Stress distribution in a rock material containing cracks, without thickness, and joints, with thickness, is controlled by two basic principles, namely equilibrium and compatibility. Two deformation models representing these two basic requirements are used to construct the rock mass’ local composite moduli that are then combined to obtain the rock mass’ global moduli. Deformational modes in the form of compliances give upper and lower value moduli representing the constraints of compatibility and equilibrium, respectively. In a loaded rock mass there is no stress redistribution involved in the application of the equilibrium model, while for the compatibility model there are stress redistributions. For cracks, with no thickness, only the equilibrium model defines the deformation moduli, whereas for joints both the equilibrium and compatibility models are required because of the joint’s volume effects. Using both the joint’s shear strength and the Griffith’s crack initiation criteria, the Griffith’s strength loci for firm-hard and soft rock masses are produced. The strength loci representing normal and shear failure modes for the firm-hard rock mass are significantly different, whereas for the soft rock mass they are similar.

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