Philippe Lopez, Joëlle Riss, Sylvie Gentier, Rock Flamand, Guy Archambault, Soizic Bouvet


Through laboratory research performed over the past ten years, many of the critical links between fracture characteristics and hydromechanical and mechanical behaviour have been made for individual fractures. One of the remaining challenges at the laboratory scale is to directly link fracture morphology of shear behaviour with changes in stress and shear direction. A series of laboratory experiments were performed on cement mortar replicas of a granite sample with a natural fracture perpendicular to the axis of the core. Results show that there is a strong relationship between the fracture's geometry and its mechanical behaviour under shear stress and the resulting damage. Image analysis, geostatistical, stereological and directional data techniques are applied in combination to experimental data. The results highlight the role of geometric characteristics of the fracture surfaces (surface roughness, size, shape, locations and orientations of asperities to be damaged) in shear behaviour. A notable improvement in shear understanding is that shear behaviour is controlled by the apparent dip in the shear direction of elementary facets forming the fracture.

geostatistics; image analysis; mechanical behaviour; rock joint; roughness

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.v19.p61-65

Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)