Jointed rock masses

Research scope

Jointed (fractured) rock masses have been studied in the context of rock slope stability, tunnel deformability and stability, and energy related problems such as Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) and the extraction of hydrocarbons (both oil and gas). The performance of rock masses in all of the above applications is related to the geometry of fracture networks in the rock mass and to the mechanical and hydraulic interaction among fractures; consequently, all these aspects have been studied. Research topics on jointed rock masses range from geometric, stochastic, fracture network models, an important part of which has been the development of sampling procedures for relating observations on outcrops and in boreholes to three-dimensional fracture network geometry; to experimental and analytical studies of fracture initiation, propagation, and coalescence, including that in relation to hydraulic fracturing; to models of flow and thermal transfer through rock fracture networks.

Related publications:
Fracture mechanics of jointed rock masses
Fracture geometry of jointed rock masses
Combined fracture mechanics and geometry