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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2019, Article ID 1340549, 11 pages
Research Article

Selection of Optimal Threshold of Generalised Rock Quality Designation Based on Modified Blockiness Index

1College of Resources, Environment and Materials, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi 530004, China
2State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
3School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qingfa Chen; nc.ude.uxg@fqnehc

Received 15 October 2018; Accepted 11 December 2018; Published 10 January 2019

Academic Editor: Jian Ji

Copyright © 2019 Qingfa Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rock quality designation (RQD) is a critical index for quantifying the degree of rock mass jointing; it is widely used for evaluating the qualities and stabilities of engineering rock masses. However, the use of traditional RQD may yield inaccurate assessments because only core pieces longer than 100 mm are counted. To enhance the utility of RQD, generalised RQD was introduced. Based on the modified blockiness index (MBi), the determination of the optimal threshold of generalised RQD was performed. In this work, 35 types of hypothetical three-dimensional joint network models were constructed, and their generalised RQD values (with different thresholds) and MBi values were measured. The correlation between the standard ratings of MBi and RQD was assessed; based on this correlation, the theoretical RQD values of the 35 models were derived. The reasonable thresholds of the generalised RQD were determined according to the theoretical RQD values, and the optimal threshold of generalised RQD was obtained using the variation coefficient and anisotropy index of the jointing degree. The discrepancy between the results produced using traditional and generalised RQDs was discussed. Finally, an actual case study was conducted, and the results indicate that the generalised RQD associated with the optimal threshold determined in this study can properly quantify the degree of jointing of a given rock mass.