Quasi-site-specific prediction for deformation modulus of rock mass

Jianye Ching*, Kok Kwang Phoon, Yuan Hsun Ho, Meng-Chia Weng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A generic rock mass database consisting of nine parameters is compiled from 225 studies. The nine parameters are the deformation modulus, elastic modulus, dynamic modulus, rock quality designation, rock mass rating, Q-system, geological strength index of a rock mass, as well as intact-rock Young’s modulus and intact-rock uniaxial compressive strength. This generic database, labeled as ROCKMass/9/5876, consists of 5876 rock mass cases. The goal of this paper is to examine how an existing transformation model such as deformation modulus versus rock mass rating can be made more unbiased and more precise for a specific site by combining sparse site data with ROCKMass/9/5876 in a manner sensitive to site-specific differences. The outcome is a quasi-site-specific transformation model. Four methods are studied to construct a quasi-site-specific transformation model for the deformation modulus of a rock mass: probabilistic multiple regression (cur-rent state of practice), hybridization method, hierarchical Bayesian model, and similarity method. The results from two case studies in Turkey show that the hierarchical Bayesian model is the most effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-951
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Deformation modulus
  • Hierarchical Bayesian model
  • Quasi-site-specific transformation model
  • ROCKMass/9/5876
  • Rock mass properties
  • Site recognition challenge


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