Anda di halaman 1dari 50

lpzt. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Ahstr. Vol. 15, pp.

319 368 0020 7624/78/1201 0319502.00/0

© Pergamon Press Ltd 1978. Printed in Great Britain




P a,qe
INTRODUCTION (Historical) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
INTRODUCTION (TECHNICAL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
SAMPLING PHILOSOPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322
S u g g e s t e d m e t h o d s for t h e q u a n t i t a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e f o l l o w i n g :
1. O R I E N T A T I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322
(A) C o m p a s s a n d C l i n o m e t e r M e t h o d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322
(B) P h o t o g r a m m e t r i c M e t h o d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
2. S P A C I N G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
3. P E R S I S T E N C E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335
4. R O U G H N E S S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338
5. W A L L S T R E N G T H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
6. A P E R T U R E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
7. F I L L I N G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
8. S E E P A G E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
9. N U M B E R O F S E T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
10. B L O C K S I Z E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
11. D R I L L C O R E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363




320 International Society for Rock Mechanics

The Commission on Standardization of Laboratory and Field Tests on Rock was appointed in 1967. Subsequent
to its first meeting in Madrid in October 1968. the Commission circulated a questionnaire to all members
of the International Society for Rock Mechanics, the answers received clearly showing a general desire for
standardized testing procedures. At a further meeting in Oslo in September 1969. tests were categorized and
a priority for their standardization was agreed upon.
Subsequent meetings were held in Belgrade in September 1970. in Nancy in October 1971. in Lucerne in
Scptember 1972. in Katowicc in October 1973. in Denver in Scptcmbcr 1974, in Minncapotis in September
t975. in Salzburg in October 1976 and in Stockholm in September 1977. At the Lucerne meeting the Commission
was subdivided into two committees, one on standardization of laboratory tests and the second on the standard-
ization of field tests.
The present document, which covers category I(9) in Table 1. has been produced through the efforts of
an international Working Party consisting of a large number of individuals, including several members of the
Committee on Field Tests. A list of contributors is given below. Most of the work has been through correspon-
dence, coordinated by Tor Brekke (before 1974~ and by Nick Barton (since 1974). Meetings of the Working
Party were held in Denver in September t974 and in Minneapolis in September 1975.
The purpose of these "'Suggested Methods" is to achieve some degree of uniformity m the description of
discontinuities in rock masses, as an aid to communication between the geologtst and the engineer. However.
the various suggested methods should not be treated as standard procedurem~,ather as a frame of reference.
The description of rock masses and discontinuities is necessarily a subjective operation and it must not be
expected that the same degree of standard)sat)on can be achieved as in the testing of a rock specimen.
Any person interested in these recommendations and wishing to suggest additions or modifications should
address his remarks to the Secretary General, International Society for Rock Mechanics. Laboratorio NacionaI
de Engenharia Civil, Avenida do Brazil. Lisboa 5. Portugal.
AcknoMedgements The following persons contributed in Ihc drafting of Ihese "'Suggested Methods": W. E Bamford. C. M. Barton and
B. MacMahon IAustralia): M. A. Kanji ~BrazilJ: K B a b c o c k . . l . M . Bo~d. D. Crudcn. ,1. A Franklin. G. Hcrget, G Maclcod ,'rod D. R_
Pilcau [Canadal: D. Cawsev. W. Dearman. M. DeFreitas. J. M. Edmond. P. G. Fookcs. and T. R Harper (Enotamll: K. Samq and
M. Tammirinne [Finlandt: K. John (Germany); G. Manfredini (Italy): A. BeUo tMexico); N, Rengers INetherlandsl: N, Barton (Coordinatorl.
H. Barkey, R. Lien, T. Loken. F. Loser, and A. Palmstrom (Norway); N. F. Grossman and R. Oliveira iPortuoat); J. H, DeBeer and
J. E. Jennings (South Africal: M. Bergman and I. Hansagi (Sweden): D. C. Banks. T. L. Brekke. D. U. Deere, H. H. Einstein, C. H.
Miller. H. J. Pincus. D. Ross-Brown and J Warriner I United States of Americal: J. Obradovic (Yuqoslavia), 44 individuals, 14 countries.


Category I: Classification and Characterizauon

Rock material (laboratory tests)
{1) Density, water content, porosity, absorption. ~
[2) Strength and deformability in uniaxiat compression; point load strength.*
(3) Anisotropy indices.
[4t Hardness, abrasiveness.*
(5) Permeability.
(6) Swelling and slake-durability.*
(7) Sound velocity. ~
(8) Micro-petrographic descriptions.*

Rock mass (field observationsl

(9) Joint systems: orientation, spacing, openness, roughness, geometry, filling , ~ d alteration."
(10) Core recovery, rock quality designation and fracture spacing.
(11) Seismic tests for mapping and as a rock quality index.
112) Geophysical logging of boreholes.*

Category II: Engineering Design Tests

(1) Determination of strength envelope Itriaxial and uniaxial compression and tensile tests).*
[2/ Direct shear tests.*
(31 Time-dependent and plastic properties.

In situ
(4) Deformability tests.*
[5"J Direct shear tests.*
(6) Field permeability, ground-water pressure and flow monitoring; water sampling.
{71 Rock stress determination.*
/81 Monitoring of rock movements, support pressures, anchor loads, rock noise and vibrations
[91 Uniaxial. biaxial and triaxial compressive strength,
I I0t Rock anchor testing ~

~,qerisks indicate that final drafts on these tests have been prepared.
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 321

The majority of rock masses, in particular those within a few hundred meters from the surface, behave
as discontinua, with the discontinuities largely determining the mechanical behaviour. It is therefore essential
that both the structure of a rock mass and the nature of its discontinuities are carefully described in addition
to the lithological description of the rock type. Those parameters that can be used in some type of stability
analysis should be quantified whenever possible.
For example, in the case of rock slope stability certain quantitative descriptions can be used directly in
a preliminary limit equilibrium analysis. The orientation, location, persistence, joint water pressure and shear
strength of critical discontinuities will be direct data for use in analysis. For purposes of preliminary investigation
the last two parameters can probably be estimated with acceptable accuracy from a careful description of
the nature of the discontinuities. Features such as roughness, wall strength, degree of weathering, type of infilling
material, and signs of water seepage will therefore be important indirect data for this engineering problem.
For the case of tunnel stability and estimation of support requirements, all the descriptions will tend to
be indirect data since a direct analysis of stability has yet to be developed. However, a careful description
of the structure of a rock mass and the nature of its discontinuities can be of inestimable value for extrapolating
experience of support performance to new rock mass environments. Descriptions should be sufficiently detailed
that they can form the basis for a functional classification of the rock mass.
In time, as descriptions of rock masses and discontinuities become more complete and unified, it may be
possible to design engineering structures in rock with a minimum of expensive in situ testing. In any case
careful field description will enhance the value of in situ tests that are performed, since the interpretation and
extrapolation of results will be made more reliable.

A selection of terms commonly used in these "Recommended Methods" are defined here. Contributors to
the Working Party were divided in their recommendations for the best general term to represent all "breaks"
in rock masses. However, a clear majority preferred discontinuity rather than fi'acture, as the collective term
for all joints, bedding planes, contacts and faults.

A break of geological origin in the continuity of a body of rock along which there has been no visible
displacement. A group of parallel joints is called a set and joint sets intersect to form a joint system. Joints
can be open, filled or healed. Joints frequently form parallel to bedding planes, foliation and cleavage and
may be termed bedding joints, foliation joints and cleavage joints accordingly.

A fracture or fracture zone along which there has been recognisable displacement, from a few centimeters
to a few kilometres in scale. The walls are often striated and polished (slickensided) resulting from the shear
displacement. Frequently rock on both sides of a fault is shattered and altered or weathered, resulting in fillings
such as breccia and gouge. Fault widths may vary from millimetres to hundreds of metres.

The general term for any mechanical discontinuity in a rock mass having zero or low tensile strength. It
is the collective term for most types of joints, weak bedding planes, weak schistocity planes, weakness zones
and faults. The ten parameters selected to describe discontinuities and rock masses are defined below:
1. Orientation Attitude of discontinuity in space. Described by the dip direction (azimuth) and dip of the
line of steepest declination in the plane of the discontinuity. Example: dip direction~dip ( 0 1 5 / 3 5 ) .
2. Spacing Perpendicular distance between adjacent discontinuities. Normally refers to the mean or modal
spacing of a set of joints.
3. Persistence--Discontinuity trace length as observed in an exposure. May give a crude measure of the
areal extent or penetration length of a discontinuity. Termination in solid rock or against other discontinuities
reduces the persistence.
4. Rouqhness Inherent surface roughness and waviness relative to the mean plane of a discontinuity. Both
roughness and waviness contribute to the shear strength. Large scale waviness may also alter the dip locally.
5. Wall Strength Equivalent compression strength of the adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity. May be
lower than rock block strength due to weathering or alteration of the walls. An important component of shear
strength if rock walls are in contact.
322 International Society for Rock Mechanics

6. Aperture Perpendicular distance between adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity, in which the intervening
space is air or water filled.
7. Filling Material that separates the adjacent rock walls of a discontinuity and that is usually weaker than
the parent rock. Typical filling materials are sand, silt. clay, breccia, gouge, mylonite. Also includes thin mineral
coatings and healed discontinuities, e.g. quartz, and calcite veins.
8. Seepage--Water flow and free moisture visible in individual discontinuities or in the rock mass as a whole.
9. Number of Sets The number of joint sets comprising the intersecting joint system. The rock mass may
be further divided by individual discontinuities.
10. Block Size--Rock block dimensions resulting from the mutual orientation of intersecting joint sets, and
resulting from the spacing of the individual sets. Individual discontinuities may further influence the block
size and shape.

Geological engineering investigations are generally carried out in several stages, to provide information of
appropriate detail to the current state of the project:
(i) feasibility
(ii) detailed planning
Off) construction/operation
The degree of detail required for each stage will vary considerably from project to project.
There are two basic levels at which a rock mass survey may be carried out depending upon the amount
of detail that is required. In a sul~jective (biased) survey only those discontinuities which appear to be important
are described. In an objective (random) survey all discontinuities intersecting a fixed line or area of rock exposure
are described.
A prerequisite for both types of survey is the study of any available geological maps followed by a geological
reconnaisance of rock types, major geological structures, faults, dykes and lithotogical contacts. A study of
air photographs will often be invaluable for planning this reconnaisance. At this preliminary stage efforts should
be made to recognise domains where systematic features such as joints possess similar orientation or spacing.
The fabric of the rock mass is statistically homogeneous in a domain.
The objective approach to sampling suffers from the major disadvantage that it is time consuming. Some
form of automatic data processing may be required to analyse all the data. However, if structural domains
cannot readily be delineated there may be no alternative. The subjective approach is best applied where structural
domains are clearly recognised. This will save time and effort and will usually reveal all the discontinuity
systems found in any subsequent line or area survey.
Rock masses and their component discontinuities can be described by the principal methods:
(a) outcrop description
(b) drillcore and drillhole description
(c) terrestial photogrammetry

1. ORIENTATION (c) The mutual orientation of discontinuities will

determine the shape of the individual blocks, beds or
(A) Compass and Clinometer Method mosaics comprising the rock mass.
(a) The orientation of a discontinuity in space is de- Equipment
scribed by the dip of the line of steepest declination (a) Compass and clinometer. Compasses which need
measured from horizontal, and by the dip direction to be levelled by means of a spherical bubble, before
measured clockwise from true north. Example: dip dir- taking a dip reading with the lid parallel to the dip,
ection/dip (025°/45°). have the advantage that the maximum declination (dip)
(b) The orientation of discontinuities relative to an is measured directly. Other types of clinometer need
engineering structure largely controls the possibility of to be moved across the discontinuity wall until the
unstable conditions or excessive deformations develop- maximum value is registered.
ing. The importance of orientation increases when (b) When the rock is strongly magnetic a clino-rule
other conditions for deformation are present, such as and 50 m tape, or a direct reading azimuth protractor
low shear strength and a sufficient number of discon- can be used.
tinuities or joint sets for slip to occur. tc) When estimating the dip of inaccessible joints it
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 323

strike • a°

dip : ~o

direction= e°÷90 °
(=4 ° )

~ dip (11/~)

strike : oo

dip = ~o

d i r e c t i o n = aO-90 o
(=s ° )

Fig. 1. Diagrams indicating the strike, dip and dip direction of three differently orientated planes.

is convenient to use a clinometer with an inclineable Notes

sighting device, and incorporating a reflected image of
a horizontal bubble. (a) Magnetic deflections caused by iron pipes or
rails, or anomalies due to ore bodies will sometimes
Procedure cause compass readings to be unreliable. In such cases
a 50 m. long tape should be stretched parallel to the
(a) The maximum declination (dip) of the mean rock face or tunnel wall and orientated by means of
plane of the discontinuity is measured with the clin- plans and ground surveys. Dip direction can then be
ometer, and should be expressed in degrees as a two measured relative to this tape using a dino-rule, placing
digit number, e.g. 05" or 55' (00'-90').
one leg parallel to the tape. The data should be cor-
(b) The azimuth of the dip (dip direction) is rected to true north before analysis of the field
measured in degrees counted clockwise from true north, measurements is undertaken. Alternatively a direct
and expressed as a three digit number, e.g. 010 or 105, reading azimuth protractor can be employed in place
(000-360L of the clino-rule and tape.
(c) The dip direction and dip should be recorded in (b) The dip of discontinuities considered critical for
that order, with the three digit and two digit numbers stability should be measured using a down-dip base
separated by a line, e.g. 0 1 0 / 0 5 . The pair of numbers
length exceedin 9 the wave length of surface undula-
represents the dip vector. See Fig. 1.
tions. The local inclination of non-planar features rela-
324 International Society for Rock Mechanics

tive to mean dip will be an important component in tinuities can be estimated by down-the-hole viewing
the shear strength of the surface in question. The esti- techniques such as borehole television cameras, photo-
mated direction of potential movement may not coin- graphic cameras and borehole periscopes. Besides
cide with the down-dip direction. orientation these methods also provide invaluable in-
(c) It is desirable to measure a sufficient number of formation concerning spacing, the thickness of the dis-
orientations to define the various joint sets of given continuity fillings and the level of seepage paths. ISee
domains. Opinions concerning the required number 11, Drill Core for details).
vary from about 80 to 300. A reasonable compromise (h) A special core recovery method known as the in-
would seem to be 150. It is clear that the number to tegral sampling method [1] is recommended for obtain-
be recommended will vary with the area to be mapped, ing orientation data in heavily fractured rock masses.
with the randomness of the orientations, and with the The method essentially consists of recovering a core
detail required in subsequent analyses. If orientations sample which has previously been reinforced with a
are consistent, careful sampling will reduce the amount grouted bar whose azimuth is known from positioning
of orientation data considerably. rods. The reinforced bar is coaxiatly overcorded with
(d) Several countries on the European continent have a larger diameter coring crown.
for many years utilized survey equipment and com-
passes with horizontal scales divided into 400 parts (e.g. Pre.~'entation of results
0-400gl. This has obvious advantages when measuring
lal Strike and dip symbols. The simplest methods of
to decimal point accuracy.
data presentation are the strike and dip symbols drawn
The vertical circle of many clinometers is also
in the correct location on the geological map of the
expressed in quadrants of 100g instead of 9 0 . The par-
area. For example:
ticular system utilized should be clearly stated when
orientation data is reported. For the purpose of soil 45 represents a discontinuity with a dip of 45 ~
and rock mechanics stability analyses it is most con- '~ and strike as shown by the orientation of
venient to have dip measurements measured in, or con- the line. The dip direction is indicated by
verted to, the older 0-90 ° system. (Conversion factor: the down-dip symbol
9/10). represents a horizontal discontinuity.
(e) The accuracy of compass and clinometer orien- represents a vertical discontinuity with a
tation measurements will depend on several factors of strike as shown by the orientation of the
which the following are probably most important: ac- line.
cessibility of the plane of interest, areal extent of the
Space limitations on the geological map obviously
exposed plane, degree of planarity and smoothness.
limit the number of planes which can be represented
occasional magnetic anomalies, human errors. H u m a n
in the above manner. Nevertheless, for giving a general
errors can be reduced by using a clinometer to locate
impression of the principal discontinuity orientations
the direction of maximum dip, before taking the com-
they can be quite useful.
pass reading. It is probably sufficient for rock mech-
Further detail can be obtained by using different
anics purposes to read dip direction to the nearest 5 °,
symbols to represent the various types of discontinui-
and dip to the nearest even number of degrees. How-
ties. For example, the following symbols are often used
ever. if poles are to be plotted it may in the end be
to represem joints, bedding and foliation:
more convenient to read to the nearest degree to reduce
the occurrence of coincidental plotted points. ~JOmtS ~ bedding ~ foliation
( f ) The mean orientation of major discontinuities
A clear key to symbol terminology should always be
can be obtained by the three point method. The coor-
dinates of three points lying in the plane of the disconti-
The outcrop of major discontinuities should be
nuity are all that is required. In the case of surface
drawn directly on geological maps. For example thick
outcrops the coordinates may be determined by accu-
continuous lines ( ) can be used for major, persist-
rate location on a contoured relief map. The orien-
ent discontinuities that are visible, and thick broken
tation of major features may also be estimated from
lines I. . . . ) for major discontinuities whose persist-
three borehotes that intersect the plane. However less
ence is implied, but which are locally covered.
persistent features may not be intersected by all the
holes. (b) Block diagrams. At an early stage in the assess-
(9) The orientation of minor discontinuities can be ment and communication of raw field data it is helpful
estimated from a single borehole, provided that the to present orientation measurements qualitatively using
core can be orientated or that the borehole wails can some visual technique. Perspective drawings such as
be viewed. Core can sometimes be orientated using that shown in Fig. 2(a) help to give an overall view
structural features such as bedding or foliation if these of the relationship between the engineering structure
natural markers have consistent orientation. Several and the rock mass structure. (If available, a stress ellip-
artificial orientation devices operated from the core soid giving the measured principal stress vectors might
barrel are also available, e.g. the Craelius core orien- also be presented on such a diagram, to aid in the
tator. Alternatively, the orientation of minor discon- evaluation of the optimum orientation of the structure.~
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 325

2 ~N
3 Z
~q~ 1. 2.
(a) 4. 180"/86"

(b) 1. 055"/85"
2. 285"/70"
3. 030"/32"

1. 200"/88"
2. 130"/ 15"
3. 28s'/85"

Fig. 2. Perspective views and block diagrams provide a qualitative picture of jointing and its relationship to engineering

On a more detailed scale block diagrams can be usedp number the joint sets, show the orientation relative to
such as that illustrated in Fig. 2(b). Many types of true N, and list the dip direction and dip at the side
structure can be represented in this idealized manner, of the diagram. (This is also helpful when presenting
for example tunnel portals, cross-sections through tun- photographs of rock mass structures.)
nels or large rock caverns, rock slopes, dam abutments
etc. (Depending upon the scale the discontinuity spac- (c) Joint rosettes. A c o m m o n method of plotting and
ing and persistence may be represented in addition to presenting a large number of orientation measurements
the orientation.) in a more quantitative manner than the above is by
(Block diagrams showing "excavated" corners as in means of joint rosettes.
Fig. 2(c), give a visual impression of the rock structure. In this instance measurements are represented on a
They are also a useful substitute for photographs where simplified compass rose, marked from 0 360" (or
foliage or soil cover partly obscure the exposure. 0 4 0 0 g) with radial lines at 1 0 (or 10~) intervals.
In the examples shown in Fig. 2 it is helpful to Observations are grouped in the nearest 10' sectors.
326 International Society for Rock Mechanics



~3o-4o $
Fig. 3. Two m e t h o d s of representing orientalion data on a joint rosette.

The number of observations are represented along the {The radius of the polar diagram can be used to good
radial axes, using numbered concentric circles repre- effect in plotting other parameters than the frequency of
senting 5, 10 and 15 observations, or as convenient. observation. A particularly useful parameter is the total
The resulting strike "petals" have mirror images about observed length of discontinuities of given orientation.)
the centre of the rosette. The range of dip observations
for each discontinuity set cannot be represented within (d) Spherical projection. Several projection methods
the rosette and must therefore be shown outside the are used to represent the orientation of geological
circumference. planes. The geological text books listed in the reference
Note that measurements of strike or dip direction give comprehensive discussions of the various tech-
of sub-horizontal discontinuities are inherently unreli- niques available. In this short summary only one pro-
able. Therefore in general, such features cannot be jection will be mentioned, the equal area projection. (In
represented satisfactorily using joint rosettes. this method the spatial distribution of data is accu-
It should be noted that although the joint rosette rately represented on a Schmidt, or Lambert net. In
is a widely used polar diagram it misrepresents the data the case of equal an#le projection the angular relation-
to some extent. Large concentrations are exaggerated ships between features are accurately represented by
and small concentrations are suppressed. This bias plotting data on a Wulff net.l
results from the fact that areas in each angle sector A discontinuity plane (~/fl) can be uniquely repre-
vary with the square of the radial coordinate, whereas sented as a great circle or as a pole on a reference
in a true histogram the area of each bar or sector hemisphere, when the centre of the sphere lies in the
should vary with the frequency, not with the square plane of the discontinuity. (See Fig. 4a.) For engineering
of the frequency. (Accordingly the polar diagrams purposes the lower reference hemisphere is used. A two
should ideally have a square-root radial scale, Pincus dimensional representation is obtained by projecting
[2]). this information onto an equal area net.
Figure 3 shows two methods of representing orien- In Fig. 4(a) the pole P of the discontinuity K is the
tation data on a joint rosette. The observations grouped point of intersection of the normal t o the plane with
in the nearest 10° (or l0 g) sectors can be represented the lower hemisphere. To plot the pole on a polar equal
either as solid radial sectors (left hand side), or their area net (Fig. 4b), the dip fl is counted from the centre
strike values averaged resulting in sharp "'petals" (right of the net at right angles to the strike towards the peri-
hand side). The latter method reduces the bias referred phery.
to above, but may not be satisfactory if there is little To plot the plane as a great circle on an equatorial
dispersion of the d a t a equal area net (Fig. 4c), the strike (~ + 90°~ is counted
S u g g e s t e d M e t h o d s for t h e Q u a n t i t a t i v e D e s c r i p t i o n of D i s c o n t i n u i t i e s 327


33111 60

w 27, - 9o E (b)

/ 150 °


Fig. 4. Method of representing a discontinuity K as a pole P and as a great circle on a polar equal-area net (b) and
on an equatorial equal-area net (c), using the lower reference hemisphere. A rotatable transparent overlay is used with
the equatorial equal-area net.
328 International Society for Rock Mechanics

U N I T A R I A 8 I I Y o OF


W 27 E


' " 180

s ®
Fig. 5. Schmidt contour diagram representing the orientation of three sets of joints plotted on a polar equal-area net.
The main sets I and II are approximately normal to each other, and the minor set Ill is nearlyhorizontal.

from north clockwise on the periphery, using a rota- on each grid intersection. Pole densities can then be
table tracing or plastic overlay on which N has been contoured, using up to six contour intervals.
marked. The dip is plotted at right angles to the strike, The central value of highest concentration of poles
measured from the periphery towards the centre. The can be taken as representing the m e a n orientation of
pole P can also be represented on the equatorial equal the given set of discontinuities. However, since there
area net, both nets yielding the same geometrical distri- are variations from the mean. orientation is strictly a
bution of poles. r a n d o m variable with a certain dispersion associated
The polar equal area net ss the most convenient for with each mean value, Probability techniques are
plotting poles as no rotation of overlay is necessary. r e c o m m e n d e d for a m o r e precise analysis. (It should
The first step in obtaining mean orientation d a t a for be noted that density contours obtained by the Schmidt
the different discontinuity sets requires that clusters of m e t h o d violate probability theory since poles are
poles can be visually recognised. The Schmidt contour- counted m o r e than once.)
ing m e t h o d is used t o determine the pole densities, an Figure 6 illustrates the use of equatorial equal area
example of which is shown in Fig, 5. nets for plotting both poles and great circles to rep-
The contouring involves superimposing a square grid resent typical rock mechanics problems, such as slope
on the equal area net. A circle, shown in Fig. 5, which stability. Spherical projection methods are of greatest
represents 1 ~ of the total area of the equal area net. value where stability depends on the relative three
is placed with its centre at the grid intersections. The dimensional orientation of discontinuities and free sur-
n u m b e r of poles within the circle is counted and noted faces.
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 329

slope face poles of

I joint planes

a.¢ircular failure in
heavily jointed rock
with no identifiable
structural pattern

Great circle H pole

pole o ~ t ration
concen t ra-
tion l

• Plane failure in highly

ordered structure such
as slate.

c. Wedga failure on two
intersecting sets of


d. Toppling failure caused

by steeply dipping joints

Fig. 6. Representation of structural data concerning four possible slope failure modes, plotted on equatorial equal-area
nets as poles and great circles. [3].

REFERENCES 7. Muller L. Der t:elshau. Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgarl, 624

p. {1963).
l. Rocha M, & Barroso M. Some applications of the new integral 8. Turner F. J. & Weiss L. E. Structural /Inalysi.s q! Metamorphic
sampling method in rock masses. Symposium (~1 I S R M on Rock Teetonites. McGraw-Hill, New York, 545 p. (1963).
f'raeture, Nancy. Paper 1 2l, 12 p. (1971). 9. Pincus H. J. A procedure for rapid plotting of point diagrams.
2. Pmcus 11. J. The analysis of aggregates of orientation data in J. Geol. Educ. Vol. 13. 7 8 (1965).
lhc earth sciences. J. Geol. 6 1 , 4 8 2 509 (1953). 10. Terzaghi R. D. Sources of error in joint surveys. Geoteehnique,
~. Hock E. & Bra~ J. Rock Slope En#ineerin#. The Institution of 15, 287 304 (1965).
Mining and Metallurgy, London. 31)9 p. (1974). 11. Nickelsen R. P. & H o u g h V. N. D. Jointing in the Appalachian
4. Badglc 3 P. ('. Structm'al Methods /i); E.\ploratio;z Geolo#ists. Plateau of Pennsylvania. Bull. geol. Soc. Am. 78, 61)9 630 (1967).
Harpcl Brothers. New York. 28(1 p. (19591. 12. John K. W. Graphical stability of slopes in jointed rock. J. Soil
5. Hodgson R. A. Regional s t u d \ of.iointing in the C o m b Ridgc- Mech. kdns Dir. Am. Soc. eiv En.qrs 9,1, No SM2, 497 526, with
Na\zuo Motmtain area, Arizona and Utah. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol discussion and closure in 95, SM6, 1969. 1541 1545 11968).
Geol. 45, I 38 (1961). 13. Broadbent C. D. & R i p p e r e K. H. Fracture studies at the Kim-
6. John K. W. An approach to rock mechanis..I. Soil Mech. Fdns berley Pit. Proc. Symposium on Phmnin~! Open Pit Mines, Johan-
Dic..,Itn. Soc. cir. Errors, SM4, pp. 1 30 (19621. nesburg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 171 179 (1971).
330 International Society for Rock Mechanics
14. Patton F. D. & Deere D. U. Significant geological factors in
rock slope stability. Symposium on Planning Open Pit Mines.
Johannesbururg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam 1971. pp. 143- t51 (a) Reconnaissance survey equipment: optical
15. Phillips F. C. The Use o f Stereographic Projections in Structural
square. Abney level, alidade and reconnaissance dia-
Geology. Edwards Arnold, London, 3rd edn, 90 p. (1971). gram mounted on a plane table.
16. Piteau D. R. Geological factors significant to the stability of (b) Phototheodolite and tripod. A phototheodolite ts
slopes cut in rock. Symposium on Planning Open Pit Mines,
Johannesburg, 1970. Balkema. Amsterdam 1971, pp. 33-53 (19711.
a theodolite with a survey camera located between the
17. Robertson A. MacG. The interpretation of geological factors for upper and lower circles. The survey camera incorpor-
use in slope theory. Symposium on Plannin9 Open Pit Mines, ates fiducial marks and has a lense of negligible distor-
Johannesburg, 1970. Balkema. Amsterdam 1971, pp. 55-71 (1971).
18. Knill J. L. The engineering geology of the Cruachan underground
tion characteristics. Six control targets are required for
power station. Engno Geol. 6, 289-312 (1972). location on the rock face to be photographed. In order
19. Babcock E. A. Regional jointing in Southern Alberta. Can. J. to be seen clearly in the stereoscopic model their mini-
Earth Sci. 10, 1769-1781 (1973k
mum dimensions should be ~ of the distance to the
20. Pincus H. J. Note: A modified transit for measuring strike on
the underside of surfaces. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 10. 83-84 rock face. Their colour should be chosen for maximum
(t973|. contrast with the rock when viewed in black and white
21. Piteau D. R. Characterizing and extrapolating rock properties photography. Photographic plates, photographic devel-
in engineering practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag), Suppl.
2. 5-31 (t973). opment facilities (on site if possible, to check for poor
22. Bolstead D. D. & Mahtab M. A. A Bureau of Mines direct read- exposures) and light meter are also required.
ing azimuth protractor. USBM. Information Circular 8617. 7 p. (cj Control survey equipment: tripods, tribrachs, tri-
23. Cording E. J. & Mahar J. W. The effect of natural geologic dis- pod targets, plumbing devices, subtense bar.
continuities on behaviour of rock in tunnels. Proc. 2nd. North (d) Stereoscopic plotting instrument or stereocom-
American Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference. San Fran- parator, with automatic recording equipment {i.e.
cisco, Vol. I. Chap. 12, pp. 107-138 (1974).
24. Posch R. Bermekanikk (Geoteknik. Ed. S. Hansbol. Almqvist & punched tape~. This equipment will normally be oper-
Wiksell, Stockholm. 236 p. (1974). ated by a trained photogrammetrist.
25. Cruden D. M. A composite net for rock slope stability. Q. JI.
Engng. Geol. 9, 119-124 (1976).
26. Goodman R. E. Methods of Geological Engineering m Discon- Procedure
tinuous Rocks. West Publishing N.Y. 472 p. (1976).
{a) Reconnaissance survey. The purpose of a recon-
naissance survey is to determine suitable positions for
(B) Photogrammetric Method both the camera stations overlooking the face, and for
Scope control targets on the face. (See Figs 7 and 8). The
(a) This discontinuity mapping technique utilizes height of the face bing photographed, the accuracy
photogrammetry to determine the coordinates of at required, the vertical and horizontal field angles of the
least four points on each visible discontinuity plane, camera and the available camera tilt must be con-
thereby defining the orientation of the given planes. sidered prior to photography. In many cases there wilt
Large planes may often be mapped quite precisely by be physical limitations imposed by the site itself, as
the photogrammetric technique, but the accuracy de- illustrated in Fig. 9. Much better use of the overlap
creases rapidly as the area of the plane decreases. area is possible if the camera axes can be approximately
(b) The method is usually only economic if the orien- normal to the face.
tation of a large number of discontinuities is required. (b) Photography. The phototheodolite is set up on
However, there are occasions when photogrammetry one of the base line tripods, with an interchangeable
Is the only practical alternative, for example if the rele- target on the other. The instrument is then levelled,
vant rock face is in the vicinity of magnetic anomalies, the camera tilt, exposure time and counter are set, and
or if the rock face is unstable and/or inaccessible. the photographic plate is loaded, The camera is orien-
(c) The following summary of equipment and pro- tated at right angles to the theodolite, and the telescope
cedures is designed as an introduction to the technique. is sighted on the other station. With the camera axis
Potential users should consult the detailed papers listed thus normal to the base, the photograph is taken. The
in the references. phototheodolite and target are then interchanged at the

direction of base

Fig. 7. Reconnaissancediagram mounted on plane table.

Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 331

onface X X X

\~ \0_,../
~clrecl/ / /

\/ / d,.,o...

Fig. 8. Field set-up to obtain overlapping stereopair.

base-line stations and the procedure is repeated. It is The baseline is measured by setting an interchange-
recommended that the photographic plates are devel- able subtense bar on one station tribrach, and observ-
oped in a suitable site office dark room so that, if the ing it from the other. The distance is calculated from
plates are not up to the high standard required for the mean subtended angle. This procedure is performed
photogrammatric analysis, the photography may be from both ends of the baseline as a check.
retaken before the camera station tripods and control A minimum of one day should normally be allowed
targets are removed. It is desirable to complete all the for the field work associated with each stereopair. The
photography as soon as possible in order to avoid dif- baseline may subsequently be extended to a series of
ferences caused by shadow on corresponding photo- consecutive camera stations if the overlap area
graphs of a stereopair. obtained with one stereopair is insufficient to cover the
(c) Control survey. After completion of the photogra- whole rock face.
phy a control survey has to be performed in order to (d) Survey information. The exact form of the survey
determine the coordinates of at least four targets within information required depends on the program being
the overlap area. The camera can be removed from used to analyse the results. Generally, if the theodolite
the theodolite and the necessary angle measurements observations have been made from the same tribrach
recorded from each end Of the baseline. Generally two positions as used for the photography, the survey infor-
rounds of horizontal and vertical angles are made to mation required consists of the theodolite coordinates
the control targets and at least three other stations in the ground system, and the vertical and horizontal
whose coordinates are known. From these latter obser- theodolite observations to the targets, reduced and
vations the camera coordinates may be determined by meaned as appropriate.
resection. (e) Instructions to photogrammetrist, It is convenient

Fig. 9. Two a l t e r n a t i v e base Dine l o c a t i o n s at a diilicult site.
332 International Society for Rock Mechanics

to work in a routine manner in order that the informa- very significant. These are mainly due to the limitations
tion may subsequently be handled by a computer. The in the operator's stereoscopic perception and due to
work is best specified by making detailed notes for the misinterpretation. The operator must make arbitrary
photogrammetrist and by making an enlarged photo- decisions as to the positioning of the floating mark in
graph of the overlap area. The following information the instrument if discontinuity images are poorly
may be requested: defined These operating errors can usually be kept to
Joint areas--areas indicated on the enlarged tolerable levels by using large base/distance ratios.
photograph from which a specified number of (b) In highly altered or weathered rocks it may be
orientations are required for statistical analysis difficult to distinguish discontinuities and geological
e.g. plotting on an equal area net. features even by close inspection. In such cases photo-
Special discontinuities particular planes, indivi- grammetry is clearly of little help. Sometimes very
dually identified on the enlarged photograph, for rough or very curved discontinuities are encountered
which the location, orientation and extent are and the validity of fitting a plane to such surfaces may
required more precisely, as for example for use be questioned. The error in plane fitting may be negli-
in a stability analysis. Generally up to ten point- gible for discontinuities defining near-perfect planes
ings per plane are sufficient for defining these fea- with any orientation, and for planes normal to the
tures. camera axis of any roughness. However, the error may
(f) Observational procedure. Usually the negative be significant for very rough planes approaching the
plates are observed directly but if preferred by the oper- edge-on position when viewed on the photographic
ator diapositives can be made. An operator unaccus- plates. This is especially true of discontinuities which
tomed with the technique of observing discontinuities strike within 5 of the direction of the camera axes.
usually requires a few hours observing practice. The If photogrammetry is the main mapping technique
coordinates of at least four points are required for each being used. then more than one stereo-pair taken from
visible plane. Each pointing is punched onto tape in different directions may be required to pick up all the
an identical format and consists of an identifier fol- discontinuities exposed on a face. Alternatively the
lowed by X, Y and Z coordinates of the pointing. Nor- edge-on discontinuities may be mapped conventionally
mally all the pointings referring to a particular disconti- m order to make the equal area net complete.
nuity have the same identifier. The operator thus pro- (cl There is a great deal of useful information that
ceeds from pointing to pointing, discontinuity to dis- can be obtained from the photogrammetric mapping
continuity and area to area. About 10~ of the larger technique in addition to orientation data. For example,
discontinuities are identified on the large photographic rock surface profiles can be plotted for use in estimat-
print for the convenience of the engineering geologist ing overall volumes involved in the stability analyses.
doing the interpretation. It is important that the opera- If the camera to object distance is reasonable, roughness
tor makes a number of independent checks on the accu- profiles of individual joints may be obtained. These
racy of his observations at field scale. This will give may be used to estimate shear strength. The overall
all concerned a feel for the likely errors. distribution of joint spacing can be measured and joint
(g) Computations. The basic information required persistence may also be assessed. In addition, stereo
consists of the control survey data (c) and the photo- pairs exposed at different stages during the life of a
grammetric punched tape (f). In summary, computer project (e.g. an open pit), provide a permanent visual
calculations comprise transformatmn of the target record, which can be especially useful when extrapolat-
coordinates to the ground system and setting up the ing major features.
transformation matrix.
Planes are fitted to the sets of pointings by the Presentation of" results
method of least squares, and direction cosines are Suggested methods for presenting orientation data
determined from a symmetric coefficient matrix and will be found under (A) Compass anti Clinometer
subsequently transformed by the transformation Method.
matrix. The planes may then be described in terms of The large amount of orientation data likely to be
dip direction and dip. The last part of the computational produced by systematic photogrammetric work calls
phase involves the calculation of probable errors. Spe- for statistical treatment. A first step in the presentation
cial techniques are used to estimate the maximum of results will be the plotting of poles on equal-area
probable errors in dip and dip direction for each joint nets.
1. Ross-Brown D. M.. Wickens E. H. & Markland J. T. Tcrrestial
(at In any photogrammetric system the following photogrammetry in open pits: 2-an aid to geological mapping.
sources of error have to be considered: film, camera. Tran.~. Inst. Min. Metall. (Section A. Min. Industry). 82, pp.
plotting instrument, recording method, control survey, A115-A130 (1973).
earths curvature, atmospheric refraction, mstrument 2. Linkwitz K. Terrestrisch-photogrammetrische Kluftmessung.
Rock Mech. Engng Geol. 1. 152-159 rI963).
operator. Compared to the other sources of error, the 3 Tcrzaghi R. D. Sources of error in joint surveys. Geotechnique.
operating errors caused by the instrument operator are 15. 287304 119651.
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 333

4. Savage J. F. Terrestial Photogrammetry for Geological Purposes. tion are present, i.e. low shear strength and a sufficient
International Training Centre for Aerial Survey publication,
Series B, No. 33, pp. 41-53 (1965). number of discontinuities or joint sets for slip to occur.
5. Thompson M. M. ted.). Manual of Photoorammetry 3rd edn, (d) The spacing of individual discontinuities and as-
American Soc. of Photogramm. Falls Church, Virginia (1966). sociated sets has a strong influence on the mass per-
6. Rengers N. Terrestial photogrammetry: a valuable tool for
engineering geological purposes. Rock Mech. Engng Geol. 5, meability and seepage characteristics. In general the
150,154 (1967). hydraulic conductivity of any given set will be inverse,ly
7. Calder P. N., Bauer A. & Macdougall A. R. Stereophotography proportional to the spacing, if individual joint apertures
and open pit mine design. 72nd Annual Meeting Can. Inst. Min.
Metall. April 1970. Preprint (1970). are comparable.
8. Wickens E. H. & Barton N. R. The application of photogram-
merry to the stability of excavated rock slopes. Photogram. Rec. Equipment
7(37), April, 46-54 (1971).
9. Ross-Brown D. M. & Atkinson K. B. Terrestial photogrammetry (a) Measuring tape of at least 3 m length, calibrated
in open pits: F--description and use of the phototheodolite in in m m divisions.
mine surveying. Trans. Inst. Min. Metall. (Sect. A: Min. Industry), (b) Compass and clinometer.
81, pp. A205-A213 (1972).
10. Ross-Brown D. M. Aspects of slope design in open pit mining.
PhD. Thesis, University of London (1973). Procedure
(a) Whenever possible, the measuring tape should be
held along the exposure such that the surface trace of
2. S P A C I N G the discontinuity set being measured is approximately
perpendicular to the tape. If the tape is not perpendicu-
Scope lar, directional bias corrections are required to obtain
the true spacing.
(a) The spacing of adjacent discontinuities largely
(b) All distances (d) between adjacent discontinuities
controls the size of individual blocks of intact rock.
are measured and recorded over a sampling length not
Several closely spaced sets tend to give conditions of
less than 3 m (or the thickness of the rock unit being
low mass cohesion whereas those that are widely
observed if this is less than 3 m). The sampling length
spaced are much more likely to yield interlocking con-
should preferably be greater than ten times the esti-
dilions. These effects depend upon the persistence of
mated spacing. The distances (d) should be measured
the individual discontinuities.
to within 5% of their absolute values.
(b) In exceptional cases a close spacing may change
(c) The smallest angle (~) between the measuring tape
the m o d e of failure of a rock mass from translational
and the observed joint set is measured with a compass
to circular or even to flow (e.g. a "sugar cube" shear
to the nearest 5".
zone in quartzite). With exceptionally close spacing the
(d) The most c o m m o n (modal) spacing is calculated
orientation is of little consequence as failure may occur
from the equation:
through rotation or rolling of the small rock pieces.
(c) As in the case of orientation, the importance of S = d m sin ~
spacing increases when other conditions for deforma- where d,, is the most common (modal) distance

set no. I

set no. 2
$, "7
S2=d2sin~2 set no. 3

Fig. 10. Measurementofjointspacing from observationofarockexposure.

334 International Society for Rock Mechanics


20 60 200 600 2000 6000 I

extremely very • Jose m~all,nl~rato wide very extremely

close close wide wide

Fig. ll Histogram showing modal, minimum and maximum spacings obtained from observations of the spacing of one
set. Suggested descriptions given al base of histogram.

measured. It is helpful to present the variation in spac- between ]requency, i.e. number of discontinuities per
ing by means of a histogram, as illustrated in Fig. 11. metre, and the longitudinal or compression (P) wave
velocity Vv.
Notes ( f ) The spacing or frequency of discontinuities can
[al The use of a measuring tape and compass is also be determined from analysis of drill core and from
strongly recommended, but it is not essential if the borehole viewing techniques such as borehole television
engineering geologist is experienced in taking these cameras, photographic cameras and borehole peri-
measurements using visual judgement. This will depend scopes (see l t. Drill Core for detailsl.
on the degree of precision required. It should be borne
in mind that discontinuities such as joints may not be Presentation of results
sufficiently parallel in a given set to justify great preci- [a) The minimum, modal and maximum spacing, S
sion. (mini S. S (maxj should be recorded for each disconti-
(b} The average value of individual modal spacings nuity set. The distributions can conveniently be pres-
($1, $2 etc.I represents the average dimension of typical ented as histograms, one for each set (Fig. 11~. The
rock blocks if persistence is assumed. Other methods following terminology can be used:
of representing block size from observations of spacing Description Spacing
are given under parameter 10. Block Size. < 20 mm
Extremely close spacing
[c) In any given discontinuity set. domains with 20~60 mm
Very close spacing
recognizably similar spacing may be separated by more 60-200mm
Close spacing
massive rock containing a few widely spaced discon- 2(10-600 mm
Moderate spacing
tinuities. Block diagrams (Fig. 2b) or histograms (Fig. Wide spacing 600-2000 mm
1 l j can be used to indicate this type of variability. Very wide spacing 2000-6000 mm
(d) In general, fractures caused by blast damage Extremely wide spacing > 6000 mm
should be excluded from consideration when measuring
the spacing of discontinuities. (b) A convenient method of presenting large numbers
let In cases where rock exposures are of limited of spacing measurements for which statistical treatment
extent, or absent, seismic refraction techniques can be may be required is the use of histograms, one for each
used to estimate spacing in the upper 20 30 m. Several set of discontinuities, Frequency curves for each set can
investigators have found a fairly reliable relationship be drawn on the same diagram, giving an immediate
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 335

impression of the respective modal values and disper- against other discontinuities determines the degree to
sions. (Note: using mean in place of modal spacings which failure of intact rock would be involved in even-
may help to eliminate difficulties with samples having tual failure. Perhaps more likely, it determines the
multiple, poorly-defined modes, and with samples with degree to which "down-stepping" would have to occur
modes at very small spacings, i.e. from negative between adjacent discontinuities for a failure surface
exponential distributions.) to develop. Persistence is also of the greatest impor-
(c) Spacing may also be expressed as the inverse i.e. tance to tension crack development behind the crest
number of discontinuities per metre. This is termed fre- of a slope.
quency. (d) In the case of tunneling, failure in the first in-
stance m a y be a rather local affair, and persistence
across a limited number of blocks may be all that is
required provided that other conditions are compatible
1. Terzaghi R. Sources of error in joint surveys. Geotechnique, 15, with failure, i.e. the existence of smooth or clay filled
287--304 (1965). discontinuities or at least three sets. Planar discontinui-
2. Weaver R. & Call R. D. Computer estimation of oriented fracture
set intensity. Reprint Symp. on Computers in Mining and Explor- ties that can be traced without offset for 5 1 0 m in
ation, Tuscon, Arizona, 17 p. (1965). a tunnel construction may be of major significance to
3. Da Silveria A. F., Rodrigues F. P., Grossman N. F. & Mendes stability, while being of minor importance in the case
F. Qualitative characterization of the geometric parameters of
jointing in rock masses. Proc. Congress of the Int. Soc. Rock of a 100m high rock slope or large dam abutment.
Mech. Lisbon, Vol. I, pp. 225 233 (1966). (e) Frequently, rock exposures are small compared
4. Halstead P. N., Call R. D. & Rippere K. H. Geological structural to the area or length of persistent discontinuities, and
analysis for open pit slope design, Kimberley pit, Ely, Nevada.
Reprint, Annual AIME meeting, New York, 25 p (1968). the real persistence can only be guessed. Less frequently
5. Ward W. H., Burland J. B. & Gallois R. W. Geotechnical assess- it may be possible to record the dip length and the
ment of a site at MuMford, Norfolk, for a large proton acceler- strike length of exposed discontinuities and thereby
ator. Geotechnique, 18, 399-431 (1968).
6. Broadbent C. D. & Rippere K. H. Fracture studies at the Kim- estimate their persistence along a given plane through
berley pit. Proc. Symp. on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes- the rock mass using probability theory. However, the
burg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 171-179 (1971). difficulties and uncertainties involved in the field
7. Piteau D. R. Geological factors significant to the stability of
slopes cut in rock. Proc. Symp. on Planning Open Pit Mines, measurements will be considerable for most rock expo-
Johannesburg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 33 53 sures encountered.
8. Roberston A. MacG. The interpretation of geological factors for Equipment
use in slope theory. Proc. Syrup. oli Planning Open Pit Mines,
Johannesburg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 55-71 (a) Measuring tape of at least 10 m length.
9. Grainger P., McCann D. M. & Gallois R. W. The application Procedure
of the seismic refraction technique to the study of fracturing of
the Middle Chalk at Mundford, Norfolk. Geotechnique, 23, (a) Individual rock exposures, or recognised
219 232 (1973). domains, should first be described according to the
10. Piteau D. R. Characterizing and extrapolating rock properties
in engineering practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag), Suppl. relative persistence of the different discontinuity sets
2, pp. 531 (1973). present. The sets of discontinuities can be distinguished
11. Priest S. D. & Hudson J. A. Discontinuity spacings in rock. Int. by the terms persistent, sub-persistent and non-persistent
d. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. 13, 135 148 (1976).
respectively. Simple labelled field sketches such as those
illustrated in Fig. 12, can be useful aids in subsequent
3. P E R S I S T E N C E
(b) Efforts should then be made to measure the dis-
continuity lengths in the direction of dip and in the
Scope direction of strike. This may be impossible in the case
[a) Persistence implies the areal extent or size of a of limited planar exposures. However, in the case of
discontinuity within a plane. It can be crudely quanti- large three-dimensional exposures such as curved open
fied by observing the discontinuity trace lengths on the pits with benches, or underground openings with inter-
surface of exposures. It is one of the most important secting tunnels, it may be possible to obtain useful size-
rock mass parameters, but one of the most difficult frequency histograms for each of the discontinuity sets.
to quantify in anything but crude terms. The modal trace lengths measured for each set can
(b) The discontinuities of one particular set will often be described according to the following scheme:
be more continuous than those of the other sets. The
Very low persistence .< l m
minor sets will therefore tend to terminate against the
Low persistence l 3m
primary features, or they may terminate in solid rock.
Medium persistence 3 10 m
(c) In the case of rock slopes and dam foundations
High persistence lO 20 m
it is of the greatest importance to attempt to assess
Very high persistence > 20 m
the degree of persistence of those discontinuities that
are unfavourably orientated for stability. The degree (c) A useful procedure during the mapping of dis-
to which discontinuities persist beneath adjacent rock continuity lengths is to record the type of termination
blocks without terminating in solid rock or terminating according to the following scheme. Discontinuities
336 International Society for Rock Mechanics

age length of 2.9 m had one end exposed, and 912 (247/0)
_-[I/l !
i I
with an average length of 6.3 m had no ends exposed.
llill i 1 (b) Analyses of dip lengths and strike lengths per-
I #I --lr / formed by Robertson [4] have indicated that discon-
l I I I tinuities tend to be of approximately isotropic dimen-
ill (hi sions. When terminating in solid rock they may there-
fore tend to be circular, and presumably rectilinear
_z_.___7_7__ -,- ,- - when terminating against other discontinuities.
(c) Statistical tests simulating circular outline discon-
- - L--___ i__7 tinuities with a normal distribution of diameters ran-
domly spaced in the rock mass, indicate that the mean
trace length can range from slightly smaller to slightly
larger than the mean diameter [5]. This is the result
of the greater probability of intersecting the larger dis-
continuities outweighing the fact that trace lengths (i.e.
chordsl are inherently shorter than diameters.

5Y (I) (f)
(d) Statistical methods can be used to analyse the
maximum lengths of discontinuities. Using such tech-
niques it is possible to estimate the expected recurrence
interval for discontinuities of any specified length.
Alternatively it is possible to estimate the mean prob-
ability of a discontinuity exceeding a specified length
occurring in any portion of the rock mass. For
example, if after analysis it is found that major discon-
tinuities with strike lengths of 50 m or more are spaced
on the average at 150 m, it is possible to estimate the
probability of strike lengths of 50 m or more occurring
in any 100m interval measured normal to the strike.
The probability is equal to ~ = 0.66. If the complete
distribution of sizes is known (Procedure (b)), the prob-
Fig. 12, Simple sketches and block diagrams help to indicate the ability of occurrence of a discontinuity of a certain size
relative persistence of the various sets of discontinuities. Examples can be evaluated on the basis of extreme value stat-
adapted from [1] and [2].
istics. A useful example of its application to rock slope
stability analysis is given by McMahon [6]. Note that
which extend outside the exposure (x), should be differ- the ill-defined lower bound to observations of trace
entiated from those that visibly terminate in rock in length (inevitable if the shortest features are ignored)
the exposure (r), and from those that terminate against leads to underestimation of the frequency of discon-
other discontinuities in the exposure (d). A systematic tinuities and overestimation of their size.
set of discontinuities with a high score in (x) is lel The descriptive term persistence may in theory
obviously more persistent than a sub-systematic set with be quantified by defining it as the percentage of the
predominant scores in (d). Non-systematic discontinui- total area of a plane through the rock mass which is
ties will tend to have highest scores in (r). formed by discontinuities coincident lco-planarJ with
(d) Termination data (x, r or d) should be recorded this reference plane. In practice, waviness of most dis-
for each end of the relevant discontinuities, together continuities frustrates strict interpretation. A practical
with the length in metres. (Example: 8 ( d x ) = discon- alternative is to select a band width equal to the mean
tinuity length of 8 m, one termination against another spacing of the discontinuities in the particular set. and
discontinuity other termination invisible because feature to estimate the persistence within this reference band.
extends beyond the limits o f the exposure). It is impor- Since, on a probability basis, only one discontinuity
tant to specify the dimensions of the exposure on which would be expected to occur within this band. a slightly
measurements were made since this will obviously in- more realistic estimate of persistence is obtained.
fluence both the number of (x) observations and the ( [3 When assessing the persistence of the various dis-
relevant lengths. continuity sets it is important to investigate the possibi-
lity of a stepped failure surface forming, as illustrated
Notes by failure modes (2) and (3) in Fig. 13. This mode of
(a) Piteau [3] has demonstrated that discontinuities failure may tend to occur when the set involved in
where both terminations can be seen are generally shear has less than 100%, persistence. Downstepping
smaller than discontinuities where one or no termina- wilt tend to develop such that only a minimum percent-
tions can be seen. In a sample of 3844 joints at the age of the resulting shear surface passes through intact
Nchanga Mine. 1394 (36%) with an average length of rock. The persistence of a potential failure surface will
1.4 m had both ends exposed, 1538 (40%) with an aver- normally be higher than that along planes or bands
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 337

® Q

(~ stepped fclilure '21)' ~ . ~

(~) stepped failure '30'

I n t a c t bridges

rsistent set

non - persistent
persistent set

Fig. 13. Idealized examples of potential failure planes showing the importance of "intact bridges" and "down-stepping".
Examples adapted from [4] and [7 I.

parallel to a single set, unless the latter have lOO

°/vv,,,o per- Presentation of results
(a) The various sets of discontinuities should be de-
(g) Estimates of persistence for given planes, bands scribed as systematic, sub-systematic or non-systematic
or specific failure surfaces have at present to be based according to their relative persistence. Block diagrams
on engineering judgement and should be purposely or photographs should be labelled accordingly.
weighted in the direction of conservatism (i.e. closer (b) Where exposures are of suitable dimensions, size-
to 100~0 persistence since the shear strength of the in- frequency histograms of trace lengths observed for each
tact rock bridges will form a dangerously high percent-
set of discontinuities should be given. (This is necessary
age of the total shear strength of the compound failure
if probability theory is to be applied subsequently).
surface. The shear strength (cohesion) due to any intact
Mean trace lengths (in both strike and dip directions)
rock bridges can be crudely estimated from the follow- should be quoted.
ing relationship which is derived from the Mohr dia-
(c) Termination data which has been recorded for
gram, assuming a linear shear strength envelope:
each discontinuity sampled (e.g. 8dx), should be pres-
c = ~(o-c- o-,)~ ented in the form of a termination index (Tr) for the
where : rock mass as a whole, or for chosen domains. 7~ is
c~c = uniaxial compressive strength of the intact rock defined as the percentage of the discontinuity ends ter-
at = tensile strength of the intact rock. minating in rock (Er) compared to the total number
If it is assumed for simplicity that ac/a, = 9, then the of terminations (Zr + Zd + Ex). The latter is equal to
cohesive strength is equal to one sixth of the uncon- twice the total sample since each trace has two ends.
fined compressive strength. It is safer to assume 100°~,
(Zr) x 100
persistence when in doubt, since the above cohesion Tr ~ ~
is usually one to two orders of magnitude greater than 2(no. of discontinuities observed
the shear strength of the discontinuities. (It is to be hoped that systematic collection of data
338 International Society for Rock Mechanics

concerning T~ through application of these ISRM Sug- 12. Halstead P. N., Call R. D. & Rippere K. H. Geological structural
gested Methods will eventually improve the estimation analysis for open pit slope design. Kimbley Pit, Ely, Nevada.
AIME, Preprint No. 68-Am 85 (19681.
of persistence). 13. Piteau D R. Geological factors significant to the stability of
(d) The persistence of potential failure surfaces (in- slopes cut in rock. Syrup. on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes-
burg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam 197I. pp. 33-53 (1971).
cluding stepped surfaces) should be estimated, if this 14. Babcock E A. Regional jointing in Southern Alberta. Can. J.
is appropriate to the project being investigated. The Earth Sci. 10, 1769-1781 (1973).
estimate should perhaps be rounded upwards, to the 15. Bernaix J. Properties of rock and rock masses. (General report.D
Prec. 3rd Cong. Int. Soc. Rock Mech. Denver. Advances in Rock
next multiple of 10% (i.e. 92% is assumed to be 100%). Mechanics. Vol. IA. pp. 9-38 ~1973).
16. Cruden D. M. Describing the size of discontinuities. Int. J. Rock
Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. ~'Pergamonl 14, I33-I37

I. Muller L. Der Felsbau. Ferdinand-Enke-Verlag, Stuttgart, 624 p.

2. Price N. J. Fault and Joint Development in Brittle and Semibrittle
Rock. Pergamon, Oxford, 176 p. (1966). Scope
3. Piteau D. R. Characterizing and extrapolating rock joint proper-
ties in engineering practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag), (aj The wall roughness of a discontinuity is a poten-
Suppl. 2, pp. 5-31 (1973). tially important component of its shear strength, es-
4. Robertson A. MacG. The interpretation of geological factors for
use in slope theory. Syrup. on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes-
pecially in the case of undisplaced and interlocked fea-
burg 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam 1971. pp. 55-71 (1971). tures (e.g. unfilled joints). The importance of walt
5. Barton C. M. An analysis of rock structure and fabric in the roughness declines as aperture, or filling thickness, or
CSA Mine, Cobar, NSW. CSIRO Division of Applied Geome-
chanics, Teeh. Paper No. 24 (1976),
the degree of any previous displacement increases.
6. MeMahon B. K. Design of rock slopes against sliding on pre- (b) In general terms the roughness of discontinuity
existing fractures. Proc. of 3rd. Cong. of lnt. Soc. Rock Mech. walls can be characterized by a waviness 0arge scale
Denver, Advances in Rock Mechanics. Vol. IIB, pp. 803-808
(1974). undulations which, if interlocked and in contact, cause
7. Jennings J. E. A mathematical theory for the calculation of the dilation during shear displacement since they are too
stability of slopes in open cast mines. Syrup. on Plannin 0 Open large to be sheared off) and by an unevenness (small
Pit Mines, Johannesburg, 1970, Balkema, Amsterdam 1971, pp.
87-102 (1971).
scale roughness that tends to be damaged during shear
8. Hodgson R. A. Regional study of jointing in the Comb. Ridge- displacement unless the discontinuity wails are of high
Navajo Mountain area. Arizona and Utah. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol strength and/or the stress levels are 10w, so that dilation
Geol. 45, 1-38 (1961).
9. John K. W. An approach to rock mechanics, J. Soil Mech. Fdns
can also occur on these small scale features).
Div. Am. Soc. cir. Enors SM4, 1-30 (1962). (c) In practice waviness affects the initial direction
I0. McMahon B. K. Indices related to the mechanical properties of shear displacement relative to the mean discontinuity
of jointed rock. Proc. of 9th. Syrup. on Rock Mech.. Status of plane, while unevenness affects the shear strength that
Practical Rock Mech., Ch. 6. pp. 117-133 [1967).
11. Nickdsen R. P. & Hough V. N. D. Jointing in the Appalachian would normally be sampled in a laboratory or medium
Plateau of Pennsylvania. Bull Geol. Soc. Am. 78, 609-630 (1967). scale in situ direct shear test (see Fig. 14).

] Laberetery
sheer test
2 In situ
sheer test

\ 2

x~/\ \

Fig. 14. Different scales of discontinuity roughness are sampled by different scales of tests, Waviness can be characterised
bv the an~le (i).
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 339

~ h - 0L' I

"'. .¢i
~'x II stone High
point - /2~ ~ J
• apparent
~ dip

Unused half of
2m folding
straight edge

Fig. 15. A method of recording discontinuity roughness in two dimensions, along the estimated direction of potential

(d) If the direction of potential sliding is known, it can be tensioned to form a straight reference line
roughness can be sampled by linear profiles taken above the plane of large undulating discontinuities.
parallel to this direction. In many cases the relevant (b) The compass and disc-clinometer method of sam-
direction is parallel to the dip (dip vector). In cases pling roughness requires the following equipment: (i)
where sliding is controlled by two intersecting disconti- Clar (Breithaupt) geological compass which incorpor-
nuity planes, the direction of potential sliding is parallel ates a horizontal levelling bubble and a rotatable lid
to the line of intersection of the planes. In the case which is connected to the main body of the compass
of arch dam abutment stability, the direction of poten- through a graduated hinge for recording dip, (ii) four
tial sliding may have a marked horizontal component. thin circular plates made of light alloy of various dia-
(e) If the direction of potential sliding is unknown, meters (i.e. 5, 10, 20 and 40cm) which can be fixed
but nevertheless of importance, roughness must be sam- in turn to the lid of the compass [1].
pled in three dimensions instead of two. This can be The photogrammetric method of sampling roughness
done with a compass and dise-clinometer. Dip and dip requires assorted equipment described under Photo-
direction readings can be plotted as poles on equal-area grammetric Method (page 330).
nets. Alternatively, discontinuity surfaces can be con-
toured relative to their mean planes using photogram- Procedure
metric methods. This can be a useful technique if the (a) Linear profiling. Discontinuities are selected that
critical surfaces are inaccessible. are accessible and typical of the surface presumed to
( f ) The purpose of all roughness sampling methods be involved if shear failure was to occur.
is for the eventual estimation or calculation of shear Depending upon the relevant dimensions of each
strength and dilation. Presently available methods of plane either the 2 m straight edge or the 10m wire
interpreting roughness profiles and estimating shear (or sections of either) are placed or stretched above
strength are summarised under the section Presentation the plane of the discontinuity parallel to the mean direc-
~1"results. tion of potential sliding. For convenience they should
be in contact with the highest point or points of the
discontinuity and they should be as straight as possible.
(a) The linear profilin 9 method of sampling rough- (A small lump of"plasticene" can be helpful in prevent-
ness requires the following equipment: (i) folding ing the straight edge from sliding down steeply dipping
straight edge of at least 2 m length graduated in ram, joints. It can be placed between the straight edge and
(ii) compass and clinometer, (iii) 10 m of light wire or the high spots.) The perpendicular distances (y) from
nylon with paint markings at 1 m intervals (red) and the straight edge (or wire) to the surface of the disconti-
10cm intervals (blue). The line should be attached to nuity are recorded to the nearest ram, for given tangen-
small wooden blocks or similar at each end. so that tial distances (x) (see Fig. 15). It is advisable to be flex-
340 International Society for Rock Mechanics

ible in the choice of (x) since a regular interval (for be more likely. Profiles should be computed for the
example 5 cm) might result in missing a small step or direction of potential sliding, if this is known.
similar feature of potential importance to the shear
strength. On average, (x) intervals equal to approxi- Notes
mately 2~o of the total measuring length are sufficient (a) Linear profiling. The mm graduated ruler used
to give a good overall impression of roughness. to measure the perpendicular distances (y) should be
The (x) and (y) readings are recorded in parallel, tapered to a point so that the fine details of roughness
together with the azimuth and dip of the measuring can be recorded if desired.
direction. This may be different from the orientation Several automatic recording profilographs are de-
ct/fl of the discontinuity. scribed in the literature [1, 3]. Most of these are suit-
Profiles typical of the minimum, most common and able for describing the finest details of roughness. They
maximum roughness are recorded using the above pro- obviously give a much more accurate picture of rough-
cedures. These profiles may apply to a whole disconti- ness than that obtained by the present suggested
nuity set, to one critical discontinuity, or to each sur- method. Normally this accuracy is unnecessary for rock
face measured, depending upon the detail required. mechanics purposes.
The waviness angle (i) illustrated in Fig. 14, should Offsets or steps dividing a discontinuity surface into
be recorded using the straight edge and clinometer, if several parallel planes are indicative of lack of persist-
the profile was so short that waviness was not automa- ence, and should be carefully profiled.
tically sampled during profiling, There are many other methods of recording rough-
The approximate wave length and amplitude of wavi- ness m addition to the profiling method. For example
ness too large to be sampled by profiling should be the wave-length and amplitude of surface features could
estimated, or measured where accessibility is no prob- be measured and recorded for several different scale
lem. intervals, i.e. <1 cm, 1-10cm, 10-100cm. > l m
Photographs representing the surfaces of minimum, Alternatively a very large undulating joint exposure
modal and maximum roughness should be taken, with could be rapidly recorded by laying a straight edge
a I m rule placed against the surface in question clearly (for example 1 m length) against the surface at I m in-
visible. tervals in the down-dip direction and recording the dip
(b) Compass and disc-clinometer. Discontinuities are of each position by means of a clinometer fixed to the
selected that are accessible, and typical of the surface straight edge. The length of straight edge could be
presumed to be involved if shear failure was to occur. varied in the same manner as with the compass
The small scale roughness angles (i) (Fig. 16) are method, if desired.
measured by placing the largest circular plate (e.g. (b) Compass and disc-clinometer. The smallest base
40 cm dia) against the surface of the discontinuity in plates give the greatest scatter of readings and also the
at least 25 different positions, and recording dip direc- largest roughness angles. The largest base plates give
tion and dip for each position. (A surface area at least the least scatter of readings and also the smallest
ten times as large as the area of the largest plate is roughness angles.
assumed). The large number of dip direction and dip readings
This procedure is repeated in turn for the other plate (from approximately 200 plate positions) represents at
diameters. The overall sensitivity of the measurements least one hours work per sampled plane. This will only
is improved if a large number of positions are recorded be justified in special circumstances. If a large number
with the smaller plate diameters, for example 50 pos- of discontinuities need to be measured, the photogram-
itions with a 20cm plate, 75 positions with a 10 cm metric method is recommended. Alternatively if the
plate and 100 positions with a 5 cm plate. potential sliding direction is known, the profiling
Each set of dip direction and dip data is plotted on method is recommended, thereby reducing the amount
a separate equal area net in terms of poles. Contours of data collection to the single direction of potential
are drawn for each set of poles. sliding.
Photographs representing surfaces of minimum, The maximum roughness angles for the given disc
modal and maximum roughness should be taken, with sizes can be plotted for any direction of potential slid-
a I m rule placed against the surfaces in question ing. ~See Fig. 16). T h e tangent of these maximum
clearly visible. roughness angles multiplied by the appropriate base
(c} Photoorammetric method. In special cases, terres- length (disc diameter) gives the displacement (dilation)
tial photogrammetry can be used to obtain the co- that will occur perpendicular to the discontinuity for
ordinates of numerous points on the surface of inacces- a shear displacement equal to the given base length.
sible discontinuities using the procedures outlined Several base lengths (disc diameters) are analysed in
under Photogrammetric Method (page 27). From this this way, so that a dilation curve can be obtained. This
data it is possible to compute contour maps or profiles will give a realistic picture of the shearing process when
of the surface roughness. The minimum contour inter- there is minimal damage to asperities. The method is
vals will depend on the distance of the camera base therefore most appropriate to shearing of joints in hard
from the surface in question. In some instances l mm rocks at low effective normal stress levels. IAsperites
intervals might be achieved, though 1 cm or 5 cm would smaller than the minimum plate diameter are assumed
Clar compass . . . . \
/ alloy dl,c /
dip r~l ~ ~1
reodln I ; v
level \ .,..,,,¢7~'~\\'//~ ~' V ' ' -- " ' " / ~ 2

11 a




- 20


,gO:m. ,£':,,;~'~,,d7., - 4O
Fig. 16. A method of recording discontinuity roughness in three dimensions, for cases where the potential direction of
sliding is not yet known. Circular discs of different dimensions (e.g. 5, 10, 20 and 40cm) are fixed in turn to a Clar
c o m p a s s and clinometer. The dip direction and dip readings are plotted as poles on equal-area nets. Adapted from [I]
and [2].

342 International Society for Rock Mechanics

not to influence the process of dilation). See Fecker (d) Descriptive terms. In the preliminary stages of
and Rengers [1] for further details. field mapping (i.e. during feasibility studies) time limi-
(c) Photogrammetric method, The coordinates repre- tations may prevent the use of the above roughness
senting points on the surface of the given discontinuity measuring techniques. The description of roughness
are recorded using a stereoscopic plotting instrument will be limited to descriptive terms which should be
or a stereo comparator, with automatic recording based on two scales of observation:
equipment (i.e. punched tape). Roughness profiles can Small scale (several centimetres)
be drawn by computer. Intermediate scale (several metres)
Methods are available for estimating the shear
I Rough {or irregular), stepped
strength and dilation characteristics of discontinuities
II Smooth, stepped
(specifically unfilled joints), based on statistical analysis
III Slickensided, stepped
of these surface coordifiates [4, 5].
IV Rough (or irregular), undulating
V Smooth. undulating
Presentation of Results VI Slickensided, undulating
(a) Linear profiling. The (x) and (y) readings should VII Rough (or irregular), planar
be plotted to the same scale (not distorted), and in- VIII Smooth. planar
clined correctly, as shown diagrammatically in the inset IX Slickensided, planar
to Fig. 15. Profiles representing the minimum, most
The term "slickensided" should only be used i f there
common, and maximum roughness should be drawn
is clear evidence of previous shear displacement along
on the same page to make comparison easier. The three
the discontinuity.
profiles may represent a discontinuity set, a single criti-
The intermediate scale of roughness is divided into
cal discontinuity, or each surface sampled. This will
three degrees: stepped, undulating and planar, and the
depend on the amount of detail required. A scale
small scale of roughness superimposed on the inter-
should be included in all the drawings. Profiles should
mediate scale is also divided into three degrees, rough
be identified clearly, and the azimuth and dip of the
(or irregular), smooth, stickensided. The direction of
measuring direction should be stated, in case this differs
striations or slickensides should be noted as shear
from the previously recorded orientation ~/fl of the dis-
strength may vary with direction. Roughness profiles
continuity. typical of the nine classes are illustrated in Fig. 17.
Photographs of the relevant surfaces showing mini-
mum. modal and maximum roughness should be pres- (The effective roughness angles (i) displayed by the nine
ented together with the profiles. categories of profile mean that in terms of shear
(b) Compass and disc-clinometer. The field measure- strength, I > II > ItI, IV > V > VI and VII > VIII >
ments of dip direction and dip obtained with the IX assuming that mineral coatings are entirely absent.
various diameters of discs should be plotted as poles or present in equal amounts. It is also evident that
on equal area nets. one for each disc. These can be I > IV > VII. II > V > VIII. l I I > IX and Vt > IX.
combined and presented on a single contoured plot, Some of the inequalities are less certain. For example
as shown in Fig. 16. VII might be stronger than I l k This would depend on
Measurements from several discontinuities of a given whether or not dilation was inhibited. Around an un-
set may be grouped on the same equal area net if derground excavation dilation is usually inhibited by
desired, to show the range of roughness (and the overall the stiffness of the surrounding rock mass. Beneath a
variation in orientation caused by any waviness). rock slope it may not be).
Photographs of the relevant surfaces showing mini- There may also be a large scale waviness superim-
mum, modal and maximum roughness should be pres- posed on the above small and intermediate scales of
ented together with the pole diagrams. observation. In such cases these characteristics should
(c) Photogrammetric method. For purposes of visual also be noted i.e. smooth, undulating (class V) with
presentation in a report, the most useful figures will large scale waviness 10 m wave length, 50m amplitude.
be profiles rather than contour diagrams of surface The descriptions associated with persistence, i.e. sys-
roughness. The profiles, which will normally be plotted tematic, sub-systematic, non systematic wilt obviously
by computer, should be presented with 1:1 vertical: be of the greatest importance in determining the rela-
horizontal scales, in preference to exaggerated vertical tive importance of the above descriptions of roughness.
If the direction of potential sliding is unknown, the Estimation of shear strength
profiles should be computed and presented to represent The main purpose in describing the roughness of the
the roughness in the line of dip (dip vector direction. walls of discontinuities is to facilitate the estimation
Correctly orientated profiles can be produced at a later of shear strength, in particular in the case of unfilled
stage. discontinmties where estimates may be quite accurate.
Photographs of the relevant surfaces showing mini- In crude terms, shear strength will consist of a maxi-
mum. modal and maximum roughness should be mum (peak) or minimum (residual) friction angle, or
presented together with the profiles. some intermediate angle (depending upon the degree
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 343













Fig. 17. Typical roughness profiles and suggested nomenclature. The length of each profile is in the range: 1 to l0 metres.
The vertical and horizontal scales are equal.

of previous shear displacement) plus a contribution (i) add to the above value of z. (e.g. profiles 1, I1, and
due to large scale waviness, if this exists. III, Fig. 17).
The value of qS(rcsidua]) will depend on the degree of
Thus r = a', tan(~b + i)
weathering of the discontinuity walls and on the rock
r = shear strength (peak or residual)
type. In the absence of weathering, ~b(re~ia,,aL~ usually
q5 = friction angle (peak or residual)
varies from about 25 to 3Y, most commonly around
&,, = effective normal stress
30 c. In the case of strongly weathered walls, the value
i= waviness (if present)
may fall to around 15 c', even in the absence of actual
The value of r(~,~,k~ will depend on the value of ~', clay fillings. A method of estimating ~b(re~au~l is de-
and on the degree of roughness. In the case of unfilled scribed by Barton and Choubey [6]. The estimate is
joints qSiv~,k) values generally range from about 30 to based on the ratio between the Schmidt hammer
70 ~' and commonly average about 4Y>. In the case of rebound (r) obtained on the weathered joint wall and
joints having vertical or very steep steps, or less than the rebound (R) obtained on the unweathered rock.
100°~; persistence, there will also be a cohesion (c) to Values of qSp~,k can be estimated using the following
A, ROUGH U N D U L A T I N G - t e n s i o n
sheeting, non-planar foliation planar shear joints, planar
joints,rough sheeting, rough
and bedding. foliation, bedding.
<3 SOcm £> <] SOcm
~) " SOcm
L _ ]
<~ SOOcm O <? SOOcm
(~ S00cm {~

t I
~/(~n= tan(20.iog~(~n)+3o" ) (A) T/(~ tan(10, iag,0(JCSon)÷30")(g) ~/"~n-- tan(s'l°g'°(J'~S) .30") (C)


? 4
/~o f~
~o ~

~ 2

l RC =IC JRC=5
0 0
! 2 3 1 2 3
1 2 3


Fig. 18. A method of estimating peak shear strength from roughness profiles. Each curve is numbered with the appropriate
. . . . . . . . . • . , I : . . . . . . . . :.1_ ~_ ,L . . . . . . . . ;~,~ iDr-' ,,~hlo¢
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 345


k 11 0-2

. . . . . I 2-4

3 t . . . . . -~- - I 4- 6

4 . . . . . ~ 6 - 8

8- 10

7 ~ ~ ' ~ ~ - - ~ - ~ 12-14

~ 14 - 16

16 - 18

18 - 2 0

o $ IO
I I I I ~ I ~ I I I I cm SCALE

Fig, 19. Roughness profiles and corresponding range of JRC values associated with each one [6].

formula : detailed profiles are given in Fig. 19 to facilitate this

/JCS\ quantification). Secondly, the discontinuity walls are
tested with a Schmidt hammer to estimate JCS and
\\ hulC
q~r. Note that in Fig. 18, qSr has been assumed as 30 ~
JRC = joint roughness coefficient
in every case. The above method is a surprisingly accu-
JCS = joint wall compression strength
rate and cheap method of estimating ~b(pc~,kI. Further
details are given by Barton and Choubey [6].
The method of application is illustrated in Fig. 18. Since peak shear strength is mobilized after relatively
Firstly, the measured roughness profiles are matched small displacements it may not be realistic to add the
with the three sets given at the top of Fig. 18, to obtain large scale waviness angle (i) to this estimate of 4)(~,~,k).
an eslimate of the appropriate JCR value. (More For most practical purposes qStpc~,k~ can bc regarded
346 International Society for Rock Mechanics

as the m a x i m u m value for a joint of 100~o persistence. 5. W A L L S T R E N G T H

However, ~btre~idua~)is not mobilized until relatively large
displacements have occurred, which generally makes Scope
the large scale waviness angle (i) a realistic addition (a) The compressive strength of the rock comprising
to shear strength. In the case of completely planar dis- the walls of a discontinuity ~s a very important com-
continuities or discontinuities that have sheared to the ponent of shear strength and deformability, especially
extent that no further dilation ~s possible, then (])(residual) if the walls are in direct rock to rock contact as in
will be the only shear strength c o m p o n e n t left. and will the case of unfilled joints. Slight shear displacement
represent the absolute m i n i m u m shear strength for that of individual joints caused by shear stresses within the
discontinuity. rockmass often results in very small asperity contact
The above method for estimating the J R C value of areas and actual stresses locally approaching or exceed-
a measured roughness profile is obviously subjective. ing the compression strength of the rock wall material,
Objective methods of analysing profiles are described hence the asperity damage.
in the literature by Fecker and Rengers [1] (compass (b) Rock masses are frequently weathered near the
and disc-clinometer method) and by Barton [5] (photo- surface, and are sometimes altered by hydrothermal
g r a m m e t r i c method). As described under N o t e (b), the processes. The weathering (and alteration) generally
method of analysing c o m p a s s and disc-clinometer read- affects the walls of discontinuities more than the inter-
ings results in a dilation curve which is a plot of rough- ior of rock blocks. This results in a wall strength some
ness (i) angles versus shear displacement. These (i) fraction of what would be measured on the fresher rock
angles are added to q~ to estimate the shear strength found in the interior of the rock blocks, for example
for displacements intermediate between peak and resi- that sampled by drill core. A description of the state
dual strength. of weathering or alteration both for the rock material
and for the rock mass is therefore an essential part
REFERENCES of the description of wall strength.
1 Fecker E. & Rengers N. Measurement of large scale roughnesses (c) There are two main results of weathering: one
of rock planes by means of profilograph and geological compass.
Rock Fracture. Proc. of Int. Syrup. Rock Mech. Nancy, Paper dominated by m e c h a n i c a l disinteoration, the other by
1.18 (1971). c h e m i c a l d e c o m p o s i t i o n including solution. Generally,
2. Hock E. & Bray J. Rock slope engineering. The Institution of both mechanical and chemical effects act together, but,
Mining and Metallurgy, London, 309 p 0974).
3. Fecker E. Geologische Kartierung des Gebietes nordwestlich yon
depending on climatic regime, one or other of these
Neustadt Weinstrasse sowie Bau und Anwendung emes Profilo- aspects may be dominant. Mechanical weathering
graphen. Diplomarbeit, Universit~it Karlsruhe (1970). results in opening of discontinuities, the formation of
4. Rengers N. Influence of the surface roughness on the friction
properties of rock planes. Proc. of 2nd. Cong. of Int. Soc. Rock new discontinuities by rock fracture, the opening of
Mech., Belgrade, Vol. I, pp. 229-234 (1970). grain boundaries, and the fracture or cleavage of indivi-
5. Barton N. A relationship between joint roughness and joint shear dual mineral grains. Chemical weathering results in dis-
strength. Proc. Int. Syrup Rock Mech. Nancy, Rock Fracture.
Paper I. 8 (1971). colouration of the rock and leads to the eventual
6. Barton N. & Choubey V. The shear strength of rock joints in decomposition of silicate minerals to clay minerals;
theory and practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag) 10, 1-54 some minerals, notably quartz, resist this action and
0977). m a y survive unchanged. Solution is an aspect of chemi-
7. Barton N. Review of a new shear-strength criterion for rock
joints. Engng Geol. 7, 287-332 {1973~. {Also NGI Publ. No. t05. cal weathering which is particularly i m p o r t a n t in the
Oslo, 1974. case of carbonate and saline minerals.
8. Patton F. D. Multiple modes of shear failure in rock and related
materials. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of Illinois, 282 p {1966). (d) The relatively thin "skin" of wall rock that affects
9. Patton F. D. & Deere D. U. Significant geologic factors in rock shear strength and deformability can be tested by
slope stability. Proc. Syrup. on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johan- means of simple index tests. The apparent uniaxial
nesburg 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 1971, pp. 143-151 (1970). compression strength can be estimated both from
t0. Piteau D. R. Geological factors significant to the stability of
slopes cut in rock. Syrup. on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes- Schmidt h a m m e r tests and from scratch and geological
burg, 1970, Balkema, Amsterdam 197t. pp. 33-53 (1971). h a m m e r tests, since the latter have been roughly cali-
11 Rengers N. Unebenheit und R¢ibungswiederstand yon Gestein- brated against a large body of test data.
strennfl~ichen. Dr. Ing. Dissertation, Fakult~it f'tir Baueringcnieur-
und Vermessungswesen, Universit~t Karlsruhe, 129 p (1971). (e) Mineral coatings will affect the shear strength of
12. Wickens E. H. & Barton N R. The application of photogram- discontinuities, to a marked degree if the walls are
metry to the stability of excavated rock slopes. Photogram. Rec. planar and smooth. The type of mineral coatings
7(37), April. 46-54 (1971).
13. Ross-Brown D. M., Wickens E. H. & Markland J. Y. Terrestial should be described where possible. Samples should be
photogrammetry in open pits: 2- an aid to the geological map- taken when in doubt.
ping. Trans. Inst. Min. Metall. {Sect. A, Mining Industry $2, pp. (f) Procedures (a) and (b) concerning the weathering
All5-AI30 (1973).
14. Schneider H. J. Rock friction a laboratory investigation. Proc. grade of the rock mass and the r o c k m a t e r i a l are de-
3rd. Cong. of lnt. Soc. Rock Mech., Denver. Advances in Rock scriptive only. Procedures (c) m a n u a l index tests and
Mechanics. Vol. II. A. pp. 311-315 (1974). (d) S c h m i d t h a m m e r tests are increasingly quantitative.
15. Richards L. R. The shear strength of joints in weathered rock.
Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of London. 427 p (1975). The latter ts r e c o m m e n d e d for obtaining estimates of
16. Goodman R. E. Methods of Geological Engineering in Discon- wall strength for subsequent calculation of shear
tinuous Rocks. West Publishing, N.Y.. 422 p {1976). strength, when utilizing the wall roughness coefficient
17. Schneider H. J. The friction and deformation behaviour of rock
joints. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag) 8, 169-184 {1976~. {JRC) described under Roughness.
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 347

Term Description Grade

Fresh No visible sign of rock material weathering; perhaps I

slight discolouration on major discontinuity surfaces.
Slightly Discolouration indicates weathering of rock material It
weathered and discontinuity surfaces. All the rock material may
be discoloured by weathering and may be somewhat
weaker externally than in its fresh condition.
Moderately Less than half of the rock material is decomposed lIl
weathered and/or disintegrated to a soil. Fresh or discoloured
rock is present either as a continuous framework or
as corestones.
Highly More than half of the rock material is decomposed 1V
weathered and/or disintegrated to a soil. Fresh or discoloured
rock is present either as a discontinuous framework
or as corestones.
Completely All rock material is decomposed and/or disintegrated V
weathered to soil. The original mass structure is still largely intact.
All rock material is converted to soil. The mass struc- VI
ture and material fabric are destoyed. There is a large
Residual change in volume, but the soil has not been signifi-
soil cantly transported.

Equipment (c) Manual index tests. The manual index tests

(a) Geological hammer with one tapered point. detailed in the table on page 348 should be performed on
(b) Strong pen knife or similar. the walls of discontinuities or on material representa-
(c) Schmidt hammer (L type) with conversion table tive of the walls. The choice and number of test loca-
and graph: tions will depend on the detail required. The approxi-
(i) to correct for orientation of hammer (supplied mate range of strength for the walls of a critical set
by the manufacturer) of joints may be sufficient. Alternatively a single critical
(ii) to convert corrected rebound number to an discontinuity may need to be characterised in detail.
estimate of uniaxial strength (Fig. 20) The manual index tests can be performed on hand-
(d) Facilities for measuring the dry density of small sized pieces of freshly broken rock if the strength of
rock samples, e.g. oven, balance, beaker, water. intact rock bridges is of interest. Alternatively, the
results of point load tests, if available, can be used to
estimate the strength of the intact portions of any
potential failure surface (see Persistence).
(a) Weathering ,qrade of rock mass. The grade of (d) Schmidt hammer test. The Schmidt hammer is
weathering (or alteration) of the rock mass as a whole applied in a direction perpendicular to the disconti-
should be described first. Thc terms above are general nuity wall of interest. The rock surface should be tested
and may be modified to suit particular situations. under saturated conditions to give the most conserva-
tive result. If the surfaces are unavoidably dry, this fact
(b) Weatherin 9 grade of rock material. The grade of should be reported in the results. The surface should
weathering (or alteration) of the rock material compris- be free of loose particles, at least under the hammer
ing the walls of individual discontinuities or of the walls position.
of a particular set of discontinuities (e.g. an unfavoura- If the impulse from the spring-loaded projectile of
bly orientated set of joints) should be described accord- the Schmidt hammer is sufficient to move the surface
ing to the following scheme: being tested, the resulting rebound will be artificially

Term Description

Fresh No visible sign of weathering of the rock material.

Discoloured The colour of the original fresh rock material is changed. The degree
of change from the original colour should be indicated. If the colour
change is confined to particular mineral constituents this should be
Decorn posed The rock is weathered to the condition of a soil in which the original
material fabric is still intact, but some or all of the mineral grains
are decomposed.
Disintegrated The rock is weathered to tile condition of a soil in which the original
fabric is still intacl. The rock is friable, but the mineral grains are
not decomposed.

The stages of wealhering described abm, e may be subdivided using qualifying lerms,
for example "'slightly, discoloured', "modcrately discotoured'" "'highly discoloured'.
348 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Society for R o c k Mechanics

Approx. range of
uniaxial compressive
Grade Description Field identification strength (MPa)

S1 Very soft clay Easily penetrated several <0.025

inches by fist
$2 Soft clay Easily penetrated several 0.025-0.05
inches by thumb
S3 Firm clay Can be penetrated several 0.05-0.10
inches by thumb with moder-
ate effort
$4 Stiff clay Readily indented by thumb but 0.10-0.25
penetrated only with great
$5 Very stiff clay Readily indented by thumbnail 0.25-0.50
$6 Hard clay Indented with difficulty by >0.50

R0 Extremely Indented by thumbnail 0.25-1.0

weak rock
R1 Very weak rock Crumbles under firm blows 1.0-5.0
with point of geological ham-
mer, can be peeled by a pocket
R2 Weak rock Can be peeled by a pocket 5.0-25
knife with difficulty, shallow
indentations made by firm
blow with point of geological
R3 Medium strong Cannot be scraped or peeled 25-50
rock with a pocket knife, specimen
can be fractured with single
firm blow of geological ham-
R4 Strong rock Specimen requires more than 50-100
one blow of geological hammer
to fracture it
R5 Very strong rock Specimen requires many blows 100-250
of geological hammer to frac-
ture il
R6 Extremely Specimen can only be chipped > 250
strong rock with geological hammer

Note: Grades SI to $6 apply to cohesive soils, for example clays, silty clays, and combinations
of silts and clays with sand, generally slow draining. Discontinuity wall strength will generally
be characterized by grades R0-R6 (rock) while St-S6 (day) will generally apply to filled
discontinuities [see Filling).
Some rounding of strength values has been made when coverting to S.I units.

low. S u c h test results c a n normally be heard, since there is of interest. Alternatively the results of point l o a d
is a " d r u m m y " sound. T h e s e results s h o u l d be ignored. tests, if available, can be used to estimate the strength
F o r the a b o v e reason this field index test is unsuitable in of the intact p o r t i o n s of any potential failure surface
a loose r o c k mass c o n t a i n i n g very closely spaced discon- (see Persistence).
tinuities. (In such cases small block samples can be re- Discontinuities with thin mineral coatings that
m o v e d a n d tested w h e n c l a m p e d rigidly to a heavy base.) a p p e a r quite persistent over a given surface, and which
E a c h surface of interest should be tested a n u m b e r w o u l d p r o b a b l y prevent initial rock to r o c k c o n t a c t
of times to ensure a representative set o f results. It is should be tested with the Schmidt h a m m e r as above,
suggested that tests are performed in g r o u p s of 10 (i.e. applying the h a m m e r to the surface of the mineral coat-
10 tests per discontinuity, or 10 tests per unit area of ing. D e p e n d i n g u p o n the thickness of the mineral coat-
a large critical discontinuity, applying the h a m m e r to ing a n d its hardness, the estimate of J C S m a y or may
a new part of the surface before each impact, T h e five n o t be relevant for estimation of shear strength. In all
lowest readings of e a c h g r o u p o f 10 are discounted and such cases of m i n e r a l coatings, the mineralogy should
the m e a n value (r) of the five highest r e a d i n g s is quoted. be described i.e. calcite, chlorite, talc, pyrite, graphite,
T h e m e a n values o f the Schmidt r e b o u n d (r) and rock kaolinite, etc. Samples s h o u l d be t a k e n w h e n in doubt.
density (7) (see individual I S R M "Suggested M e t h o d " ) An estimate of the areal extent o f the c o a t i n g (_+_10%)
for a given discontinuity are used to estimate the value and the range o f the thickness o f the coating (mmb
of the joint wall compressive strength (JCS) using Fig. s h o u l d be included.
20 (see N o t e [c)).
The Schmidt h a m m e r test can be p e r f o r m e d on the Notes
surfaces of, or on material obtained from freshly b r o k e n (a) Weathering grades of rock mass and rock material.
rock when the strength of the intact rock bridges (~rc) Distribution of weathering grades in a r o c k mass may
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 349


300 O
250 4'
1E 200


O kN/m 3


Ui 50

ul 30

qj 20

Hammer vertical downwards


,oWl I [ I [
0 10 20 30 40 50 60


Fig. 20. Correlation chart for Schmidl (L) hammer, relating rock density, compressive strength and rebound number,
after Miller [1].

be determined by mapping natural and artificial expo- Rock masses which are weathered due to exposure
sures. However, it should be borne in mind that iso- to, or infiltration from surface agents should be dis-
lated natural exposures of rock and excavations of tinguished where possible from those that are altered
limited extent are not necessarily representative of the as a result of infiltration of hydrothermal solutions.
whole rock mass, since weathering can be extremely However, in many instances the effects of alteration
variable. are not easily distinguished from those brought about
Furthermore, all grades of weathering may not be by weathering.
seen in a given rock mass, and in some cases a particu- An abundant class of rock materials, notably those
lar grade may be present to a very small extent. Distri- with high clay content, are prone to swelling, weaken-
bution of the various weathering grades of the rock ing or disintegration when exposed to short term
material may be related to the porosity of the rock weathering processes of a wetting and drying nature.
material and the presence of open discontinuities. In Special tests are necessary to predict this aspect of
logging cores the distribution of weathering grades of mechanical performance. (See ISRM Suggested
the rock material may be recorded, but the distribution Methods for determination of swelling and slake-dura-
of weathering grades of the rock mass from which the bility index properties.)
cores were obtained can only be inferred. (b) Manual index tests. The manual index tests are
350 International Society for Rock Mechanics

C o r r e c t i o n s f o r r e d u c i n g m e a s u r e d S c h m i d l h a m m e r r e b o u n d Ir} w h e n the h a m m e r ~s n o t u s e d vertically


Rebound Downwards Upwards Hor~ontal

r ~ - -90 ~ ~ = -45 ~- ~90' ~ = +45' ~ = 0~

10 0 -0.8 -3.2
20 0 0.9 8.8 -6.9 3.4
30 0 -0.8 -7.8 -6.2 .... ~.1
40 0 -0.7 6.6 -5.3 2,-
50 0 -0.6 -5.3 4.3 -2_2
60 0 0,4 4.0 3.3 1.7

preferred to conventional tests on carefully prepared The Schmidt test is one of the few tests. (with the
rock cylinders because a very large number of discon- exception of scratching tests) which takes into account
tinuities can be sampled, thereby giving a more repre- the mechanical strength of the thin band of weathered
sentative picture of the condition of the walls. Further- wall material close to a discontinuity surface. Since it
more conventional tests cannot be applied to the thin is this wall material which (in combination with rough-
skin of wall rock or mineral coatings that dominate ness) controls the shear strength, it is of considerable
the shear strength and deformability of the rock mass. importance as an index of rock quality. Thejoint wall
The manual index tests for determining grades S1-$6 compressive strength (JCSI is often as low as 25?,o of
(clay, see Filling) can be replaced by more accurate the adjacent intact rock strength (0-c)due to weathering
assessment using a standard soil mechanics pocket effects. (See section Estimation oJ Shear Strenth pp,
penetrometer. This contains a stylus which is pressed 342-346.)
into the sample at a constant rate. The maximum resist-
ance can be read off a scale which is calibrated to show Presentation of results
the maximum compressive strength of the sample. (This la) Weathering grades of rock mass and rock material.
value is equal to twice the undrained shear strength = The weathering grades of recognizable weathering
~(0-1 -- 0"3)') domains in the rock mass should be recorded on sim-
(c) Schmidt hammer tests. The Schmidt hammer plified sketches and/or vertical sections, with a clear
rebound number ranges in practice from about 10 to key indicating the different weathering grades I. II. III
60. The lowest number applies to "weak" rocks (uni- etc.
axial compressive strength 0"c < 20MPa), while the The weathering grade of the rock material of indivi-
highest number applies to "very strong" and "extremely dual discontinuities or of specific discontinuity sets
strong" rocks (0"c > 150 MPa). "Very weak" rocks and should be described, i.e. "joint set no. 1" majority of
"extremely weak" rocks cannot be tested with the walls moderately discotoured, approx. 20% fresh".
L-hammer. Manual index tests must therefore be (b) Manual index tests. The strength of the wall rock
resorted to for rock weaker than 15 20 MPa. material of individual discontinuities or of specific dis-
For a given strength of surface the rebound number continuity sets should be noted together with the
is minimum when the hammer is used vertically down- assumed range of uniaxial compressive strength, i.e.
wards (rebound against gravity) and maximum when "'joint set no. l majority medium strong (R3,
used vertically upwards. The correlation given in Fig. 25-50 MPa), approx. 20~o strong (R4, 50-100 MPa),
20 applies to vertical downwards tests only. The cor- Values that are pertinent to the discontinuity walls
rections given in the following table should be applied should be carefully distinguished from any values that
when the hammer is used in other directions. might have been recorded for the material representing
Block movement (drumminess) in closely jointed the fresher rock within the rock blocks.
rock, or crushing of loose grains are some of the (el Schmidt hammer tests. The mean rebound (r) for
reasons for unexpectedly low rebound numbers in a the wall rock material of individual discontinuities or
given set of results. Unexpectedly high readings are sel- of specific discontinuity sets should be noted, together
dom obtained. The following two sets of actual results with the mean rock density ('~), and the estimate of
illustrate the suggested method of obtaining a realistic walt strength (JCS) in MPa. One set of 10 results
mean value: should be selected to show the typical range of rebound
(a) rough, planar iron-stained joints in granite values.
Values that are pertinent to the discontinuity walls
44, 36, 38, 44, 32, 44, 44, 40, 34, 42
should be carefully distinguished from any values that
mean of highest 5' r = 44
might have been recorded for the material representing
(mean of 8 sets of 10 tests" r = 43)
the fresher rock within the rock blocks.
(b) rough, undulating calcite-coated joints in hornfels
28. 28. 30. 30, 28. 24. 24. 28, 30. 20 REFERENCES
mean of highest 5" r - 29 M i | l e r R. P. E n g i n e e r i n g ctassificatxon a n d i n d e x p r o p e r t i e s for
(mean of 3 sets of 10 tests: r = 30). i n t a c t r o c k . P h . D . Thesis. U n i v . o f Illinois f1965).
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 351
2, Hucka V. A rapid method of determining the strength of rocks
in situ. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 2, 12~134 (1965). G
3. Terzaghi K. & Peck R. B. Soil Mechanics in Engineerin9 Practice.
2nd edn, 729 p Wiley, New York. (1967).
4. Jennings J. E. & Robertson A. MacG. The stability of slopes
cut into natural rock. Proc. of Vllth. Int. Co~f on Soil Mechanics
and Foundation Engineering, Mexico., Vol. II, pp. 585- 590 (1969).
5. Fookes P. G., Dearman W. R. & Franklin J. A. Some engineering
aspects of rock weathering with field examples from Dartmoor
and elsewhere. Q. Jl. En.qng Geol. 4, 139 185 (1971).
6. Patton F. D. & Deere D. U. Significant geologic factors in rock
slope stability. Proe. Syrup. on Plannin 9 Open Pit Mines, Johan-
nesburg 1970, Balkema, Amsterdam, pp. 143-151 (1971).
7. Piteau D. R. Geological factors significant to the stability of
slopes cut in rock. Plannin,q Open Pit Mitres, Johannesburg, Syrup.
1970. Balkema Amsterdam 1971, pp. 33-53 (1971).
8. Robertson A. MacG. The interpretation of geological factors for
use in slope theory Syrup. Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes-
burg, 1970. Balkema Amsterdam 1971, pp. 55-71 (1971).
9. Geological Society Engineering Group Working Party Report CLOSED D I S C O N T I N U I T Y
on "'The preparation of maps and plans in terms of engineering
geology". Q. Jl. Engn,q Geol. 5, 295 382 (1972).
10. International Society For Rock Mechanics. Suggested methods
for determining water content, porosity, density, absorption and b
related properties and swelling and slake-durability index proper-
ties. ISRM Commission on Standardization of Laboratory and
Field Tests, 36 p (1972).
11. Barton N. Review of a new shear-strength criterion for rock
joints. Engin.q Geol. Amsterdam. 7, 278-332 (19731. (also NGI
Publication No. 105. 1974, Oslo.)
12. Dearman W. R. The characterization of rock for civil engineering
practice in Britain: La Gdologie de l'lng6nieur, Socidte Gdotogi-
que de Belgique, Liege. pp. 1 75 (1974).
13. Franklin J. A. Rock quality ira relation to the quarrying and
performance of rock construction materials. Proc. o/ 2nd. Int.
Cong. oI the Int. Assoc. qfl En,qnq Geology, S~o Paulo, Brazil,
Vol. I, IV-PC-2, 11 p (1974).
14. Martin G. R. & Millar P. J. Joint strength characteristics of
a weathered rock. Pro~. c?/'3rd. Cong. q[ Int. Soc. Rock Mech.,
Denver. Advances in Rock Mechanics, Vol. II A, pp. 263 270.
15. Richards L. R. The shear strength of joints in weathered rock. OPEN DISCONTINUITY
PhD. Thesis, Univ. of London, 427 p (I975).
16. Barton N & Choubcy V. The shear strength of rock joints in
theory and practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Vcrlag). tO, 1 54
(1977). width

6. A P E R T U R E

(a) A p e r t u r e is the p e r p e n d i c u l a r distance s e p a r a t i n g

the a d j a c e n t rock walls of an open d i s c o n t i n u i t y , in
which the i n t e r v e n i n g space is air or water filled. Aper-
ture is l h e r e b y distinguished f l o m the width of a filled
d i s c o n t i n u i t y . (see Fig. 21) D i s c o n t i n u i t i e s that have
been filled (e.g. with clay) also come u n d e r this category
if filling m a t e r i a l has been washed out locally.
(b) Large apertures can result from shear displace-
ment of d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s h a v i n g appreciable r o u g h n e s s
and waviness, from tensile o p e n i n g , from outwash, and
Fig. 21. Diagrams showing the suggested definitions of the aperture
from solution. Steep or vertical d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s that of open discontinuities and the width of filled discontinuities.
have o p e n e d in t e n s i o n as a result of valley erosion
or glacial retreat may have very large apertures,
(c) In most sub-surface rock masses apertures are
small a n d will p r o b a b l y be less t h a n half a millimeter, of h y d r a u l i c conductivity, even the finest may be signifi-
c o m p a r e d to the tens, h u n d r e d s or even t h o u s a n d s of cant in c h a n g i n g the effective n o r m a l stress a n d there-
millimetres width of some of the o u t w a s h or extension fore also the shear strength.
varieties. Unless d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s are exceptionally (d) U n f o r t u n a t e l y , visual o b s e r v a t i o n of small aper-
s m o o t h a n d p l a n a r it will n o t be of great significance tures is i n h e r e n t l y u n r e l i a b l e since, with the possible
to the shear strength that a "closed" feature is 0.1 m m exceptions of drilled holes a n d bored tunnels, visible
wide or 1.0 m m wide. However, indirectly as a result apertures are b o u n d to be disturbed apertures, either
352 International Society for Rock Mechanics

due to disturbance by blasting, or due to surface weath- (d) Even undisturbed apertures give a p o o r indica-
ering effects. The influence of apertures is best assessed tion of their water conducting potential. The wall
by water permeability testing. (This is the subject of roughness may reduce the actual conductivity to a frac-
an individual I S R M document.) tion of its theoretical smooth-wall equivalent as a result
(e) Apertures are recorded from the point of view of friction and tortuosity effects. In addition, there is
of b o t h their loosening and conducting capacity. Joint much evidence that flow in joints may be tube-like
water pressure, inflow of water and outflow of storage rather than sheet-like [3]. In situ permeability testing
products (both liquid and gas) will all be affected by will be a much more reliable indicator of the influence
aperture. of apertures than direct measurement (Field P e r m e a b i -
lit ~, forms the subject of an individual I S R M docu-
(a) Measuring tape of at least 3 m length, calibrated le Apertures measured across discontinuities that are
in mm. displaced by previous shearing (for example in an un-
(b) Feeler gauge (for estimating the width of fine stable slope) may vary widely from point to point. The
apertures.) "dead areas" caused by asperity contact and undetected
(c) White spray paint. debris will again m a k e aperture measurements rather
(d) Equipment for washing the rock exposure. unreliable as a basis for conductivity estimation [4].
P r e s e n t a t i o n o f results
(a) Dirty underground exposures should be washed
(a) Apertures can be described by means of the fol-
clean. It is helpful to spray white paint along the
lowing terms:
desired lines of survey, so that the finest discontinuities
are m o r e easily visible. G o o d lighting is essential. Aperture Description
(b) Fine apertures can be measured approximately
with feeler gauges, while the larger apertures can be < 0.1 mm Very tight
0.1-025 mm Tight "Closed" features
measured with a rule graduated in m m . The apertures 0.25-0.5 mm Partly open
of all discontinuities intersecting the survey line will
be recorded. Alternatively the variation in aperture of 0.5 --2.5mm Open
2.5 10 mm Moderately w i d e "Gapped" features
a m a j o r discontinuity can be measured along the trace > 10 mm Wide
of the discontinuity.
1 10 cm Very wide
Notes 10-100 cm Extremely wide "Open" features
(a) The apertures visible in a rock exposure are in- > 1m Cavernous
herently disturbed apertures, due either to localized
surface weathering or to the mode of excavation. For
(b) Modal (most c o m m o n l apertures should be
these reasons measured apertures are likely to be larger
recorded for each discontinuity set.
than those existing within the rock mass. Tunnels that
(c) Individual discontinuities having apertures no-
are machine bored (and borehole walls) should give
ticeably wider or larger than the modal value should
a m u c h more reliable indication of the undisturbed
be carefully described, together with location and orien-
apertures. Borehole walls can be surveyed by means
tation data.
of periscopes, borehole cameras, and TV equipment.
fil~ Photographs of extremely wide ( l O - t 0 0 c m t or
and by means of pressure sensitive packers, as de-
cavernous ( > 1 m) apertures should be appended.
scribed by Fairhurst and Roegiers [1].
(b) The borehole periscope is r e c o m m e n d e d when
the depth from the surface does not exceed 30 metres. REFERENCES
Greater depths result in distortion of the optical path
which consists of a series of rigid tubes supporting a 1. Fairhurst C. & Roegiers J. C. Estimation of rock mass permeabi-
lity by hydraulic fracturing a suggestion. DiscussiorL Proc. Int.
system of lenses and prisms. A m m calibrated scale, Soc. Rock Mech. Syrup., Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fissured
differently coloured from the rock, should be located Rock. D2. pp. 1-5 (1972).
on the outside of the periscope in such a position that 2. Rocha M. & Barroso M. Some applications of the new integral
sampling method in rock masses. Proc. Int. Syrup. on Rock Mech.
the apparent apertures can be recorded. These readings Nancy. Rock Fracture. Paper 1-21 (1971).
must be corrected for orientation if the borehole does 3. Wolters R._ Reinhardt M. & Jager B. Beobachtungen tiber Art.
not intersect the discontinuities approximately at right Anordnung und Ausdehnung won KluftiSffnungen.Proc Ira. Soc.
Rock Mech. Syrup., Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fissured Rock.
angles. T1-L 13 p (1972).
Ic} The core recovery method k n o w n as the integral 4. Sharp J. C. & Maini Y. N. T. Fundamental considerations on
s a m p l i n g m e t h o d [2] is r e c o m m e n d e d for obtaining the hydraulic characteristics of joints in rock. Proc. Int. Soc_ Rock
Mech. Syrup., Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fissured Rock. TI-F.
aperture data in special circumstances. The method 15 p (1972).
essentially consists of recovering a core sample which 5. Cecil O. S. Correlations of rockbolt--shoterete support and rock
has previously been reinforced with a grouted bar. The quality parameters in Scandinavian tunnels. Ph.D. Thesis, Uni-
versity of Illinois. 414 p (1970).
reinforcing bar ts co-axially overcovered with a larger 6. Schneider T. R. Seelisberg tunnel: Geologic des Bauprojektes.
diameter coring crown. Schweitz. Nationalstrasse. NZ. Ztirich ~1970~.
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 353

7. Neustadt L. Genesis und quantitative Characteristik der Kliiftig- Various soil mechanics tube samplers can be used for
keit (in Bezug auf den Wasserbau). Proc. Int. Syrup. on Rock
Mech., Nancy. Rock Fracture. Paper 1-15 (1971). this operation.
8. Morfeldt C. O. Drainage problem in connection with tunnel con- (d) Geological hammer with one tapered point.
struction in Precambrian granitic bedrock (in Sweden). Proc. Int. (e) Strong pen knife or similar.
Soc. Rock Mech. Syrup., Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fissured
Rock. Paper T4-G. 9 p (1972).
9. Rocha M. Discussion. Proc. Int. Soc. Rock Mech. Syrup., Stutt- Procedure
gart. Percolation Through F'issured Rock. D1. pp. 11-15 (1972). (a) Width. The minimum and maximum widths of
10. Bieniawski Z. T. Geomechanics classification of rock masses and
its application in tunneling. Proc. 3rd. Con 9. of Int. Soc. Rock simple filled discontinuities (e.g. clay filled joints)
Mech., Denver. Advances in Rock Mechanics. Vol. IIA., pp. 27 32 should be measured to the nearest 10~o, and an
estimate made of the most common (modal) width.
11 Korhonen K-H., Gardemeister R., J~i~iskel~iinen H., Niini H. &
\'iih~isa~ja P. Engineering geological rock classification (in Fin- Marked differences between the minimum and maxi-
nishl Gcotechnical Laboratory, Report 12, Technical Research mum widths may indicate that shear displacement has
Centre of Finland, 78 p (1974). occurred if the walls are essentially unaltered or un-
In cases where fillings are thin it may be helpful to
7. F I L L I N G try to measure the mean amplitude of wall roughness
using the straight edge, and compare this with the mean
Scope width of the filling as illustrated in Fig. 22. This will
(a) Filling is the term for material separating the be especially valuable when assessing shear strength
adjacent rock walls of discontinuities, e.g. calcite, chlor- and deformation characteristics in detailed studies.
ite, clay, silt, fault gouge, breccia etc. The perpendicular The principal dimensions of complex filled discon-
distance between the adjacent rock walls is termed the tinuities (e.g. shear zones, crushed zones, faults, fault
width of the filled discontinuity, as opposed to the aper- zones, dykes and lithological contacts) should be esti-
ture of a gapped or open feature. mated, or measured to the nearest 10°~, when possible.
(b) Due to the enormous variety of occurrences, filled In the case of important occurrences it is helpful to
discontinuities display a wide range of physical behav- make field sketches such that the condition of the wall
iour, in particular as regards their shear strength defor- rock (i.e. degree of associated fracturing and/or alter-
mability and permeability. Short-term and long-term ation) is also communicated. See examples in Fig. 23.
behaviour may be quite different such that it is easy (b) Weatherin 9 grades. Filled discontinuities that
to be misled by favourable short term conditions. have originated as a result of preferential weathering
(c) The wide range of physical behaviour depends along discontinuities may have fillings composed of
on many factors of which the following are probably decomposed rock, or disintegrated rock. The relevant
the most important. type should be recorded.
(i) Mineralogy of filling material Decomposed:-- The rock is weathered to the condi-
(ii) Grading or particle size tion of a soil in which the original
(iii) Over-consolidation ratio material fabric is still intact, but
(iv) Water content and permeability some or all of the mineral grains
(v) Previous shear displacement are decomposed.
(vi) Wall roughness Disintegrated: The rock is weathered to the condi-
(vii) Width tion of a soil, in which the original
(viii) Fracturing or crushing of wall rock material fabric is still intact. The
(ell Every attempt should be made to record the rock is friable, but the mineral
above factors, using quantitative descriptions where grains are not decomposed.
possible, together with sketches and/or colour photo- (c) Mineralogy. For all types of filled discontinuities
graphs of the most important occurrences. Certain the finest fraction of the filling or gouge is of most
index tests are suggested for a closer investigation of interest since this usually controls the long term shear
major discontinuities considered to be a threat to stabi- strength. The mineralogical composition of the finer
lity. In special cases the results of these field descrip- filling material should therefore be determined, es-
tions may warrant the recommendation for large scale pecially in cases where active clays or swelling clays
in situ testing, at least in the case of dam foundations are suspected. Samples should be taken when in doubt
or major slopes. concerning the mineralogy.
In cases where swelling clay such as montmorillonite
is identified or suspected, and where this condition
(a) Measuring tape of at least 3 m length, graduated might be critical for stability, samples should be taken
in mm. for free swelling and swelling pressure tests. (It is of
(h) Folding straight-edge of at least 2 m in length. advantage to record the in situ water content of these
({) Plastic bags for taking samples of the filling samples where possible. Such samples should therefore
material of up to 1 or 2kg in weight. In some cases be sealed.)
undisturbed samples may be required for shear testing. (d) Particle ,size. The method of describing the grad-
354 International Society for Rock Mechanics


moan z 1; a i

• f 'f= ,f: t

f • O.50a


Fig. 22. In the case of simple filled discontinuities, the amplitude

of the wall roughness and the thickness of the filling can help to
indicate the amount of shear displacement required for rock contact
(stiffening) to occur. (Zero volume change assumed during sheart.

ing or particle size will depend on the type of occur-

rence. A rough quantitative description of the grading
of discontinuity fillings can be given by estimating the
percentages of clay, silt. sand and rock particles.
( + 10~). Several kilos of filling material may need to
be extracted and fingered before making these esti-
Particle size can be classified according to the modi- Fig. 23. Examples of field sketches of complex filled discontinuities
fied Wentworth scale below: ri].
boulders 200-600 mm
cobbles 60-200 mm coarse sand 0.6- 2 mm
coarse gravel 20-60 mm medium sand 0.2-0.6 mm
medium gravel 6 20 mm fine sand 0.06- 0.2 mm
fine gravel 2-6 mm silt. clay < 0.06 mm
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 355

If a detailed soil mechanics investigation is warranted shears, displaced cross joints, etc.l This should be
the finest fraction can be analysed in the laboratory recorded in conjunction with an estimate of the ap-
to determine: proximate over-consolidation ratio (OCR) of any clay
clay fraction ('~,; < 2/~) filling.
?ii passing No. 200 sieve (74/~) (g) Water content and permeability. The water con-
Atterberg index tests to determine liquid limit and tent and permeability of the filled discontinuity as a
plasticity index: PI = (LL - PL) ~7,; whole and of the clay filling in particular should be
(e) Filling strength. Filling material, in particular the described as below (see also under Seepaget. The deci-
finer fraction which is usually weakest, can be assessed sion to make actual measurements of these properties
by means of the manual index tests tabulated below, will depend on the importance of the occurrence to
as recommended under Wall Strength: the project.
The undrained shear strengths of the soils repre- W1 The filling materials are heavily consolidated
sented in grades S1 to $6 are equal to one half of the and dry, significant flow appears unlikely due
given uniaxial compressive strengths (care should be to very low permeability.
taken in applying these estimates to fissured clays.) W2 The filling materials are damp, but no free water
If a detailed soil mechanics investigation is warranted is present.
(e.g. drained shear strength determination) due to the W3 The filling materials are wet, occasional drops
critical nature of an individual filled discontinuity, then of water.
undisturbed samples of the filling material may be W4 The filling materials show signs of outwash, con-
required. Various tube samplers are available for this tinuous flow of water (estimate litres/minute).
sampling operation. W5 The filling materials are washed out locally, con-
(f) Previous displacement. Care should be taken to siderable water flow along out-wash channels
determine whether a given filled discontinuity has suf- (estimate litres/minute and describe pressure i.e.
fered previous shear displacement or not. (Slickensides, low, medium, high).

Approx. range of
uniaxial compressive
Grade Description Field identification strength (MPal

S1 Very soft clay Easily penetrated several <0.025

inches by fist
$2 Soft clay Easily penetrated several 0.025 0.05
inches by thumb
$3 Firm clay Can be penetrated several 0.05 0.10
inches by thumb with moder-
ate effort
$4 Stiff clay Readily indented by thumb but 0.1(~0.25
penetrated only with greal
$5 Very stiff clay Readily indented by thumbnail 0.25 0.50
$6 Hard clay Indented with difficulty by >0.50

R0 Extremely Indented by thumbnail 0.25 1.0

weak rock
R1 Weak rock Crumbles under firm blows 1.0 5.0
with point of geological ham-
met, can be peeled by a pocket
R2 Weak rock Can be peeled by a pocket 5.025
knife with difficulty, shallow
indentations made by firm
blow with point of geological
R3 Medium Cannot be scraped or peeled 25 50
strong rock with a pocket knife, specimen
can be fractured with single
firm blow of geological ham-
R4 Strong rock Specimen requires more than 50 100
one blow of geological hammer
to fi-acture it
R5 Very strong rock Specimen requires many blows 100--250
of geological hammer to frac-
ture it
R6 Extremely Specimen can only be chipped >250
strong rock with geological hammer

Nolo. Grades SI to $6 apply to cohesive soils, for example, clays, silty clays and combinations
of sills and clays with sand, generally slow draining. Some rounding of tile strength xalues
has been made when converting to S.I. units.
356 I n t e r n a t i o n a l Society for R o c k Mechanics

W6 T h e filling materials are washed o u t completely, soil index parameters

very high water pressures experienced, es- swelling potential
pecially on first exposure (estimate litres/ (c) Filling strength" m a n u a l index (S1-$6)
minute and describe pressure). shear strength
o v e r - c o n s o l i d a t i o n ratio
(a) T h e m a n u a l index tests for determining grades (d) Seepage: water content (rating as
St to $6 can be replaced by m o r e a c c u r a t e assessments W I - W 6 } permeability
using a s t a n d a r d soil mechanics penetrometer. This quantitative d a t a
contains a stylus which is pressed into the sample at
a c o n s t a n t rate. The m a x i m u m resistance can be read
off a scale which is calibrated to s h o w the m a x i m u m
c o m p r e s s i v e strength o f the sample. (This value is equal 1. Korhonen K-H., Gardcmeister R., J~ii~skel~inen H., Nini H. &
to twice the undrained shear strength = ~(trt - a3).) Viih~isarja P. Engineering geological rock classification (in Fin-
nish). Geoteehnical laboratory, Report 12. Technical Research
(b) H y d r o t h e r m a l alteration of g o u g e material a n d / Centre of Finland, 78 p (19741.
or the deposition of h y d r o t h e r m a l p r o d u c t s will c o m - 2. Miiller L. Der Fetsbau. Ferdinand Enke-Vertag, Stuttgart. 624
plicate the mineralogical identification o f fillings since p (19631.
3. Brekke T L. & Selmer-Olsen R. Stability problems in under-
p r o d u c t s not associated with the p e t r o g r a p h y of the ground construction caused by montmorillonite-carrymg joints
crushed r o c k or the wall rock m a y be present. and faults. Engng. Geol. 1, 3-19 ~19651.
(c) If previous displacement has o c c u r r e d t h r o u g h 4. Skempton A. W. Some observations on tectonic shear zones.
Proc. 1st Cong. of Int. Soc. Rock Mech. Lisbon. Vol. 1. pp.
the potential weakest layers of a filled discontinuity, 329-335 (19661.
i.e. t h r o u g h the clay filling or clay gouge, as evidenced 5. Skempton A. W. & Petley D. J. The strength along structural
by slickensides and shears, then the o v e r - c o n s o l i d a t i o n discontinuities in stiff clays. Geotech. Conf. on Shear strength
Properties of Natural Soils and Rocks. Oslo 1967. Proc. Vol. 2,
ratio ( O C R ) of the clay will not be i m p o r t a n t since pp. 29=46 (1968).
the discontinuity will be close to residual strength. 6. Cecil O. S. Correlations of rock bolt-shotcrete support and rock
However, if previous displacement t h r o u g h these weak quality parameters in Scandinavian tunnels. Ph.D. Thesis. Univ.
of Illinois. 414 p (1970l.
layers is not suspected then the o v e r - c o n s o l i d a t i o n ratio 7. Selmer-Olsen R. lngeniorgeologi (part i). Tapir. Trondheim. 230 p
will be i m p o r t a n t since the peak drained shear strength (19711.
of the intact clay m a y be m u c h higher t h a n the residual 8. Brekke T. L. & Howard T. R. Stability problems caused by seams
and faults. Proc. Ist. North American Rapid Excavation and Tun-
strength. Short term stability will be deceptively high, neling Conference, Chicago. Vot. 1~ pp. 24-4t (19721.
especially in the case o f unloading, due to the reduced 9. Brekke T. L. & Howard T. R. Functional classification of gouge
or negative pore pressures. However, in time swelling materials from seams and faults in relation to stability problems
in underground openings. Dept. of Cir. Eng., Univ. of California.
and softening may o c c u r due to increased p o r e pressure Berkeley, 153 p (19731.
and water content a n d possibly also due to strain 10. Deere D. U. The foliation shear zone--an adverse engineering
softening caused by engineering loading, for example geologic feature of metamorphic rocks. J. Boston Soc. cit,: Engrs
60, 163-176 (19731.
by excavation of an overlying rock slope. This potential 11. Barton N. A review of the shear strength of filled discontinuities
for r e d u c t i o n in strength with time s h o u l d not be un- in rock. Fjellsprengningsteknikk. Bergmekanikk. Cong. Oslo
derestimated during field assessment. Tapir, Trondheim. pp. 19.1-1%38 (1973), (Also NGI Pub~ No.
105. Oslo 19741.
(d) Faults frequently contain highly permeable brec- 12. Barton N.. Lien R. & Lunde J. Engineering classification of rock
ciated g o u g e adjacent to highly i m p e r m e a b l e clay masses for the design of tunnel support. Rock Mechanics
gouge. T h e water c o n d u c t i n g capacity will therefore be (Springer-Verlag), 6, t89-236 (19741.
13 Cording E. J. & Mahar J. W. The effect of natural geologic dis-
strongly anisotropic, and m a y even be confined to flow continuities on behaviour of rock in tunnels. Proc. 2nd. North
parallel to the plane of the fault. It m a y be p r e m a t u r e American Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference, San Fran-
to describe a fault z o n e as "dry" or " i m p e r m e a b l e " if cisco. Vol. 1. Chap. 12. pp. 107--138 (t9741.
14. Dearman W. R. The characterization of rock for civil engineering
the tunnel or e x p l o r a t o r y adit has not completely pene- practice in Britain. La Geologie de l'Ingenieur. Soci6t6 G6ologi-
trated the feature. que de Belgique, Li6ge. pp. 1-75 (1974).
15. International Society for Rock Mechanics. Suggested methods
P r e s e n t a t i o n o f results for determining shear strength. ISRM Commission on Standardi-
zation of Laboratory and Field Tests, 23 p (19741.
T h e detail of p r e s e n t a t i o n will be dependent on the 16. Norwegian Rock Mechanics Group. Suggested terminology,
i m p o r t a n c e of the individual filled discontinuity (or set) definitions and map symbols for rock mechanics and engineering
geology (in Norwegian). Tapir. Trondheim (19741.
to the project as a whole. I n general the description 17. Selmer-Olsen R. & Rokoengen K. About swelling tests and stabi-
should be arranged as below, so as to include a descrip- lity of clay zones in hard rock. Proceedings of 3rd. Cong. of lnt
tion of those factors of particular relevance to the pro- Soc. Rock Mech.. Denver. Advances in Rock Mechanics. Vot. II-B.
pp. 1061-1068 (19741.
ject in hand.
(a) G e o m e t r y : width
wall roughness 8. SEEPAGE
field sketch
(b) Filling type: mineralogy Scope
particle size (a} Water seepage t h r o u g h rock masses results
weathering grade mainly from flow t h r o u g h water c o n d u c t i n g discon-
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 357

tinuities ("secondary" permeability). In the case of cer- Procedure

tain sedimentary rocks the "primary" permeability of (a) Available air photographs should be studied to
the rock material may be significant such that a pro- obtain an overall view of the local drainage pattern
portion of the total seepage occurs through the pores. and likely groundwater levels. (Groundwater may be
The rate of seepage is roughly proportional to the local indicated by growth of vegetation along faults and
hydraulic gradient and to the relevant directional per- basic dykes.) Information on seasonal variations of
meability, proportionality being dependent on laminar groundwater levels, and on rainfall and temperature
flow. High velocity flow through open discontinuities records should be obtained where possible.
may result in increased head losses due to turbulence. (b) Description of the local hydrogeology will usually
(b) The prediction of groundwater levels, likely seep- be limited in the preliminary stages of field mapping.
age paths, and approximate water pressures may often There will probably be no boreholes for pumping tests,
give advance warning of stability or construction diffi- no wells for water level determination and drawdown
culties. The field description of rock masses must inevi- ,tests, no tracer tests, and no piezometer installations.
tably precede any recommendation for field permeabi- The hydrogeology will therefore have to be assessed
lity tests so these factors should be carefully assessed from geological predictions of the likely locations of
at this early stage. acquifers, from predictions of the likely orientation and
(c) Irregular groundwater levels and perched water location of impermeable flow barriers, and from predic-
tables may be encountered in rock masses that are par- tions of the likely resultant seepage directions and
titioned by persistent impermeable features such as ground water levels. The need for exploratory bore-
dykes, clay filled discontinuities or permeable beds. The holes for water level determination, tracer testing, piez-
prediction of these potential flow-barriers and associ- ometer installation and pumping or drawdown tests
ated irregular water tables is of considerable impor- should be assessed, and their optimum location indi-
tance, especially for engineering projects where such cated on appropriate plans.
barriers might be penetrated at depth by tunneling, (c) The mutual interaction of the planned engineer-
resulting in high pressure inflows. ing project and the assumed groundwater flow regime
(d) Seepage of water caused by drainage into an should be assessed and important consequences sum-
engineering excavation may have far reaching conse- marized. The effect of seepage towards or into a
quences in cases where a sinking ground water level planned excavation such as a tunnel or slope should
would cause settlement of structures founded on overly- be described with a view to preliminary analysis. The
ing clay deposits.
predicted effect of any resultant drawdown of ground-
(e) The approximate description of the local hydro- water levels on existing installations, and on the settle-
geology should be supplemented with detailed observa- ment of clay foundations should be summarized.
tions of seepage from individual discontinuities or par-
(d) Seepage from individual unfilled and.filled discon-
ticular sets, according to their relative importance to
tinuities or from specific sets exposed in a tunnel or
stability. A short comment concerning recent precipi-
in a surface exposure, can be assessed according to the
tation in the area, if known, will be helpful in the inter- following descriptive scheme:
pretation of these observations. Additional data con-
cerning groundwater trends and rainfall and tempera-
Unfilled discontinuities
ture records will be useful supplementary information.
(f) In the case of rock slopes, the preliminary design Seepage
estimates will be based on assumed "values of effective rating Description
normal stress. If, as a result of field observations one I The discontinuity is very tight and dry,
has to conclude that pessimistic assumptions of water water flow along it does not appear poss-
pressure are justified (i.e. a tension crack full of water ible.
with zero exit pressure at the.toe of the unfavourable II The discontinuity is dry with no evidence
discontinuity) then this will clearly have the greatest of water flow.
consequences for design. So also will the field observa- III The discontinuity is dry but shows evi-
tion that ice formation is possible or probable. Deterio- dence of water flow, i.e. rust staining, etc.
ration of rock slopes and tunnel portals through ice IV The discontinuity is damp but no free
wedging and/or increased water pressure caused by water is present.
iceblocked drainage paths are serious seasonal prob- V The discontinuity shows seepage, occa-
lems. in many countries. sional drops of water, but no continuous
VI The discontinuity shows a continuous
Equipment flow of water. (Estimate l/min and de-
(a) Visual observation (in the case of tunnels good scribe pressure i.e. low, medium, high).
lighting is essential). Filled discontinuities
(b) Air photographs, rainfall and temperature Seepage
records as appropriate and depending upon avail- rating Description
ability. I The filling materials are heavily consoli-
358 International Society for Rock Mechanics

dated and dry, significant flow appears observation of surface outcrops, slopes, and tunnels at
unlikely due to very low permeability. shallow depth.
II The filling materials are damp, but no (b) In the case of open pit mines, boreholes are
free water is present. drilled for mineral exploration and rock mechanics is
III The filling materials are wet. occasional commonly entertained only at a subsequent stage, if
drops of water. mineral evaluation is encouraging. The pre-existence of
IV The filling materials show signs of boreholes will allow a comprehensive hydrogeological
outwash, continuous flow of water (esti- study to be performed, including tracer tests, piez-
mate l/min). ometer installation, falling-head and pumping tests.
V The filling materials are washed out Borehole walls can be surveyed for seepage horizons
locally, considerable water flow along by means of periscopes, borehole cameras and T.V.
out-wash channels (estimate 1/min and equipment.
describe pressure i.e. low, medium, high). (c) Testing performed in drill holes (e.g. falling head
VI The filling materials are washed out com- and Lugeon tests) for estimating rock mass permeabi-
pletely, very high water pressures experi- lity forms the subject of a separate ISRM "suggested
enced, especially on first exposure (esti- method". The description of any available lugeon
mate l/min and describe pressure). values is obviously an important supplement to the
(e) In the case of a rock engineering construction present suggested methods for description of rock
which acts as a drain for the rock mass, for example masses and discontinuities. (See also Drill Core.)
a tunnel, it is helpful if the overall flow into individual (d) Bedding joints and beds of sedimentary rocks
sections of the structure are described. This should having high 'primary" permeability tend to be persist-
ideally be performed immediately after excavation since ent features with the potential for hydraulically con-
groundwater levels, or the rock mass storage, may be necting large areas of sedimentary rock masses. Such
depleted rapidly. Descriptions may be based on the fol- efficient hydraulic connection will be inherently less
lowing scheme: marked in igneous and metamorphic environments if
major regional joints and faults are absent.
Rock mass (e.g. tunnel wall) [e) Faults sometimes contain highly permeable brec-
Seepage cia adjacent to highly impermeable clay gouge. The
rating Description hydraulic conductivity may therefore be strongly aniso-
I Dry walls and roof. no detectable seep- tropic, and may even be confined to flow parallel to
age. the plane of the fault. It may be premature to describe
II Minor seepage, specify dripping discon- a fault zone as dry if a tunnel or exploratory adit has
tinuities. not completely penetrated the feature.
III Medium inflow, specify discontinuities (f) The highest location of seeping joints on a rock
with continuous flow (estimate 1/min/ slope may be important indirect input for a preliminary
10 m. length of excavationt. stability analysis. Likewise the depth of a tunnel or
IV Major inflow, specify discontinuities with its location relative to major weakness zones will be
strong flows (estimate l/min/10 m. length important, since this may imply potentially serious
of excavation). inflows.
V Exceptionally high inflow, specify source
of exceptional flows (estimate t/min/10 m. Presentation oj results
length of excavationl. ~at Air photos, geological maps, or plans of suitable
(f) A field assessment of the likely effectiveness of scale should be marked with arrows to .indicate the
surface drains, inclined drill holes, or drainage galleries
general groundwater flow pattern that has been inter-
should be made in the case of major rock slopes. This preted as a result of available hydrogeological data.
assessment will depend on the orientation, spacing and If appropriate, rainfall and and temperature records
apertures of the relevant discontinuities. can be appended.
(0) The potential influence of frost and ice on the (b) Anticipated impermeable flow barriers such as
seepage paths through the rock mass should be dykes, major clay-filled discontinuities and imper-
assessed. Observations of seepage from the surface trace meable beds, should be drawn on simplified geological
of discontinuities may be misleading in freezing tem- maps and vertical cross-sections, together with antici-
peratures. The possibility of iceblocked drainage paths pated groundwater levels. Optimum locations for inves-
should be assessed from the point of view of surface tigatory boreholes (and any existing boreholes), should
deterioration of a rock excavation, and from the point be indicated as appropriate.
of view of overall stability. Icl The anticipated mutual interaction of the planned
engineering project and the assumed groundwater flow
Notes regime should be described where possible. If sufficient
(a) Local rainfall records should be obtained where data is available for reliable predictions, anticipated
possible, to help in the interpretation of seepage obser- pre-construction and post-construction phreauc sur-
vations. This is especially important in the case of faces should be sketched. The likely effect of extreme
S u g g e s t e d M e t h o d s for the Q u a n t i t a t i v e D e s c r i p t i o n of D i s c o n t i n u i t i e s 359

w e a t h e r c o n d i t i o n s s h o u l d b e i n d i c a t e d if possible. the n u m b e r of sets d e t e r m i n e s the degree of o v e r b r e a k

Possible effects of frost a n d of artificial d r a i n a g e that t e n d s to occur with e x c a v a t i o n by blasting. (See
m e a s u r e s s h o u l d be a p p e n d e d . Fig. 24.)
(d) L o c a l s e e p a g e o b s e r v a t i o n s for i n d i v i d u a l d i s c o n - (b) T h e n u m b e r of sets of d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s m a y be a
tinuities, for specific sets, or for the r o c k m a s s as a d o m i n a n t feature of r o c k s l o p e stability, t h o u g h t r a d i -
w h o l e can be p r e s e n t e d as seepage ratings I - V I . If t i o n a l l y the o r i e n t a t i o n of d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s relative to the
e n o u g h o b s e r v a t i o n s are a v a i l a b l e , sketches s h o w i n g face is c o n s i d e r e d of p r i m a r y i m p o r t a n c e . H o w e v e r , if
the d i s t r i b u t i o n s of r a t i n g s c a n be c o n t o u r e d , d r a w n insufficient sets exist the p r o b a b i l i t y of instability m a y
as h i s t o g r a m s , or, in the case of tunnels, p r e s e n t e d o n be r e d u c e d a l m o s t to zero. O n the o t h e r h a n d a large
l o n g i t u d i n a l sections in p a r a l l e l with s t r u c t u r a l data, n u m b e r of sets having close s p a c i n g m a y c h a n g e the
in the s a m e way that L u g e o n values are p r e s e n t e d p o t e n t i a l m o d e of s l o p e failure from t r a n s l a t i o n a l or
p a r a l l e l with b o r e h o l e geology. t o p p l i n g to r o t a t i o n a l / c i r c u l a r .
(c) In the case of t u n n e l stability three o r m o r e sets
will g e n e r a l l y c o n s t i t u t e a t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l b l o c k
s t r u c t u r e h a v i n g c o n s i d e r a b l y m o r e "degrees of free-
1. Casagrande A. Control of seepage through foundations and abut- d o m " for d e f o r m a t i o n t h a n a r o c k mass with less t h a n
ments of dams. Geotechnique, 11, 159 182 (1961). three sets. F o r e x a m p l e a s t r o n g l y foliated phyllite with
2. Terzaghi K. Stability of steep slopes on hard unweathered rock
Geotechnique, 12, 251 270 (1962). j u s t o n e closely s p a c e d j o i n t set m a y give e q u a l l y g o o d
3. Mfiller L. The rock slide in the Vajont Valley. Felsmechanik und t u n n e l i n g c o n d i t i o n s as a m a s s i v e g r a n i t e with three
Ing. Geol. 2, 148 212 (1964). widely s p a c e d j o i n t sets. T h e a m o u n t of o v e r b r e a k in
4. Londe P. La stabilit6 des massifs rocheux: application aux bar-
rages. Annls. Inst. tech. Batiment Tray. publ. pp. 1617 1637 (1968). a t u n n e l will usually be s t r o n g l y d e p e n d e n t o n the
5. Snow D. T. Rock fracture spacing, opening, and porosities. n u m b e r of sets.
ASCE, Proc. Vol. 94, No. SM1, pp. 73 91 (1968).
8. Sharp J. C. Drainage characteristics of sub-surface galleries. Proc. Equipment
of 2nd. Cong qf Int. Soc. Rock Mech. Belgrade. Vol. 3, Paper
6 10 (1970). (a) G e o l o g i c a l c o m p a s s a n d clinometer.
7. Sabarly F., Pautre A. & Londe P. Quelques r+flexions sur la (b) Visual r e c o g n i t i o n a n d / o r p h o t o g r a p h i c r e c o r d -
drainabilit6 des massifs rocheux. Proc. of 2nd. Cong. o]" Int. Soc.
Rock Mech., Belgrade, Vol. 3, Paper 6-12 (1970). ing.
8. Cecil O. S. Correlations of rock bolt-shotcrete support and rock
quality parameters in Scandinavian tunnels. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Procedure
of Illinois, 414 p (1970).
9. Morefeldt C. O. Significance of groundwater at rock construc- (a) The number of sets will often be a function of
tions of different types. Proc. Int. Syrup. on Large Permanent the size of area mapped. In a preliminary investigation
Underground Openings, Oslo, 1969, pp. 305-317 (1969). it is important to record all sets present. The recogni-
10. Sharp J. C., Maini Y. N. T. & Harper T. R. Influence of ground-
water on the stability of rock masses: 1-hydraulics within rock tion of individual sets will usually proceed simul-
masses. Inst. qf" Min. and Metall. Trans. Vol. 81, Sect. A, pp. taneously with the orientation measurements. Up to 150
AI3 A20 (1972). joints may need to be measured, and the number of
11. Wolters P. Reinhardt M. & J~iger B. Beobachtungen fiber Art,
Anordning und Ausdehnung yon Kluft6fnungen. Proc. of Int. sets can usually be determined by contouring joint
Soc. Rock Mech. Syrup. Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fissured poles plotted on polar equal area nets (see Orientation).
Rock. T1 1, 13 p (t972). (b) If orientations are consistent, careful sampling
12. Morfeldt C. O. Drainage problem in connection with tunnel con-
slruction in Precambrian granitic bedrock (in Sweden). Proc. qf may reduce the number of joints that have to be
Ira. Soc. Rock Mech. Syrup., Stuttgart. Percolation Through Fis- measured to define the number of sets.
sw'ed Rock. T4-G, 9 p (1972). (c) In the detailed stages of field investigations, the
13. Louis C. Reconnaissance des massifs rocheux par sondages el
classifications g6otechniques de roc.hes. Sols et Fondations, No. number of sets present locally should be recorded as
319, July August, pp. 97 122 (1974). a supplement to procedure (a). The stability of a given
14. Brawner C. O. Rock mechanics in open pit mining. Proc. 3rd. section of tunnel or rock slope, or the deformability
Con~t. of Int. Soc. Rock Mech., Denver. Vol. IA, pp. 755-773
(1974). of a given foundation will be a function of the relevant
15. Hock E. & Bray J. Rock Slope Engineering, The Institution of number of sets found locally, rather than of the total
Mining and Metallurgy, London. 309 p (1974). number mapped under procedure (a).
16. Harper T. R. The transient groundwater pressure response to
rainfall and the prediction of rock slope instability. Int. J. Rock (d) Visual recognition of the number of sets should
Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. Vol. 12, pp. 175 179 (1975). be accompanied by some system of numbering for iden-
tification purposes. For example the most systematic
and persistent set can be labelled "set No. 1'" and so
on. (See Fig. 24). Alternatively sets can be numbered
in the order of their importance to stability.
(a) B o t h the m e c h a n i c a l b e h a v i o u r a n d the a p p e a r -
ance of a r o c k mass will be d o m i n a t e d by the n u m b e r Notes
of sets of d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s t h a t intersect one a n o t h e r . The (a) S y s t e m a t i c j o i n t sets s h o u l d be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from
m e c h a n i c a a l b e h a v i o u r is especially affected since the n o n - s y s t e m a t i c j o i n t s w h e n r e c o r d i n g the n u m b e r of
n u m b e r of sets d e t e r m i n e s t h e extent to which the r o c k sets. I n g e n e r a l s y s t e m a t i c j o i n t s will be p e r s i s t e n t fea-
mass c a n d e f o r m w i t h o u t i n v o l v i n g failure of the intact tures, with i n d i v i d u a l j o i n t s p a r a l l e l or s u b - p a r a l l e l in
rock. T h e a p p e a r a n c e o f the r o c k mass is affected since plan, while n o n - s y s t e m a t i c j o i n t s d i s p l a y r a n d o m r a t h e r
360 International Society for Rock Mechanics

data. (See Fig. 2: block diagram, Fig. 3: joint rosettes,

Fig. 5: Schmidt pole contour diagram.)
01110 (b) The number of joint sets occurring locally (for
Jcdnt example along the length of a tunnel) can be described
according to the following scheme:
I massive, occasional r a n d o m joints
II one joint set
Ill one joint set plus r a n d o m
IV two joint sets
V two joint sets plus r a n d o m
VI three joint sets
VII three joint sets plus r a n d o m
VIII four or more joint sets
IX crushed rock. earth-like
Major individual discontinuities should be recorded on
an individual basis.

1. Hodgson R. A. Regional study of jointing in the Comb Ridge
Navajo Mountain area, Arizona and Utah. Bull. Am. Ass. Petrol
Geol. 45, 1-38 (196t).
2. John K. W. An approach to rock mechanics. J. Soil Mech. Fdns
Div. cit,. Engrs SM4, pp. 1-30 (1962).
3. Miiller E. Oer Felsbau, Ferdinand Enke-Verlag, Stuttgart, 624 p
4. Price N. J. Fault and Joint Development in Brittle and Semi-Brittle
Rock. Pergamon, Oxford. 176 p (t966).
5. Nickelsen R. P. & Hough V. N. D. Jointing in the Appalachian
Plateau of Pennsylvania. Bull. Geol. SocL Am. 78, 609-630 (1967).
6. Cecil O. S. Correlations of rock b01t-shotcrete support and rock
Fig. 24. Examples that demonstrate the effect of the number of joint quality parameters m Scandinavian tunnels. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ.
sets on the mechanical behaviour and appearance of a rock mass. of Illinois. (also Swedish Geotechnical Institute. Procedings No.
27. Stockholm 1975, 275 p.) (1970).
7. Piteau D. R. Geological factors significant to the stability of
than oriented patterns in plan and section. Problems slopes cut in rock. syrup, on Planning Open Pit Mines, Johannes-
burg, 1970. Balkema, Amsterdam, 197t, pp. 33-53 (1971).
of set identification when sets cannot readily be dis- 8. Robertson A. MacG. The interpretation of geological factors for
tinguished in the field m a y be reduced by utilizing stat- use in slope theory. Syrup. on Planning Open Pit Mines, J-ohannes-
istical tests for identifying trends in the distribution of burg. t970. Balkema. Amsterdam. 1971, pp. 55-71 (1971).
9. Babcock E. A. Regional jointing in Southern Albcrta. Canadian
poles plotted on polar equal area nets. (See Fig. 5, J. Earth Sci. 10. 1769-1781 (1973).
under Orientation.) 10. Barton N.. Lien R. & Lunde J. Engineering classification of rock
(b) Incipient discontinuities such as those that may masses for the design of tunnel support Rock Mechanic.s. 6,
189-236 (1974).
develop parallel to bedding, or parallel to foliation or 11. Hoek E. & Bray J. Rock Slope Engineenng. The Institution of
cleavage, should be included in the local estimate of Mining and Metallurgy, London. 309 p (1974).
the n u m b e r of sets, if it is considered that the method 12. Goodman R. E. Methods of Geological Engineering in Discon-
tinuous Rocks. West Publishing, N.Y. 472 p 11976).
of excavation employed will sufficently disturb the rock
mass to cause development of these features into equiv-
alent bedding joints, foliation joints, etc.
(c) As noted under procedures (a) and (c), the I0. BLOCK SIZE
n u m b e r of sets recorded will tend to be a function of
the size of area m a p p e d , and should be interpreted
accordingly. The spacing of individual sets will play an
i m p o r t a n t role in this interpretation. F o r example, four (a) Block size is an extremely important indicator of
sets recognised following a "conventional" survey of an rock mass behaviour. Block dimensions are determined
area (using the pole contouring method) m a y include by discontinuity spacing, by the number o f sets, and
some sets with such wide spacing t h a t these would b e by the persistence of the discontinuities delineating
of little relevance to the stability of a short length of potential blocks.
tunnel, though possibly of considerable importance to (b) The number o f sets and the orientation determine
the stability of a m a j o r slope. the shape of the resulting blocks, which can take the
a p p r o x i m a t e form of cubes, rhombohedrons, tetrahed-
Presentation o f results rons, sheets, etc. However, regular geometric shapes are
(c) The number of joint sets present can be repre- the exception rather than the rule since the joints in
sented visually as part of the presentation of orienta tion any one set are seldom consistently parallel. Jointing
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 361

in sedimentary rocks usually produces the most regular The following descriptive terms give an impression of the
block shapes. corresponding block size:
(c) The combined properties of block size and inter- Description J,, (joints/mJl
block shear strength determine the mechanical behav-
Very large blocks < 1.0
iour of the rock mass under given stress conditions. Large blocks 1-3
Rock masses composed of large blocks tend to be less Medium-sized blocks 3-10
deformable, and in the case of underground construc- Small blocks 1(~30
Very small blocks > 30
tion, develop favourable arching and interlocking. In
the case of slopes, a small block size may cause the Values of J,, > 60 would represent crushed rock, typical
potential mode of failure to resemble that of soil, (i.e. of a clay-free crushed zone.
circular/rotational) instead of the translational or top-
pling modes of failure usually associated with discon- (c) Rock masses. Rock masses can be described by
tinuous rock masses. In exceptional cases "block" size the following adjectives, to give an impression of block
may be so small that flow occurs, as with a "sugar- size and shape:
cube" shear zone in quartzite. (i) massive = few joints or very wide
(d) Rock quarrying and blasting efficiency are likely spacing
to be largely a function of the natural in situ block-size. (ii) blocky = approximately equidimen-
It may be helpful to think in terms of a block size sional
distribution for the rock mass, in much the same way (iii) tabular = one dimension considerably
that soils are categorized by a distribution of particle smaller than the other two
sizes. (iv) columnar = one dimension considerably
(e) Block size can be described either by means of larger than the other two
the average dimension of typical blocks (block size in- (v) irregular = wide variations of block
dex lb) , or by the total number of joints intersecting size and shape
a unit volume of the rock mass (volumetric joint count (vi) crushed = heavily jointed to "sugar
J,.t. cube"
Equipment See Fig. 25 for examples of the above.
(a) Measuring tape of at least 3 m length, calibrated Notes
in mm divisions.
(a) Block size index (Ib). The purpose of the block
Procedure size index is to represent the average dimensions of
(a) Block size index (Ib). The index can be estimated typical rock blocks. The average value of individual
by selecting by eye several typical block sizes and modal spacings ($1, $2, etc., see Spacing) may not give
taking their average dimensions. Since the index may a realistic value of Ib if there are more than three sets,
range from millimetres to several metres, a measuring since the fourth set, if widely spaced, will artificially
accuracy of 10?/~i should be sufficient. increase Ib, but may have little influence on actual
Each domain should be characterized by a modal block sizes as observed in the field.
lh, together with the range, i.e. typical largest and In the case of sedimentary rocks, two mutually per-
smallest block size indices. pendicular sets of cross joints plus bedding constitute
The number of sets should always be recorded in an extremely common cubic or prismatic block shape.
parallel with I b since if there are only one or two sets, In such cases I b is correctly described by:
any subsequent attempt to convert Ib to typical block
ib = S1 + $ 2 + $ 3
rolumes may be unrealistic.
(b) Volumetric .joint count (J,,). The volumetric joint
count is defined as the sum of the number of joints (b) Volumetric.,joint count (J~,). Field mapping can be
per metre for each joint set present. Random discon- performed very rapidly as a measuring tape can be dis-
tinuities can be included, but will generally have little pensed with when individual joint spacings are not of
effect on the results. interest. 5 or 10 m can be paced out or estimated with
The number of joints of each set should be counted reasonable accuracy by most observers (i.e. to within
along the relevant joint set perpendicular. A sampling + 10~o of the correct length). The observer should face
length of 5 or 10 m is suggested. Each joint count will in the direction of strike for each joint set that is to
then be divided by 5 or 10 to express the results as be counted and count perpendicular to the strike, there-
number of joints per metre. by removing the angular correction factor.
A typical result for three joint sets and a random It should be noted that
discontinuity counted along 5 or 10m perpendicular l 1 1
s:~mpling lines might appear as below: J~, is not equal to ,~1 + $22 + ""S,,"
.l,, -- 6/10 + 24/'10 + 5./5 + 1/10
The calculation of J,, is based on the mean spacings,
J, = 0.6 + 2.4 + 1.0 + 0. l = 4.1/m 3 (medium-size
not modal spacings. Generally the results will be simi-
lar, but spacing tends to be log-normally distributed.
362 International Society for Rock Mechanics

a b

] II

":::..::.:~ :~" ~j.':.-~':'.

• ..?.:.:~::~:':.':

• .~::~:;i~?.:_i':~::::~""

¢ d
Fig. 25. Sketches of rock masses illustrating la) blocky, (b) irregular. ~c) tabular, and (d) columnar block shapes.

The occasional random discontinuities will not values typical for the largest and smallest block sizes
noticeably affect the value of Jv unless the spacing of for the domain or domains of interest. (Also record
the systematic joints is wide or very wide (i.e. 1-10 m). the number of sets and describe the persistencet.
In such cases they should be included with appropri- (b) Record the volumetric joint count (Jr) for the
ately wide spacing, for example 10 m. domain or domains of interest. (Also record the number
In view of the widespread use of R Q D in various of sets and describe the persistence).
rock mass classification methods it is of value to (c) Describe the rock mass and its "blockiness" in
present an approximate correlation between J,, and general terms as: massive, blocky, tabular, columnar.
RQD. crushed or as appropriate.
Where possible, block size and shape should also be
RQD = 115 3.3 J~, (approx.) communicated by means of photographs and/or field
(RQD = 100 for J~, < 4.5) sketches of typical exposures (see Fig, 25").
This relationship can be used for estimating the order
of magnitude of RQD when borecore is unavailable. REFERENCES
(c) Orientation data. Orientation data wilt provide ad-
ditional descriptive data for a clearer expression of the 1. John K. W. A n approach to rock mechanics. J. Soil Mech. Fdns
Div. Am. Soc. cir. Enors. SM4. pp. 1-30 (1962).
form of an anisotropic block structure if present, i.e. 2. Miiller L. Der Fetsbau. Ferdinand Enke-Verlag, Stuttgart• 624p
-steeply dipping sheets, slabs, beds" etc. or "vertical col- (1963).
umnar blocks" etc. When block dimensions are reason- 3. Price N. J. Fault and Joint Development in Brittle and Semi-brittle
Rock. Pergamon, Oxford, 176 p (1966).
ably isotropic only the block shape need be described. 4. Piteau D. R. Characterizing and extrapolating rock joint proper-
i.e. cubic, rhombohedral, prismatic, tetrahedral, irregu- ties in engineering practice. Rock Mechanics (Springer-Verlag)
lar, etc. as appropriate. Suppl• 2. pp. 5-31 ~1973).
5. Franklin J. A. Rock quality in relation to the quarrying and
performance of rock construction materials. Proc. t~f 2nd. Int.
Presentation of results Cong. ~)f the Int. Ass t~f Eml. Geolo~ly, $5,o Paulo. Brazil, V(~I
(a) Record the modal block size index (Ib), and Ib 1. IV-PC-2, 11 p (1974).
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 363

6. Korhonen K-H., Gardemeister R., Jfifiskel~iinen H., Niini H. & boundaries (domains) and geological features to be
Vfih~isarja P. Engineering geological rock classification (in Fin-
nish). Geotechnical Laboratory, Report 12, Technical Research measured. The markers indicating depths of geological
Centre of Finland, 78 p (1974). horizons and the start and end of each run should be
7. Palmstrom A. Characterizing the degree of jointing and rock carefully checked for errors.
mass quality {in Norwegian) (Internal Report, Ing. A.B. Berdal,
Mariesvei 20, 1322 Hovik, Oslo, 26 p (1975). (c) Total core recovery (R) defined as the summed
8. Barton N. Unsupported underground openings. Proc. Rock length of all pieces of recovered core expressed as a
Mechanics Meetinq. BeFo. Stockholm. pp. 61-94 (1976). percentage of length drilled should be measured and
recorded to the nearest 2!'/~; if possible. When the core
11. D R I L L C O R E is highly fragmented the length of such portions is esti-
mated by assembling the fragments and estimating the
Scope length of core that the fragments appear to represent.
(a) Drill core description is here intended primarily Core recovery is normally used to describe individual
to provide information on the discontinuities. core runs or whole boreholes, and not specific structur-
(b) In the preliminary stages of field mapping, drill ally defined rock units. The results obtained in a rock
core is unlikely to be available. However, the need for mass of poor quality will be strongly dependent on
drilling, and the optimum locations and orientations the drilling equipment and on the skill of the drilling
of holes should be described, based on existing informa- crew. Core grinding may result in excessive lost core.
tion concerning the likely orientation of discontinuities. Core that is damaged in this way should always be
(c) If drill core is available it can first be described recorded.
by means of the following parameters: total core recov- Total core recovery (R) is in the first instance usually
ery (R), discontinuity frequency (F), and rock quality obtained directly from the drillers log, and is therefore
designation (RQD). However, these parameters alone based on individual lengths of uptake. These unit
do not usually provide sufficient information for design lengths will vary with the rate of drilling and the quan-
purposes. tities of the rock drilled through.
(d) Drill cores (and drill holes) represent line samples Instructions should always be given to the drilling
of the rock mass. Structural features such as disconti- crew so that the depth drilled at the start and end
nuity orientation, spacing and the number qf sets cannot of zones of core loss are carefully recorded. The rele-
normally be adequately sampled by one hole without vant lengths lost can then be replaced by wooden
prior knowledge of the orientation and the number of blocks with markings on both ends.
sets. (d) Frequency (F) defined as the number of natural
(e) Carefully planned and executed core drilling fol- discontinuities intersecting a unit length of recovered
lowed by detailed core description and hole inspection core, should be counted for each metre of core.
can provide approximate information about many of Since the orientation of the discontinuities is not con-
the ten specific rock mass parameters described under sidered at this stage, it is clear that differently orien-
the preceding "suggested methods" i.e. 1. Orientation, tated holes will usually produce different results.
2. Spacing, 3. Persistence, 4. Roughness 5. Wall strength, Artificial fractures resulting from rough handling or
6. Aperture, 7. Filling, 8. Seepage, 9. Number ol" sets, from the drilling process should be discounted only
10. Block size. when they can be clearly distinguished from natural
(e) Rock quality designation (RQD) is a modified
(a) Measuring tape of at least 3 m length, calibrated core recovery percentage in which all the pieces of
in mm divisions. Protractor or similar scale for measur- sound core over 10cm long are counted as recovery,
ing the angles between the core axis and the discon- and are expressed as a percentage of the length drilled.
tinuities. The smallcr pieces resulting from closer jointing, fault-
(bt Materials for washing the core. ing, or weathering are discounted.
(d) Subsequent measurements in the drill holes may If the core is broken by handling or by the drilling
require the use of at least one of the following: borehole process (i.e. if the fractures are fresh breaks rather than
periscope, camera, TV camera, water level indicator natural surfaces) the fresh broken pieces should be fit-
(electrical contact type), together with the associated ted together and counted as one piece, provided they
cables and winding gear appropriate for the length of form the requisite length of 10 cm.
hole and the equipment selected. Material that is obviously weaker than the surround-
ing rock such as over-consolidated gouge is discounted,
even if it appears as intact pieces that are 10cm or
(at Dirty rock core should in general be washed more in length. (This type of material will normally
clean prior to making observations. However, this pro- only be recovered when using the most advanced drill-
cedure should be avoided in the case of filled discon- ing equipment and experienced or carefully supervised
tinuities and argillaceous rocks likely to be sensitive drilling crews.)
to wetting and drying. The length of individual core pieces should be
tbt Before making detailed observations the core as assessed along the centre line of the core, so that dis-
a whole should be examined to determine the structural continuities that happen to parallel the drill hole will
364 International Society for Rock Mechanics

o J

• t

a b

Fig. 26. Examples of three possible interpretations of the length of core pieces. The centre line length is suggested as
the most realistic measurement and is recommended.

not unduly penalize the R Q D values of an otherwise data as possible concerning the ten parameters:
massive rock mass. {See Fig. 26). 1.
It is suggested that R Q D values are determined for 2.
variable rather than fixed lengths of core run. Values
3. Persistence
of individual beds, structural domains, weakness zones Roughness
etc. should therefore be logged separately, so as to indi-
5. Wall strength
cate any inherent variability, a n d provide a m o r e accu-
6. Aperture
rate picture of the location and width of zones with
7. Filling
low or zero R Q D values. 8. Seepage
9. N u m b e r of sets
Supplementary data 10. Block size
Subsequent to the general procedure for logging total
core recovery (R), frequency (F), and rock quality desig- A combination of core logging, drill hole viewing
nation (RQD), the following supplementary procedures (borehole periscope, TV camera) and/or water injection
are suggested for determining as much quantitative tests are suggested for assessing those parameters that
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 365

are more or less disturbed in the recovered core, for it should be possible to match the individual core
example, aperture, filling, seepage. pieces such that the actual spacing of obliquely inter-
sected foliation joints, bedding joints or other regular
1. Orientation intersecting joint sets can be estimated. The spacing (S)
Efforts should be made to log the apparent orien- will depend on the length (L) measured along the core
tation of discontinuities intersecting the core, using a axis between adjacent natural discontinuities of one set,
protractor to measure the acute angles of intersection and the acute angle (0) that these features subtend with
(0) relative to the core axis (+_ 5). If the relevant hole the core axis. Thus:
is vertical, the angles (90-0) will represent the true dip
S -- L sin0
of the discontinuities, but without orientated core the
dip direction will remain unknown. The angles (0) between the core axis and the indivi-
If two or more non-parallel drillholes have been dual joints of a given set will be inherently less reliable
drilled in a rock mass where there are recognisable than those recorded from observations of rock expo-
markers such as bedding or foliation, the dip direction sures due to the possibility of joint undulation and
and dip of these features can be deduced using graphi- roughness.
cal techniques [1]. When a joint set is intersected perpendicularly by
If existing surface mapping has already indicated the the drill hole, spacing can obviously be measured di-
approximate orientation of certain joint sets, then care- rectly since (S) is equal to (L).
fully orientated drill holes can be used to check the When the rock has no consistent or clear marker
orientation of these features at depth. In the case of features such as foliation or bedding, the estimation
anticipated vertical and horizontal jointing it is helpful of spacing for any given set of joints will depend on
to drill steeply inclined holes (i.e. 60 °) in preference to the degree to which the core pieces can be matched.
45', so that the differently orientated sets can be recog- Zones of core loss will clearly frustrate this objective.
nised during core logging by their different core inter- However, if the joints that intersect the core have mark-
section angles. edly different core intersection angles (0) and/or mark-
The true orientation of discontinuities (dip direction edly different surface features (i.e. mineral coatings,
and dip) can be obtained from a single drill core if roughness) it may be possible to estimate the relevant
orientation devices are employed during the drilling spacings in a sufficient number of places along the core
process. Several methods are available: to make the exercise worthwhile.
(al Orientation of the core based on the measured Borehole viewing devices that can be orientated
orientation in each run (Craelius method). This method (periscope, TV camera) will clearly increase the reliabi-
works well if adjacent pieces of core can be matched. lity of spacing measurements.
Zones of core loss and perpendicularly intersected dis-
continuities reduce the effectiveness of the method 3. Persistence
locally. Unless holes are drilled in a very closely spaced pat-
(b) Orientation of the core by means of a hardened tern, as may be the case for operations such as grout
steel groove scriber and compass photo device (Chris- curtain injection, it will usually not be possible to assess
tensen-Huegel method). the persistence from drill core or drill hole observations.
(c) Integral sampling method in which the cores that If closely spaced holes are available, very careful cor-
are recovered have previously been reinforced with a relation of discontinuities will be required before any
grouted bar whose azimuth is known from positioning reliable conclusions can be drawn concerning the per-
rods. The reinforcing bar is co-axially overcored with sistence of a given discontinuity or set.
a larger diameter coring crown.
The orientation of discontinuities (dip direction and 4. Roughness
dip) can be obtained by drill hole inspection using spe- Gross features of discontinuity wall roughness and
cial television cameras, and periscopes. TV cameras can corresponding full scale shear strength cannot
be orientated such that a discontinuity plane shows as obviously be assessed by means of drill core alone.
a straight line on the CRT screen. The dip direction However, it is usually possible to assign to a surface
and dip can be readily determined. Cameras have been some degree of planarity (planar, curved, irregular) and
used to depths of 400m, though generally 150meters some degree of smoothness (slick, smooth, rou,qh). This
is seldom exceeded due in part to water pressure prob- suggested procedure is broadly consistent with the
lems. Minimum hole size for the cameras is generally roughness description shown in Fig. 17, but with
76 mm. dimensions reduced to the scale of centimeters and mil-
The borehole periscope can be used in smaller holes, limeters respectively.
but due to distortion of the optical path the depth is Drill hole inspection with periscopes or TV cameras
usually limited to about 30 m. will not generally provide an improved picture of
roughness unless the rock type is so weak and/or the
2. Spacim.t drilling so poorly performed that grinding of the core
In rock with marked foliation or bedding features pieces has occurred.
366 International Society for Rock Mechanics

5. Wall strength 7. Filtina

The individual suggested methods for describing wall Unless the integral sampling method or best quality
strenoth ((a) weathering grade of rock mass, (b) weath- drilling equipment is used (i.e, double or triple tube
ering grade of rock material, (c) manual index tests. core barrels, split inner tubes, and controlled flushing)
(d) Schmidt hammer test) can also be applied to the the softer filling materials are unlikely to be recovered
description of drill core. in s~gnificant amounts. Possibly only traces of clay
Since the drill core provides a ready-made line minerals wilt be visible on the discontinuity walls sam-
sample of the rock mass. such features as the depth pled by conventional drill core. Both traces and larger
of penetration of weathering into the discontinuity amounts of recovered filling should be described as to
walls can be directly observed and therefore described width, mineralogy and strength. The interpretative
quite accurately. Furthermore the drill core provides nature of these descriptions should be made clear~
ready-made samples for mechanical testing (i.e. Schmidt Where total core recovery is less than 100%~ and it
hammer testing of rigidly clamped core pieces for des- is suspected that significant amounts of filling or weath-
cribing wall strength or point load testing across the ered material has been lost in the drilling process.
core diameter for describing material strength). Franklin attempts should be made to assess the thickness, loca-
et al. [2] strongly advocate logging the point load tion and orientation of the suspected filled zones. The
strength index (I~) simultaneously with recovery of the drillers log describing the rate of advance and water
core from the core barrels. loss. type of cuttings and colour of flushing fluid may
When assessing wall strength, care should be taken be invaluable here.
to check if the relevant core pieces fit together. Lack The uncertainties surrounding the parameter filling,
of fit may indicate lost filling material, shear displace- and its extreme importance where deformation, stabi-
ment, or partial grinding away of strongly weathered lity and water seepage are concerned, strongly justify
walls during the drilling process. the use of special recovery techniques and the use of
borehole viewing techniques.

8. Seepage
6. Aperture
Observations of drill core may provide indirect evi-
The aperture of discontinuities intersected by drill dence of water seepage levels. Reddish-brown iron
holes can only be guessed unless the integral sampling (Fe3+/staining usually indicates the zone of rock mass
method is used. If the core pieces on either side of that lies above the mean ground water level Oxidation
a discontinuity can be fitted together by hand so that in discontinuity walls lying beneath the ground water
no visible void spaces remain, it is likely that the dis- level may also occur, but at a greatly reduced rate.
continuity is a tight feature m situ (i.e. very tight Frequently the strongest iron staining is found in the
<0.1 mm, or tight 0.1 0.5 mml. However it is not cer- zone where the ground water level commonly fluc-
tain that the feature is tight, it could also be "'gapped" tuates.
in situ li.e. moderately wide 0.5 2.5mm, or wide Drill holes obviously provide the means of checking
2.5-10 ram, etc.I Alignment of the walls of the relevant ground water levels directly using simple battery oper-
core pieces should be checked in this respect. ated electrical contact devices which are lowered into
If two pieces of adjacent core cannot be mated tightly the holes. Additional information on standing water
across a discontinuity and if voids are visible, the term levels should be obtained from the drillers log for each
open can be used in describing the discontinmties. It drill hole. Drill hole walls can be surveyed for seepage
is recognised that what appears to be an open or par- horizons using periscopes and TV cameras.
tially open discontinuity in the drill core actually may Testing performed in drill holes (i.e. falling head tests.
have been tighl in situ. if softer filling materials have Lu~eon packer tests, tracer tests, piezometer measure-
not been recovered, or if some wear of weathered ments for cstimating rock mass permeability, and for
material has occurred during the drilling operation. estimating the hydraulic conductivity of individual dis-
Drill hole inspection using TV cameras or periscopes continuities and sets of discontinuities, forms the sub-
should be successful in distinguishing between the ject of a separate ISRM suggested method. The logging
above tiyht and open categories, although it is unlikely and presentation of any available Lugeon values gives
that the apertures of the finest joints can be measured important supplementary data, which can conveniently
accurately. F r o m the point of view of seepage potential be presented as a log, parallel with that for total core
the open discontinuities are most important, so this recorery, ti'equencv and RQD, etc.
limitation should not be important where highly per-
meable rock masses are concerned. Methods are avail- 9. Number {~l"sets
able for estimating the theoretical smooth wall aper- The amount of information obtainable from drill
tures of water conducting discontinuities by statistical core and drill hole observation Will obviously depend
analysis of water injection tests [3]. However, the real on the orientation of the holes relative to existing sets.
apertures may be several times the theoretical smooth and on their length relative to the joint spacings. If
wall apertures due to wall roughness and tortuosity existing surface mapping has already indicated the ap-
effects. proximate orientation of certain discontinuity sets. then
Suggested Methods for the Quantitative Description of Discontinuities 367

carefully orientated holes can be used to check the lower RQD) for assessing the possible influence
number of sets at depth. Drill core observation will of blasting on the weaker sedimentary and foliated
be easier if holes are drilled to intersect the different or schistose metamorphic rocks.
sets at recognisably different angles. Usually at least (b) The degree of fracturing of the core during the
two non-parallel holes will be required. drilling process may be partly a function of core dia-
The number of sets observed at the surface is likely meter in the weaker rock types. Since some artificial
to be more than the number observed at depth. Com- fracturing is very difficult to distinguish from natural
parison of surface observations with tunnel excavations discontinuities (e.g. in the case of weak fissile, cleaved,
suggests that this is not just due to the limitations of or foliated rock) it is preferable that the core is not
drill hole sampling. less than NS diameter (55 mm) where rock strength is
in question. Use of smaller core diameters (i.e. 32 or
10. Block size 42 mm) puts an increasing responsibility on the drilling
The term block size is a composite description of crew for the results obtained. A method of correcting
the rock mass which is influenced by spacing, number R Q D to the standard NX size has been suggested by
of sets, persistence and orientation. A log of block size Heuz6 [4].
produced from observations of rock core can clearly (c) Several possible interpretations of the length of
only give an approximate picture of the true block size. core pieces are possible i.e. tip to tip (maximum) length,
A rapid method of estimating the approximate block centre line length or fully circular length. These are
size from drill core is to select by eye several typical illustrated in Fig. 26. Tip to tip measurement involves
pieces of core and take their average dimensions double-counting at each end of a core piece, while fully
( + 10')~o). Each rock unit or domain may be assessed circular measurement ignores core pieces that happen
in this way. If the relevant hole is orientated such that to have been drilled with a small subtended angle to
all sets present are intersected (i.e. a diagonal hole in one discontinuity in otherwise massive rock. Centre line
the case of a cubic joint system) then these average measurement is therefore strongly recommended.
core pieces will roughly represent the block size index (d) The results of core logging (frequency and RQD)
(Ib) defined under the relevant suggested method. A can be strongly time dependent and moisture content
depth log showing the variation of this index can be dependent in the case of certain varieties of shales and
a very useful supplement to drill core description. mudstones having relatively weakly developed diagene-
Note.s" tic bonds. A not infrequent problem is "discing", in
which an initially intact core separates into discs on
(a) When estimatingfi'equency or RQD from drillcore
incipient planes, the process becoming noticeable per-
it is necessary to discount fresh artificial breaks (frac-
haps within minutes of core recovery. The phenomena
tures) clearly caused by the drilling process, and also
are experienced in several different forms:
those made deliberately when fitting core into the core
boxes. The following criteria are suggested: (i) Stress relief cracking (and swelling) by the initially
(i) A rough brittle surface with fresh cleavage planes rapid release of strain energy in cores recovered
in individual rock minerals indicates an artificial from areas of high stress, especially in the case
fracture. of shaly rocks.
(ii) A generally smooth or somewhat weathered sur- (ii) dehydration cracking experienced in the weaker
face with soft coating or infilling materials such mudstones and shales which may reduce R Q D
as talc, gypsum, chlorite, mica or calcite obviously from 100 °/v,. to 0% in a matter of minutes, the initial
indicates a natural discontinuity. integrity possibly being due to negative pore pres-
(iii) In rocks showing foliation, cleavage or bedding it Stlre.

may be difficult to distinguish between natural dis- (iii) slaking cracking experienced by some of the
continuities and artificial fractures when these are weaker mudstones and shales when subjected to
parallel with the incipient weakness planes. If drill- wetting.
ing has been carried out carefully then the ques-
tionable breaks should be counted as natural fea- All these phenomena make core logging of frequency
tures, to be on the conservative side. and RQD unreliable. Whenever such conditions are
(iv) Depending upon the drilling equipment part of the anticipated core should be logged by an engineering
length of core being drilled may occasionally geologist as it is recovered and at subsequent intervals
rotate with the inner barrels in such a way that until the phenomenon is predictable. An added advan-
grinding of the surfaces of discontinuities and frac- tage is that the engineering geologist can perform
tures occurs. In weak rock types it may be very mechanical index tests such as the point load or
difficult to decide if the resulting rounded surfaces Schmidt hammer test, while the core is still in a satu-
represent natural or artificial features. When in rated state.
doubt the conservative assumption should be (e) In certain cases it may be helpful to log the solid
made. i.e. assume that they are natural. core recovery in addition to the total core recocery (R)
(v! It may be useful to keep a separate record of the defined earlier. The solid core recot'erv includes as re-
frequency of artificial fractures (and associated covery only those pieces of core that have a complete
368 International Society for Rock Mechanics

circumference. Total and solid core recovery will only REFERENCES

be equivalent when no fragmental material is recovered. 1. Phillips F. C. The Use o[ Stereo~traphic Projections in Structural
i.e. when the rock is massive, or when loss of sample Geoloqy. Edward Arnold. London. 3rd edn. 90 p/1971~.
2. Frank [in J. A., Broch E. & Walton G. Logging the mechanical
is represented wholly by material carried away m the character of rock. Trans Inst. Min. Metatl. Section A, 80, A1- A9
flushing system. 1t9711.
( f ) Colour photographs provide a useful and con- 3. Snow D. T. Rock fracture, spacing, opening, and porosmes.
ASCE. Proceedings, Vol. 94, No. SM1. pp. 73-91 (1968).
venient method of recording the appearance of cores 4. Heuz6 E. F. Sources of error in rock mechanics field measure-
and are of considerable value as a permanent record ments and related solutions. Int 3. Rock Mech. Min. Sei 8.
and means of rapid reference. The photograph of each 297-310 (197t).
5. Deere. D. U. Technical description of rock cores for engineering
core box should incorporate a suitable metric scale purposes. Felsmechanik und Ingenieurgeolooie, l, 16-22 (1963).
along the entire length of the box. Zones of core loss 6. Knill J L. & Jones K. S. The recording and interpretation of
should be replaced by wooden blocks with legible geological conditions in the foundations of the Roseires. Kariba
and Latiyan dams. Geotechnique, 15, 94-124 {t965).
depth markings. Wetting of the core before photogra- 7 Terzaghi R. Sources of error in joint surveys. Geotechnique, 15.
phy produces excellent contrast between different rock 287-304 (1965).
types and any form of mineralogical banding, but does 8 Deere D. U.. Hendron A. J.. Patton F. D. & Cording E. J. Design
of surface and near-surface construction in rock, Proc, 8th Syrup.
not help in the observation of discontinuities, due to on Rock Mech.. Minnesota. pp, 237 302 (1967).
the general darkening that occurs with wetting. 9. Moye G. D. Diamond drilling for toundation exploration..t.
Instr. Engrs Aust.. CE 9, 95-100 I1,967).
10. Ege J. R. Stability index for underground structures in granite
Presentation of results rock. in Nevada Test Site. Mere. Geol. Soc. Am. No. 11(~ pp.
185- 198 (1968).
In view of the different requirements in rock 11. Ward W H., Burland J B. & Gallois R. W. Geotechnical assess-
engineering projects, no attempt will be made to sug- ment of a site at Mundford, Norfolk. for a large proton acceler-
gest a standardized core log format. If a standard for- ator. Geotechnique, 18, 399-431 11968).
12. Deere D. U.. Meritt A. H. & Coon R. F. Engineering classifica-
mat was employed it would be certain that for one tion of in situ rock. Tech. Rept. no, AFWL-67-144, Air Force
given project, much irrelevant information would be System Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico {1969~.
presented, while for another, unusual features of great 13. Geological Society Engineering Group. Working Party Report
on "The logging of rock cores for engineering purposes". Q. JL
significance would be missed out because the format Engng Geol. 3, 1-24 (1970).
did not allow for their inclusion. Since it is impractical 14. Rocha M. & Barroso M. Some applications of the new mtregral
to include all the parameters given below, the following sampling method in rock mechanics. Proc. of Syrup. ~[ ISRM.
Rock Fracture. Nancy, Paper 1 21 (19711.
should only be used as a check list, so that relevant t5. Bergman M. Rock mass investigation in depth: reliability of dif-
information is included, but irrelevant data excluded. ferent methods for dritthole investigations. Proc. of 3rd Cong.
(a} General information. (i) Drill hole number. (ii) Site, of ISRM, Denver. Advances in Rock Mechanics. Vol. II A. pp.
15-20 [1974/.
project name. (iii) Grid reference. (iv) Elevation at drill 16 Dearman W. R. The characterization of rock for civil engmeering
hole collar. (v) Orientation of hole: dip direction and practice in Britain. Cotloquie G6ologie de l'lngenieur, Li6ge, pp.
dip (~/fl). (iv) Make of machine, type of feed, type of 1 7 5 {1974L
17. Franklin J. A. Rock quality in relation to the quarrying and
core barrel and bit, flush system. performance of rock construction materials, Proc. of 2nd. hit.
(b) Depth loos of relevant parameters selected from the Cong. of the lnt Assoc. of Engng Geology, S~o Paulo_ Vol. I_
paper IV-PC-2. 11 p {1974~.
following. (i) Symbolic log showing rock type (with geo-
18. Haasagi I. A method for determining the degree of fissuration
logical key). (ii) Point load strength index (l~). (iii) Total of rock. lnt. J. Rock Mech Mhl. Sci. & Geomech. Ahstr. II,
core recovery (R). (iv) Solid core recovery. (v) Lugeon 379- 388 ~19741.
packer tests (units of Lugeons) and ground water levels. 19. Hock E. & Bray 1 Rock Slope Engineerinfl l h e Institution of
Mining and Metallurgy, London, 309 p {1974).
(vi) Frequency {F). (vii) Rock quality designation (RQD). 20. Louis C. Reconnaissance de massifs rocheux par sondages et clas-
{viii) Block size index (Ib). (ix) Symbolic log showing sifications g+otechniques de roches. Sols el Foundations. No. 3t9.
July--August, pp. 97-422 {I9741.
dip of main discontinuities.
21. Rankilor P. R. A suggested field system for logging rock cores
{c~ Supplementary data. Parameters from the follow- for engineering purposes. Bull. Ass. E~,ln~ Geol 11. 247 258
ing list are probably best presented in writing in a 19741.
broad column at the side of the above depth logs, un- 22. Van Schalkwvk A. The application of computer techniques for
the manipulation and storage of exploratory borehole data. Proc.
less sufficient data is available to justify separate logs of 2nd. Im ConO. of the Int. Assoc. Emlng. Geology. S~o Paulo.
of the relevant data, for specific sets of discontinuities. VI-22 (1974J.
23. Priest S. D. & Hudson J. A Discontinuity spacings m rock lm
(i) Spacing (estimate number of setsl.
.l. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. 13. t35-148 (19761
(ii) Roughness. 24 Van Schalkw3 k A. Rock engineering testing in exploratory bore-
(iii) Weathering grades. holes. Proc. ~f Symp. on Exploration ['or Rock Engmeerin 9, Johan-
{iv) Schmidt hammer tests (wall strength JCS). nesburg. Vol. I. pp. 37 55 0976).
25. South African Core Logging Committee. A guide to core logging
Iv) Aperture. for rock engineering. Proc. of Syrup. on Exploration for Rock
{vi) Filling and iron staining. Engineering, Johannesburg, Vol. I. pp. 71~86 11976~.

Minat Terkait