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Synthetic Joints Overview

Synthetic Joints in RocSlope refer to a simulated or artificially created system of near-parallel joints or fractures within a rock mass. These joints are not naturally occurring or measured, but are intentionally fabricated to replicate the behavior and characteristics of real joints using some known:

  • Statistical distribution of joint orientation
  • Statistical distribution of joint radius
  • Statistical distribution of joint spacing
  • Traversal path

Each Synthetic Joint is modeled as a planar circular disk with:

  • Orientation
  • Radius
  • Location

The statistical distributions are defined in Define Synthetic Joints dialog. The traversal path is defined during Add Synthetic Joint Set by specifying the path of a polyline. Each Synthetic Joint's orientation, radius, and spacing are sampled across the length of the polyline, with the polyline passing through the center of the joint.

The sampling of Synthetic Joints across the length of the polyline represents one possible realization. When statistics are defined, an infinite number of possible realizations for the sampling could technically exist. Since the formation of blocks and factor of safety are very sensitive to joint geometry, it is recommended that several realizations be analyzed.
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