I

i BULLETIN
of the Internatlortal Association of
de I' Association Internatqonale de
ENGINEERING GEOLOGY J N°9, 33 - - 42 KREFELD 1974
GEOLOGIE DE L ' I N G E N I E U R I

WEATHERING CLASSIFICATION IN THE CHARACTERISATION OF ROCK FOR ENGINEERING
PURPOSES IN BRITISH PRACTICE
CLASSIFICATION DE L'ALTERATION DES ROCHES APPLIQUEE A LA PRATIQUE DE
L'INGENIEUR DANS LE ROYAUME UNI

DEARMAN W.R., Professor, The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain

Summary:

Weathering concepts in pedology are discussed and found inadequate for engineering geology. Weathering classifications, in
engineering geological terms, that have influenced the development of ideas on the characterisation of weathered rock in the
United Kingdom are reviewed. A preferred system, involving characterisation of both weathering stages and weathering
grades, is presented, and an example of its application in engineering geological research is given.

R~sum~:

Apr6s discussion les concepts d'alt6ration en pedologie ont ~tg trouves inad~quats en ce qui concerne la geologie de
I'ingenieur. Les classifications de I'alt~ration, en termes de geologie de I'ing~nieur, qui on influence le developpement d'id~es
sur la caract~risation des roches alt~r~es dans le Royaume Uni sont r~vis~es. On y pr~f~re un syst~me, impliquant les
caracteristiques des stades et des grades d'alt~ration, qui est pr~sent~; un example de son application h la recherche en
g~ologie de I'ing~nieur est donn&

Introduction
orders of magnitude once the rock has been brought by t h e
Considered as an e n g i n e e r z n g material, rock dis - natural processes of denudatlon into the environment of
plays extreme variation in three important engineerzng engineering structures. It is durlng the preparatory
propertzes, namely strength, permeability and d e f o r m - stage for denudation, the weatherlng'phase, that the
ability. Some p a r t of this variation is attributable to most sxgnificant mechanlcal and physlcal changes occur
the different modes o f o r i g i n of the three main genetic in both intact rock, the rock materlal, and i n dis -
groups of rocks, the igneous, the sedimentary and the continuous rock, the rock mass.
metamorphic. But for any g r o u p of rocks, or for an i n - Weathering is that process of alteration o£ r o c k
dividual rock type wzthin a group, the range of varzat-
occurrzng under the direct infIuence of the hydrosphere
ion o£ a p h y s i c a l property such as strength or porosity and the atmosphere at or near to the earth s surface.
(Fig.i) may s u b s e q u e n t l y be i n c r e a s e d by u p t o two
There is little o r no t r a n s p o r t of the loosened or aiter-
UNIAXIAL COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH MN/m 2 ed m a t e r i a l whzch remains in'situ as a weathering mantle.
A rook may w e a t h e r by p h y s i c a l breakdown without marked
-5 1.6 5 16 50 160 5 0 0
changes in the nature of the mineral constituents. This"
60- i - disintegration process leads to the formation o£ a r e -
sidual soil comprising mineral and rock fragments virtuai-

20- l-\i: ly unchanged
chemical alteratlon
from the original
may i n d u c e
rock,
thorough
On t h e othe~
flecomposition
hand,

o£ most or all o£ t h e original minerals in a rock,result-
"N. ing ultimately in the formation of a soil" composed
I I,, IV • \ entirely o f new m i n e r a l species. Biological weathering,
\

8 0 \ a combination o£ d i s i n t e g r a t i o n and d e c o m p o s i t i o n in -
duced by b i o ~ p h y s z c a l and b i o - c h e m i c a l agencies, is

o j \
",, III

oo
\
",,
generally
weathering,
of less
except
importance
perhaps in
than
the
physical
upper few
or chemical
terms of
millimetres o£ t h e earth's crust.
'6- II "\%
The end p r o d u c t o£ w e a t h e r i n g as well as the sequen-
-,~:> II ce of weathering changes vary with the type o£ r o c k (and
•2- l engineering soil} and w i t h the specific environmental

-03 -1 .3 1 3 10 30 conditions. A verticai columnar section from the ground
surface down t o r e l a t i v e l y unaltered rock reveals a
POINT LOAD STRENGTH MNIm 2 characteristic pattern in which layers of. d i f f e r e n t
• Dolerite,New England Quarry, S. Devon colours can be s e e n . In pedological terminology each
layer is a particular horzzon, and the sequence of, h o r i -
o Contact metamorphosed dolerite, zons is referred to as the soil profile. As an e x a m p l e ,
Meldon Quarry, S. Devon, England a podzol soil profzie will show s e v e r a l sharply contrast-
ing horizons, whereas in a krasnozem,profile the horizon
V Weathering grade boundaries are gradational and there is a passage down-
Fig.1 Relationship between strength and wards from the humic surface layers by s u b t l e but dis -

porosity in weathered dolerites tinct changes into chemically completely weathered, and

... o£ granitic rocks exposed in outcrops. . recommended for use.. . . .... . when left exposed in a slope.. recovered in drill cores would be closely defined and ing the unaltered rock.. . but generally the A and B horizons time as a major factor in weathering processes it is are humusbearing and include soils which are suitable clear that weathering may n o t be complete at the present for Blant growth (ANON 1 9 5 7 . . .. weathering may p e n e t r a t e many t e n s or ly into a soil profile of another type. In this case weathering was mainly chemical reason..l. structures and alternations of rock types. An exception to this generality is in the deslgn of cut slopes where.~ j ~ l ~ J_M... (J 4"5 . .. excavations and ous materials within the complete soil proflle.. ". . discrete ant distinction between these two c o n t r a s t i n g soil altered zones may be present b e l o w fresh rock at the profiles is that a podzol is usually thin.. ~ .. would be both consistent w h e n u s e d by d i f f e r e n t people ion material..2 Two standard soil profiles. reduction in strength compared with fresh rock. These are short is the weathered top of the parent rock. point out that. .. Details of the classification are set out in Tab.... D_qr_kg_rey. .. in the United Kingdom are broadly based on t h e classification develop- Pedology is the study of sorls which has as a prime e d by MOYE ( 1 9 5 5 ) for the Snowy Mountains Authority..ooZi brown flight .. physically term effects concerned with the durability of rocks which disintegrated and chemically decomposed but not convert. ~ ° : " Vl .. recognized by t h e softening and decomposit- in pedology and in engineering. This aspect is of considerable construction sites... !-2 . ... Because of complexities in weathered rock as a material. It is for this materials.. The t e r m w e a t h e r i n g emphasizes past changes result~ signated by l e t t e r symbols after DOKUCHAEV ( F I T Z P A T R I C K ing from the interplay of the six factors.. . all leading to a surface from the unaltered rook below. 34 finally by d e g r e e s into unweathered bedrock.. geologlcal horizon. . and the engineering characteristics importance in engineering and maybe referred to as of the C horizon.. 2). but not mandatory. typically normal base of a soil preflle (Flg..5-6. . structure and 1971) who u s e d the letters A. climate..~n~--=-. the B horizon engineering activities may r e s u l t zn changes in the rate is the accumulation or llluvial layer.. and as the physical environment on and in and serve to indicate the engineering properties of the which engineering works are undertaken. .. 2). Ks Red 2~"~_~ 350-. decay of biotite mica. There is need for a note of caution.. 25 ..r-. The h horizon time... . ..o. .Black::: -:: ::-: .. and a typical weathering profile Soil horizons forming the soil profile are de . ::A&B: 220mm~F~ : Lt::~ ~ :5~ow~= 5 0 m m ~ :-rri. may c o n t i n u e to weather when used as construction mater - ed to a soil suitable for plant growth... 2_25. . middle had lower positions respectively in the graphy and organisms....1 . and it emphasizes the changed chernozem profile. Logging of cores would be the geological situation resulting from geological done on t h e basis o£ recognition of the weathering types .. and the unweathered parent material "weatherability".. ... . That objective soil utilization in agrlaultural practice...~--. i~:~. . after FitzPatrick1971. ~ (FbAKw)! reddish .w:::: Hf:. defined as the susceptibility of rock below.. It is well to about one metre thick. 2m .... ... 1).... time.---~.. . apart from the different usage of the term "soil" weathering. B. the properties of a part or the whole of the soil profile will have to be taken Some o f the systems of we~therlng classification into account (DEERE & PATTON 1971). .m_ . ~ . Direct trans- lation of the pedological conGept of a soil proflle to It is evident that the various degrees oD w e a t h e r - the concept of a weathering profile for use in engineer.. _G_t ey. weathered rock even hundreds of metres below the superficial humzc may pass laterally into unweathered rock wlthin the same horizons (Fig. . V----"l Podzol soil profile Krasnozem soil profile Weathering profile Fig. . Weathering classifications depending on the depth of cut.... includ. _ A _ ~ w _ _ ... The scheme was developed so that during site investigation englneer is less concerned with this aspect than with the terms used to describe various degrees of weathering the utilization and engineering performance of the vari. Topsoil horizons ials. .. -Z-q.. . With recognition of been elaborated. ._Oar_k_r_ed_ lm .. Depth Profile Horizon Colour Depth Profile Horizon Colour Depth Profile Zones symbols iymbols . taken into account at the design stage. . profile" rather than "soil profile" should be used in frequent brown discoloration throughout the fabric of the engineering geology as a descriptive term for the rock due to limonite.. v j Mottled... .. 1yellow 7. ing established refer mainly to characteristics of the ing-geology is too simple. C to designate the type o£ parent material. 1971). .. and that a change in environment resulting from is the leached or eluviated top layer... and a tendency for the rock to sequence of distinct horizons extending upwards to the break into individual mineral grains. j .. while in gradatlonal krasno'zem. groundwater. .. I~ KsFb)... An i m p o r t .. just as a soil profile may change lateral- type profiles. . have to be determined by site investlgations and to additional short term weathering (Fb0KES e t al... that the term "weathered ion of the feldspars to clays. These pedological symbols have since nature of the engineering material...~I~|Hs Very dark Fb tred and ... topo- upper. . o r when e x p o s e d as A and B are usually stripped from englneering a foundation material.. " F i g .. the C horizon and character of the weathering process. with utilization as a construct..: ..

A thin pedologioal soil (A and t h e w e a t h e r e d and f r e s h z o n e s . G R A N I T I C SOIL : Surface soil derived from granitic rocks. w i t h p o s s i b l e s u b d i v i s i o n o£ o£ granite in Hong Kong. and some d e c o m p o s i t i o n of the f e l d s p a r s . The g r a d e s I . weakened to the extent that pieces the s i z e o f NX d r i l l core can he broken and crumbled in the hands: does not disintegrate when soaked in water and can often by recovered as c o r e s by c a r e f u l d i a m o n d d r i l l i n g but is o f t e n lost. eluviated. the transition down. The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of w e a t h e r e d g r a n i t e adopted for the Snowy M o u n t a i n s scheme (MOYE 1955). the original feldspars are completely decomposed to clay minerals which remain as grains o£ c l a y . only the C horizon was r o c k and t h e t r a n s i t i o n often is quite abrupt. 1957.m e t r e s .Vl a r e f r o m LITTLE 1967. irrespective of order from the surface dowhwards and MOYE a l s o p o i n t e d o u t t h a t w e a t h e r i n g . TUXTON & BERRY. lla Residual debris up to 60 Less than I0 Variable. p r e s u m a b l y i n f r e s h This classification was based on the examination gneiss. 'is a complete g~adation from unweathere~ massive rock Zone Field description Thickness in metres Percentage of solid rock Characteristics Pedologicai Soil up to 1 Dark coloured. T a b l e I. rock part%al decomposition of biotite with formation of iron-stained brown margins to joint blocks. it will disintegrate i n t o a m a s s o£ s a n d y c l a y when i m m e r s e d i n w a t e r and cannot often be recovered a s c o r e s by o r d i n a r y diamond drilling methods. There i s . iV Partially weathered Minor resldual debris along massive jointed 3 .25 U s u a l l y none S t r u c t u r e l e s s sand. 2 & 31 a r e i n t e r m s o f g r a n i t i c soil. m a i n l y quartz-kaolin. this is d e s c r i b e d as "fresh g r a n i t e w i t h l i m o n i t e stained joints". but p o s s e s s i n g s t r e n g t h such that p i e c e s the size o£ NX drill core cannot be b r o k e n by the u n a i d e d hands. SLIGHTLY WEATHERED GRANITE : G r a n i t e d i s t i n c t l y w e a t h e r e d t h r o u g h o u t the fabric of the rock' as s h o w n by s l i g h t l i m o n i t e staining. Weathering zone classification for granite. COMPLETELY WEATHERED GRANITE : Granite completely decomposed by weathering in places. In a typical vertlcal section there in d e t e r m i n i n g the d e t a l l ~ of the w e a t h e r i n g p r o f i l e .s i z e .30 more than 90 major structural planes. t h e d r i l l h o l e a t 88 m e t r e s t h e r e were b a n d s o f m o d e r a t - e l y to s l i g h t l y w e a t h e r e d r o c k . however. V. which does not possess any recognizable granitic fabric : the surface layer often contains humus and roots of plants. but still possessing a recognizable granitic fabric. and t h a t down to the b o t t o m o f t h e r e s i d u a l d e b r i s . p r o d u c e d by c h e m i c a l a l t e r a t i o n accom~anied"by resultant wards through a l l the w e a t h e r i n g g r a d e s i n t o f r e s h rock physical disintegration. and z o n i n g was b a s e d on c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f one b o r e h o l e t h e g n e i s s was h i g h l y to m o d e r a t e l y b o t h t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f s o l i d r o c k and t h e c h a r a c t e r o f w e a t h e r e d to 4 6 . ~'eathered In 1957. I I . a s i n Tab. i s more g r a d u a l t h a n i n g r a n i t e . 90 Core s t o n e s dominant. F o r m a t i o n of gruss. u p p e r l a y e r A&B sandy. in B horlzons) is underlain by 60 metres or more o£ C t h e s e e x a m p l e s a g e n e r a l g r a d a t i o n downwards to f r e s h horizon above the solid rock. . s e l d o m more than 5 per cent c l a y . r e c t - residual debris a n g u l a r and locked. but its s t r e n g t h a p p r o a c h e s that of fresh g r a n i t e .. and may be loose and r e q u i r e support. III Core stones with 7 . a l o n g P i p e r ' s C r e e k Tunnel and t h e g u t h e g a Dam ( i d e m . for e x a m p l e in tunnels and shafts. core-stones s u b o r d i n a t e rounded. I R e s i d u a l debris i .50 kaolin-quartz. of many natural and artificial exposures of weathered es t h e i m p o r t a n t i n f l u e n c e o£ l i t h o l o g y and s t r u c t u r e granite in the mass. Such a l t e r n a t i o n of weathering grades illustrat. o f t e n s t a i n e d b r o w n due to limonite. biotite m i c a may b e d e c o m p o s e d t o v a r y i n g degrees. 17 50 . Zones are roughly parallel to. HIGHLY WEATHERED GRANITE : Intensely weathered granite.an idealized or general weathering profile. Zones z o n e s w h e r e t h e r o c k i s c r u s h e d by f a u l t i n g o r i s more subsequently established. up to 30 per c~nt clay-size. Four zones. IIl. s e r i e i t e - lib i0 . I. P a r t i a l d e c o m p o s i t i o n of f e l d s p a r s and biotite. i s u s u a l l y more without any attempt at fittlng the results o£ the logging i n t e n s e and p e n e t r a t e s more d e e p l y b e l o w t h e s u r f a c e i n into . Table II. of c o u r s e . Zone lla may be h i g h l y k a o l - initic. o f t e n s t a i n e d r e d d i s h b r o w n w i t h limonite. RUXTON and BERRY d i s c u s s e d t h e weathering g r a n i t e and f r e s h g r a n i t e . IV. often stained brown by limonite. lower layer clayey. considered as the weathering profile. c l a y or clayey sand. I t i s recorded t h a t in t h e s u r f a c e . MODERATELY WEATHERED GRANITE : G r a n i t e c o n s i d e r a b l y w e a t h e r e d throughout. gruss. II. as r e c o r d e d on t h e s e c t i o n closely jointed than normaI. FRESH GRANITE : F r e s h g r a n i t e l y i n g i m m e d i a t e l y b e l o w v a r i o u s types o£ w e a t h e r e d g r a n i t e f r e q u e n t l y s h o w s l i m o n i t e stai~s a l o n g joints. such s t a i n i n g i n d i c a t e s the rock is permeable. f i g s . c o m p r i s e a m a t u r e w e a t h e r i n g p r o f i l e In weathered gneiss. free. 35 Vl. wlth two s u b z o n e s .

. o f r a c t u r i n g throughout the granite original granite has undergone successive and d i s t i n c t i v e which facilitated the penetration of groundwater. . .. . After Ruxton & Berry 195Z Symbols for weathering / INormally_present stages are explained in Table III. altered granite at Batang Padang. i. for t h e r o c k m a s s and t h e r o c k example.3 Zones of a mature profile of weathering on ' ~ X granite. . 3~ Zone Profile Weathering stages present Texture preserved Texture destroyed . . [Characteristic at the base to t h e residual d e b r i s at the top (Fig. k: iu { . the " c h e m i c a l and m e c h a n i c a l changes (Tab. however. Z Further disaggregation. offer the promise of a flexible. .. and exposure could be mapped in as much detail as may be these were adopted wlth additional subdivlsion of Grade thought necessary. structure related rock mass. Stages in the weathering of granite sample of weathered granite may De descrlbed in terms breakdown of biotite and f e l d s p a r . III).. .'. .. As a n o t h e r assigned g r a d e n u m b e r s ~ . NEWBERY (1970). . . but has been adapted for the material. and i l l u s t r a t e d the radially concentric profile Snowy M o u n t a i n s are absent. Differentiated argillization brown silt and clay illuviation and debris eluviation Table III. . . rock material. . . right. COMPLETELY WEATHERED : Rock is wholly decomposed and ification tallor-made for engineering application. approach to weathering and the need for a practlcal class- V. . in otherwise fresh rock. . 1970) is b r o a d l y based terms appropriate to the stages of weathering in granite on MOYE's c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . has illustrated this in his classlflcation of material is partly friable. the distribution of ro~k types I into Grades IA and IB. Grade IB takes account of representative of each weathering stage could be indicat- the influence of major dlScontinulties. weathering of different rock types and even different IV. such as faults. x w I z .. . This would satisfy both the scientific and mineralogy of the rock completely destroyed. . by using A weathering c/assificatinn proposed for use in 1 these descriptive terms. IV. .. and the radially concentric profile about ! a core stone. T .0:.: Weathering extends throughout occurrences of the same rock type. a point already made by MOYE Characterisation of chemical and mechanical effects and mentioned above. . This absence o£ c o r e stones of weathering about a core stone (Fig. . . HIGHLY WEATHERED. . . . This method of approach is very useful as. RESIDUAL SOIL : A soll material with the classificatien applicable to both rock material and the original texture. . . .. Thus a s m a l l agent largely responsible for chemical weathering. . . left. . LITTLE (1967) has already the core logs in terms of weathering zones. . ~:: '. The classification as applied to of weathering in this kind of detall would appear to rock cores is glven in Tab. . The CHEMI C A L EFFECTS MECHANICAL EFFECTS Symbol Change Result Symbol Change Result i Partial decomposition Formation of brown W Penetration of weathering Core stones of biotite m a r g i n to j o i n t a g e n t s i n w a r d s n o r m a l to blocks and core the o p e n s t r u c t u r a l s u r f a c e s stones B Partial decomposition Formation of g r u s s X Spheroidal scaling Gruss o f feldspars and biotite C Complete decomposition F o r m a t i o n of l i g h t Y Disintegration and. 1 . more general weathering VI. but has g o n e on t h r o u g h o u t the characterise a weathering profile in a granite mass.e. ed. . Malaysia. A in a friable condltlon but major difficulty is likely to be the varying response to the rock texture arid structure are preserved. and from this the distribution of weatherlng zones on the depths to which weathering can penetrate locally could be determined. 3).~:: ::& C I S A (d) I II .. . .. . . . .. i X I W y (z) I IV A1 borab Fig. . Residual debris of f e l d s p a r s a n d coloured kaolinitic dlsaggregation biotite debris D R e d d e n i n g and F o r m a t i o n of r e d d i s h . . .I). . . "~:":. ..:: "i-: b . . drlll core can be logged in logging rock cores "(KNILL e t a l .. . . where the The a u t h o r s also described changes in granite as rock spheroidal core stones typical o f Hong" Kong and the material. is still the of the same weathering stages that may be used to main weathering process. . . . 3) i n which t h e he a t t r i b u t e d to m i c r . while the same t e r m s c a n be u s e d to i n t e r p r e t general range of rock types. . .VI t o the different oategorzes example of the possible use of the descriptive terms an o 4 weatherlng in the MOYE c l a s s i f i c a t i o n (-Tab. . .

as determ- ined in the field. but corestones are still present done fgr example in T a b l e V. e q u i v a l e n t to Zones I . The properties of the soil depend grading systems "Grade I" is usually used for material i n p a r t on t h e n a t u r e o f t h e of the highest quality. V where there is a change from silt to clay. dis . zones. Since the terms "strong" and Plans in Terms of Engineerlng Geology. (The ratio of lain by a z o n e o£ r o c k and soil. and the native is to e&ll "fresh unaltered rock" Grade I on a original fabric of the rock near to the discontinuities weathering scale and to continue the numbering system may be altered. that alteration in rock due to formed cuts. although reference The w e a t h e r i n g elassxficatlons so f a r reviewed use is made to properties o£ b o t h the rock material and the the terms weathering and a l t e r a t i o n without clear definit- rock mass. p. as has been penetrates deeply inwards. horizon to horizon in the WEATHERED (MW) : continuities may be open and weathering profile. general evolution of xdeas on t h e formation of weather- DEARMAN et al 1972). "~ermanent" are subject to d i f f e r e n t interpretations. It must be a d m i t t e d that. and the significant zone boundaries were placed first at IA. p. The a l t e r - WEATHERED (HW) : inuties may be open and have discoloured surfaces.. it is considered preferable to parent rock. loss of strength by TERZAGHI . they have been applled to both hard ing profiles. and V. will almost II.HORSWILL 1970. rock type ~n determining the details of the weathering profile. and the degree of weathering c a n be c o n s i s t e n t l y judged". es are implied. general. SLIGHTLY WEATHERED : Penetrative weatherlng develop- ed on open discontinuity sur. relics are of gravel size. the boundardes between zones. ment. but it may be i n f e r r e d that both solution and particularly to the eharacterlsation o£ w e a t h e r i n g zones conversion of silicate minerals to clay mineral aggregat- in the rock mass. and soft rocks ~rocks and soils in the engineering sense) in a weathering profile and. FRESH (F) : Parent r o c k showing no dis - eolouration. penetrate inwards. pits. even though in the criterla for two of the grades set out above reference is made to the rock This particular case-hlstory illustrates the import- mass. and the need for a small number of wil] have discoloured surfaces with alteration starting to zones. in other words the terms are used as The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n as applied to hard rocks is set synonyms for chemical weathering. which may be open be possible and d e s i r a b l e to subdivide each zone° If and will have slightly discelour- ed surfaces. the classification is intended to apply ion. and so the different grades 0£ indistinct and frequently the engineering characteristics weathering are obvloasly related to variations in the of the two zones were similar. and that it may WEATHERED (SW) : continuitles. MODERATELY Rock is discoloured.FOOKES 1972) in which litho- IH.. and t h a t in be o c c a s i o n a l corestones. V.on of rock into englnedring soil (the fresh rock distinction between rock and s o i l has been clearly stated I.Vl in Tab. trenches. discont - ing horizons in order from the surface down. xs a Table V. There i s purposes a large change in volume. 37 Ill. complete ~eathering profiles. the top o f Zone I I where there is a change from rock to silt. and then between the equivalents o f Z o n e s IV and V Table IV. . COMPLETELY Rock is 'd~scoloured and changed WEATHERED (CW) to a soil but original fabric ial process leading to progressive changes in a parent is mainly preserved. III. IVb. FAINTLY WEATHERED : W e a t h e r i n g limited to t h e surface of major discontinuit. The s y s t e m of classification is intended to be because the boundary between Zone IV and V was very applied to rock cores. HIGHLY Rock is discoloured. ing P a r t y on t h e Logging o f Rock C o r e s for LOVEGROVE and FOOKES labelled their zones I. ance of. faces but only slight ed s e d i m e n t s have weathered to a deep fine-grained weathering o f r o c k material. Yl. significant changes in III. (MOYE 1 9 5 5 . RESIDUAL SOIL (RS): Rock is discoloured and complet- ely changed to a soli in which the original rock fabric ms A weathering classlflcatlon for engineering geological completely destroyed.. mineral grains that c a n be s e p a r a t e d by s u c h gentle means as agitation in water. SLIGHTLY Rock may be slightly dlscoloured. IS noticeable weaker.PECK ( 1 9 6 7 . t h e geological characterx=ties of ideal w e a t h e r e d r o c k s h o u l d be estimated where possible). rock is over- fresh rock. thus providing a useful counter to Other classifications of weathered material are the prevailing influence of studies on granite in t h e simmlar (FOOKES . FOOKES et ai 1971. Rock on t h e other hand.ected by s t r o n g and Working Party on the Preparation of Mpas and permanent cohesive forces. particularly adjacent to dis . Six zones were distinguished ies. which in turn nasses original rock to weathered rock should be estimated where up i n t o a soil horizon. MODERATELY WEATHERED : Weathermng extends throughout Local conditions and p a r t i c u l a r rock types have a the rock mass but the rock marked influence on t h e development of the weathering material is not friable. FRESH : No v i s i b l e sign of weathering. in possible). tunnels and c o r e d bore . rock material. engineering properties fro. Weathering classification adopted by the natural aggregate o£ m i n e r a l s conn.289). In F1j1 a variety of volcanic turfs and a s s o c z a t . There may material w h i c h may be c a l l e d fresh rock. profile and on t h e criteria used to select the weathering II. If. Engineering Purposes IVa. certainly be g r a d a t i o n a l and irregular. In setting up t h e out in Table V.4) "Soil is an a g g r e g a t e of or any other weathering effec'ts. the intact rock is it is accepted that the course o£ r o c k weathering results not noticeably weaker than the in the transforaati. The d e g r e e of weathering will generally classifications it was a s s u m e d . intact rook Three is the smallest passible n u m b e r o£ z o n e s . Weathering classification adopted by the Work- in Tab. alteration through the sequence of weathering grades. A classification should (the ratio of original rock to take account of. depart from the convention adopted in pedology o£ l e t t e r - IV. weathering "usually follows a regular pattern of develop- holes. than the in the ehernozem-type weathering profile. Recognising the fact that weathering is a sequent- V. residual soil {LOVEGROVE . as in the chemical be v i s i b l e only in natural exposures or in recently weathering of granite.. ( G e n e s i s s h o u l d be d e t e r m i n e d where possible).

. deoendent an scale. . . . . the freedom of blocks to rotate. . . . KNILL and J O N E S (Ig@5. . . . By this change of approach. .VI from the least to the most hlghly weathered rock-and-soil. With a soil skin sur .Discoloration . . one factor that 2) would become six dlstinct grades of rock condition has to be taken into account in assessing rippability is resulting from the alteration of fresh reck by weathering. weathering proflle.v __ -. (1@57) selected fLfty per cent core stones as the bound- of the weathering of both the rock material and the rook ary between their zones II and III (Tab.Soil . it is a characteristic feature for solid. . and sell is easy to justify. becomes complex. . . Can similar subdivision of the sail-and-rock be situation of this type the concept of a simple.t iiiiii!i!iiiHiii absent C I iiiii!!iiHiiilHi :::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::: 100 0 •05 "5 5 5 0 5 0 0 1 0 ~ 10-s 10."). Such a situation IS clearly of great import- Thus the rock and sell hOrlzons may each be divided ance in the assessment of f o u n d a t l o n conditions and in Into two highly characterlstic and easily recognizable the prediction of maximum depths of excavation". ..weather- ly into one soil type wlth texture inherited from the ing was largely controlled by the properties of the vari- parent rock (mineralogical changes may of course have ous rock types so that the d e p t h of the altered layer taken place) and anoiher highly contrasted sell type in may vary oanslderably from that place to place. the maximum volume of a of weathering zones. . . . p. present. . As relative volumes mined by geological factors. 2 & 4). and would have to be dfftermined by mapping 50 : 50 rock : soil ration provides a reasonable ap . . p_r _e~__n. . .4). ively unweathered rock to be u n d e r l a i n by extremely alter- ed material. . six - justified to give a six-fold classification scheme ? zoned weathering profile is no longer applicable. .. It can be accepted as provi~ing various significant stages in the weathering of rock material and rock in the mass can be recognised. 50:50" & K I!1 -. with Zone I at depth passing up into cubical core stone that will Oust rotate within its own Zone VI at the surface. 106) describ- ing the complex foundation conditions at the Roseires dam In the same way. Distribution of the fifty five per cent of the original volume of unaltered. fabric. . dlsregardlng rock type. .. II) and emphaslz- mass. . .. present . ~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii absent R II i!ii!i~ii!iiiiiil o i~i -. . but.. the six . rock the unstained rock dlscolorei rock may be loose and type and geological history. present L V absent --Core stones . to erect an ideal zone. as for dicate the-gencral engineerlng properties of each horizon. . . .. . or combination of stages.4 An idealized weathering profile and the general engineering properties of each horizon ..ideal horizons ing significance of "locked" core stones will be largely or zones of the pedological-type weathering profile (Fig.Original texture . a ~ingle soil zone falls natural- on the Blue Nile comment that "The pattern of . and to in - Six dlvisions of the w e a t h e r l n g profile. . The rock (Figs. . is replaced by the concept of six soil envelope and that of its nelghbours is approximately grades of weathered materlal(Flg. ed that with more than fifty per cent of solid rock core stones are dominantly rectangular and locked. Then it is possible. . seem to be justlfiable on both geo- This has been done in Figure 4 where it wlll be seen logical and engineering grounds and these may be label- that further subdivision of the three basic zones of rock. or by the logging of boreholes. Before mapping can be proximation to the boundary between the lock : unlocked undertaken. 38 the boundary oetween soil and rock is necessarily an a practical subdlvision o£ the rock-and-soil weathering arbitrary one. zone may be divided on the basis of the presence or absence of discoloration of discontinuity surfaces or Generally speaking these divislons will lie as z o n e s the rook fabric. . it is apparent that a factors alone. ... Staining implies a degree of openness one above another in a w e a t h e r i n g profile developed from of discontinuities leading to higher mass permeabillty a uniform rock mass composed of a single Pock type. . and not bY topographical are very difficult to estlmate. . Grade Boundary criteria Strength Permeability Deformability S VI ~- 0 absent I -. . . For this which there is no trace of the structure o£ fabric of reason. Englneer. In contrast to troduce a lack of uniformity in structure. . RUXTON and BERRY representing a dlfferent stage. In a zones. . One immediate result is that the stratigraphical sequenbe rounding a rock core stone. and the geological sltuation required support.. crlteria have to be established by which the core stone structure. led I ..Rock :Soil . V. . . It IS This depends on whether different rock : soil rations are then necessary to adopt a different approach involving likely to have significantly different engineering - recognition of distlnct grades of weathered rock each geologlcal and engineerlng properties..comparat- the original rock mass. .21 Low High Reck'Soil MNIm 2 K in mls units Fig. rock mass. . example in Tab. In- and the likely presence of groundwater. . as an example. . six weathering grades within a rock mass would be deter - discontinuity-bounded.

but material. Each of the theoretical stages should be recognls. a collectlon o£ such core of discoloration. continuity pattern and the seml-quantitative spacing of the different elements constltuting the pattern. mass are also shown. Figure 5 presents a diagrammatlc flow . by opening descrlbed and dellmited wlthln the weathered mass.313). the stages stage around a core stone. discontinuity bounded. dislntegration and decompositlon of a stones set in decomposed rock would comprise a dlstlnot- . on a 2 metre cube the ation of weathering stages of rook material involves skin will be 200 millimetres thlck. A dis- into account are particularly the detalls of the dls - tinctlon is made between weathering stageswhich leave the orlglnal texture of the rock materlal virtually un. have a thickness of 2 mlllimetres. In the same examples. changed. laboratory study (DEARMAN et al 1972 p. and hence each stage ion of scale. or slmllar quantitatlve terms applied after stone or lithorelic mass..5 Idealized diagram of the stages of weathering of rock material The c h a r a c t e r l s a t i e n 0£ w e a t h e r i n g stages single. ditlonal mass characteristics that would have to be taken and by varlous combinations of these processes. 3q TEXTURE PRESERVED J TEXTURE DESTROYED / SoJut'on ~ Rock material Residuum of with grain clay b boundaries minerals indicated m Residuum of -N Original minerals original [i] Voids minerals [] Decomposition of one mineral species Decomposition of a second mineral species I-1 Opening of grain boundaries EB Fracturing of grains • Residuum Fig. Quantitatively the simply the detailed'description o£ the rock or soil as a skin will have the same propertles in both instances. rock-and-soil and soil eoundaries can easily be Rock material. Each mapped decompositlon on a cube of 20 millimetre edge length will unit would need to be'described. Neither in Fig. Ad - up of grain boundarles and fracturlng of mineral grains.nay involve semiqu~ntitative in the former the resultant material will have the proper- terms for physlcal and mechanical properties adopted for ties of a soil. 5 nor in Fig. and those stages in which a new soil materlal is The characterisatlon of weathering grades formed by destruction of the orlginal texture. A skin of 50 per cent disintegratlon or represents a mappable rock or soil type. The rock. traced over the diagram. Hence the characterls. Figure 6 shows the stages in the ~veatherlng disln£egrated skin will comprzse a dlst~nctive weatherlng of a rock mass by disintegratlon an/ solution. 6 is there any indicat- able in natural situations. Descrlption . the 50 per cent decomposed or Rock mass. whereas the latter would be a locked core field use. chart of the changes in rock material brought about by Each weathering stage of the rock materlal can be solution and decomposltion of mineral grains.

VI. discontinuities and the rock mass should be a p p r e c i a t e d before generalls. 60 soil is a residuum of minerals Very closely unaltered from the original rock spaced 20 . 40 STRUCTURE PRESERVED STRUCTURE DESTROYED -.6 .06 . 200 Cobbles grain fracture.. Disintegration Spheroidal scaling and granular disintegration Decomposition Fig. etc. The s t r u c t u r e of the rock is preserved discontinuities which may be. What c a n be mapped d e p e n d s on t h e di - mensions of the various distinctive weathering stages Term Grade Diagnostic features and the scale o£ t h e map. The s t r u c t u r e of the rock is (mainly) preserved Widely spaced 600 . The 100 p e r c e n t o f the r o c k i s d i s - spacing of discontinuities can be descrlbed as follows : integratedby open discontinuities. or spheroidal scaling spaced at Spacing Grain Equivalent 60 mm o r l e s s .2 I£ the dxscontinuities are open. The s t r u c t u r e of the rock is destroyed and t h e Closely spaced 60 . a n d / o r by g r a n u l a r in ~ Slze soil names disintegration.Solution Dev~opment of discontinuities and granular disintegration Rock mass iI 1 ~I I I I ~ | l I I I New rock or with joints.6 Idealized diagram of the stages of weathering of a rock mass lye rock-and-soil ~eathering grade w h i c h could comprise Physical dlsintegrations a mappable zone. etc. soil moss bedding. discontinulties It seems appropriate to use those descriptive terms open and spaced at more than 60 mm Moderately and g r a d e symbols for the weathered state of a rock mass disintegrated MIII Up t o 50 p e r c e n t o f t h e r o c k is set out in Tab. ! I Discoloration 10% 507. spheroidal scaling and granular disintegration. Slightly disintegrated M II i00 per cent rock. with new t I % structures.2 . The s t r u c t u r e oT Term in mm the rock is preserved Completely disintegrated M V The r o c k i s c h a n g e d t o a s o i l by Very widely spaced greater than granular disintegration and/or 2000 grain fracture. a n d / o r by g r a n u l a r weatherlng (Fig.200 greater Boulders t h a n 200 Residual soil M VI The r o c k i s c h a n g e d t o a s o i l by Moderately widely granular disintegration and/or spaced 200 . Term symbol Diagnostic features .2 .2 0 0 20 . 6) disintegration involves opening of disintegration. a~¢Qmpanied by the formation of new discontinult. orthogonal sets o£ t h r e e Grade will give rise to corresponding "soil" types. ! I % % textures. For chemical weathering the dia . . But all the weathering stages undergone by b o t h the rock material Fresh WI iO0 per cent rock. closed atlon into broader weathering grades is undertaken. o r by s p h e r o i d a l scaling spaced at gnostic features are easy to define. as shown. 600 60 . what should be mapped d e p e n d s symbol on t h e purpose of the investigation. dzsintegrated by o p e n d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s . Highly dlsintegrated M IV More t h a n 50 p e r c e n t a n d l e s s t h a n ies. 907.6 quantitatfve terms . 60 6 .20 Gravel Extremely closely Discontinuity spacing should be recorded in semi - spaced less than 20 2 . In mechanlcal 60 mm o r l e s s .6 Sand Chemical decomposition . a progressive process. 997.

chemical decomposition and specimen has influenced the tenslle failure plane.. .. the recorded to xnterbedded soluble and insoluble rocks. physical disintegration and ion of a limestone produces a large residuum. h small residuum may be present in the velds just be abraided by the hand.. Weathering classification for engineering purposes faces (Fig. thermally metamorphosed lime- Residual stones. For carbonate rocks the section on diagnostic features in Tab..to 50 per cent o£ the rock has been removed by solution. VI needs clarification and expansion. described the weathering per cent of the mass condltions in a number of quarry faces in the south-west Completely of England. is crossed by a zone of wrench-faultlng. 6). mudstones and turfs. core stones ate not developed.. 6). But whereas solution of rock material and their distribution in the rock mass. boulders. and solution stages of weathering rock material and the rock mass. no d l s c o l o u r a t i o n . one of the under "chemical decomposition" will apply.YI a rook quallty classification or assessment.. Very slight solution etching of discontinuity has been decomposed to a soil leaving a strong continuous. 7 are only found where a discontinuity in the test integration.. Highly decomposed C IV Soil resulting from decomposition of the rock forms between 50 and I00 In 1 9 7 1 F O O K E S et al.. surfaces may b e p r e s e n t . SV and SVI cannot occur. The voids may result from the removal of in - Conclusions dividual oineral grains or groups of grains throughout the rock material (Fig.. cobbles. though pocketed framework (Fig. ~urfaces dlscoloured. Highly and in the decomposltion-rim chert has been altered to a dl~solved S IV More than 50 per cent of the rock hard to very hard light orange-brown soil which can only has been removed by solution. chemical decomposition. This amounts to or a siderite rich rock. or other change The diagnostic features are a p p h c a b l e to other Slightly decomposed C II i00 per cent rock. under "solution" may be applied both to the solution of physical disintegration.. (mainly) preserved a series of gently dipping. but apart from this chemical decomposition can be distinguished from physical dls - Core stones and lithorelics should be referred to as integration. an intermediate stage may be present in which dissolved S II I00 per cent rock... limestones and the unaltered inner parts of the cherts. strengths lower than those recorded on assessment of the effects ef physical dis . The geological situation is simple. discontinuity only the mQre susceptible wollastonite in the hornfels surfaces open. exposed in a strike soil C VI The r o c k i s c o m p l e t e l y changed to a soil in which the original rock section. the rock materlal may be dlscOloured Moderately decomposed C III Soil resulting from decomposition of An example of th~ application of the weathering clas- the rock forms up t o 50 p e r c e n t of the mass.... Diagnostic features listed in Tab. or their slze stated Distribution of zones of chemical decomposition are Solution strongly influenced by both ~ithology and topography. solution. 5). when the limestone contains no or very little in- soluble materi~l. One of these is illustrated in a modified decomposed C V The rock is changed to a soil in ~hlch the original rock texture is version in Fig.7) refers to that of core stones in the size should be recorded. sification . solution of rock material requires quality classification. But the limestones (coarse- Term Grade Diagnostic features symbol grained calc silicate hornfelses) have been diseoloured and decomposed inwards from discontinuities and bedding planes so that corestones are present and u p to ninety Fresh W I IOO per cent rock. or gravel.. Thus three stages Moderately of weathering Qan be reeognised in the highly decomposed dissolved SIII Up .. discontinuity types of soluble rocks. YI can be based on r e c o g n i t i o n o£ the chemical decomposition... discontinuities closed per cent of the rock has been converted to a weak soil Slightly (Fig.. 7). For instance. The grades can be applied Within the limestone and chert mass.. decomposition. cherts. tale sllicate hornfels) penetration by discolouration The structure of the rock is preserved and decomposition is less. Dlstrlhution of chemical decomposition is related in part to the quarry top coinciding wlth the IOO0 ft Tertiary erosion platform. texture has been completely Weathering effects are confused with the mechanical destroyed effects of wrench-faulting. 5). When solut. of the rock mass may be determined by field observatlon rogether with strength. laboratory determination of porosity. On the other practical aims of this kind of analysis.. hand. or complete solution of rock material may take place inwards from discontinuity sur. solution weathering produces voids only.Fresh W I lOO p e r c e n t r o c k . as for strength can be used to assess likely excavation condit- example in the weathering of an argillaceous limestone ions in the exposed rock face (Fig. In underlying cherts (fine-grained residuum may be present in the voids. they provide a means o£ rock and measurement. the turfs and mudstones are only stained along discontinuity surfaces. A small (C IV) rock mass. the criteria set out in Tab. 7. Strengths were determined by the point load test on ir- Table VIo Weathering classification base4 on separate regular lumps... Void strength (Fig. Determinatlon of the distribution of grades of Two different conditions occur naturally.. Fig.

{1967) : Soil Mechanics in KNILL J. 43-68. J 1 . . G e o l . 7 Weathering stages and engineering geological appraisal of a quarry face (based on Fookes et ai.7 1 . . J 1 E n g n g Geol. plans in terms of engzneering geology. { 1 9 6 7 ) : L a t e r i t e s . W. 3. 151-71. C o n f . D. {1965) : The r e c o r d i n g and engineering practice ( 2 n d E d ) . . r e s i d u a l soils. .1 2 4 . LITTLE A. 42 CHEMICAL DECOMPOSITION PHYSICAL DISINTEGRATION ~ ~. . 3. Soil 5. figs 9 & 181. J 1 E n g n g G e o l . Edinburg (Ollver & Mountains scheme. and L a t i y a n dams. ~ MIV ~ Mill ~ M{I Moderately widely MIICIose STRENGTH LIKELY EXCAVATION CONDITIONS Very strong ['--'-]Extremely strong ~ Scrope D R i p Blast to fracture ~_. interpretation of geological conditions in the found- ations of the Roselres. ( 1 9 5 7 ) : W e a t h e r i n g o f g r a n i t e Some e n g i n e e r i n g aspects of reck weathering with and associated erosional features i n Hang K o n g . . Mech. civ. . L o n d o n {The C o u n c i l for engineering purposes.Q. Australia. 2 9 3 . . - Geotechnique. . . . G. References ANON {1957) : Site I n v e s t i g a t i o n . FOOKES P . Sac. London { I n s t . Foundn. G . I n P r o c . ~ 1 ~ . 27.JONES K. Fault ~ Limestone & Chert~-"~-'~ Mudstone Tuff Fig. 3 r d H a i f a . Soil DEARMAN W..1971. electric scheme. Malaysia.P A T T O N F.FOOKES P. Boyd).5 7 . ( 1 9 7 0 ) : D 1 s c u s s l o n on e n g i n e e r . . MOYE D.Q. A.3 8 1 . 281-99. . R. 1972.PECK R. E n g n g G e o l . P. Asian Conf. L. (1955) : Engineering geology f o r the Snowy F I T Z P A T R I C E. 5 3 . New Y o r k ( W i l e y ) . Codes of Practice.Proe. Bull.1 8 5 . 2. R. Geol. . . S. J 1 E n g n g Geol. 1 3 9 . LOVEGROVE G.Q. A. . . Q.Proc..I r---lc. B. - field e x a m p l e s from Dartmoor and e l s e w h e r e .Q. Strength values based on Dearman et al. U.B r i t i s h S t a n d a r d Code KNILL J : L.~Blost to loosen GEOLOGY .Journal Institute of Engineers. G.1-24. (1971) : Pedology. Puerto Rico. e t a l ( 1 9 7 0 ) : The l o g g i n g o f r o c k c o r e s f o r of P r a c t l c e C P 2001 I19~7). 6 1 . 68. 15. 1263-92. 9 4 .Dearman W. British Standards Institution). I. FOOKES P° G. Engrs). m FRANKLIN J . America. 87-170. . 5. . 11971) : TUXTON B. I n s x t u i o n and c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Batang Padang hydro - Investigations i n S o x l s and R o c k s . ~ i ] c iv 17~TIc. ( i 9 7 2 ) : The p l a n n i n g a n d implementation of a site investigation for a highway DEERE D. K a r i b a .BERRY L. . ( 1 9 7 1 ) : S l o p e s t a b i l i t y in in tropical conditions in Fijl. e t a l ( 1 9 7 2 ) : The p r e p a r a t i o n aT maps a n d Mecho F o u n d n E n g n g . .HoRSWILL P. d l E n g n g . TERZAGHI K. Engng. NEWBERY J . 4 t h Pan A m e r i c a n Conf. L. { 1 9 7 0 ) : E n g i n e e r i n g geology in the Investigat- i n g g r a d e z o n e s p. 4 .