Authors: Gray, I; Gibbons, TR

Open access courtesy of:


Cite As:
Gray, I & Gibbons, TR 2022, 'Factors influencing caving', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1367-1386,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

This paper examines the interaction of rock properties, rock stress and fluid pressure in initiating caving or strata collapse. The paper looks at the measurement of appropriate rock properties, rock stress and fluid pressure to determine how and when failure will occur. It also examines how fluid pressure operates within the rock mass – whether through the effects of poroelasticity or directly on fracture faces. It discusses the transition between these states within the rock mass. The emphasis of the paper is on measurement rather than on modelling and techniques to get the appropriate measurements are discussed. Field cases within laminated strata are covered.

Keywords: caving, stress, effective stress, fluid pressure, permeability, measurement

Biot, MA & Willis, DG 1957, ‘The elastic coefficients of the theory of consolidation’, ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, vol. 24, pp. 594–601.
de Andrade Penido, H, Funato, A, Metsugi, H, Torres, VFN, Sotomajor, JMG, Dight, P, Figueirodo, RP, Assis, AP & Guimaraes, A 2021, ‘Application of the HF, DRA and DCDA technologies for in situ stress determination in iron quadrangle rock masses’, Geomechanics and Geoengineering,
Dake, LP 1979, ‘Fundamentals of reservoir engineering’, Developments in Petroleum Science 8, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Funato, A & Ito, T 2013, ‘Diametrical core deformation analysis (DCDA) developed for in-situ rock stress measurements’, Journal of the MMIJ, vol. 129, pp. 577–584,
Gray, I 2000, ‘The measurement and interpretation of stress’, in JW Beeston (ed), Bowen Basin Symposium 2000: The New Millennium - Geology Proceedings, Geological Society of Australia Coal Geology Group, Sydney.
Gray, I, Wood, JH & Shelukhina, Y 2013, ‘Real stress distributions in sedimentary strata’, Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on In-situ Rock Stress.
Gray, I & Neels, B 2015, ‘The measurement of fluid pressure in rock and soil’, in PM Dight (ed.), FMGM 2015: Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium on Field Measurements in Geomechanics, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 125–136,
Gray, I 2017, ‘The measurement of permeability and other ground fluid parameters’, Drilling for Geology II Extended Abstracts, Australian Institute of Geoscientists, Sydney, pp. 59–72.
Gray, I, Zhao, X, Liu, L 2018a, ‘Mechanical properties of coal measure rocks containing fluids at pressure’, Proceedings of the 18th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, pp. 195–204.
Gray, I, Zhao, X & Liu, L 2018b, ‘The determination of anisotropic and nonlinear properties of rock through triaxial and hydrostatic testing’, in Z Zhao, Y Zhou & J Shang (eds), Proceedings of the 10th Asian Rock Mechanics, Society for Rock Mechanics & Engineering Geology, Singapore.
Gray, I 2020, ‘Rock property determination’, in J Wesseloo (ed.), UMT 2020: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Underground Mining Technology, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 379–400,
Hsieh, A & Dight, P 2016, ‘The desirable and undesirable effects on stress reconstruction using the deformation rate analysis (DRA)’, in M Lu, CC Li, H Kjorholt & H Dahle (eds), Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on In-Situ Rock Stress, CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Kim, H, Diaz, MB, Kim, JY, Jung, Y-B & Kim, KY 2020, ‘Stress estimation through deep rock core diametrical deformation and joint roughness assessment using X-ray CT imaging’, Sensors, vol. 20, no. 23,
Leeman, ER 1969, ‘The doorstopper and triaxial rock stress measuring instruments developed by the C.S.I.R.’, Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 305.
Mills, KW & Pender, MJ 1986, ‘A soft inclusion instrument for in-situ stress measurement in coal’, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Rock Stress and Rock Stress Measurements, Centek Publishers, Luleå, pp. 247–251.
Obert, L, Merrill, RH & Moran, TA 1962, Borehole Deformation Gauge for Determining the State of Stress in Rock, US Bureau of Mines Investigation, RI 5978.
Onishi, K, Nishizaka, N, Ishikawa, Y, Nayuki, T, Tanaka, T, Ando, K, Oouchi, T & Ito, T 2016, ‘Estimate of the initial rock stress by performing a comprehensive evaluation using the results of several techniques’, in U Singh, A Yeung, D Leverenz, J Young, G Chock (eds), Proceedings of the 7th Civil Engineering Conference in the Asian Region, The Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council.
Tezaghi, K & Peck, RB 1948, Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Yabe, Y, Abe, S, Hofmann, G, Roberts, D, Yilmaz, H, Ogasawara, H, Ito, T, Funato, A, Nakatani, M, Naoi, M & Durrheim, R 2022, ‘Stress state in the source region of Mw2.2 earthquake in a deep gold mine in South Africa determined from borehole cores’, Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 179,
Yamamoto, K 2009, ‘A theory of rock core-based methods for in-situ stress measurement’, Earth Planets Space, vol. 61,
pp. 1143–1161.
Zeigher, M & Valley, B 2021, ‘Evaluation of the diametrical core deformation and discing analyses for in‑situ stress estimation and application to the 4.9 km deep rock core from the Basel geothermal borehole, Switzerland’, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, vol. 54, pp. 6511–6532,
Zhang, Y, Ji, H & Xu, H 2022, ‘Study on the law of rock anelastic recovery and the characterstics of in situ stress field of 2000 m deep stratum in metal mines of coastal area’, Advances in Material Science and Engineering, article ID 2152814,

© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to