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ROCK MECHANICS

INSITU STRESS

I Gde Budi Indrawan, Ph.D.


Email: igbindrawan.ugm@gmail.com

XI. IN SITU STRESS – Origin & Types

• Source of stress in a rock mass


1.External forces
− Tectonics
− Engineering projects
2.Rock mass’s own weight

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Origin & Types

• The state of stress of rock masses


1.Tectonic stress
− The main source of stresses present in rocks.

Christopher Rawluk (http://www.geologyforinvestors.com/)

Jose F. Vigil (USGS) from This Dynamic Planet

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Origin & Types

2. Thermal stress
− Expansion or contraction that a
homogenous rock undergoes when
slowly heated or cooled.
− Strain () - temperature variation
(t) relationship:  =  t
where  = thermal expansion Bruce Molnia (Terra Photographics)

coefficient.
− If the rock cannot freely expand or
contract, stress will be generated
and results in fractures.
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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Origin & Types

3. Lithostatic stress
− Produced by overlying and
confining materials.
a) Vertical stress (V) = gz
where  = rock density; g = force
of gravity (9.8 m/s2); z = depth or
thickness.
Average: V = 0.027 MPa/m

Brown and Hoek (1978)

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Origin & Types

b) Horizontal stress (H)


‒ Radial expansion of elastic materials can be expressed using
Poisson’s ratio  = r/ l
where r = radial strain; l = longitudinal strain.
‒ If rock is not free to expand transversally (r = 0), radial or
transversal stress is generated:
r = H = (/1 - ) V
Taking  = 0.25 (i.e., usually between 0.15 and 0.35):
H = 0.33 V
H / V = K ≈ 1/3 where K = ratio between H and V
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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Influence of Morphological &
Geological Factors
• V = 0.027 MPa/m is valid for flat or featureless areas. In
mountain areas, one of the principal stresses is normal to the
slope and is zero, while the other two principal stresses are
contained in the plane of the slope.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Influence of Morphological &


Geological Factors
• Elastic materials: K = 1/3
and at great depths: K = 1
(hydrostatic condition)
occurs.
• At < 500 m depth (most
engineering work is carried
out): K > 1 mainly due to
tectonic stresses, and also
due to erosion.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Influence of Morphological &
Geological Factors

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

1. Observational methods
• Borehole breakout
• Core discing
2. Instrumental methods
• Destressing Methods (Overcoring)
• Destressing – Restressing Methods (Flat jack)
• Overstressing Methods (Hydraulic fracturing)

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Borehole breakout (borehole ovalisation)


‒ Stress induced failure that occurs in the walls of a borehole.
‒ Formed in a preferential direction  the max horizontal stress.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Core discing
‒ Associated with the formation of borehole breakouts: the
thinner the discs the higher the stress level.
‒ The direction of the line drawn between the peaks of the disc
surfaces facing in the original drilling direction indicates the
orientation of the intermediate principal stress.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Overcoring
‒ Relieving the stresses by wholly or partially
isolating the sample volume from the in situ
stress field.
‒ Stresses are calculated applying theory of
elasticity to convert the measured strains
into stresses when modulus of elasticity
and Poisson’s ratio (obtained from lab
measurements) are known.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Flat jack
‒ Wholly or partially relieving the stresses and then returning
the sample volume to its original stress state.
‒ Carried out on a wall inside a rock mass.
‒ The applied hydraulic pressure to return the point
displacements after a groove is cut to the original distance is
considered equal to the normal initial in situ stress for the
groove.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Hydraulic Fracturing
‒ To obtain magnitude and direction of max
and min principal stresses on a plane 
borehole.
‒ Performed by injecting a fluid (water) under
pressure into a section of borehole (1 m in
length) that has been isolated using
packers until a rock fracture is initiated.
‒ The pressure required to generate,
propagate, sustain, and reopen fractures is
measured.

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Minimum horizontal principal stress (h)


− The borehole is vertical and parallel with the principal stress
component in the vertical direction. Thus the calculation only
deals with stresses in the horizontal plane
h = Ps where h is normal to fracture
• Maximum horizontal principal stress (H)
H = T + 2h - Pf where T = rock tensile strength
• Vertical principal stress (v)
v z where  can be determined from density log

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XI. IN SITU STRESS – Determinations

• Orientation of max
horizontal
compressive stress
(www.world-stress-
map.org)

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