ERAMCA Project Reference: 609574-EPP-1-2019-1-IT-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Shear Strenght

The term ‘discontinuity’ refers to any mechanical break in a rock mass with negligible tensile strength (Priest 1993).
Discontinuities can be geologic in origin (i.e., faults, bedding, schistosity, cleavage planes, and foliations) or anthropogenic in origin (i.e., blast-induced, stress-induced, or hydraulic-induced fractures). Regardless of their origin, discontinuities play a significant role in the behavior of rock masses and, consequently, in the behavior of several rock engineering projects
involving slopes, surface excavations and underground openings such as tunnels or caverns. Discontinuity-induced
failures in rock masses are a major hazard in civil and mining engineering projects as they are responsible for many accidents and costly construction/production delays.