Although rock strength anisotropy is a well-known phenomenon in rock mechanics, its impact on geotechnical design is often ignored or underestimated. This paper explores the concept of anisotropy in a high stress environment using an improved unified constitutive model (IUCM), which can account for more complex failure mechanisms. The IUCM is used to better understand the typical responses of anisotropic rocks to underground mining. This study applies the IUCM to a proposed rock shaft located in high stress/anisotropic conditions. Results suggest that the effect of rock strength anisotropy must be taken into consideration when assessing the rock mass response to mining in high stress and anisotropic rock conditions.
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