This paper presents closed-form solutions for the stress field induced by gravity in anisotropic and stratified rock masses. These rocks are assumed to be laterally restrained. The rock mass consists of finite mechanical units, each unit being modeled as a homogeneous, transversely isotropic or isotropic linearly elastic material. The following results are found. The nature of the gravity induced stress field in a stratified rock mass depends on the elastic properties of each rock unit and how these properties vary with depth. It is thermodynamically admissible for the induced horizontal stress component in a given stratified rock mass to exceed the vertical stress component in certain units and to be smaller in other units; this is not possible for the classical unstratified isotropic solution. Examples are presented to explore the nature of the gravity induced stress field in stratified rock masses. It is found that a decrease in rock mass anisotropy and a stiffening of rock masses with depth can generate stress distributions comparable to empirical hyperbolic distributions previously proposed in the literature. ?? 1988 Springer-Verlag.