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Reproducibility in Rock Mass Classification

Ali Ameli, PhD, PE, Currently Geo Engineering Ltd., Vancouver, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT: Rock Mass Rating and the Q-system were employed for the classification of rock mass in the periphery of a shaft sunk in igneous intrusive formations. The rock classification data obtained by two geological mapping teams are compared in this experimental study. It was found that there were differences in the rock quality assessment obtained by the two teams. The magnitude of differences was greater for Q values when compared with those of the Q' values. The study also highlights the overall effects of the active stress component in Q-system and the discontinuity orientation in RMR. The results presented provide factual data for interpretation by engineers and researchers. Attention to the reproducibility of rock classification may also be useful in contractual considerations.

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