Rock mechanics
Rock mechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behaviour of rock and rock masses;also compared to the geology, it is that branch of mechanics concerned with the response of rock and rock masses to the force fields of their physical environment.
Rock mechanics itself forms part of the broader subject of geomechanics
Geomechanics is the geologic study of the behavior of soil and rock. The two main disciplines of geomechanics are soil mechanics and rock mechanics. The former deals with the behaviour of soil from a small scale to a landslide scale...

 which is concerned with the mechanical responses of all geological materials, including soils.
Rock mechanics, as applied in mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, petroleum, and civil engineering practice, is concerned with the application of the principles of engineering mechanics to the design of the rock structures generated by mining, drilling, reservoir production, or civil construction activity, e.g. tunnels, mining shafts, underground excavations, open pit mines, oil and gas wells
Oil well
An oil well is a general term for any boring through the earth's surface that is designed to find and acquire petroleum oil hydrocarbons. Usually some natural gas is produced along with the oil. A well that is designed to produce mainly or only gas may be termed a gas well.-History:The earliest...

, road cuts, waste repositories, and other structures built in or of rock. It also includes the design of reinforcement systems such as rock bolt
Rock bolt
A rock bolt is a long anchor bolt, for stabilizing rock excavations, which may be tunnels or rock cuts. It transfers load from the unstable exterior, to the confined interior of the rock mass....

ing patterns.

See also

  • Geotechnical engineering
    Geotechnical engineering
    Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, mining, petroleum, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground...

  • Rock mass classification
    Rock mass classification
    Rock mass classification systems are used for various engineering design and stability analysis. These are based on empirical relations between rock mass parameters and engineering applications, such as tunnels, slopes, foundations, and excavatability...

  • Slope stability analysis
    Slope stability analysis
    The slope stability analyses are performed to assess the safe and economic design of a human-made or natural slopes and the equilibrium conditions. The term slope stability may be defined as the resistance of inclined surface to failure by sliding or collapsing...

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