Prediction of end-bearing capacity of rocksocketed shafts considering rock quality designation (RQD)

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19 Scopus citations


Existing empirical methods for determining the end-bearing capacity, qmax, use empirical relations between qmax and the unconfined compressive strength of intact rock, sc. As rock-socketed shafts are supported by the rock mass, not just the intact rock, one should consider not only the intact rock properties, but also the influence of discontinuities on rock mass properties when determining qmax. Although semi-empirical and analytical methods have been developed that can consider the effect of discontinuities, they are more complicated than the empirical relations and require information about discontinuities that is often not available or difficult to obtain in engineering practice. In this paper, an empirical relation between qmax and the unconfined compressive strength of rock mass, σcm, is developed. The new empirical relation explicitly considers the effect of discontinuities represented by rock quality designation (RQD), which is the parameter normally obtained in engineering practice. The accuracy of the expression for estimating scm based on RQD is verified by comparing its estimation values with those from the existing empirical expressions based on rock mass classification. Two examples are presented to show the application of the newly developed empirical relation between qmax and σcm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1084
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2010



  • End-bearing capacity
  • Rock discontinuities
  • Rock quality designation (RQD)
  • Rock-socketed shafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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