2017 Rock Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Civil Engineering
Takemura Jiro  Takahashi Akihiro  Yashiro Kazuhide  Tsukada Tomoyuki 
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Course description and aims

Rock grounds have larger strength and stiffness than the un-cemented soil ground. Furthermore rock is common geological formation at relatively deep depth. Therefore large scale structures, such as dams, bridge foundations, and deep underground structures, such as mountain tunnels and underground power station are constructed on or in rock ground. However, there are a wide varieties of the conditions of rock mass and properties of rock material. Evaluations of these conditions and properties, and proper design and construction based on the conditions and properties are critical for safe and secure construction and maintenance of the rock structure.
In this course the students will study about the mechanical properties of rock materials and rock mass, the application of various theory and analytical models used in rock engineering.

Student learning outcomes

The students will acquire the knowledge on the following subjects on rock as the foundation of various infrastructures, such as

1) Geological process of rock formation, 2)Mechanical properties of rock, rock and rock mass classifications、3) Site and lab investigation of rock, 4) Analytical model of rock mass, 5) Behaviour of rock mass, 6) Design and construction of structures in/on rock, 7) Case studies


geological rock formation, rock and rock mass classification, strength and stiffness, fractures and discontinuity, rock slope, rock tunnel, large underground structures, dam

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Basically lecture on basic soil mechanics is dilivered. At the end of each lecture short test is made on the issues studied in the class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction, geological structure and basic characteristics of rock Basic aspects on rock structures and geological features of rocks
Class 2 ock structure - Characteristics of discontinuity and descriptions Various aspect of discontinuity of rock mass, and their description
Class 3 Rock structure - classification of rock and rock mass Methodology of rock and rock mass classification and their application
Class 4 Site investigation and lab testing Methodology of site investigation and lab testing, and their interpretation
Class 5 Failure mechanics of rock and strength and stiffness of rock Strength and deformation properties of rock
Class 6 Engineering properties of discontinuity in rock mass -static strength and stiffness Strength and deformation properties of rock mass with factures and discontinuities
Class 7 Dynamic properties and characteristics of rocks Dynamic properties of rock and seismic behaviour of rock mass
Class 8 Modelling of discontinuity and analytical methods Brief understanding of modelling of discontinuity and basic analytical model of rock mass
Class 9 Rock slope sliding, and stabilization Characteristics of rock sliding and analytical model of slope stability
Class 10 Mountain tunnel 1 - introduction, investigation and design Various types of tunnel structures, site investigation and design of mountain tunnels
Class 11 Mountain tunnel 2 - construction, maintenance Construction methods of mountain tunnels, and maintenance
Class 12 Mountain tunnel 3 - case studies Case studies of former tunnel projects
Class 13 Mountain tunnel 4 - construction accidents and natural disasters, environmental problems Case studies of former tunnel induced accidents, natural disaster, and environmental problems
Class 14 Pumped storage power plant 1 - rock fill dam, gravity type concrete dam Site investigation, design and construction of rock fill dam and gravity type concrete dam
Class 15 Pumped storage power plant 2 - underground power station, penstock Site investigation, design and construction of underground power station and penstock


Handouts on each topic will be provided by lectures.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

"Rock Mechanics" Kawamoto, Choman, Yoshinaka Ryunoshin, Hibino, Satoshi, Gihodo, 1985.10 (Japanese)
"Engineering properties of rocks and application to the design and consturction", Committee of Rock Mechanics, JGS, 1974.4 (Japanese)
"Determination of Design parameters in geotechnical engineering - rock structures", JGS, 2007.7 (Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Based on short test after each lecture (50%) and report (50%)

Related courses

  • CVE.C201 : Soil Mechanics I
  • CVE.C202 : Soil Mechanics II
  • CVE.C310 : Foundation Engineering
  • CVE.C311 : Geotechnical Engineering in Practice
  • CVE.C403 : Geo-environmental Engineering

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)




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