Determination and applications of rock quality designation (RQD)

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22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Characterization of rock masses and evaluation of their mechanical properties are important and challenging tasks in rock mechanics and rock engineering. Since in many cases rock quality designation (RQD) is the only rock mass classification index available, this paper outlines the key aspects on determination of RQD and evaluates the empirical methods based on RQD for determining the deformation modulus and unconfined compressive strength of rock masses. First, various methods for determining RQD are presented and the effects of different factors on determination of RQD are highlighted. Then, the empirical methods based on RQD for determining the deformation modulus and unconfined compressive strength of rock masses are briefly reviewed. Finally, the empirical methods based on RQD are used to determine the deformation modulus and unconfined compressive strength of rock masses at five different sites including 13 cases, and the results are compared with those obtained by other empirical methods based on rock mass classification indices such as rock mass rating (RMR), Q-system (Q) and geological strength index (GSI). It is shown that the empirical methods based on RQD tend to give deformation modulus values close to the lower bound (conservative) and unconfined compressive strength values in the middle of the corresponding values from different empirical methods based on RMR, Q and GSI. The empirical methods based on RQD provide a convenient way for estimating the mechanical properties of rock masses but, whenever possible, they should be used together with other empirical methods based on RMR, Q and GSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Deformation modulus
  • Empirical methods
  • Rock mass classification
  • Rock quality designation (RQD)
  • Unconfined compressive strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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