Coefficient of Friction of Natural Rock Surfaces

by Bartlett W. Paulding, Jr., Head; Basic Engrg. Dept., Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 385-394

Document Type: Journal Paper


Although coefficients of friction of rock on rock have been measured in the laboratory, the use of such values in rock slope analyses is limited because of uncertainties associated with attempting to account for the extrapolation from laboratory-size samples to dimensions of geologic interest. The coefficient of friction of natural rock surfaces can be determined by analyses of the orientation of surfaces along which gravity sliding takes place. When sliding occurs simultaneously along two planes, leaving a V-shaped notch, calculation of the coefficient of friction is facilitated by means of the stereographic projection. Measurements obtained from slopes where sliding has occurred yield the upper limit of the coefficient of friction. Unique values of the coefficient are obtained by monitoring the motion of blocks which experience quasi-stable or intermittent sliding and noting the orientation of the contacting surfaces.

Subject Headings: Friction | Rocks | Slopes | Landslides | Uncertainty principles | Sliding effects

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