Characterizing the deformation behavior of tertiary sandstones

Meng-Chia Weng, F. S. Jeng*, T. H. Huang, M. L. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Tertiary sandstones possess deformational behavior different from hard rocks, especially the relatively larger amount of volumetric dilation during shearing. Such excess dilation contributes to the increase of crown settlement during tunnel excavation and accounts for several cases of tunnel squeezing within Tertiary sandstones. Therefore, the deformation behavior of Tertiary sandstones sampled from more than 13 formations was studied. To distinguish the volumetric deformation induced by hydrostatic stress or by shear stress as well as to decompose the elastic and the plastic components of strains, special experimental techniques, including pure shear tests and cycles of loading-unloading were applied. The experimental results reveal that the deformation of Tertiary sandstone exhibits the following characteristics: (1) significant amount of shear dilation, especially elastic shear dilation; (2) non-linear elastic and plastic deformation; (3) plastic deformation occurs prior to the failure state. Furthermore, features of plastic deformation were inferred from experimental results and, as a result, the geometry of plastic potential surface and the hardening rule were accordingly determined. A constitutive model, involving nonlinear elastic/plastic deformation and volumetric deformation induced by shear stress, is proposed. This proposed model simulates the deformational behavior for the shear-dilation-typed rocks reasonably well. Furthermore, tests on the versatility of the proposed model, including varying hydrostatic stress and stress paths, indicate that the proposed model is capable of predicting deformational behavior for various conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-401
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005


  • Constitutive model
  • Deformation
  • Sandstone
  • Shear dilation

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