You are on page 1of 4

11th Congress of the International Society for Rock Mechanics – Ribeiro e Sousa, Olalla & Grossmann (eds

)
© 2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-45084-3
Bearing capacity of jointed rock foundations under gravity concrete dams
A. Fahimifar & M. Imani
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, AmirKabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
ABSTRACT: In this research, bearing capacity of rock foundations of Roodbar Lorestan damwas investigated using analytical
and numerical methods. The finite element program “ABAQUS” was used for numerical analysis. A three dimensional finite
element model was constructed for analysis which includes rock foundation, dam abutments and dam body. The model was
analyzed for two cases. In the first case, analysis performed using the geotechnical parameters of rock mass and with the
assumption of an elastoplastic behavior for the rock mass. In the second case, two sets of planes of weakness were modeled
in rock mass foundation and abutments. Analysis performed using the geotechnical parameters of intact rock. This analysis
reveals that there is not a great difference among the results obtained using the two cases. Therefore, stresses were determined
for the first case and according to that, compression and tension safety factors and allowable bearing capacity of the rock mass
foundation and abutments were obtained.
1 INTRODUCTION
Intact rocks are strong in comparison to soils. However, rock
masses are often defective because of discontinuities and
structural features existing in the masses. Therefore, large
loads such as the load of a concrete dam can impose large
deformations and high stresses approaching to the bearing
capacity of rock masses. For this reason, evaluation of bearing
capacity of rock foundations is of paramount importance. In
this research, allowable bearing capacity of rock foundations
and abutments of Roodbar Lorestan dam was investigated
using analytical and numerical methods and finally, the results
obtained from these methods compared to each other.
2 DETERMINATION OF GEOTECHNICAL
PARAMETERS
Roodbar Lorestan dam will be constructed in Zagros moun-
tain chain in the west of Iran. The dam body type is roller
compacted concrete (RCC) and its height is 158 m. Accord-
ing to the cores obtained from different boreholes in the dam
site, the rock mass of the site consists of Dolomite and Lime-
stone. Also major and minor joint sets and bedding planes
exist in the rock mass. These discontinuities were divided into
two sets according to their dip, dip direction and infillings as
shown in Table 1.
The rock quality designation (RQD) was determined for
right abutment and foundation equal to 64 and for left
abutment equal to 70.
Geotechnical parameters of intact rock, rock mass and joint
sets are shown in Tables 2, 3 and 4.
3 EVALUATION OF BEARING CAPACITY USING
ANALYTICAL METHODS
On the basis of parameters presented in section 2, and using
different analytical and experimental methods, bearing capac-
ity of rock foundation and abutments obtained as shown in
Tables 5 and 6.
Table 1. Dip and Dip direction of discontinuities.
Dip Dip direction
Joint set degree degree
J
1
80 265
J
2
88 217
Table 2. Geotechnical parameters of intact rocks.
γ σ
c
E
(kg/m
3
) (MPa) (GPa) ν
Right abutment 2710 60 12 0.24
Left abutment 2710 64 13 0.23
Foundation 2710 55 11 0.25
Table 3. Geotechnical parameters for rock masses.
φ c E
m
(degree) (MPa) (GPa)
Right abutment 27–31 2.6–3.2 8
Left abutment 25–31 2.5–3.4 9
Foundation 25–31 2.2–2.9 7
Table 4. Geotechnical parameters for joint sets.
φ c
(degree) (degree) (MPa)
Both abutments and foundation 32 8 0.23
4 FINITE ELEMENT MODEL FOR DAMAND ROCK
FOUNDATION
The finite element program “ABAQUS” was used for numer-
ical analysis of rock foundation and abutments of the dam.
In this program, joint sets are modeled as planes of weakness
559
Table 5. Ultimate bearing capacity obtained by different methods.
Right Left
abutment abutment Foundation
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa)
CGS (1985)

86 92 81
Bowels, J. E. (1996) 73 85 62
Ramamurthy, T. (1995) 101 108 93
Serrano & Olalla (1998) 104 102 88
Yang &Yin (2005) 96 95 82

Canadian Geotechnical Society.
Table 6. Allowable bearing capacity obtained by different
methods.
Right Left
abutment abutment Foundation
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa)
Rochester, NewYork 4.8 4.8 4.8
(Wylie, D. C. 1992)
Serrano & Olalla (1996) 3.4 3.4 3.2
Figure 1. Finite element of Roodbar Lorestan dam and rock mass.
that their spacing is sufficiently close compared to charac-
teristic dimensions in the domain of the model such that the
planes can be smeared into a continuum of slip systems. The
3D model contains 73 elements of dam body and 2971 ele-
ments of rock mass in which elements are 10-node quadratic
tetrahedron, 15- node quadratic triangular prism and 20-node
quadratic brick. The distance of the boundaries from the dam
body is approximately 300 meters in all directions. (Fig. 1)
Initial stresses were applied to the model by considering
gravity loads related to the rock elements. Lateral stresses
were also applied proportional to the poisson ratio.
Water load was applied to the upstream face of dam body.
Also, dam body was analyzed for two different cases. In the
first case, the body was modeled in one step and in the second
case, for evaluation of the effects of dam construction steps,
the body was modeled in four steps.
5 NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF ROCK FOUNDATION
ANDABUTMENTS
5.1 Effect of dam construction steps
As mentioned, in order to evaluate the effects of damconstruc-
tion steps on stresses induced in the rock mass, dam body was
Figure 2. Contours of principal stresses without modeling joint sets.
Figure 3. Contours of principal stresses with modeling of joint sets.
modeled for two cases. In the first case, the body was analyzed
in one step and in the second case, the body was analyzed in
four steps with heights of 50, 50, 38 and 20 meters respec-
tively. Regardless of the weight of rock mass, analysis was
performed using Mohr Coulomb failure criterion. Compar-
ison of the results showed that compressive stresses in the
abutments have reduced significantly for the case of multi-
steps construction and most of stresses are applied to the rock
foundation, as is expected in gravity dams.
5.2 Effects of joint sets
In order to investigate the effects of the joint sets on the rock
mass behavior, analysis was performed for two cases. In the
first case, without considering the joint sets, rock mass param-
eters obtained using modified Hoek Brown failure criterion
(2002) and analysis was carried out using Mohr Coulomb fail-
ure criterion. In the second case, two joint sets, as mentioned
in section 2, were modeled and the intact rock parameters were
used in the analysis. In both cases, the weight of rock and the
steps of construction of dambody were considered. In Figures
below, compressive stresses have negative values and tensile
stresses have positive values (in MPa).
Comparing Figures 2 and 3 shows that in the second case
tensile stresses in abutments would increase a little bit.
Comparing Figures 4 and 5 shows that in the second case
compressive stresses would increase a little bit.
According to the results obtained, modeling of joint sets in
this investigation does not have significant effect on stresses.
6 CALCULATION OF SAFETY FACTORS AND
ALLOWABLE BEARING CAPACITY
Safety factors are defined for two cases, compression and
tension for rock mass elements. Hoek-Brown failure criterion
560
Figure 4. Contours of principal stresses without modeling joint sets.
Figure 5. Contours of principal stresses with modeling joint sets.
(2002) was used for determining safety factors. The Hoek-
Brown criterion (2002) is expressed as:
The left side of equation 1 is known as destructive term and
the right side is known as resistance term. Safety factor is
calculated:
The procedure for determining safety factors is shown as in
Figure 6.
Compression and tension safety factors were determined in
rock foundation and abutments as shown in Figures 7 and 8.
In these Figures, critical slices which have safety factor below
one are hatched. Also sections with no values of safety factor
are safe.
For determining allowable bearing capacity of rock founda-
tionandabutments, it is necessarytocompute the compression
safety factor for each them. Consequently, the volumetric
safety factor in each sector was computed using equation 3.
Where F.S
C,sector
=volumetric compression safety factor for
each sector; F.S
C,e
=compression safety factor for each ele-
ment; V
e
=volume of each element; and V
e
=sum of the
element volumes in each sector.
Compression safety factor for each sector is shown in
Figure 9.
Figure 6. Procedure for determining safety factors.
6.5-8.5 3.2-4.5 0.7-2.2
3.8-5.1 3-4.3 0.6-2
0.1-2
0.4-1.4
0.3-1.1
0.3-1
2.3-3.2 2.8-4
2-2.8 1.4-2.1
2-2.7 1.4-2.1
1.9-2.5 1.6-2.2
1.6-2.2 1.8-2.4 1.4-2 1.2-2.1
1-1.3
1-1.3
1.5-3.9
2.2-5.9
1.4-2.8
2.6-5.6 8.7-14.3
3.8-6.9
2.4-5.2
3-5.5
2-3.6
2.2-3.6
2-3.2
8.9-13.8
3.5-5.9
3.6-5.9
2.6-4.4
2.3-3.8
2.3-3.7
2.3-3.6
2-3
2
.
1
-
3
.
2
1.9-2.8 1.6-2.4
2
.
2
-
3
.
2
2
.
2
-
3
.
2
1
.
9
-
2
.
9
1
.
9
-
2
.
9
2
.
1
-
3
.
2
2
.
3
-
3
.
6
1.8-2.7 1.9-2.8
2
.
3
-
3
.
6
2.6-3.9 2.3-3.5
2.2-3.4 2-3.1
2
-
3
.
1
1.9-3 1.8-2.7
3
.
3
-
5
.
7
2
.
4
-
4
.
2
1
.
9
-
3
2.1-3.2
Figure 7. Compression safety factors in different elements.
1.3-3
1.3-3
1.3-3
1-2.3
1.3-3
1.3-3
0.1-0.5
0.2-0.6
0.2-0.8
0.2-0.8
0.5-1.6
Figure 8. Tension safety factors in different elements.
Using the following equation, compression safety factor for
foundation and each of the abutments was determined as in
Table 7.
561
2
.
6
-
4
.
3
2
.
4
-
4
.
4
1
.
6
-
3
.
6
2
.
7
-
3
.
6
2
-
2
.
9
0
.
5
-
1
.
5
2.9-5 2-3.1
1.9-2.9
2.1-3.2
2-3.1
Figure 9. Compression safety factors in different sectors.
Table 7. Compression safety factor for the rock mass
in dam site.
Minimum Maximum
Right abutment 2.1 3
Left abutment 2.3 4.1
Foundation 2 3.1
Table 8. Allowable bearing capacity for rock mass obtained by
numerical method.
Allowable
σ

cm
Compression bearing capacity
(MPa) safety factor (MPa)
Right abutment 8.5–11.2 2.1–3 3.7–4
Left abutment 7.9–11.9 2.3–4.1 2.9–3.5
Foundation 6.8–10.2 2–3.1 3.3–3.4
Where F.S
C
=volumetric compression safety factor for foun-
dation and each abutment; V
sector
=volume of each sector;
and V
sector
=sumof sector volumes in foundation or in each
abutment.
For determining allowable bearing capacity, rock mass
strength was computed using equation 5 [Hoek-Brown
(2002)]. Then, this value was divided by the compression
safety factor. The results are shown in Table 8.
7 SUMMARYAND CONCLUSIONS
1. According to the stresses obtained in the cases of jointed
rock mass and rock mass without joints, it is obvious that
modeling of the joints do not have significant effects on
induced stresses and consequently on safety factors. Also,
modeling of the joints causes an abundant time to run the
program, and decrease in the convergence rate of analysis.
So using the geotechnical parameters of rock mass and
eliminating the joint sets will reduce these difficulties.
2. Compression safety factor for right abutment is lower than
one in the depth of 50 meters, and also, tension safety factor
for left abutment is lower than one in the depth of 80 meters.
Therefore, these parts must be reinforced.
3. Among the analytical methods, bearing capacity values
obtained by Serrano and Olalla method had the best
coincidence with the values obtained using numerical
method.
REFERENCES
Bowels, J. E. 1996. Foundation analysis and design. New York:
McGraw-Hill Inc
Hoek, E., Carranza, C. & Corkum, B. 2002. Hoek Brown failure
criterion- 2002 edition. Toronto: NARMS.
Ramamurthy, T. 1995. Bearing capacity of rock foundations. Conf
rock foundation, R. Yoshinaka & K. Kikuchi eds, Rotterdam:
Balkema.
Serrano, A. & Olalla, C. 1996. Allowable bearing capacity of rock
foundations using a non-linear failure criterium. International
journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences 33 (4): 327–345
Serrano, A. & Olalla, C. 1998. Ultimate bearing capacity of an
anisotropic discontinuous rock mass, Part I: Basic modes of fail-
ure. International journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences
35 (3): 301–324
Serrano, A. & Olalla, C. 1998. Ultimate bearing capacity of an
anisotropic discontinuous rock mass, Part II: Determination proce-
dure. International journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences
35 (3): 325–348
Wylie, D. C. 1992. Foundations on rock. London & NewYork: E &
FN SPON
Yang, X. L. & Yin, J. H. 2005. Upper bound solution for ultimate
bearing capacity with a modified Hoek-Brown failure criterion.
International journal of rock mechanics and mining sciences 42:
550–560
562