10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Contribution to a Suitable Rehabilitation of Rock Masses

Mónica Silva1,2,3, Mário Quinta Ferreira1,2, and Pedro Santarém1,2
Mónica Silva et al.
  • 1University of Coimbra, Department of Earth Sciences, Portugal (mpsilva@student.dct.uc.pt)
  • 2CGEO - Geosciences Center
  • 3Foundation for Science and Technology, FCT


Climate change is a global concern, directly interfering with the local geology, causing changes, affecting the geomorphological structures and the stability of the rock masses.

The phenomena that occur due to changes in the geological materials, such as in coastal areas or abandoned quarries, significantly affect the behavior of the rock masses located in these areas, as they suffer the action of abrasion and erosion due to the dynamics of the sea or strong winds, which can provide an early instability of existing cliffs or slopes, endangering the surrounding environment, such as roads or buildings.

Knowing that storms are increasingly recurrent and stronger, the damages they can cause presents greater consequences, requiring a more objective analysis of the geological materials behavior when exposed to severe weather events, such as torrential rainfall or long lasting rainfall.

The geomechanical classifications e.g. Rock Mass Rating (RMR) and Slope Mass Rating (SMR), are crucial as the behavior of the rock masses can be foreseen when the values of the geotechnical parameters are suitably defined. Complementarily, it is useful to use geophysical methods allowing to obtaining more detailed information in a less invasive, but reliable way, including the degree of fracturing of the rock masses, provided that access and the characterization of the sites are feasible. Currently the geomechanical classifications are reliable at a small scale, failing to convey the geomechanical behavior of the rock masses as a whole, but rather in restricted locations. Realizing this difficulty, it is relevant to find a work methodology allowing the existing classifications to be used, so that the final results are a continuous evaluation of the rock mass behavior and not only in delimited sections or test sampling points.

Considering the goal of a continuous characterizing of the rock mass behavior through the results obtained, it is pertinent to present solutions, which should contribute, whenever possible, to greater sustainability.

Therefore, it is intended that geomorphology and geology, in association with the geotechnical studies should be used as a basis for the characterization of rock masses, allowing to identify the problems and instability causes and subsequently to present the solutions allowing to enhance profitability, sustainability and efficiency in the stabilization of the rock masses.

How to cite: Silva, M., Quinta Ferreira, M., and Santarém, P.: Contribution to a Suitable Rehabilitation of Rock Masses, 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-595, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-595, 2022.