ASTM D5878-00

    Standard Guide for Using Rock Mass Classification Systems for Engineering Purposes


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    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers the selection of a suitable system of classification of rock mass for specific engineering purposes, such as tunneling and shaft-sinking, excavation of rock chambers, ground support, modification and stabilization of rock slopes, and preparation of foundations and abutements. These classification systems may also be of use in work on rippability of rock, quality of construction materials, and erosion resistance. Although widely used classification systems are treated in this guide, systems not included here may be more appropriate in some situations, and may be added to subsequent editions of this standard.

    1.2 The valid, effective use of this guide is contingent upon the prior complete definition of the engineering purposes to be served and on the complete and competent definition of the geology and hydrology of the engineering site. Further, the person or persons using this guide must have had field experience in studying rock-mass behavior. An appropriate reference for geological mapping in the underground is provided by Guide D 4879.

    1.3 This guide identifies the essential characteristics of each of the five included classification systems. It does not include detailed guidance for application to all engineering purposes for which a particular system might be validly used. Detailed descriptions of the five systems are presented in STP 984 with abundant references to source literature.

    1.4 The range of applications of each of the systems has grown since its inception. This guide summarizes the major fields of application up to this time of each of the five classification systems.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4879 Guide for Geotechnical Mapping of Large Underground Openings in Rock

    D5731 Test Method for Determination of the Point Load Strength Index of Rock and Application to Rock Strength Classifications

    D5777 Guide for Using the Seismic Refraction Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6032/D6032M Test Method for Determining Rock Quality Designation (RQD) of Rock Core

    D7012 Test Methods for Compressive Strength and Elastic Moduli of Intact Rock Core Specimens under Varying States of Stress and Temperatures


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 07.060 (Geology. Meteorology. Hydrology)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D5878-00

    Citation Format

    ASTM D5878-00, Standard Guide for Using Rock Mass Classification Systems for Engineering Purposes, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2000, www.astm.org

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