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Nonlinear Rock Mechanics, Chapter in Springer Book

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Citation: Exadaktylos G. (2006), Nonlinear rock mechanics, Chapter 5, Part 1: The Universality of nonclassical nonlinearity, THE UNIVERSALITY OF NONCLASSICAL NONLINEARITY WITH APPLICATIONS TO NON-DESTRUCTIVE EVALUATIONS AND ULTRASONICS, (P.P. Delsanto, Editor), 2006, XXII, 546 p., Springer, Hardcover, ISBN: 0-387-33860-8.



Nonlinear Rock Mechanics


G.E. Exadaktylos

Mining Design Laboratory, Department of Mineral Resources Engineering Department,

Technical University of Crete, University Campus, Akrotiri GR-73100, Chania, Greece,

Tel: +30 28210 37690, Fax: +30 28210 37891, e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,



Rock mechanics is a rapidly evolving scientific discipline that is concerned with the development of experimental and theoretical tools to study and predict the behavior of intact (or damaged) and discontinuous (fractured) rocks under the influence of chemo-thermo-poromechanical effects under static or dynamic conditions. Nonlinearity is inherent in many rock mechanical problems. Some indicative examples are briefly listed herein. In physical nonlinearity, few, if any, rocks are truly “elastic” and even fewer are “linear” or “Hookean.” Natural or stress-induced nonlinear directional response (anisotropy) is possible. In addition, coupled thermal, fluid flow, and mechanical effects or processes may give considerable nonlinearities in the response of porous rocks. In geometric nonlinearity, many structures undergo very large deformations in normal or in damaged conditions (e.g., buildings and other manmade structures after major earthquakes (See chapter 4)). In constraints, nonlinearity, contact between deformable rocks (e.g., contact of lips of faults), or rock structure may occur such that the common surface is unknown. A central point of any rock mechanical problem is the constitutive description of the rock. In this chapter the basic ingredients of a nonlinear constitutive mechanical theory for rocks based on experimental evidence is outlined and tested by exploiting triaxial compression experiments of a sandstone.


Keywords: Damage, fracture mechanics, hypoelasticity, Mohr–Coulomb, nonlinearity,

plasticity, rocks, sandstone, triaxial compression


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