Rock Mass Characterization using Photoanalysis


Rock formations are distinguished from each other by measuring first the properties of the intact rock, and second those of the jointing. Whereas simple methods are available for measuring intact rock properties, those available for measuring jointing remain slow, expensive, and sometimes dangerous. Digitized photographs ('photoanalysis') may provide a solution. In this paper, the new techniques of photoanalysis are reviewed together with applications, promising areas for research, and also some obstacles that remain to be overcome. Aspects of the rock mass that lend themselves to photoanalytical measurement include those of individual joints, such as persistence, orientation and roughness, and those relating to the mass as a whole, such as block size and the spacing or intensity of jointing. Photoanalysis can also be applied to measurement of blasting. It allows characterization of the rock about to be blasted, helping the engineer to predict fragmentation and to design an appropriate blasting pattern. Afterwards, the same methods can be used to measure fragmentation, overbreak and backbreak, for quality control and for diagnosis of problems.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Blast Fragmentation; Joint Measurement; Joint Spacing; Rock Mass Characterization; Rock Photoanalysis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 1988 Kluwer Academic Publishers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 1988