To investigate the joint effect on shock wave propagation and attenuation in jointed rock masses, a small-scale field explosion test is analyzed numerically by using the three-dimensional discrete element method (3D DEM) and the three-dimensional finite difference method (3D FDM). Results show that rock joints act as a kind of filter through which only low frequency shock waves are allowed to pass. This indicates that high frequency shock waves do no harm to far-field structures when they have to travel across joint sets with specific spacing. Results also reveal that the orientation of the joint sets can remarkably affect the amplitude and frequency composition of shock waves. Furthermore, as a discontinuous numerical method, 3D DEM can capture the main features of shock waves, and most importantly, it can simulate the 3D effect of rock joints. It can be concluded that in modelling 3D shock wave propagation and attenuation in jointed rock masses, 3D DEM has unique advantages over 2D modeling, 3D FDM, and even field testing.
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