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No. 25 - March 2014



Welcome to EUROCK 2014 in Vigo, Spain

The organizing committee is happy to invite you to actively participate in the 2014 ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium (EUROCK 2014) to be held in Vigo, Spain, on May 27-29, 2014.

Vigo is a 300,000 inhabitants modern city, located in the always green region of Galicia in North Western Spain, it is also very close to the Portuguese border and Porto and to Santiago de Compostela and its “Camino”.

Six keynote lectures will be presented by leading international experts including Nick Barton, Anna Maria Ferrero, Derek Martin, Xia-Ting Feng, Claudio Olalla and José Lemos. They cover a wide spectrum of rock mechanics traditional but still unresolved concerns as well as some advanced applications and relevant case studies.

249 papers from 39 countries were accepted. These include contributions from Asia (43), Australia (11), Europe (171), North and South America (22) and Africa (2). A preliminary program will be soon available at the Symposium web page. So far, nearly 250 delegates have been registered, out of which 100 are students.

The proceedings are published in a book containing the full version of the keynote lectures and the extended abstracts of the accepted papers. An USB pen drive will be given including the full version of all articles.

Two short courses and a relevant workshop are programmed before the Symposium. A more detailed description can be found in the web page of the Symposium.

A two-day course on ‘Numerical Modelling in Rock Engineering’ will take place during the two days before the symposium. The aim of this course is to provide a background on the numerical modelling for rock engineering problems using 2D (Phase 2) and 3D (RS3) finite element tools. John Curran from Rocscience and Carlos Carranza-Torres from the University of Minnesota will be teaching this course.

A one-day course on ‘Rock mechanics solutions for ornamental rock protection & archaeological site conservation´ will be held the day before the congress. The objective is to identify applied technologies able to analyze, diagnose and treat conservation problems of the rocks in architectural heritage. This course is directed by José Delgado-Rodrigues.

A Workshop on "Applicability and application of Eurocode-7 to rock engineering design" will take place the day before the congress, chaired by John Harrison. The objective is to discuss the experiences of verification of rock mechanical design according to the Eurocode-7 for future development and implementation.

In addition, three one-day technical visits are proposed for the day after closing the symposium including 1) Underground slate mine & Las Médulas, 2) Venda Nova III underground cavern in Northern Portugal and 3) Rail-way tunnel underground works.

Various guided tours for accompanying persons and delegates are also planned to the near-by region Baixo-Minho, to the town of Vigo and a visit to Santiago. These tours will only take place if at least 20 people apply, so we recommend contacting the Symposium Secretariat if someone plans to apply for these tours.

A number of social activities will also take place. A welcome reception is planned for Tuesday. The traditional symposium banquette will be held on Wednesday 28th in the town center Bahía hotel.

Some places to be visited in the guided tours.

It is an honor for us to host for the first time in Spain the Symposium EUROCK and we do hope that an exciting program and the charms of this far-west beautiful part of Europe will combine to make this a successful and memorable event.

We look forward to seeing you in Vigo in May 2014!

Leandro Alejano
Symposium Charman.

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ARMS8 - 2014 ISRM International Symposium, Sapporo, Japan, 14-16 October 2014

The symposium will be held on 14-16 October 2014 in Sapporo, a modern and beautiful city in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. The theme of the symposium is Rock Mechanics for Global Issues - Natural Disasters, Environment and Energy. This is the annual International Symposium of the ISRM, where the Board, Council and Technical Commissions will meet.

All accepted papers will be published in the proceedings by USB-drive at the symposium, and they will be introduced in the ISRM Digital Library after the symposium. Full paper submission deadline is 30 June and n otification of full paper acceptance is 31 July.

Seven excellent keynote speakers were invited from around the world to address the main themes of the symposium:
  • Prof. Xia-Ting Feng, China: "Tunneling and underground construction in China - challenges and progress"
  • Mr. Rolf Christiansson, Sweden: "Environmental impact of nuclear waste management - Concerns from intermediate storage to final disposal"
  • Prof. Derek Elsworth, USA: "Stimulation and fluid displacement in unconventional reservoirs using liquids and gases"
  • Prof. Seokwon Jeon, Korea: "Performance assessment of a rock cutting tool"
  • Prof. Toshifumi Matsuoka, Japan: "Contributions of rock physics to carbon dioxide capture and sequestration"
  • Prof. Surya Parkash, India: "Geohazards risk management in India"
  • Prof. Ernesto Villaescusa, Australia: "Research in ground support technology for deep underground excavations"
A variety of workshops and short courses will be scheduled before the symposium. Technical tours will be conducted after the symposium. A Student's Night will be organized to encourage the active participation of young members.

For further information, click here to download Bulletin No. 2 or visit the website at .

5th ISRM Online Lecture by Dr John Read, 10 April 2014, at 9:00am GMT

For the fifth Online Lecture the ISRM invited Dr John Read and the title of his lecture will be “Implementing a Reliable Slope Design”.

The lecture will be broadcast on 10 April, at 9:00am GMT, and will remain online so that those unable to attend at this time will be able to do it later. As usual, the attendees will be able to ask questions to the lecturer by e-mail during the subsequent 48 hours.

Dr Read is a geological engineer with over 45 years civil and mining engineering project experience as a practitioner, consultant and mining research manager in a number of locations around the world.

His particular expertise is in slope stability and since 1980 he has been specifically concerned with the stability of rock slopes in large open pit mines. In 1987 he got a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from the Purdue University, USA. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the CSIRO Division of Exploration & Mining and Executive Manager of the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies Brisbane. However, in 2004 he stepped back from both of these positions to first establish and then manage CSIRO’s industry funded Large Open Pit Slope Design (LOP) project. The principal objective of the project is to perform research that improves our current methods of predicting the stability of rock slopes in open pit mines.

The previous ISRM Online Lectures were given by Prof. Wulf Schubert, Prof. John Hudson Dr. Pierre Dufaut and Prof. Eduardo Alonso. All the ISRM Online Lectures will remain available on the ISRM website in this dedicated webpage (click to open in a new window) .

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Reservoir Geomechanics: a free online course by Mark Zoback, 1 April to 10 June 2014

Mark Zoback, immediate past president of ARMA and professor of Earth Science and Geophysics at Stanford University, asked that ISRM membership be made aware of an educational opportunity.

Mark's reservoir geomechanics class will be presented online via Stanford Online for anyone interested. Click here to download the course announcement .

While the course is free, students must register online .

For more information and to register for the course at no cost visit the URL: .

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13th International ISRM Congress, May 2015, Montreal: submit your abstract until 1 May 2014

The website of the 13th International ISRM Congress, which will take place 10-13 May 2015 in Montreal, Canada, is now available: . You are invited to submit your abstract (maximum 500 words plus two graphs). Authors whose abstracts are selected will be invited to submit a full paper for peer review . Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by July 1st and must submit their full paper by September 1st 2014.

As usual in the International ISRM Congresses, screening of the abstracts and papers will be done by the ISRM National Groups. This process will be done through the Congress website. So, please upload your abstract, and later your paper, on the Congress website, and they will be directed to the National Group of the first author for revision and acceptance.

Technical Program Topics
  • Application of geophysics in rock mechanics
  • Enabled rock mechanices: scope of augmented reality, virtual reality and articial intelligence
  • Explosive free rock breakage techniques for rock excavation and drilling
  • Fracture mechanics and fracture propagation
  • Fractured rock and rock mass discontinuities
  • Ground freezing
  • In-situ stress measurement High temperature geomechanics
  • Lab and in-situ rock characterization and modelling
  • Numerical, analytical, contitutive modelling or rock processess
  • Prediction and modelling
  • Remote sensing and seismicity
  • Reservoir geomechanics
  • Rock mechanics risk assessment
  • Rock physics models for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery
  • Role of uncertainties in rock engineering design
  • Slope stability and land slides
  • Stability and exacvation support
  • Subsidence - prediction and mitigation of its impacts
  • Underground storage of petroleum, gas, CO2 , and nuclear waste disposal
Plus a one day symposium on “Shale and Rock Mechanics as Applied to Slopes, Tunnels, Mines and Hydrocarbon Extraction” (ARMA & CARAM Initiative), chaired by Prof. Herbert Einstein of MIT.

Volume 16 - December 2013 of the ISRM News Journal is now online

The December 2013 issue of the ISRM News Journal is now available. It includes the ISRM activities in 2013, the Board and Council meetings, reports on the 2013 ISRM Field Trip and on the Eurock 2013 and Sinorock 2013 Conferences, a bio of the President-Elect 2015–2019 Dr Eda Quadros, a report of the Technical Oversight Committee on the work done by the Commissions, information on the publication of the "Orange Book" with the Suggested Methods 2007-2014, announcements of futures events, reports of the Vice Presidents and many other articles of interest for the rock mechanics fraternity.

The ISRM News Journal is distributed to all members in electronic version. We still print a few copies of the News Journal, which are available at our sponsored symposia.

Access to the Digital Library with OnePetro

The ISRM Digital Library, with the papers from ISRM meetings and congresses, is hosted by OnePetro and run by the Society of Petroleum Engineers .

ISRM individual members are allowed to download up to 100 papers from ISRM congresses and meetings, per year, while corporate members are allowed 250 yearly downloads.

OnePetro has recently upgraded their site and unfortunately the way you used to log in was deactivated. The usernames and passwords you used for OnePetro no longer work.

The ISRM Secretariat and OnePetro have been working in a new way to give access to ISRM members, which is now implemented:
  • Every ISRM member was given a token, which is a unique numerical string.
  • You can obtain your token by logging in at the ISRM website and then clicking on "My Account", on the left of the screen. The token is near the bottom of the screen.
  • Then go to the OnePetro site , click on “Register to purchase instant access” and follow the instructions to register. The OnePetro site username and password are different from those you use at the ISRM site.
  • After loging in with your new OnePetro credentials, go to "My Account", then to "Society Memberships" and click on “Add membership details”.
  • Under “Add ISRM membership” click on “Redeem your ISRM access token here”.
  • Insert your token in order to activate it and follow the instructions on the page. Shortly after you will be able to download the ISRM papers for free.
Please feel free to send our Webmaster an email if you run into any trouble.

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ISRM sponsored meetings

  • 27-29 May 2014, Vigo, Spain. EUROCK 2014. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • 6-7 June, Beijing, China.  ISRM Specialized Conference on Soft Rocks.
  • 9-11 June, Lima Peru. 1st. International Conference on Applied Empirical Design Methods in Mining. An ISRM Specialized Conference.
  • 10-13 September 2014, Goiânia, Brazil. VI Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 14-16 October 2014, Sapporo, Japan. 8th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium. The 2014 ISRM International Symposium.
  • 4-5 November 2014, Sydney. The 3rd Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 10-13 May 2015, Montréal, Canada. ISRM 13th International Congress on Rock Mechanics.
  • 24-25 September 2015, Island of Ischia, Italy. 4th Workshop on Volcanic Rocks and Soils. An ISRM Specialised Conference.
  • 7-9 October 2015, Salzburg, Austria. EUROCK 2015 – Geomechanics Colloquy. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • May 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. African Rock Engineering Symposium. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • 29-31 August 2016, Cappadocia. Turkey. EUROCK 2016. An ISRM Regional Symposium.
  • October 2016, Bali, Indonesia. ARMS 2016 – 9th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium. An ISRM Regional Symposium.

Click here to view the list of ISRM Sponsored Conferences.

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ISRM Specialised Conference on Soft Rocks, Beijing, 6-7 June 2014

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the organizing committee, we are delighted to invite you to participate in the 2014 International Symposium on Soft Rocks (ISSR2014) to be held in Beijing, China, on June 6-7, 2014. This Symposium is a common endeavor of ISRM Commission on Soft Rocks, Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering (CSRME) and China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing (CUMTB), who are doing their best to offer a pleasant and interesting event.

We have prepared an appealing program with a good number of keynote lectures by some of the world’s leading experts on soft rock mechanics. Some experts will also present lectures representing the latest advancement and frontier achievements in soft rock mechanics.

You will also have the privilege to visit our city and country. Lively and dynamic, Beijing is an old and modern city, very famous for its long history, ancient culture and modern architecture.

It is a special honor for us to host for ISSR2014 in China and we strongly hope that an exciting program and the charms of Beijing will combine to make this a successful and memorable event.

We look forward to meeting you in Beijing in June 2014.

Prof. Milton Assis Kanji
President of ISRM Commission on Soft Rocks
University of Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brail

Prof. Man-chao HE
Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences
President of China national group of ISRM
China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing
Beijing, China

For more information visit the conference website:  or click here to download the Bulletin No. 3 .

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1st International Conference on Applied Empirical Design Methods in Mining, Lima, 9-11 June 2014

This ISRM Specialised Conference is organised by the Peruvian Society of Geoengineering (the ISRM National Group of Peru) and integrates the activities of the ISRM Commission on Design Methodology. It will take place in Lima, Peru, 9-11 June 2014.

Classification systems and characterization of rock masses, its application in design, either by empirica l methods or numerical methods are currently employed throughout the world mining industry. The main objective of the event is to bring together users and designers to present, discuss and share their experiences with these design techniques. In addition to the lectures that we will present, you will find short courses, field trips, posters and a technical exhibition. We invite you to be part of this event.

Several short courses and field trips will take place. The keynote speakers are:  

  • Yves Potvin, Australia Centre for Geomechanics, Australia
  • Rimas Palkanis, UBC Vancouver Palkanis Associates, Canada
  • Xia Ting Feng, ISRM President, China
  • Nick Barton, Nick Barton & Associates, Brazil
  • Oskar Steffen, SRK Consulting South Africa
  • John Hudson, Imperial College London, UK
  • Ernesto Villaescusa, Western Australian School of Mines Curtain University, Australia
  • Doug Milne, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • António Samaniego, SVS, Peru

  For detailed information visit the conference website: .

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VI Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium, 9-13 September 2013
an ISRM Specialised Conference

Every four years the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee organizes the Brazilian Symposium of Rock Mechanics. This event represents the most important national gathering for discussing and presenting scientific research and technology, geotechnical design and engineering works related to rock mechanics.

The 6th edition of the Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium (VI SBMR) will be held in September 9-13th 2014 in the city of Goiania, Goiás, Brazil, in parallel to the Brazilian Congress of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, XVII COBRAMSEG . The central theme of the VI SBMR is "Rock Mechanics for Natural Resources and Infrastructure". This time around the event is being co-sponsored by the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) and by the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA). The Brazilian Rock Mechanics Committee is proud to invite you to participate in this venue.

The aim of the event is to congregate professionals who use rock mechanics in their daily activities related to engineering and geology. The technical program will focus on civil engineering, mining and petroleum applications that integrate state of the art design methods, rock testing and monitoring for natural resource and infrastructure development.

Join us in Goiania and share your knowledge with the Brazilian rock mechanics community.

Prof. Sérgio A. B. da Fontoura
President of Organizing Comittee of VI SBMR

ISRM training course held in Hanoi, Vietnam

The training course took place in the Water Resources University, Hanoi, Vietnam, 20-21 Feb 2014. The course was co-organized by the ISRM, the Vietnam Society for Rock Mechanics (VSRM) and Vietnamese National Group of ISRM.

Prof. Xia- Ting Feng, ISRM President, Vice-president for Asia Dr. Yingxin Zhou, and Vice-president Europe, Prof. Frederic Pellet represented the ISRM and gave special lectures. The course had 221 attendees and can be considered a success in the cooperation between the ISRM and one of its youngest National Groups.

The training course was attended by 221 people, including 10 Vietnamese professors, 150 lecturers, 61 professional engineers from National Civil Engineering of University, Water Resources University, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, academies in rock mechanics and rock engineering, as well as Vietnamese and foreign consulting companies.

The course finished with a technical tour of Hạ Long Bay, Quang Ninh province. Hạ Long bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes.

A detailed report of the course can be downloaded here.

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The Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics (ATMR) organized a scientific day on “Vibrations of various origins transmitted by rock masses in civil constructions”, which was held in Tunis on January 15, 2014.

The day allowed 81 participants (from consulting and engineering firms, central government offices, cement plants and quarries, National Office of Mines, and National Institute of Meteorology) to share a discussion on a very important environmental issue.

Indeed, the subject of vibrations, their propagation in rock masses, and their effects on buildings is worthy of an international congress with 3 days of presentations and round table discussions. The Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics intends to organize several scientific and technical days. It relies on a partnership that already exists but needs more liveliness and implementation between the industry and academia worlds.

The action plan of the Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics for year 2014 includes the following activities:
  • March 15, 2014: Launch a call for proposals for an international conference on the damage in rocks in collaboration with research laboratories in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from Tunisia
  • May 15, 2014: Launch a competition for the Best Engineering Final Project Study in Geomechanics (Scientific Committee, oral presentation, award500DT)
  • September 24, 2014: Technical Day on stabilizing unstable slopes in jointed rock masses
The Tunisian Society for Rock Mechanics presents itself as a scientific, rigorous, well-performing, and efficient society for conducting any type of partnership leading to the development of rock mechanics in Tunisia.

For more information about ATMR, please visit:

ISRM Vice President Ivan Vrkljan visited Hungary

At the invitation of Professor Ákos Török, president of the Hungarian National Group of International Society for Rock Mechanics (HUNGISRM), Ivan Vrkljan stayed in Budapest between 13 and 16 February 2014. During his stay at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Ivan Vrkljan gave two lectures:  

  • “Rock mechanics - 50 years since the ISRM was founded“ for members of Hungarian Geological Society and of HUNGISRM . He spoke about the ISRM history and celebration of the 50th anniversary of ISRM, about the achievements of rock mechanics and ISRM and about solved and unsolved rock mechanics problems.
  • “Case history of tunnelling in Croatian karst region” for young engineers. On a popular way, he spoke about the problems of rock engineering in the Dinaric karst. About half of Croatian territory is covered by karst and Croatian engineers have wide experience in all engineering projects in karst.

  During these lectures he organized an ISRM Historical Exhibition. The exhibition includes six panels with highlights of the 50-year life of the ISRM. Ivan Vrkljan also distributed the Certificate of ISRM Membership to HUNGISRM members.

At the same time, the Hungarian Geotechnical Society organized the twentieth jubilee Széchy Károly Memorial Lecture in memory and honour of the Hungarian scientist and engineer Károly Széchy. On that occasion three lectures were held. By Carlo Viggiani, "The relations between science and geotechnical engineering"; by Ákos Tóth, "TBM performance forecast in mixed ground conditions" and finnaly by László Nagy, "Dangers, probabilities, risks in geotechnical engineering".

During this event, Ivan Vrkljan welcomed the participants on behalf of ISRM President Prof. Xia-Ting Feng and wished the success of the event. He talked about the first half-century of rock mechanics and ISRM's achievements. He also presented the ISRM President-Elect 2015-2019 Dr. Eda Quadros and stressed that she will be the first woman as President in 75 years history of ISSMGE and 50 years since the ISRM has been founded.

A collective photo of invited persons to Széchy Károly Memorial Lecture in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Among those invited were Roger Frank, ISMGE pesident, Antonio Gens ISSMGE VP for Europe and Heinz Brndl as first Széchy Károly Memorial Lecturer. In front of all is Prof. József Mecsi, president of Organisation Committee.

Ivan Vrkljan during presentation with young engineers

At the University, Ákos Tóth, Ákos Török (HUNGISRM president); Ildikó Buocz, (HUNGISRM secretary); Ivan Vrkljan and Balázs Vásárhelyi (HUNGISRM, vice president)

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Professor Jean-Louis Briaud elected President of the Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies (FedIGS)

Professor Briaud was elected last February as President of the Federation of International Geo-engineering Societies (FedIGS) for the 2014-2018 term. FedIGS regroups the following international societies:  

  • ISSMGE: International Society for Soil Mechnics and Geotechnical Engineering
  • ISRM: International Society for Rock Mechanics
  • IAEG: International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment
  • IGS: International Geosynthetics Society

  Dr. Briaud is a former president of ISSMGE (2009-2013). As President of FedIGS, Briaud plans to foster cooperation and strengthen the links between the four societies while remaining concious of each society’s freedom. Briaud also wishes to strengthen the group by inviting other geo-engineering societies to join FedIGS. Briaud says that this prestigious and humbling position will give him a chance to broaden his horizons and learn more about rock mechanics, engineering geology, geosyntetics, and other aspects of the rich geoworld. Briaud also plans to work on enhancing the image of the geo-profession which he sees as a long term but very important goal.

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Inducing rockfalls in Norway - by helicopter

In this video, we found how the Norwegian Public Roads Administration secured a road that was frequently hit by rockfall, in a simple, unnusual and effective way. Watch the four minute long video bellow.

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ISRM Secretariat, c/o LNEC, Av. Brasil, 101, 1700-066 Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Tel: (+351) 218443419; Fax: (+351) 218443021; Website: ; E-mail:
© 2014 ISRM; Editor: Luís Lamas; Webmaster: Ricardo Resende.
Header image credits:
1st. International Conference on Applied Empirical Design Methods in Mining, Lima, Peru

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