ENGINEERING ROCKS MECHANICS

ENGINEERING ROCKS MECHANICS

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iten
Code
84539
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
5 credits during the 2nd year of 10799 CIVIL ENGINEERING (LM-23) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
ICAR/07
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (CIVIL ENGINEERING)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The first part of the course provides an overview of the testing techniques and analytical tools that are routinely employed in the study of problems in rock engineering. The second part of the course focuses instead on the analysis of groundwater movement describing the procedures for geo-hydrological characterisation and the relevant methods for engineering design.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • To introduce the principles of rock mechanics and rock testing at the laboratory and field scale
  • To demonstrate the relevance of rock mechanics to the study of boundary value problems
  • To present some of the methods for the engineering analysis of groundwater flow
  • To apply  some of the existing groundwater flow models to the study of geotechnical problems

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Understanding  the models that describe strength and deformation of rocks
  • Recognizing the influence of geological structure on the engineering behaviour of rocks
  • Using mathematical models for the analysis of instabilities in rock masses
  • Applying analytical tools to the prediction of hydro-geological variables
  • Evaluating soil parameters that govern  groundwater infiltration
  • Assessing the effects of groundwater abstraction on ground subsidence

PREREQUISITES

The prerequisites of the course are: a) a good knowledge of solid mechanics and b) a sound understanding of the principles of geotechnical engineering including both mechanical aspects (e.g. laws of soil deformation and strength) and hydraulic aspects (e.g. flow in porous materials under both transient and stationary conditions).

Teaching methods

The course has an approximate duration of 50 hours. It consists of a combination of theoretical lectures and class exercises. The language of the course is English.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Rock mechanics

  • Geological setting of rock materials
  • Stress and strains in the context of rock engineering
  • Intact rock behaviour
  • Discontinuities and rock masses
  • Rock testing techniques
  • Foundations and slope instability mechanisms in rock masses
  • Rock excavations
  • Rock reinforcement and support

Groundwater analysis

  • Definition of groundwater: phreatic aquifers versus artesian aquifers
  • Methods of measuring and estimating groundwater infiltration capacity
  • Transient and steady state processes
  • Dupuit’s theory
  • Steady-state pumping from wells
  • Transient pumping from wells
  • Groundwater and permeability testing
  • Permeability of fractured rocks

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Rock mechanics

J. A. Hudson and  J.P. Harrison (1997)
Engineering Rock Mechanics
Pergamon, ISBN 9780080438641

Groundwater analysis

Handouts provided by the lecturer

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course has an approximate duration of 50 hours. It consists of a combination of theoretical lectures and class exercises. The language of the course is English.

EXAMS

Exam description

Students are assessed by means of: a) an individual written test covering the entire course syllabus and b) an individual oral presentation to peers about a relevant engineering problem.

The written test lasts typically two hours and includes between two and four questions, whose weight is equally split between the subjects of rock mechanics and geo-hydrology.

The oral presentation lasts about half hour and is followed by questions posed by peers and lecturer. The subject of the oral presentation is free but it must cover an engineering case study relevant to the domain of rock mechanics and/or groundwater analysis.

Assessment methods

The written test and the oral presentation have the purpose of evaluating the student's learning outcomes in different contexts. The written test enables the students to demonstrate their knowledge in a context that favours reflective reasoning on blind questions. The presentation allows the students to demonstrate their knowledge in a context that privileges communication and dialectical interaction skills.

The written test has a weight between 80% and 90% of the final grade of the exam.

The individual oral presentation is evaluated collectively by the students and the lecturer. It weighs between 20% and 10% of the final grade of the exam.