To explore connections between rock strength and rock falls, we undertook a comprehensive rock mechanics testing program for six granitic rock types in Yosemite Valley (California, USA) where rock falls are a common geomorphic and sometimes hazardous process. We collected samples from boulders located at the base of cliffs, with the inherent assumption that the intact boulders should provide reasonable estimates of full-strength values. Our testing program included unconfined compressive strength tests, triaxial compressive strength tests, Brazilian tensile strength tests, and Mode I fracture toughness strength testing using two different types of samples – chevron bend (CB) and cracked chevron notched Brazilian disk (CCNBD). Our results, consisting of 88 individual tests, provide the most detailed evaluation of rock strength in Yosemite Valley to date. These results provide the data needed to evaluate the various failure modes (e.g., shear failure of wedge instabilities, tensile failure of overhangs) that might be expected for rock falls from cliffs in Yosemite. We expect that these data will provide an important resource for the evaluation of rock falls and other geomorphological studies in Yosemite National Park.
|Title||A new data set of granitic rock strength values from Yosemite Valley, California: Applications to rock fall assessment|
|Authors||Brian D. Collins, Federica Sandrone, Laurent Gastaldo, Greg M. Stock, Michel Jaboyedoff|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center|