rock mechanics

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1 The study of the physical behaviour of rocks, including crushing, bending, and shear-strength testing, and also their elasticity, internal angle of friction, density, permeability, and porosity. See elastic deformation; and elastic limit.

2 In geology, the study of the mechanics of rock structures, their physical properties, and forces acting on strata.

3 In engineering, the study of rocks as raw materials, and their behaviour in tunnels, quarries, and mines; and the stability of buildings on rock foundations.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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