Cd)
Fig. 14. Shear stress against normal stress in rotating friction apparatus

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110 J. C. JAEGER

Fig. 15 (left). Shear stress against nor-

mal stress for ground surfaces in
the apparatus of Fig. 7(d)

Fig. 16 (below). Shear stress against

normal stress: (a) residual sliding
of natural joints in andesite under
various conditions, (b) residual slid-
ing of sheer fractures in mica schist
400 600 800

u,, :Ib/sq. in.

0 (b)

Figure 14 also includes some preliminary results on the effects of wetting from the Mining
Research Laboratory of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. Wetting has not been studied
adequately but it is clear that surface wetness (apart from the effects of pore pressure) may
have a considerable effect.

If -Tis the shear stress corresponding to normal stress c,, under any defined set of conditions
(e.g. residual) the variable coefficient of friction may be defined as
II* = T/U, . . . . . . . . . (24)
It may be obtained from results such as those of Figs 13-16. Amonton’s so-called second law
states that CL*is a constant independent of u,. For metals, a simple explanation for this exists
since, if A c is the actual area of contact per unit macroscopic area (cf. Fig. S), it may be
expected that u,,= YA, and ~=SA,where Y and S are theyield strength and the shear strength
respectively of the metal. A more refined discussion by Bowden and Tabor (1950) involving
work-hardening changes this slightly. They introduce a ploughing term which might be
specially relevant to sliding of rock on metal (Fig. 8) and leads to a law of form CL*= a + bdu,.
Archard (1958) has discussed the case of many contacts, some of which may be elastic, and
deduced that
r = Ku::
. . . . . . . . (25)
cL* = ,Q’-1 >
where 2/3<m<l.

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None of these discussions is applicable to brittle materials such as most rocks. Byerlee
(lS67a) has developed a model based on tensile failures in asperities but at this stage it seems
simpler to regard the process as one of shear failure under normal load so that criteria similar
to those for the mechanical properties of rock elements would apply.
In the case of soil mechanics, the Coulomb law
7 = c+pan =c+Untan# . . . . . . - (26)
with the appropriate modifications for pore pressure, in general fits experimental observations
well, c and $ being constants. The symbol TVis reserved for a constant called the coefficient of
friction in the Coulomb relation (26). The variable coefficient of friction (equation (24)) in
this case is
II* = /L+c/u, . . . . . . . . (27)
Jaeger (1959) suggested that the Coulomb law (equation (26)) also held for sliding of rocks
with a cohesion c of about 50-100 lb/sq. in. This is suggested by the work of Hoskins et al.
(1966) which led to results such as those of Fig. 15. Jaeger and Rosengren (1969) quote values
of c for natural joints ranging from 0 to 200 Ib/sq. in. with a mean of 100 Ib/sq. in. Similar
results by other workers are mentioned later. These relatively high values of c have a pro-
found effect on slope stability calculations.
Results such as those of Fig. 16 suggest that the curve of T against u,, may be concave down-
wards and representable by the power of law of equation (25) or equation (19). For example,
the points of Fig. 16(a) scatter around
7 = 1*2a;*9 . . . . . . . . . (28)
and those of Fig. 16(b) scatter around
7 = 5.2U9.7
n . . . . . . . . . (29)
units being lb/sq. in. The use of this law has been advocated in particular by Murrell (1965),
Maurer (1965) and Hobbs (1970). Alternatively, a law of the form
7=79+Ku:: . . . . . . . . * (30)
may be assumed which is better written in dimensionless form

(T/C,) = (TO/C,)+K(Un/Co)m . . . . . . (31)

where Co is a suitable constant with the dimensions of stress, such as the uniaxial compressive
strength of the material. If a law of the form of equation (25) or equation (30) holds and
measurements are made in a range u1< u, < ~9, the least squares linear fit to these will be of the
Coulomb form of equation (26) with c increasing and p decreasing as ul increases. For
example, in an extreme case Byerlee (1967b) found c =SOOOIb/sq. in. for a ground granite sur-
face with cr,,> 30 000 lb/sq. in.
A third proposal involves the effect of surface irregularities. Suppose that sliding is taking
place up a slope inclined at 0 to the direction of 7 (Fig. 17). Then a simple calculation shows
that in the absence of cohesion
7 = U,tan(ei-4) . . . . . . . * (32)
so that the effect is to increase the angle of friction by 19. If in any testy is the mean normal
displacement corresponding to tangential displacement x
tan 0 = dy/& . . . . . . . . (33)
so that 0 can be determined and the effect corrected for.

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112 J. C. JAEGER


(a) (b)
Fig. 17. Effects of surface inclination on friction

Bowden and Tabor (1950), and in the present context Patton (1966), suggested that at low
normal stresses the effect might be one of sliding up asperities with zero cohesion, but that at
higher normal stresses there might be shearing of asperities which would give an effect similar
to cohesion. The simplest representation of this is the bi-linear law (Fig. 17)

on < c/b0-PI)
u?l > c/b0---I%) > * . . .
in which p. depends on the slope of the asperities, c depends on o, and /*.iis frequently regarded
as a constant of the material.
None of these proposals has real theoretical or experimental status so that any attempt to
fit experimental points to one of them may lead to misleading results. Equations (25) and
(30) have the vertical tangent at the origin and in equation (26) the high value of c is frequently
doubtful. Experiments at low values of (J,,seem to indicate a linear variation as in equation
(34) and this is also suggested by curves such as those in Figs 13 and 14. However, the abrupt
change in slope at c/(~~--J is unrealistic and some form of rounding off is needed. With the
increasing use of computers some form of smoothing experimental data is needed and one
which is probably adequate as corresponding with equation (34) but having continuous curva-
ture is

7 = a{l-exp(-bo,)}+pa, . . . . . . . (35)

For example, the points of Fig. 16(a) may be represented reasonably well by

7 = 270{1-exp (-0~0015a,)}+0~41~, . . . . * (36)

On the basis of laboratory experiments Barton (1971) has proposed the law for peak

7 = us tan (20 log,, (Co/a,) +30)

which avoids the vertical tangent of equations (25) and (30) at the origin.
At present there is no consistent practice in the reporting of results. Goldstein et al. (1966)
use equation (34). Murrell (1965), Hobbs (1970), Maurer (1965, 1966), KrsmanoviC and
Popovic (1966) and Comes and Fournier (1968) use the power law. Edvokimov and Sapegin
(1967), Serafim and Guerreiro (1963) and Rodrigues (1968) use the Coulomb form.
This discussion highlights the difficulty of providing accurate quantitative information for
design purposes from a small number of laboratory measurements.
The phenomenon of stick-slip is an interaction between the testing system and the rock
surface during sliding. It appears in most testing and it is not clear what is its significance or

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(b) (Cl

Fig. 18. Stick-slip: (a) and (b) simple mech-

anical model, (c) detail of regular stick-
slip on smooth granite

what are the conditions for its occurrence. On a large scale some writers (Byerlee and Brace,
1968; Dieterich, 1971) regard it as providing a mechanism for earthquakes.
The term is used in two different contexts. First, it is used for occasional cases in which
the machine cannot follow the load displacement curve (cf. Fig. 5(b)) ; this is more properly
described as irregular stick-slip (Rabinowicz, 1959). Stick-slip may be described as a relaxa-
tion oscillation whose period is determined by the frictional properties of the system which
arises when the system is driven at a constant speed. An example of a load-displacement
curve for ground granite surfaces of roughness 35 p in. is shown in Fig. 18(c). The simplest
mechanical model which illustrates such behaviour is that in which the coefficient of dynamic
friction CL’is constant and less than that of static friction ,LL. Suppose that a mass M is pressed
against such a surface by force W and driven through a spring of stiffness k whose other end is
moved at constant speed V (Fig. 18(a)). If the mass is at rest, it will slip when the extension
of the spring is x1 and the applied force is F, such that
F, = pW = kx, . . . . . . . . (37)
Suppose that slipping ceases when the extension of the spring is x2 so that the force is
F,=p2. If V is very small compared to the velocity of slip, the work done against friction
during sliding is p’W(x, -x2) and equating this to the loss of energy stored in the spring which
is k(xf -x$/2 gives
k(x,+x,) = 2$W . . . . . . . . (38)
It follows that
F, = kx, = (Z/L’-~)W . . . . . . * (39)
F,-F, = k(x,-x,) = 2(p-p’)W . . . . . (40)

It appears that F oscillates between F1 and F, (Fig. 18(b)) and on this simple model p and
p’ can be determined. From equation (40), measurement of x1 -x2 gives k.
Stick-up is a complex phenomenon. It is related to surface roughness, speed of sliding V
or time between slips, wetness of surface and the amount of gouge present.

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Fig. 19 (left). Contour lines (units of O*OOlin.) for

a graphite coated joint surface of area 5 in. by
6 in. (after Mathews, 1970)

0.5 I I.5
Displacement : in.
Fig. 20. Shear force and dilation for the joint of
Fig. 19 in a shear box with normal load of
6500 lb


The frictional force during sliding varies continuously with displacement and this variation
is associated with wear of the surface. It is important to understand this process, both
macroscopically and microscopically.
On the scale of laboratory specimens, Fig. 19 shows surface contour lines for a graphite
coated joint surface (Mathews, 1970) and Fig. 20 shows the variation of shear force and mean
normal displacement y (dilation) with displacement x from an initial position in which the two
surfaces of the joint are mated as closely as possible. Clearly, there is uphill sliding in the
sense of Fig. 17. Knowing y, or in practice the normal displacements of the four corners of
the shear box, the positions of the two surfaces after any amount of sliding can be calculated.
Fig. 21 shows one cross-section after one inch of sliding; it is clear that for the most part
contact has been lost except in a few regions where intense shearing and removal of material
has taken place. Ultimately this sheared material will fill the hollows and the end result will
be a surface of gouge material.
It is reasonable to assume that the behaviour of larger surfaces is similar to that of Fig. 21,
scaled up by a factor of 10 or 100.
To indicate the way in which a residual surface of sliding is approached, Fig. 22 shows the
behaviour of a pair of mated extension fractures in Bowral trachytel in the apparatus of
Fig. 7(d). The fractures were induced in the material by transverse loading in Brazilian
fashion. They were approximately parallel but each surface had an irregularity of about
0.1 in. and a grain size of about 0.03 in. The surfaces were mated together and tested at a
normal load of 1350 lb, their area being 5.2 sq. in. The first load-displacement curve is
marked 1 in Fig. 22 and shows a marked peak. After about 0.4 in. displacement the surfaces
are remated (detrital material being brushed off) and the procedure is repeated. This gives
curve 2 in which the initial peak has diminished markedly in size. The seventh run is shown
in curve 7 on which incremental loading and unloading at loads of 2050,271O and 3460 lb have
been superimposed. In the fifteenth run, curve 15, all trace of the initial peak has disappeared.
At this stage, the surface has been ground down to a number of moderately rounded lands,
occupying about 80% of its area, with hollows of original surface between them (Fig. 23).
Sliding will be on only a small fraction of the area of lands. Thus, although there has been an

1 Bowral trachyte is a commercial building stone properly described as a microsyenite and consisting of
interlocking tabular crystals of orthoclase of grain size 0.5-l mm which constitute 80% of its volume. The
other major mineral is aegerine-au&e which has been extensively altered to siderite and calcite.

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enormous change in the nature of the surface, a residual value seems to be approached after
only one inch of sliding. Values of I” from all runs agree around the rather high value of 0.9.
As an example of a slightly different type, Fig. 24 shows typical load-displacement curves
for a block of Bowral trachyte with ground plane-parallel surfaces forced between a pair of
rough surfaces formed by extension fractures. The normal load is again 1350 lb and the area
6.3 sq. in. Curves 1,6, 18 represent the first, sixth and eighteenth runs, each of about 0.5 in.,
the surfaces being replaced in the same relative position after each run. The behaviour of the
surfaces is now completely different: the highest spots of the tension-cracked surfaces are
worn down and score the originally flat surface. The same regions of the tension-cracked
surfaces are always in contact with the opposite surface and the area of these contacts grows
steadily. After 15 runs it is of the order of 1 sq. in. so that surface wear is far from complete.
The load-displacement curves tend to rise and show a great deal of short period fluctuation.
Similar results have been obtained by Jaeger and Cook (1970) for sliding of gravel on plane
Another case arises in the sliding of approximately plane surfaces on one another. The
protuberances in contact may be expected to be of large radius of curvature with small surface
roughness superimposed on them. The gradual increase of frictional force with displacement
often observed (Fig. 10, curve II) is probably attributable to growth of the gross areas of con-
tact. This effect is particularly marked in marble (Fig. 10, curve III). In this case, there
may be plastic deformation below the contacts; also, gouge material is produced profusely and
may dilate so much so that rubbing blocks may fail by indirect tension caused by local stress
at the contacts (Fig. 25).
It has been suggested that the frictional force may arise from shearing of rock under high
normal stresses at localized zones of contact (cf. Fig. 21). By analogy with the linear laws for
fracture criteria the shear strength S at actual normal load u,, might be expected to be given by
s = &+&a,, . . . . . . . . (41)
where c, and pa are constants of the rock. There is experimental evidence for this (Jaeger,
1962). If the actual area of contact of two sliding blocks of rock is A,, the tangential and
normal stresses on them will be

T = c,&+~naAa
. . , . . . .
N = u,,A, >
and if the total area of the blocks is A so that the conventional stresses are T=T/A and
on = a,,,/A , equations (42) become
T = c,(A./A)+pau,, . . . . . . . . (43)

which is of the Coulomb form of equation (26) in which the cohesion c is proportional to A,/A.
This is supported by results of Byerlee (1967b) who tested granite cylinders, 0.66 in. in
diameter in triaxial apparatus at confining pressures in the range 15 000-225 000 lb/sq. in.
He used two classes of surface-ground surface and mated extension fractures-and in both
cases the surfaces were pressed together with hydrostatic pressure of 15 000 lb/sq. in. before
tangential stress was applied. Both sets of surfaces obeyed the Coulomb law
7 = 9000+0~6u, . . . . . . . * (44)
in the range 30 000~ u, ~225 000 lb/sq. in. Under these conditions the surfaces of the
extension fractures must have been perfectly interlocked and so the whole of the material in
this plane would have been completely sheared. It is concluded that in both cases A, = A and
the value of 9000 lb/sq. in. is that of c, for intact material. For an ordinary contact at low
normal stresses A,/A might be of the order of 0.01 giving a cohesion of 90 lb/sq. in., which is of

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116 J. C. JAEGER

the order of those values already reported. Results of Jaeger and Cook (1970) on sliding of
nearly spherical trachyte contacts on trachyte with varying areas of contact and high normal
stresses may be interpreted in the same way with c~= 10 000 Ib/sq. in. and pe=0*32; at low
normal loads the values are c = 10 and p = 0.48, suggesting that the area of contact is small.
If the alternative form, equation (25), is assumed for complete contact, the result for frac-
tional area of contact A,/A is

7 = K(A,/A)l-“u~ . . . . . . . . (45)

so that the exponent remains the same but the constant changes.
It seems possible that equation (43) may be applicable to the practical testing of rock
joints. Figs 21 and 23 and an elaborate series of laboratory measurements by Barton (1971)
suggest that at any stage of sliding the fractional area contact A,/A is relatively small. If the
rock is tested at normal stress crna=(A/A,)a,, values of c, and pa are determined and the
behaviour under normal stress a,, follows from equation (43), i.e. using (A,/A)c, for the cohesion.
If this reasoning is applied to rock slope studies, samples of joints taken from drill core
represent portions of the surface which will eventually be taking stress and they should be
tested at high normal stresses; e.g. if a,=50 lb/sq. in. and A/A,=100 they should be
tested at u,, = 5000 lb/sq. in. and the cohesion so obtained divided by 100 for use in actual slope
stability calculations. This reduces the anomalously high values of the factor of safety such
as those obtained from equation (63) in Table 1. The difficulty is that A,/A is unknown but
it is possible that it could be estimated by photogrammetric measurements or by comparison
of values of the cohesion estimated from slides and measured on corresponding surfaces.

295 bars normal stress

wn:Ib/sq. in.

Fig. 28. Sliding of a thick layer of finely

powdered Bowral trachyte
Fig. 29 (right). Variation of coemcient of 0.82 1 I
friction with time of stick (after Dieterich, 100 IO’ IO2 10’ IO’ 10s 106
1971) Duration of stick: s

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Fig. 30. Variation of T with q, for various materials;

lengths of vertical bars indicate the effect of time of
stick (after Dieterich, 1971)

The mechanism of wear is still obscure. Two different processes probably occur: the
fracture of protuberances in the manner suggested by Byerlee (1967b), and fracture in a rela-
tively plane surface caused by normal and tangential loads on it in the manner of Fig. 3(b).
In the Author’s experience with small sliders on plane surfaces a network of small cracks
appears in the surfaces around the contacts. These can be seen in Figs 25 and 26. Fig. 26
shows the sliding of an initially spherical surface of Bowral trachyte on Carrara marble; the
ploughing of the harder material through the softer with the build-up of fragments round the
contact is shown clearly, and the fact that some fragments are detached from the harder
In many cases the process of break-up can be studied either on individual surfaces or by
impregnating the region between two sliding surfaces with resin without separating them (Gay,
1970). Fig. 27 shows one example in which fractures occur in directions suggested by Fig.
3(b). The amount of detrital material produced during sliding varies greatly with the nature
of the materials and surfaces. It tends to aggregate, forming accretion steps in the lee of pro-
tuberances and developing slickensides (Gay, 1970; Norris and Barron, 1969). Such struc-
tures are of geological interest.
After considerable sliding has taken place, the surfaces of sliding may consist almost
entirely of detrital material and then the behaviour of such material is important. Fig. 28
shows the variation of shear stress against normal stress for sliding in a thin uniform layer of
finely powdered Bowral trachyte. The curve is approximately linear and ~=064 is of the
same order as that for solid material. The presence of stick-up is noteworthy and also the
fact that it is regular for decreasing normal loads and irregular for increasing loads. Dieterich
(1971) associates stick-slip with the presence of gouge and has noted an important time depen-
dence. Fig. 29 shows his measured variation of coefficient of friction with time of slip, and
Fig. 30 is a summary of his results for various rocks. He attributes the increase of coefficient
with time to compaction of gouge. These are probably the first indications of time dependence

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118 J. C. JAEGER

and creep in frictional phenomena and since many fault surfaces are covered with gouge they
are of considerable importance in rock mechanics. They have to be taken in conjunction and
the suggestion of Miiller and Malina (1968) that distortion in a sliding mass will cause a build-
up of localized stresses.


Certain quantities have to be recorded by field measurements. These are directions of joint
planes, surface regularity and roughness, continuity, spacing, aperture (width of open spaces)
and filling. In addition to these, some estimate of the quality of the rock elements and water
pressure in the joints is needed.
Field measurements may be made either on surface exposures, in underground workings
or in drill holes or from drill core. These provide different types of sampling. The systematic
logging of drill core orientated with some device such as that manufactured by Craelius is the
simplest methodof obtainingdetailed statisticalinformation. Comparison of information from
underground measurements and from suitably orientated drill holes shows good agreement.
The systematic plotting of the poles of joint planes on the stereographic or equal area pro-
jection (Mtiller, 1963; John, 1962; Panet, 1967; McMahon, 1968) is standard practice.
The regularity of the surface is the hardest quantity to estimate. Rengers (1970) described
methods for detailed measurement of it. Jennings (1968) distinguished between roughness,
which is local, and waviness on a scale of feet which he measured by the maximum departure
from planarity over 24 in. In fact more detailed specification is needed. In dealing with
ground surfaces and possibly with natural slickensides irregularities of the order of 10m4 in. are
significant ; with interlocked crystals in extension fractures and joints the scale may be of the
order of 10-l in. ; the grosser irregularities of the joint of Fig. 19 are on a scale of 1 in. and on a
larger scale this might represent waviness. Like roughness the term asperity is used in many
senses; in the past, Bowden and Tabor (1950) and Byerlee (1967b) used the term to imply a
local, relatively sharp point, but Goodman et al. (1968) define it as an irregularity in a joint
Continuity is perhaps the most difficult quantity to specify. It is usually estimated from
surface observations, e.g. whether a joint can be observed on both walls of an underground
excavation, but an alternative method consists of observing the number of joints which ter-
minate in bore core. For a given joint surface the continuity u is defined so that a fraction a of
the surface area is open or filled and a fraction 1 -a consists of solid rock. The cohesion c for
the whole surface is then estimated to be

c = UC,+ (1 --a)~, . . . . . . , . (46)

where c, is the cohesion of the joint and c, that of the solid material. Since c,>>c, this leads to
high values of c unless 1 --a! is small.
Spacing of joints is probably most simply studied from drill holes or drill core. It appears
that the distribution of distances between joints is very skew and suggests a Poisson distribu-
tion (Snow, 1968, 1970). It follows that it can be misleading to speak of an average joint
Aperture and filling can readily be determined from drill core.
Frictional properties for peak or residual sliding may be determined as already described.
They should be adequate for simple problems of sliding. For computer calculations involving
joint elements, further information is needed (Zienkiewicz et al., 1970). When movement is
occurring on a joint the relationship between normal and transverse displacements and the
corresponding stress is given adequately by curves such as those of Figs 11,20 and 22. Before
sliding occurs there will be some displacement, mainly elastic, across the joint given by the
early part of these curves but they are not usually recorded with sufficient accuracy for this

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0 a
Fig. 32. (a) The function cosec u set (a++) which controls sliding on a plane inclined at a to
0, : case for ri2=30D.
(gj Polar pldt of Fig. 36(a).
(c) Stereographic projection of boundary between regions in which slip is possible and
impossible; case for ~=0*67 and a,laI=O*l

(47) very large, failure will take place through the solid ignoring the joint and for a solid
material satisfying the Coulomb criterion, equation (5), the condition for this would be
cr1-u3 = C0+(~-l)a3 . . . . . . . (48)
This graphical representation of equations (47) and (48) is convenient for laboratory
observations (Jaeger, 1959; Donath, 1961). The simple result of equation (47) has been
extended to the case of stresses in three dimensions by Jaeger and Rosengren (1969) who plotted
the boundaries between regions in the stereographic projection in which slip is possible or
impossible. An example is shown in Fig. 32(c). It shows that in some cases the results are
sensitive to the value of vs.
For the representation of field data it is preferable to plot the results of equations (47) and
(48) in polar co-ordinates (Fig. 32(b)) as is done by John (1962, 1969) and Mtiller and Pacher
(1965) and, in a slightly different representation, by Bray (1967). The advantage of this
system is that it makes the representation of the effects of several joint systems much easier.
All these results refer to the sliding of a joint or joints under a specified system of stresses.
They can be profoundly modified by constraints and the stiffness of the system through which
the stresses are applied. This question is discussed later.


The two-dimensional theory of stability of earth slopes has been in a highly developed state
for many years. Until recently it has been based almost entirely on the Coulomb criterion
7 = c+/-Lcr, = c+a,tan# . . . . . . - (49)
for drained slopes with appropriate modifications for the case of pore pressure. So firmly
entrenched in the literature is this that most results have been expressed in terms of the
dimensionless quantity
c/yH . . . . . . . . . * (50)
which is sometimes called the stability number, where y is the unit weight of the material and
H is the vertical height of the slope.
The first approach dates back to Coulomb and considers plane sliding of an undistorted
wedge of the material. Subsequently it became clear that most slides were on nearly circular

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arcs (Fellenius, 1927). In this case again the mass is undistorted and an exact solution of the
statical problem was given by Taylor (1937), which has remained fundamental up to the
present time. With the development of computer facilities the method of slices has been
developed to take into account non-circular surfaces of sliding and other laws of friction than
the Coulomb one (Bishop, 1955; Bishop and Morgenstern, 1960).
For rock slopes there are three simple situations which may be used to give an appraisal of
a situation. These are as follows.

(a) A definite plane of sliding is suggested by a favourably orientated set of joints or

bedding planes.
(b) In highly anisotropic rocks there is a definite plane of weakness but there may also be
little change in shear strength of the rock for angles of up to 20” from this plane
(cf. equation (20)).
(c) The rock may be so broken up by close irregular joints that it may be treated to a
first approximation as a soil.

If, as in many excavated slopes, a detailed knowledge of the joint patterns is available, a
more fundamental study involving cataclastic movement of the individual blocks can be
attempted, but for feasibility studies with limited information this is not possible.
The fundamental difficulty for rock slopes is that the law of friction for low values of the
normal stress is not clearly known and attempts to measure the parameters in it by laboratory
experiments on joint surfaces are liable to considerable scatter. In particular, if the Coulomb
law of equation (49) is used, there is great uncertainty about the value of c and this is exacer-
bated if attempts to allow for joint continuity by formulae such as equation (46) are made.
Until the parameters can be better determined there seems little point in making elaborate
computer calculations except from the point of view of computer simulation, and it seems
preferable first to consider simple systems for which simple formulae are available. If the
results of such calculations, based on laboratory measurements of rock properties, are in reason-
able agreement with observations of rock slides it is possible to regard calculations with
greater confidence. This is essentially the philosophy of Hoek (1970).
Only drained slopes are considered here to keep the discussion confined as far as possible to
the simplest frictional problems.
The simplest problem is the sliding of a wedge of unit thickness down a plane at CL,the
inclination of the slope OA being i and its vertical height H. The law of friction for the sur-
face OB is written in the form of equation (24).
For a factor of safety F with respect to strength (Bishop, 1955) the total shear strength
(T,P* available on the surface must be F times that necessary to maintain equilibrium, i.e.

F = (~,,/+L* . . . . . . . . (51)

From the geometry of Fig. 33, it follows that the weight W of the slice OAB is

W = &yH2(cot CL- cot ;) = &yH2 sin (;-a) cosec i cosec a . . (52)

Also the length OB = I = H cosec a, so that


!F a u, = (W/Z) cos cz = +yH sin (i -CX) cosec i cos C( . (53)

I 7 = (W/I)sincr . . . . . . . - (54)
The assumption which is made in this elementary
treatment is that the block OAB behaves perfectly
W rigidly, the stress being uniformly distributed over the
Fig. 33. Simple plane sliding surface OB.

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122 J. C. JAEGER

The values of u,, given by equation (53) are extremely low; e.g. if i=55’, a=45’, y= 160
lb/cu. ft, H=700 ft then u,=58 lb/sq. in. For this reason the form of the law of friction at low
normal stresses is vitally important.
Using equations (53) and (54), equation (51) gives
F=p*coto: . . . . . . . * (55)
This is the most convenient formula for F, where a,, is calculated from equation (53) and
substituted in CL*. However, formulae can easily be written out explicitly. Thus for the
Coulomb law of equation (49), p* =p+c/o, and equation (55) becomes
2c sin i
F = Clcota+
yHsin (i-ol)sincr ’ . ’ ’ ’
Similarly, the power law of equation (25) gives
F = koz-l cot ct . . . . . . . . . . . * (57)
= k[$yH sin (i-a) cos a cosec ilm-l cot a . . . , - w
To compare results given by equations (56) and (58), suppose that a Coulomb law is fitted
to values given by the power law at two points, g,, and uuo, then the constants in the Coulomb
law are


where b= (am- l)/(a- 1) and, denoting the value of F obtained from equation (56) with these
constants by F,, this is given by
2( 1 - b)uo sin a
F, = ko;-l bcota+
yHsin(i--a)sincr > . ’ ’ ’
As an example, consider the case k = 5.2, m = O-7 stresses being in lb/sq. in., i= 55”, CL
y = 170 lb/ft, H = 700 ft for which equation (58) gives F = 1.5. Putting a = 2 and b = 0.62 in
equation (60) this becomes

F c = 3.22 u;“.3 +0.0319 00 o.7 . . . . . . (61)

If u. = 100, F, = 1.61; if u. = 200, F, = 1.96; if crO= 300, F, = 2.31. This shows clearly the
large effects on the factor of safety which may arise from changes in the conditions of measure-
As a second example, consider the points of Fig. 16(a) which may be approximately repre-
sented by the power law of equation (28) or the exponential form of equation (36). The least
squares line through the points for U, <: 1000 is

7 = 20+0.65 u, . . . . . . . - (62)

Table 1

H, a i un, F from F from F from F from

ft I&. ft lb/sq. in. equation equation equation equation
(28) (36) (62) (63)

1000 160 35” 45” 112 1.07 1.12 1.18 2.58

100 160 35” 75” 30 1.22 1.15 1.88 7.81

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124 J. C. JAEGER

2c sin i sin (a1 - @)

F = pcotct-f- (66)
yHsin (i-/3) sin (fxl-a) sina . ’ . ’
Similarly the power law of equation (57) gives

F = k(+yH)m-‘[Sin (“-$?; ;ain;l-a)]m-lcot a . . . (67)

Some method of stepping between joints of the same set such as this seems the most likely
method of failure.

Tensile fractures normal to joints. It is sometimes postulated that fracture spreads between
joints of one system by tensile failure normal to them, i.e. the situation of Fig. 34 with c(~=
(rr/2) + a and tensile forces T, x PR acting across the face PR.
In this case for the Coulomb law
F = cLcot ,+2[c cos (8-a) +T, sin (B-41sini
. . . (W
yH sin (i - /3) sin a
Thus if ,!I- a is of the order of 10” this corresponds to adding a quantity of the order of T,/5
to c, which is a considerable increase.

These cases comprise the simple order of magnitude results which can be stated for plane
sliding in the presence of a well defined fault or joint system. They have the great advantage
that results can be obtained with a slide rule in a few minutes and that the crude physical
approximations to the method of sliding and the values of u,, are made clear.
However, even the simplest formula (equation (56)) contains three parameters-c/yH, a
and i-and so the results are difficult to display. Hoek (1971) has shown that this formula
and a variety of cases, including the height H, of the water table and the depth 2, of a vertical
tension crack, may be adequately represented in terms of two parameters
X = 22/((i--)(a-+[l -cz(H,/H)~])}
Y = (1 + bZ,/H)yH/c
where a =0 for a drained slope, a = O-1for normal drawdown and a = 0.5 for a horizontal water
table; b = 0 if there are no tension cracks; b = 1 for a dry tension crack and b = 3 for a water-filled
tension crack. His chart is of the type shown in Fig. 35. Here and in equation (69) angles
are in degrees.
In the other extreme case in which rock is so broken up that it may be treated as a soil to a
first approximation, a plane surface of sliding may be postulated. However, it is known from
soil mechanics theory and practice that circular surfaces of sliding are more usual and in
general lead to lower factors of safety. The case of circular surfaces of sliding is of a different
order of complication to that of plane sliding since the worst possible circle has to be deter-
mined and hence either eIaborate computer calculation or some form of design charts are
necessary. Bishop and Morgenstern (1960) gave charts for this purpose and Hoek (1971) has
given charts which give F as a function of X and Y defined by
X = i-+(1+2-aH,/H)
. (69)
Y = [l+ (i-b)Z,/lOOHJyH/c > ’ ’ ’ * ’
where H, is the height of the water table, 2, is the depth of any vertical tension crack and
a=0 for a drained slope; a=0*3 for normal drawdown; a =0*5 for a horizontal water table;
b=i for no tension crack; b=25 for a dry tension crack and b= 10 for a water-filled tension
crack. Hoek’s (1971) chart is shown in Fig. 35. Both this and the charts of Bishop and

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60 .

Fig. 35. Simple circular sliding (after Hock,


Morgenstern (1960) involve the Coulomb law and the effect of assuming other laws is not clear.
However, Hoek (1970) pointed out that any non-linear law may be regarded as the envelope
of a family of Coulomb laws and if curves of H against i are plotted for these for any given
value of F, their envelope will be the corresponding curve for the non-linear law.
In view of the difficulty in using laboratory measurements to provide parameters for design
purposes attempts have been made to compare actual rock slides with design charts in an
attempt to determine c. Coates et al. (1963) analysed over twenty rock slides in various types
of rock, using an angle of friction of 37” (similar to that for intact rock) and various reasonable
assumptions about tension cracks and water table; they found values of c ranging from 410 to
2620 lb/sq. ft. Again Coates et al. (1965) analysed fifteen slides in material which, when
crushed and tested triaxially (cf. the section on closely fractured and interlocking material),
gave $ = 34” and c between 450 and 750 lb/sq. ft. They concluded that the average value of c
mobilized was 710 lb/sq. ft.
Hoek (1971) studied a number of stable and unstable slopes in Rio Tinto Espanola’s
Atalaya open pit using his curves for plane sliding similar to those shown in Fig. 35. He
found that, by choosing ‘field’ values of +=35” and c= 15 lb/sq. in., the unstable slopes had
factors of safety clustering around 1, while those for the stable slopes clustered around 1.3.
Laboratory studies on joints gave values of 4 varying from 38” at peak to 31” residual, while c
varied from 150 lb/sq. in. at peak to zero residual. He takes a pessimistic view about the
possibility of basing accurate rock slope design on laboratory figures, and this opinion may be
reinforced by the preceding discussion. However, the position is that for feasibility studies,
at least, only laboratory-type tests are available. A direct comparison needs to be made be-
tween direct shear tests on single joints of differing areas, triaxial tests on single joints of
various areas, triaxial tests on crushed rock and triaxial tests on closely jointed core if such is

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126 J. C. JAEGER

available (cf. section on closely fractured and interlocking material). If such studies were
made on slopes expected to fail in the course of excavation, an invaluable comparison between
laboratory and field estimates would be obtained. One possible method of using such a com-
parison has been indicated in the discussion of equation (43).


The simple two-dimensional theory of the previous section may be generalized to consider
the sliding of tetrahedral blocks on a pair of surfaces. The theory of this has been worked out
largely in connexion with the possibility of movement of actual, accurately delineated blocks
in dam abutments. It is complicated by the geometrical possibilities of movement. Wittke
(1965) used a vectorial treatment and was followed by Goodman and Taylor (1967). John
(1968), Londe (1965) and Londe et al. (1969) use the stereographic projection. All these
authors use the Coulomb law.
From the point of view of slope stability in which case both the directions of possible sur-
faces of sliding and their frictional properties may not be well known, it is important to be able
to estimate, in order of magnitude, the improvement in the factor of safety for the present case
over that of the previous section. The simplest treatment is that of Paulding (1970).
Suppose that the two planes of sliding are OP,Q and OP,Q (Fig. 36(a)), their line of inter-
section OQ being inclined at CIto the horizontal. Take OQ as the z axis, OX horizontal and
Oy to make a right-handed system. Viewed in the direction z0 the system appears as in
Fig. 36(b), where & and & are the inclinations of the planes OP, and OP, to the vertical plane
through Oz. Let W be the weight of the block under consideration. Let N, and N2 be the
normal reactions on the planes OP, and OP, and let & and & be the variable coefficients of
friction on these surfaces so that, if the factor of safety is F, the system would be in limiting
equilibrium with frictional forces FmlN,pT, and FelN,& parallel to Oz acting in these two
planes. ResoIving in the x, y and z directions gives

N,cos#,-N,cos#, = 0 . . . . . . . (70)

N,sin~,+N,sin&.--Wcosa = 0 . . (71)

Wsin ct-F-l(N1pT+N&) = 0 . . . . . . (72)

N = w cos a cos qlz
sin(9%+ A) (73)
N = w,coscl cos *I
sin (9%
+ ~4
F = (d cos$2+ CL:cos#I) cotO1 . . . . . . (74)
sin(Cl+ 9J
Here the geometry of the system enters only through the quantities pt and & which in
general are functions of the normal stresses across the two planes. These stresses are N,/A,
and N,/A, where A, and A, are the areas of contact with the two planes. Equation (74) with
F = 1 may be used to infer values of pf (assumed equal to &) from known slope failures. This
has been done by Paulding (1970) and the large and scattered values he finds are probably a
result of these assumptions.
If t~f and & are assumed to be constant, equation (74) gives F independent of the shape of
the mass sliding. In all other cases this must be specified. To get a simple result the case of
a flat topped slope of height H and inclination i is considered, where the direction of sliding

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Fig. 36. Sliding on two surfaces

OQ is in a plane perpendicular to P,P, (Fig. 36(c)). The dip 6, and strike wi of the plane
OP,Q are related to the parameters a and I& previously used by
cos 6, = cos CLsin *I
tanw, = sin CLtan *I > * ’ ’ ’ ’

with similar results for 6, and w2. The weight W of the tetrahedron OP,P,Q is
W = &yH3(cot ~-cot i)2(tan &+ tan ti2) sin a . . . . (76)

and the area A, of the plane OP,Q is

A1 = @!Z2(cot u-cot i) sech . . . . (77)
Hence from equation (73)

i?I_1- YZYsin 3sini

(i-a) cos CC N,
=& . . . . . (76)
A, -
If the Coulomb law is assumed
3c, sin i
/.$ = PI+% = PI+
yHcoscfsin(i-a) . . . *
and from equation (74)

F = p1co~~2+p2cos~1+ 3(c1 c~~ao~o~~s~~s~~~~~ ;] cot CLcosec (#r +#2) . . (SO)


For the symmetrical wedge & = $2 with pL1= p2 = p and c1 = c, = c this becomes
3c sin i
cot CLcosec +& . . . . . (81)
yH cos ct sin (i - cz)I
This differs from the result of equation (56) for plane sliding by the factor cosec #1 and the
replacing of 2c by 3c. The latter change corresponds to the change in shape of the body
sliding from a prism to a tetrahedron.
Another case is that in which one plane is vertical, ti2= 0, and as before pcl =pa=p and
c1 = c2 = c. Then equation (SO) gives
3c sin i
cot acot *,/2 . . . . (82)
yH cos 01sin (i-a) I

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128 J. C. JAEGER

If a power law and the symmetrical case are assumed so that PT = ~(2 = kot-l
= k(N,/A,)m-l equation (74) gives

F = k cot CL
cosec #l{+,H cos CC
sin (i-a) cosec ;>‘“-l . . . (83)

which differs from equation (58) by the factor cosec & and the substitution of l/3 for l/2.
Thus the factor of safety for downslope sliding of a right-angled tetrahedron $I =& = 7~14is
improved by a factor of the order of 42.
The result of equation (74) for the symmetrical case PT = & = p and & = (crZ = $ is easily
generalized to the case of horizontal tectonic stresses. Suppose that the horizontal force on
the block is P, then the factor of safety F is

F = bp* cot a cosec I/ . . . . . . (84)

where sin2 # + h’ cos2 (CI

b = 1/{1 +(K-1)2 cot= a co? I+} . . . . (W

K = (2P/W) set a tan $ . . . . . (86)

Horizontal tectonic stresses are frequently measured near the surface. Also, in curved pit
slopes the effect of curvature is to introduce circumferential stresses. This effect has been
discussed for the case of a Coulomb material by Jenike and Yen (1963).


In many practical cases the rock mass is intersected by closely spaced joints and planes of
weakness which divide it into small interlocked elements. If there are no joint systems
especially favourable for sliding, it is reasonable as a first approximation to use soil mechanics
theory to study the behaviour of the mass. The essential problem is that of determining the
frictional parameters of the material for inserting in the soil mechanics equations.
The most obvious method is that of studying specimens of joint surfaces by any of the
methods described (Hobbs, 1970). This ignores the effects of interlocking of rock elements
and so represents a conservative approach.
Alternatively, specimens of the broken rock may be tested in one of the large triaxial pots
used for testing aggregate for rock fill (Fumigalli, 1970; Coates et al., 1963). Terzaghi (1962)
refers to measurements by Silvestri (1961) who found an angle of friction of +=65” for crushed
aggregate. Jaeger and Cook (1969) quote a measurement by the Snowy Mountains Authority
giving a value of 4 = 40” for crushed aggregate.The results of such tests depend greatly on the
porosity of the aggregate. While such measurements make an accidental allowance for inter-
Iocking of the aggregate, they probably give an underestimate. The Mohr envelopes are
usually strongly curved so that a power law representation may be suitable.
Rosengren and Jaeger (1968) made a laboratory study of the effect of interlocking using
coarse grained marble which had been heated to about 500°C. The thermal expansion of
calcite is highly anisotropic and so the effect of heating is to fracture almost all grain boun-
daries so that the final material consists of a mass of interlocked crystals and has negligible
tensile strength. Tested triaxially, the strength increases rapidly with confining pressure.
The Mohr envelope is shown in Fig. 37(a). This is strongly curved and may be represented by
7 = 400O.~~,units being lb/sq. in. Failure at the lower confining pressures is always on a well
defined shear plane.
Similar results were obtained by Jaeger (1970) who tested six-inch cores from closely
jointed rock in which the distance between fractures was c-1 in. Again the Mohr envelope is
approximately represented by a power law (Fig. 37(b)) and the material selects a definite

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Huted marble Pangunr

0 : Ib/sq. in. 0 : Ib/rq. In.

Fig. 37. Mohr diagrams for closely fractured material

plane for failure. Comparison of these results with those from tests on individual joint sur-
faces indicates a considerable strengthening due to interlocking.
The results suggest that the most satisfactory method of studying rock of this type is by
triaxially testing the largest cylinders possible. With the improvement of drilling techniques,
the obtaining of such cylinders should be possible.
Many writers (e.g. Brown and Trollope, 1970; Einstein et al., 1970; Mtiller and Pacher,
1965; John, 1969) have done triaxial and biaxial compression tests on models composed of
materials such as plaster or patternstone usually made up of cubical blocks orientated at
various angles to the applied stresses. In general planes of shear failure running through the
masses are obtained and the Mohr envelopes suggest a power law. These effects are deter-
mined partly by friction on the bounding surfaces and partly by failure of the rather weak
The most important practical cases in which these considerations may apply are in some
slope stability problems and in the study of the behaviour of fractured rock around tunnels.
In slope stability problems, the parameters obtained in this way are used to determine
factors of safety. The simplest case, that of a circular surface of sliding, may be estimated
from Fig. 35 or from the tables of Bishop and Morgenstem (1960). Non-circular surfaces of
sliding and arbitrary laws of friction may be studied by sophisticated computer techniques
(Morgenstern and Price, 1965; Little and Price, 1958; Whitman and Bailey, 1967).
For the study of stresses in broken rock around drives and tunnels with applications to
rock bolting, Morrison and Coates (1955) used the Coulomb theory of soil mechanics and
Jaeger and Cook (1969) discussed the case in which solid rock obeyed a different Coulomb
relation. Daeman et al. (1969), Horvath (1964) and Ewoldsen and McNiven (1969) also use
Coulomb theory. Hobbs (1966, 1970) uses a power law.


Most of the previous discussion has been based on the assumption that the constraints on
the system are such as to permit sliding. However, after the peak has been passed, and
possibly even before it, there are substantial displacements which affect the configuration of
the system and hence the stresses on it in a manner determined by the external constraints.
This is a different effect from interlocking. Fig. 38 shows an experiment on two-dimen-
sional sliding on an array of cubes of Bowral trachyte of side lengths 3 in. The corners of the

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130 J. C. JAEGER

Fig. 38. Multiple slid-

ing of square
blocks: (a) system,
(b) sy%m&rical
sliding, (c) slightly
asymmetrical slid-

N= 14000 tb

(a) (b) 0

cubes were removed so that there would be no interlocking. PP is the platen of a testing
machine and QQ is a block at right angles to it. The sides of the cubes are initially at 45” to
these. Load T is applied through a block AB by the testing machine and load N by a line of
jacks through a plate CD. The half cubes in contact with PP, QQ, AB and CD have metal
sheets attached with epoxy resin and the contacts of these with the platens are lubricated with
Molybond to reduce friction. The gross effect should be that of pure shear of the set of cubes.
If the system is carefully orientated with all faces parallel, symmetrical sliding takes place
on all surfaces and a load-displacement curve such as Fig. 38(b) is obtained, the upper part of
which corresponds to the surface AB moving inwards and the lower part to CD moving in-
wards. Both are consistent with a value of p = 0.65 similar to that obtained from sliding on a
single surface. However, if asymmetry is present or develops, the plate CD can rotate and
the blocks can rotate and replace surface contact by line contact. The load-displacement
curve increases steeply (Fig. 33(c)) and violent stick-slip occurs. Ultimately the blocks may
fracture. A similar effect has been observed by Jaeger and Rosengren (1969) for sliding on a
pair of inclined surfaces. It appears that, apart from interaction of blocks, multiple sliding is
sensitive to the applied constraints.
As another example of practical interest, consider the case of a rectangular pillar ABB’A’
(Fig. 39) containing a plane of weakness CD inclined at Q to its axis. Suppose that a vertical
load P is applied to the pillar which is of area A and that sliding on CD is governed by a
Coulomb relation with cohesion c and angle of friction $. Possibly lateral stresses u2 are
applied to the wahs AA’ and BB’ by fill If there were no constraints at the pillar boundaries
AB and A’B’, sliding would be governed by equation (47). However, it is more likely that the
behaviour is governed by the constraints at AB and A’B’. For example, shear failure might
take place across these surfaces (shown dotted) with Coulomb values S, and angle of internal
friction &. In this case equation (47) generalizes to
(TVcos (a + $ + &) = [c cosec CC
cos 4 + (S, + a, cot a) sin (a + C)] cos $, * (37)
This formula also arises as a correction for end effects in triaxial apparatus (Mathews,
1970; Rosengren, 1968). It appears that slip is impossible if Q > (7~/2)-$-&.
As an alternative possibility, the portion ABCD of the pillar may behave as a cantilever

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Fig. 39. (a) Faulted so@

pillar with sliding
at its base, (b) can-
tilever approxima- D
tion, (c) load-dis- IOMM

placement curves
for two values of a

K 0 0.1
tp B’ x: In.
(a) 6) (4

so that, for a small relative lateral displacement x of the two portions of the pillar, the lateral
force is kx where k is the stiffness of the system (Fig. 39(b)). Neglecting the cohesion c gives
P = kxtan(a++) . . . . . . . . (88)
This condition can be approximated in uniaxial testing in a heavy testing machine if the
specimens are attached rigidly to the platens. For example, Fig. 39(c) shows load-displace-
ment curves for rectangular blocks of sandstone 3 in. by 1 in. in cross-section and 4 in. long.
For the sandstone (b=30” and the two curves are for ~r=45’ and a=50°. Their slopes both
correspond to k of the order of 50 000 lb/in. Failure in both cases is approximately along
the dotted diagonal shown in Fig. 39(b) and the higher value of 6000 lb/sq. in. is of the order
of the uniaxial compressive strength, 9000 lb/sq. in. Horino (1968) reported similar

The Author is greatly indebted to many friends, notably Professor E. Hoek, Dr J. H.

Dieterich, Mr K. E. Mathews, Dr N. G. W. Cook and Dr N. Gay for discussion, advance
information about their work and permission to use figures from it. He also thanks Mr W.
McIntyre for assistance with his experimental work.


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PROFESSOR HOEK said that he had been privileged to hear Professor Jaeger lecture on many
occasions. Most of those who were concerned with the details of rock or soil engineering were
so close to the problem that they seldom had time to sit back and examine the question of
whether they were using the right concepts. It was always a valuable experience listening
to Professor Jaeger because he had an extraordinary ability to see the fundamental principles
involved in the problem, however complex, and to communicate these principles to others.
In presenting his Rankine Lecture, Professor Jaeger had examined many of the basic
principles of rock mechanics and the large amount of material contained in his Paper would
make it a valuable reference work for many years to come. Professor Hoek asked those
present to join him in showing their appreciation for a very good lecture.

The vote of thanks was carried by acclamation.

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