Shear Plane Determination in Mohr Coulombs Model

A. I. Ivanov

Institute of Environmental Geoscience, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Ulanskii per. 13, Moscow, 101000 Russia

Received May 14, 1998

Abstract—The classical formulation of Mohr–Coulomb’s law of shear strength gives no indications as to fail-
ure plane orientation. In practice, the orientation of this plane is determined from various external indications,
i.e., through conjecture. This paper suggests a tensor-based generalized formulation of Mohr–Coulomb’s law.
Based on this formulation, failure plane orientation is defined as the direction, along which a certain quadratic–
bilinear form of the stress tensor, related to Mohr–Coulomb’s law, attains an extremum.