Evaluation of Geomechanical Properties of Soft Rock Masses by Laboratory and In Situ Testing

Luís Ribeiro e Sousa, Rita Leal e Sousa, Zhou Cuiying, Karim Karam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In recent years, the evaluation of geomechanical parameters in rock masses and particularly in soft rock masses has gone through significant improvements. New instruments and equipment for in situ and laboratory tests allow for a more accurate evaluation of the properties of soft rock masses. Advancements in data mining (DM) techniques allow for better tools for decision making. The combination of improved instrumentation and more powerful numerical techniques allow for a better characterization of the geomechanical parameters of rock masses. In this chapter, methodologies for deformability and strength evaluation are presented. Equipment that is frequently used for this is illustrated with emphasis on common techniques in situ and in the laboratory. Results of extensive testing on soft rocks are presented with emphasis on the testing of a very heterogeneous conglomerate rock mass at a dam site in Japan. Conclusions and recommendations are presented at the end of the chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoft Rock Mechanics and Engineering
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9783030294779
ISBN (Print)9783030294762
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Deformability
  • Geomechanical properties
  • In situ tests
  • Laboratory tests
  • Site studies
  • Soft rocks
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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