An Illustration of Determining Quantitatively the Rock Mass Quality Parameters of the Hoek–Brown Failure Criterion

Li Wu, Amoussou Coffi Adoko, Bo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In tunneling, determining quantitatively the rock mass strength parameters of the Hoek–Brown (HB) failure criterion is useful since it can improve the reliability of the design of tunnel support systems. In this study, a quantitative method is proposed to determine the rock mass quality parameters of the HB failure criterion, namely the Geological Strength Index (GSI) and the disturbance factor (D) based on the structure of drilling core and weathering condition of rock mass combined with acoustic wave test to calculate the strength of rock mass. The Rock Mass Structure Index and the Rock Mass Weathering Index are used to quantify the GSI while the longitudinal wave velocity (Vp) is employed to derive the value of D. The DK383+338 tunnel face of Yaojia tunnel of Shanghai–Kunming passenger dedicated line served as illustration of how the methodology is implemented. The values of the GSI and D are obtained using the HB criterion and then using the proposed method. The measured in situ stress is used to evaluate their accuracy. To this end, the major and minor principal stresses are calculated based on the GSI and D given by HB criterion and the proposed method. The results indicated that both methods were close to the field observation which suggests that the proposed method can be used for determining quantitatively the rock quality parameters, as well. However, these results remain valid only for rock mass quality and rock type similar to those of the DK383+338 tunnel face of Yaojia tunnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1076
Number of pages14
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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