Download the full-sized PDF of Development of a 3D Equivalent Continuum Model for Deformation Analysis of Systematically Jointed Rock MassesDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Development of a 3D Equivalent Continuum Model for Deformation Analysis of Systematically Jointed Rock Masses Open Access


Other title
Jointed Rock Mass
Numerical Modelling
Equivalent Continuum Model
Plate Loading Test
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Agharazi, Alireza
Supervisor and department
Tannant, Dwayne (University of British Columbia - Okanagan)
Martin, Derek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Joseph, Timothy (Civil and Environmental)
Chalaturnyk, Rick (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Siemens, Greg (Royal Military College, Kingston)
Jar, Ben (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Deformability of jointed rock masses are potentially anisotropic and non-linear due to existence of the discontinuities intersecting the rock matrix. Models to analysis the deformation of jointed rock masses are divided into two main categories: discontinuum models and equivalent continuum models. Discontinuum models treat the rock mass as an assemblage of intact rock blocks interacting at their boundaries. Discontinuities are simulated explicitly using appropriate contact models. However, when the number of discontinuities in a model increases, the explicit definition of discontinuities become difficult and, in some cases , impractical. Equivalent continuum models provide an alternative to discontinuum models for such cases. In these models, the behaviour of a jointed rock mass is approximated by the analysis of its equivalent continuum. The discontinuities are taken into account implicitly, either by implementing proper constitutive relations or by adopting appropriate mechanical parameters. In this research, the principal deformation mechanisms for a jointed rock mass are defined and characterized by the detailed analysis of the results of a series of plate loading tests conducted on the rock mass. A new three dimensional equivalent continuum model, the JointedRock model, is formulated to simulate the observed deformation mechanisms. The constitutive equations are presented in a tensor form so the model can be applied for any arbitrary spatial configuration of discontinuities. A Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion is used to check failure of intact rock blocks and slip along the rock joints. The JointedRock model is implemented in the finite difference code FLAC3D and is verified against the distinct element method (3DEC) and, where available, analytical solutions. A new method is proposed for interpretation of the results of plate loading tests conducted on jointed rock masses. The method is used to interpret the results of the study tests and to determine the anisotropic deformation modulus of the rock mass.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Agharazi, A., Martin, C. D., Tannant, D. D. (2012). A three-dimensional equivalent continuum constitutive model for jointed rock masses containing up to three random joint sets. Geomechanics and Geoengineering: An International Journal, 7(4), 227-238.Agharazi, A., Tannant, D. D., Martin, C. D. (2012). Characterizing rock mass deformation mechanisms during plate loading tests at the Bakhtiary dam project. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 49, 1-11.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 14901609
Last modified: 2015:10:12 19:23:07-06:00
Filename: Agharazi_Alireza_Fall2013.pdf
Original checksum: a747f25ede96f94037543a5ed059a759
Well formed: false
Valid: false
Status message: Invalid object number or object stream offset=6305
File title: Microsoft Word - 3-Chapter1_Final.docx
File author: Alireza
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date