3R25. Engineering Rock Mechanics: An Introduction to the Principles. - JA Hudson and JP Harrison (Huxley Sch of Env, Earth Sci, and Eng, Imperial Col of Sci, Tech and Med, Univ of London, London, UK). Pergamon, Oxford UK. 2000. 444 pp. ISBN 0-08-041912-7.

Reviewed by ME Popescu (Dept of Civil and Architec Eng, Illinois Inst of Tech, 3201 S Dearborn St, Chicago IL 60616).

The US National Committee on Rock Mechanics defined rock mechanics as “the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behavior of rock and rock masses; it is that branch of mechanics concerned with the response of rock and rock masses to the force fields of their physical environment.” Rock engineering is concerned with the investigation, design, construction, and performance of engineered structures built on, in, or of rock. It involves engineering applications of the science of rock mechanics.

Rock mechanics and rock engineering are not synonymous although the terms are sometimes used as if they were interchangeable. The Statutes of the International Society for Rock Mechanics say that “the field of rock mechanics is taken to include all studies relative to the physical and mechanical behavior of rocks and rock masses and the applications of this knowledge for the better understanding of geological processes and in the fields of engineering.” Thus, rock mechanics is seen as having a major input into rock engineering, but as having application in other areas as well.

Despite the long history of the use of rock as a construction material, the development of the science of rock mechanics and of a mechanics-based rock engineering design methodology occurred only relatively recently. The initial development of these design approaches appears to have been associated largely with civil engineering projects and especially with hydro-electric power schemes. An early manifestation of the emergence of rock engineering was the publication in Vienna in 1929 of the first volume of the journal Geologie und Bauwesen (Geology and Construction) edited by Josef Stini. In 1962, the journal’s name was changed to Felsmechanik and Ingenieurgeologie (Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology) under the editorship of Leopold Mu¨ller. The other major journal in the field, the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1964, had an initial mining emphasis.

Annual colloquia on rock mechanics have been held in Austria since 1950 and annual symposia in the United States of America since 1956. Under the leadership of Leopold Mu¨ller, the International Society for Rock Mechanics was formed in 1962. The Society’s first International Congress was held in Lisbon, Portugal in 1966.

This book, Engineering Rock Mechanics: An Introduction to the Principles by Hudson and Harrison, and its companion volume Engineering Rock Mechanics: Part 2: Illustrative Worked Examples by JP Harrison and JA Hudson (see next Review, 3R26), represent authoritative references on engineering rock mechanics, consolidating into one handy source information once widely scattered throughout the literature. They include new, previously unpublished material; present the fundamental concepts of rock mechanics; and appraise their practical application in industrial projects such as tunneling and mining.

Engineering Rock Mechanics: An Introduction to the Principles is based on the content of the integrated engineering rock mechanics course given at Imperial College by the authors. As stated in the book preface the authors made a special attempt to present the principles of rock mechanics and then to place them in the engineering context. The layout follows a logical course. Chapters 1–13 cover the basic subjects of rock mechanics such as stress, strain, permeability, discontinuities, anisotropy and inhomogeneity, testing techniques, rock mass classification, rock dynamics and time dependent aspects. Chapter 14, entitled Rock mechanics interactions and rock engineering systems, discusses the principles of rock engineering systems and interaction matrix as the basic device used in rock engineering systems. Soft systems approach is used if the state variables are conceptual in nature while the fully-coupled model or the hard systems approach is used if the state variables are physical variables. Chapters 15–20 cover major applications in rock engineering including instability and stabilization of surface and underground excavations. There are two appendices at the end of the book on stress and strain analysis and hemispherical projection methods, respectively.

Concluding with an exhaustive bibliography of significant references and a very well-organized index, the book addresses the principles of engineering rock mechanics and is not intended to be truly comprehensive in the sense of including all information on the rock engineering subject. Readers requiring more information are referred to the five-volume compendium Comprehensive Rock Engineering, edited by the first author and also published by Pergamon.

Engineering Rock Mechanics: An Introduction to the Principles and its companion volume, Engineering Rock Mechanics. Part 2. Illustrative Worked Examples, deftly and elegantly bring together timely and in-depth information on one of the most active fields of applied mechanics. The books are written by authors with long standing teaching, research, and consulting experience in rock mechanics engineering.

These books are clearly written and the text, figures, and tables are produced to a high quality. These two books represent a significant contribution to the challenging field of rock mechanics and should be recommended as a reference for university libraries serving civil engineering, mining engineering, and geological engineering programs, as well as for research corporations, and engineering consulting firms.