Thermo-mechanical ratcheting in jointed rock masses

C. Pasten, M. García, Carlos Santamarina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Thermo-mechanical coupling takes place in jointed rock masses subjected to large thermal oscillations. Examples range from exposed surfaces under daily and seasonal thermal fluctuations to subsurface rock masses affected by engineered systems such as geothermal operations. Experimental, numerical and analytical results show that thermo-mechanical coupling can lead to wedging and ratcheting mechanisms that result in deformation accumulation when the rock mass is subjected to a biased static-force condition. Analytical and numerical models help in identifying the parameter domain where thermo-mechanical ratcheting can take place.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalGéotechnique Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 16 2015


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