A Mesh Generator for the Modeling of Rock Discontinuities

by John P. Tinucci, Science Applications Int Corp, San, Leandro, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Modern Methods for Automating Finite Element Mesh Generation


The need to characterize a rock mass by collecting field data is receiving more and more emphasis as larger, more ambitious underground structures are being built. Yet there is a need to link this data to existing analytical techniques. This is especially true when modeling the response of a blocky rock mass since the geometry of the discontinuities (orientation and extent) are important to block stability. In many instances, it is not possible to fully characterize the geometry of the discontinuities prior to making the excavation cut, in which case, statistical simulation of the traces is useful. This paper presents an algorithm that examines the traces of joints on an excavation face in order to generate a mesh which corresponds to the corners and faces of finite removable blocks. The main objective for developing the algorithm was to be capable of utilizing randomly located and oriented discontinuities that randomly intersect, yet be computationally efficient enough to be feasible for use in small computers.

Subject Headings: Discontinuities | Rock masses | Mesh generation | Structural models | Rocks | Excavation | Algorithms | Geometrics

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