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RockMech Research Group

Prof. Steve McKinnon, Queen's University


RockMech - the Content Management System of the rock mechanics research group

This site is a repository of shared and useful information for all researchers within and related to the RockMech research group. We are located at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and part of the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. The research network also includes people working in various companies and at other universities in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Many parts of this site are open for all to see but some are restricted to active members of specific research projects.

Site Guide

Click the tabs on the grey horizontal bar above for main site navigation.

Quick links:

Researchers: A list of RockMech members and their research areas.

Research Projects: More detailed information on current and past research areas.

Utility:  A collection of articles (mainly for graduate students) and links to sites of interest to rock mechanics practitioners.


This site is maintained by Professor Steve McKinnon. A bio, publications etc. can be found here.

Contact information can be found here, or a message can be sent directly by clicking on "Contact" at the bottom of the page.

Stress fields in complex rock masses

FLAC model of stresses around fault

A current theme of research in the group is stress fields in complex rock masses. Stresses are a fundamental part of stability analysis in mine design, but little effort has been put into understanding stresses in mines compared to methods of estimating rock mass strength. Most mines are located in regions of geological complexity, which is why the deposits are there in the first place. There is much anecdotal and direct evidence, including seismicity, indicating that stress fields in such environments are far from simple, even before mining takes place. Our group is using and developing a variety of tools and techniques to learn about the characteristics of stress fields  at a variety of scales (crustal to mine). The objective is to better understand rock mass behaviour, and to improve the geomechanical mine design process.