Comparison between models of rock discontinuity strength and deformation
One important component in the design of tunnels in urban areas is a correct assessment of the interaction between the underground excavation with other structures in the vicinity. In this sense a correct stress-strain response by the model representing the rock mass behavior is essential. The shear and normal displacement of rock discontinuities and their shear and normal stiffness control the distribution of stress and displacement within a discontinuous rock mass. In conditions where an equivalent continuum based approach is not applicable, the joint material model should be able to describe important mechanisms such as asperity sliding and shearing, post-peak behavior, asperity deformation, and the effect of soft infilling. The distinct element code UDEC was used to simulate the direct shear tests on a natural joint profile, and the prediction of two existing models of discontinuity strength and deformation were then compared with a new soil-infilled joint model and with experimental data for clean and soil-infilled rock joints. A numerical modeling of a cavern excavated in a jointed medium is also presented to illustrate the response of different models. The proposed soil-infilled joint model described more comprehensively the occurrence of dilation and compression with lateral displacements and also better represented the double peak shearing in relation to the adopted squeezing mechanism that could not be captured by the two existing models.