GB8406 - Failure Mechanics of Rock and Rock Mass


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral exam and report(s)
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral exam 50/100 1 hours D
Report 50/100

Course content

The course deals with initiation and propagation of single fractures and failure types in rock and rock mass. It involves theories, testing methods, laboratory/field observations, fracture modes in rock, failure types in rock mass, scale effect, and acoustic monitoring technique. It includes both fundamentals of fracture mechanics and advances in the subject. The knowledge one acquires in the course is useful for understanding and interpretation of fracturing in rocks and rock masses.

Learning outcome

INGRESS: The student will obtain knowledge and understanding of rock fracture related to underground excavations.

KNOWLEDGE: The student will obtain knowledge in basic fracture mechanics, characteristics of fracture in rock, constitutive modeling, testing methods and the new research trends in rock fracture mechanics.

SKILLS: The students will be able to assess the loading conditions underground openings are subjected to on the basis of the rock fracture/failure modes observed in situ. They will also be able to measure the fracture parameters of rock.

GENERAL COMPETENCE: The students will develop their capabilities in solving problems related to fracture in rock and rock-like materials, in particular using their knowledge in fracture mechanics and rock mechanics.

Learning methods and activities

The course is given every other year; next time will be the spring of 2024. Teaching will be in forms of both lecture and self reading. The weight is put on discussions on individually assigned reading. The students are given three assignments each during the semester. They should be presented as reports, which form the basis for course evaluation and grading.

Further on evaluation

In order to pass the course, both the up to three assignment reports (50%) and a final oral exam (50%) have to receive a passing score. To pass a score of at least 70 percent is required. Students who have failed the course will only re-take the failed part(s).

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Engineering (PHIV)

Required previous knowledge

TGB4210 Rock and Soil Mechanics, Basic Course, TGB4212 Advanced Rock Mechanics, or other relevant courses related to rock and rock mass, mechanics and material strength. The course requires admittance to the PhD programme Engineering (PHIV or PHGEOL), or approval by the person with course responsibility.

Course materials

Article collection and notes.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Geoscience and Petroleum


Examination arrangement: Oral exam and report(s)

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Report 50/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral exam 50/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU