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Estimation of rock mass strength and deformation modulus of jointed hard rock masses using the GSI system

Cai, M., Kaiser, P.K., Uno, H., Tasaka, Y. and Minami, M.
Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 41(1): 3-19, 2004

Abstract Rock mass characterization is required for many applications in rock engineering practice including excavation design, support design, stope design, amongst others. For these purposes, it is necessary to obtain design input parameters such as deformation moduli and strength parameters for numerical modeling. Although such parameters can ultimately be determined from in-situ tests, at the preliminary design stage, where access to underground is limited, the practical way to obtain these parameters is to apply a rock mass classification system to characterize the rock mass and estimate the rock mass properties. Over the years, many classification systems, such as RQD, RMR, Q and GSI systems, have been developed. Amongst them, the Q system is widely used for rock support system design and the GSI system is used for estimating design parameters. The GSI system is the only rock mass classification system that is directly linked to engineering parameters such as Mohr-Coulomb, Hoek-Brown strength parameters or rock mass modulus. However, the application of the existing GSI system is hindered by the facts that the use of the system is to some extent subjective and requires long-term experience. In the present study, a quantitative approach to assist in the use of the GSI system is presented. It employs the block volume and a joint condition factor as quantitative characterization factors. The approach is built on the linkage between descriptive geological terms and measurable field parameters such as joint spacing and joint roughness. The newly developed approach adds quantitative means to facilitate use of the system, especially by inexperienced engineers. The GSI system is applied to characterize the jointed rock masses at two underground powerhouse cavern sites in Japan. GSI values are obtained from block volume and joint condition factor, which in turn are determined from site construction documents and field mapping data. Based on GSI values and intact rock strength properties, equivalent Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters and elastic modulus of the jointed rock mass are calculated and compared to in-situ test results. The point estimate method is implemented to approximate the mean and variance of the mechanical properties of the jointed rock masses. It is seen that both the means and variances of strength and deformation parameters predicted from the GSI system are in good agreement with field test data. The following selected documents cited the above record: Year Authors Document name and source 2006 D. Stead, E. Eberhardt and Developments in the characterization of complex rock slope J.S. Coggan deformation and failure using numerical modelling techniques. Engineering Geology, Volume 83, Issues 1-3, 28 February 2006, Pages 217-235

C. Minami Morioka. Issue 5. Marinos. Tasaka. Gokceoğlu. Wiles Denis E. and Aoki.. and Ulusay. Maejima. P.Year 2006 2006 2005 Authors J.. Justo. H. 2005 2005 2004 2004 2004 Document name and source The foundation of a 40-storey tower in jointed basalt. Cai. E. (editors). Pages 55 . July 2004. Issues 1-2. H. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. Issue 2.) from 2004 . 1: 599-604. Sönmez. and Tasaka. Number 1.. P. Marinos and E. Indirect determination of the modulus of deformation of rock masses based on the GSI system. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. Volume 43.L. Among TOP25 articles of the journal (Int.present. Volume 64. T. Ohnishi. Gill. Tasaka.M. Maejima. 67(6): 81-96. Maejima.. Volume 43. V. Pages 267-281 Reliability of numerical modelling predictions. J. M. T.. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. Kyoto. Cai. Sci. Durand and J. H. Minami... Japan. Engineering Geology. Y. Volume 41. Morioka and M. Hoek M. M. Pages 53-67 Evaluation of deformation response of large-scale caverns using the AE monitoring technique. T. M. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences. April 2006. Cai. The geological strength index: applications and limitations. Journal of JSCE. April 2005. Azañón T.. P. Pages 454-472 A statistical approach for determining practical rock strength and deformability values from laboratory tests. Kaiser. 41. Min. Volume 78. In: 3rd ARMS (Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium). Pages 833-847 Estimation of damage propagation process by AE measurement around underground rock cavern. Justo.D. February 2006. K.65 Generalized crack initiation and crack damage stress thresholds of brittle rock masses near underground excavations. Y. K. R. 5 April 2005. . H. Minami. Issue 3. Y. Y.. Rock Mech. K. and Aoki. M. Robert Corthésy and Maria Helena Leite Morioka. 849-857.