Published on February 15 2015


After publishing the paper  The deformation modulus of rock masses – comparison between in-situ tests and indirect estimates  in 2001, see the comment by Dr Nick Barton and the reply by the authors

A summary of the workshop GeoEng 2000 on classification initiated a critical comment from Dr. Nick Barton which was followed by an answer to Dr. Barton.


B.  NORWEGIAN TUNNEL BUILDERS are the world’s best – a myth?
     (from http://www.tunnel.no)

Arild PDuring the NFF Fall Conference on 27 November 2014, Arild Palmström, PhD, MSc, RockMass AS presented points of view on the Norwegian tunnellers. Some of us assuming that the level of competence is high (even extremely high) whereas others, and the author, have a more factual view. His presentation underscores some facts rocking the bases for exaggerated self-esteem. In the following you will find a selection from his paper.

Arild Palmström is well known in the Norwegian geo-engineering sector, he is author of numerous papers, author or co-author of books on rock mechanics, and has wide experience from projects worldwide. In his thesis (Doctor Scientiarum Oslo University 1995), an important part concerns methods for collecting and using geological parameters with focus on block size, rock material and the quality description of the rockmass defined in the index RMi.

Some Norwegians within the underground construction environment boast of our tunnellers (not limited to the crew at tunnel face), claiming that these obtain weekly advance higher than competitors abroad. Frequently one will hear that the Underground Olympic Hall in Gjövik (some 100 km north of Oslo) is the largest underground opening for public use, the Lärdal Tunnel is the longest road tunnel, or that one will find the deepest subsea road tunnel on the west coast of the country, and repeatedly that the largest number of underground power house complexes will be found in our country. The Greek word hybris (arrogance) fits well, maybe mixed with ignorance one may say.

Smooth tunnelling in line with the planned progress and economy is not always the case. Sometimes one will meet unexpected difficulties, for some rather few projects the problems turn out to be serious. Such incidents, mistakes or lessons learned, are frequently presented by papers for domestic conferences, workshops or similar events.

The whole article can be found in Part 1  and Part 2


Important quotations are presented below from time to time:

"If the art of soil classification is far from satisfactory, the confusion is often made worse in that users are unaware of its limitations and apply it for purposes other than that originally intended".

Arthur M. Casagrande (1948)