Numerical study of fractured rock masses: Transverse isotropy vs. implicit joint-continuum models

Hosung Shin, Carlos Santamarina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fractures prevail mechanical behavior of a rock mass and confer an overall anisotropic response. Engineering analyses in the elastic regime often use transverse isotropy to model fractured rock masses with a single fracture set. An alternative implicit joint-continuum model combines the mechanical response of the intact rock and fractures by adding their compliance matrices. It can accommodate multiple fracture sets and non-linear fracture response. While the transverse isotropic model is inadequate to model fractured rock media because of its inherent assumptions on the continuity for all stress components, the implicit joint-continuum model is verified against the exact solutions of internal stress distributions and displacement field. The analysis of strip foundations using the implicit joint continuum approach shows that the maximum settlement and tilt will take place when the fracture set strikes quasi-collinear with the strip direction (θJ ≈ ±15°) and the fracture dip angle is either βJ ≈ 40° ± 10° or βJ ≈ 140° ± 10°.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104317
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
StatePublished - Jun 26 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-06-28
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Research Funds from the National Research Foundation of Korea (KNRF-2019004419) and the KAUST endowment. G. Abelskamp edited the manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


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