Material Properties

3DEC requires material properties for both the intact blocks and the discontinuities. This section provides an overview of typical properties used to represent the behavior of jointed rock, and presents guidelines for selecting the appropriate properties for a given model. There are also special considerations, such as the definition of post-failure properties and the extrapolation of laboratory-measured properties to the field scale. These topics are also discussed.

The selection of properties is often the most difficult element in the generation of a model because of the high uncertainty in the property database. It should be kept in mind when performing an analysis, especially in geomechanics, that the problem will always involve a data-limited system; the field data will never be known completely. However, with the appropriate selection of properties based on the available database, important insight to the physical problem can still be achieved. This approach to modeling is discussed further in Section 3.11.