The continuing development of sophisticated numerical modelling tools, especially discrete element analysis, has made possible improved representation of rock mass features during computer simulation. In particular, all the ‘DIANE’ features of rock can now be incorporated into such analyses, i.e. discontinuities, in homogeneity, anisotropy and non-elastic behaviour. However, in order for the simulations to validly represent the in situ rock mass, it is essential that the geological nature and structure of the rock mass are understood and incorporated in the modelling. We discuss this structural geology contribution to rock mechanics in the context of geological structures, fractures, water flow, scale, and modelling, plus rock engineering design.

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