The effects of discontinuity surface roughness on the shear strength of weathered granite joints

Özvan A., Dincer I., Acar A., Ozvan B.

BULLETIN OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol.73, no.3, pp.801-813, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10064-013-0560-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.801-813
  • Keywords: Granite, Weathering, Roughness, Joint, Shear strength, COEFFICIENT, MORPHOLOGY


Surface roughness is one of the most important parameters governing the shear strength of rock discontinuities. Roughness types may vary based on genesis, physico-mechanical, and mineralogical properties of rocks. In this study, granite samples representing three different weathering degrees were selected to evaluate the effects of surface roughness and weathering degree on shear strength. To this aim, we determined the profile roughness coefficient (PRC), profile roughness angle (PRA), and joint roughness coefficient (JRC) for the selected fresh and weathered granite joint samples. Values of PRC were in the range of about 1.043-1.073, and PRA and JRC varied in the ranges of 16.67-21.45 and 12-18, respectively. Weathering led to the increment of joint surface roughness of the selected granitic joints due to the higher resistance of quartz crystals in the weathered matrix. However, the increment in surface roughness did not result in an increase in the shear strength. On the contrary, the shear strength of discontinuities dramatically decreased.