On the Use and Interpretation of In Situ Load Tests in Weak Rock Masses

Pouyan Asem, Paolo Gardoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sockets are often constructed into weak rock mass to improve their axial response to applied compressive or tensile loads. This paper first establishes two separate load test databases for the side and base resistances in in situ socket load tests in weak rocks. The databases include the rock socket geometry, rock socket load–displacement response and the rock mass properties. The paper then reviews the available models for the prediction of (i) the axial resistance (compression or uplift), and (ii) axial deformation. The databases are used to evaluate the existing predictive models for axial resistance and axial deformation, and to evaluate the behavior of drilled shafts in weak rock mass. The load test databases are also used to evaluate the effect of rock mass variability on the reliability of foundations in weak rock. Based on the results of the analysis presented, the applicability of the existing models and approaches to the study of socket behavior in weak rocks are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3663-3700
Number of pages38
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Base resistance
  • Load test database
  • Reliability analysis
  • Rock socket
  • Settlement
  • Side resistance
  • Weak rock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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