Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

British Geological Survey scheme for classifying discontinuities and fillings

By M.R. Gillespie, R.P. Barnes and A.E. Milodowski


This report presents a scheme for classifying and naming geological discontinuities and their fillings, and provides guidance for describing discontinuities in rock masses. The scheme is a new BGS corporate standard analogous to more established standards like the BGS Rock Classification Scheme. Its purpose is to provide geologists with the means to collect and store discontinuity and filling data succinctly and consistently, in any setting and at any scale; to supply a set of approved terms and their definitions to the dictionaries that support BGS databases, and to permit BGS staff, customers and other users to better understand BGS outputs that incorporate discontinuity data

Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1976). An Outline of Structural Geology.
  2. (2008). BGS classification of lithodemic units: proposals for classifying units of intrusive rock. British Geological Survey Research Report,
  3. (2003). Characterization of fracture networks using data from boreholes: an example from the concealed Borrowdale Volcanic Group
  4. (1993). Discontinuity analysis for rock engineering. doi
  5. (1997). Earth structure: An introduction to structural geology and tectonics. (New York: McGraw-Hill.) wise, d u, dunn, d e, enGelder, J t, Geiser, p a, hatCher, r d, kish, s a, odoM, a l, and sChaMel, s.
  6. (1974). Engineering classification of rock masses for the design of tunnel support.
  7. (2000). Faulting in brittle rocks: An introduction to the mechanics of tectonic faults.
  8. (1995). Fractography: fracture topography as a tool in fracture mechanics and stress analysis.
  9. (2005). Glossary of Geology. Fifth Edition.
  10. (1998). Interpretation of structural domains in discontinuity data from Nirex deep boreholes at Sellafield.
  11. (1981). Relationship between fracture spacing and bed thickness.
  12. (1999). Rock mass classification: a practical approach in civil engineering. (Oxford: Elsevier.) terzaGhi, r d.
  13. (1980). Shear zone geometry: a review. doi
  14. (2007). Structural terms including fault rock terms. 24–31 in Metamorphic rocks: a classification and glossary of terms.
  15. (2010). t. in press.
  16. (1983). The techniques of modern structural geology,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.