This book has been designed to provide a fundamental knowledge of the geological structure and properties of rocks and rock masses. It sets out laboratory and field methods for examining these media, presents physical and mechanical models used in their description, and reviews geotechnical classifications, discussing their use in solving various engineering tasks. Three basic problems of rock mechanics are discussed, namely, the distribution of stresses, the criteria and mechanisms of failure in rocks and rock masses, and the hydraulics of water flow in rock masses, together with effects associated with this flow. Attention is also paid to methods for solving basic engineering problems related to the behaviour of the bedrock on which various hydrostructures have been founded, are planned to be founded, or are in the process of being constructed.A prominent feature of the book is its methodical approach. It offers a sympathetic survey of the problems involved and enables the reader to select, according to the adopted criteria, an appropriate method for the solution of the engineering problem at hand by following the ready-to-use procedure included. In addition, numerous drawings, abundant tabulated data, and an extensive bibliography, permits the reader to gain a deeper knowledge of the problems under consideration.The book will be of interest to those concerned with hydrotechnical projects, lecturers and students in higher technical schools, and researchers investigating the problems of rock mechanics.