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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 738013, 11 pages
Research Article

Evolution Procedure of Multiple Rock Cracks under Seepage Pressure

1School of Resources & Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
2State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China

Received 20 January 2013; Revised 23 April 2013; Accepted 1 May 2013

Academic Editor: Gianluca Ranzi

Copyright © 2013 Taoying Liu 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.


In practical geotechnical engineering, most of rock masses with multiple cracks exist in water environment. Under such circumstance, these adjacent cracks could interact with each other. Moreover, the seepage pressure, produced by the high water pressure, can change cracks’ status and have an impact on the stress state of fragile rocks. According to the theory of fracture mechanics, this paper discusses the law of crack initiation and the evolution law of stress intensity factor at the tip of a wing crack caused by compression-shear stress and seepage pressure. Subsequently, considering the interaction of the wing cracks and the additional stress caused by rock bridge damage, this paper proposes the intensity factor evolution equation under the combined action of compression-shear stress and seepage pressure. In addition, this paper analyzes the propagation of cracks under different seepage pressure which reveals that the existence of seepage pressure facilitates the wing crack’s growth. The result indicates that the high seepage pressure converts wing crack growth from stable form to unstable form. Meanwhile, based on the criterion and mechanism for crack initiation and propagation, this paper puts forward the mechanical model for different fracture transfixion failure modes of the crag bridge under the combined action of seepage pressure and compression-shear stress. At the last part, this paper, through investigating the flexibility tensor of the rock mass’s initial damage and its damage evolution in terms of jointed rock mass's damage mechanics, deduces the damage evolution equation for the rock mass with multiple cracks under the combined action of compression-shear stress and seepage pressure. The achievement of this investigation provides a reliable theoretical principle for quantitative research of the fractured rock mass failure under seepage pressure.