Activities of the U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics


  • Terry Engelder


The U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics has organized a panel to assemble a report for the National Research Council on the Research Requirements for Rock Mechanics. The purpose of this panel is to identify current problems relevant to rock mechanics and to define the research required to solve these problems. The panel will recommend the research to be undertaken, guidelines for how it should be pursued and for determining what organization or organizations are best equipped to conduct it, how much it is expected to cost, and how long it may take.

Seven technical problem areas in rock mechanics have been identified as critical to national needs. Sub-panels are assembling reports for each of these subjects: (1) research to determine and predict porosity, permeability, and fluid flow in situ; (2) research to develop methods for determining and obtaining shallow and deep in situ stresses; (3) research to improve the ability to map fracture patterns, particularly major fractures and faults at depth; (4) research to improve the understanding of rock fragmentation processes for increasing the effectiveness of drilling and excavation systems; (5) research to increase understanding of the relation of laboratory-measured quantities to in situ conditions; (6) research to provide the thermophysical and thermomechanical properties of rock, including fractured rock; and (7) to develop numerical modeling applications in rock mechanics.