Factors Affecting The Static And Dynamic Response Of Jointed Rock Masses
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Infrastructure is developing at an extremely fast pace which includes construction of metros, underground storage places, railway bridges, caverns and tunnels. Very often these structures are found in or on the rock masses. Rock masses are seldom found in nature without joints or discontinuities. Jointed rocks are characterized by the presence of inherent discontinuities of varied sizes with different orientations and intensities, which can have significant effect on their mechanical response. Constructions involving jointed rocks often become challenging jobs for Civil Engineers as the instability of slopes or excavations in these jointed rocks poses serious concerns, sometimes leading to the failure of structures built on them. Experimental investigations on jointed rock masses are not always feasible and pose formidable problems to the engineers. Apart from the technical difficulties of extracting undisturbed rock samples, it is very expensive and time consuming to conduct the experiments on jointed rock masses of huge dimensions. The most popular methods of evaluating the rock mass behaviour are the Numerical methods. In this thesis, numerical modelling of jointed rock masses is carried out using computer program FLAC (Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua). The objective of the present study is to study the effect of various joint parameters on the response of jointed rock masses in static as well as seismic shaking conditions. This is achieved through systematic series of numerical simulations of jointed rocks in triaxial compression, in underground openings and in large rock slopes. This thesis is an attempt to study the individual effect of different joint parameters on the rock mass behaviour and to integrate these results to provide useful insight into the behaviour of jointed rock mass under various joint conditions. In practice, it is almost impossible to explore all of the joint systems or to investigate all their mechanical characteristics and implementing them explicitly in the model. In these cases, the use of the equivalent continuum model to simulate the behaviour of jointed rock masses could be valuable. Hence this approach is mainly used in this thesis. Some numerical simulations with explicitly modelled joints are also presented for comparison with the continuum modelling. The applicability of Artificial Neural Networks for the prediction of stress-strain response of jointed rocks is also explored. Static, pseudo-static and dynamic analyses of a large rock slope in Himalayas is carried out and parametric seismic analysis of rock slope is carried out with varying input shaking, material damping and shear strength parameters. Results from the numerical studies showed that joint inclination is the most influencing parameter for the jointed rock mass behaviour. Rock masses exhibit lowest strength at critical angle of joint inclination and the deformations around excavations will be highest when the joints are inclined at an angle close to the critical angle. However at very high confining pressures, the influence of joint inclination gets subdued. Under seismic base shaking conditions, the deformations of rock masses largely depend on the acceleration response with time, frequency content and duration rather than the peak amplitude or the magnitude of earthquake. All these aspects are discussed in the light of results from numerical studies presented in this thesis.
- Civil Engineering (CiE)