Acta Stereologica



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Joëlle Riss & Sylvie Gentier

Size and shape of space filling blocks in a quarry

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A rock mass divided by natural fractures looks like a set of space filling blocks (polyhedra). In order to characterise the structural design of a rock mass located in the quarries of Comblanchien (Côte d'Or, France), size and shape of block convex hulls outlined on horizontal benches are computed using five size parameters [A (area), B (perimeter), RC and RI (radii of circles C and I : largest contained in and smallest containing the polygon) and DF (Feret Diameter)] and six shape factors [IAm=RC/RI, CBm = 32A/(πB2), CBd is the CBm shape factor for the dynamic equivalent ellipse of the polygon, DCI, DCG and DIG are ratios of distances between centres (centres of circles C/I and G : centre of gravity) to DF]. With such a set of parameters we suggest a classification of blocks, and their size and shape are related to the geological history of the rock mass.

Keywords : geology, jointed and faulted rock mass, shape, size, space filling blocks

To cite this article

Joëlle Riss & Sylvie Gentier, «Size and shape of space filling blocks in a quarry», Acta Stereologica [En ligne], Volume 12 (1993), Number 2 - Proceedings of the sixth European congress for stereology - Part one - Dec. 1993, 223-228 URL :

About: Joëlle Riss

C.D.G.A. Université de Bordeaux I 33405 Talence Cédex, France

About: Sylvie Gentier

BRGM 4S/GEG 45060 Orléans Cédex 02, France