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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study of scale effects of rock quality designation (RQD) measurements using a discrete fracture network approach Wang, Rongzhen


RQD measurements are performed on the assumption that the drilling cores of the rock mass would be representative of in situ geological conditions. This thesis focuses on the use of Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) modelling to study the influence of core length on RQD measurements for synthetic “homogeneous” rock masses. An homogeneous rock mass is considered to have a measurable global volumetric intensity and representing a single geotechnical domain, without the occurrence of shear zones, fault zones and closely spaced weakness planes. For a given fracture intensity, the results show that the variability of RQD measurements decreases with increasing core length size, which is consistent with the concept of Representative Elementary Volume (REV). Furthermore, an attempt is made to demonstrate the link between DFN based fracture intensity indicators (i.e. Linear Intensity, P₁₀ and Volumetric Joint Count, P30) and RQD measurements. The analysis is repeated using field data collected at two different room-and-pillar mines, and the results further demonstrate the existence of a Representative Elementary Length (REL) for RQD measurements, analogue to the concept of REV. In this research, the REL of geometrical property P₂₁, which is the length of fracture traces per unit area of sampling plane, is compared to that of RQD. Using an implicit block search algorithm, the blockiness character of the synthetic rock masses is also studied with given fracture intensities used to measure RQD values.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International