Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Mahdi Zoorabadi, Deformability Modulus of Jointed Rocks, Limitation of Empirical Methods and Introducing a New Analytical Approach, in Naj Aziz and Bob Kininmonth (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Coal Operators' Conference, Mining Engineering, University of Wollongong, 10-12 February 2016, 132-137.


Deformability modulus of jointed rocks is a key parameter for stability analysis of underground structures by numerical modelling techniques. Intact rock strength, rock mass blockiness (shape and size of rock blocks), surface condition of discontinuities (shear strength of discontinuities) and confining stress level are the key parameters controlling deformability of jointed rocks. Considering cost and limitation of field measurements to determine deformability modulus, empirical equations which were mostly developed based on rock mass classifications are too common in practice. All well-known empirical formulations dismissed the impact of stress on deformability modulus. Therefore, these equations result in the same value for a rock at different stress fields. This paper discusses this issue in more detail and highlights shortcomings of existing formulations. Finally it presents an extension to analytical techniques to determine the deformability modulus of jointed rocks by a combination of the geometrical properties of discontinuities and elastic modulus of intact rock. In this extension, the effect of confining stress was incorporated in the formulation to improve its reliability.