Influence of water content on the strength of rock

B. Vásárhelyi, P. Ván

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Citations (Scopus)


Water content is one of the most important factors influencing rock strength. Considerable research has been carried out to investigate rock strength under both dry and water saturated conditions. According to these results, the petrophysical properties of rocks decrease with increasing moisture and this can result in an increase in the mechanical compliance in some cases. In several cases, the strength decrease is remarkable after only 1% water saturation. For rock mechanics and rock engineering projects, it is strongly recommended that the dry uniaxial compressive strength is used for the purposes of strength classification, while for the actual engineering design it is essential to establish the wet strength and ideally the water sensitivity of the rock, in order to asses their potential change in strength and deformability. The goal of this paper is to show a method for estimating the sensitivity of sandstone rocks to water content, using the published data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalEngineering Geology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2006


  • Sandstones
  • Uniaxial compressive strength
  • Water content
  • Water saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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