Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics 7.5 credits

Bergmekanikens grunder
Second cycle, T7001B
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2020 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Syllabus established
The plan is established by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 2006-02-13 and is valid from H-06.

Last revised
by Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies Eva Gunneriusson, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering 14 Feb 2020

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Rock Engineering and Mineral Technology
Subject group (SCB)
Mining and Mineral Technology
Main field of study
Civil Engineering

Entry requirements

Good knowledge in solid mechanics. Good knowledge in geology is desirable.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
The course will give you an understanding for rock mechanics so you after the course will be able to: - Judge whether rock slopes and underground constructions are stable and be able to give recommendations how to stabilise an unstable construction. - Judge whether foundations on rock have enough bearing capacity or not. To be able to do so, you have to be able to: - Judge which rock properties that are important for the performance and stability of a rock construction - Understand the importance of and carry out pre-investigations - Understand the principles of hemispherical projection and be able to carry out stability analyses using the method - Suggest optimal shape and orientation of underground cosntructions and optimal excavation sequence with respect to the state of stress and the structural geology - Understand the different failure mechanisms of rock and be able to judge if failure will occur or not. - Understand the importance of deformations for different kinds of rock constructions and how this affect the design - Identify potential failure mechanisms in slopes and judge whether they are critical or not. - Choose a suitable method/criterion to determine/estimate the deformation and failure behaviour of the rock.
After completing the course module on gender equality, the student should show an understanding of the national gender equality goals, regulations for gender equality in professional life and give examples of the prerequisite for gender equality in professional life.

Introduction - Rock mechanics pre-investigation and classification - Structural geology, Geological structures in rock and their significance from a rock mechanics perspective. Mapping of joints. Rock mass classification methods. Hemisperical projection. Rock stress - Virgin stresses in the rock mass. Stress measurements. Absolute and effective stresses. Stresses around underground openings. Shallow and deep seated excavations are treated. Mohr stress circles. . Deformation and failure of rock - Constitutive laws. Failure mechanisms and failure criteria. Experimental methods to determine deformation and strength parameters. Mohr stress circles and failure criteria. Analytical analysis - Deformations and stresses around excavations. Analytical methods are covered. Failure of underground excavations. Failure mechanisms and failure criteria. Overstressed rock. Design and stability of underground constructions and rock slopes - Design methodology for underground excavations. Local and global stability. Effects of groundwater and on groundwater. Hemispherical projection methods are used to investigate the risk of fallouts and sliding of wedges and blocks. Theories for plane, wedge, circular and toppling failure of slopes. Hemispherical projection methods are used to identify failure modes. Effects of groundwater and drainage. Design criteria for slopes. Remedial measures.

The teaching consists of lectures, home assignments, laboratory assignments and a field assignment. The laboratory lessons, the field trip and the written tests are compulsory.The course module on gender equality consists of recorded lectures and literature. 

Written tests, home assignments, laboratory assignments and a field assignment. Written examination with graded marks.
The course module on gender equality is examined through quizzes.

Transition terms

Erling Nordlund

Transition terms
The course T7001B is equal to ABM023

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2011 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
E. Nordlund et al. Fundamentals of rock mechanics. The book is printed when the course starts and can be purchased from the teacher.

Course offered by
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleHPStatusFrom periodTitle
0001Written examG U 3 4 53.00MandatoryA07
0002Required assignmentU G#4.50MandatoryA07