Rock Masses Characterization

The construction of every civil work in rock needs a preliminary investigation to determine the mechanical properties of the rock masses (rock materials and discontinuities) affected by the excavation. For carrying out rock masses tests, SERENGEO collaborates with the laboratory LAGIRN of Bologna University which is supplied with equipment to perform geomechanical testing on rock masses both in situ and in laboratory.

In addition to the standard survey techniques, thanks to the know-how acquired during the years in unconventional testing, SERENGEO is able to design ad-hoc tests on rock masses to solve specific problems. For instance, in the past the members of SERENGEO designed and performed non-conventional shear tests (Bim Test) for bimrocks (block-in-matrix rock, structurally complex rock mass characterized by a mixture of competent rock blocks immersed in a finer and weaker matrix). Furthermore, SERENGEO also utilizes a 3D camera probe for cored and drilled holes, to examine the rock masses structures, with continuous logging and a software for images processing.

Target customers

The service is addressed to construction and mining companies, and Public Administrations.

Projects and collaborations


  • Ghazvinian E., Diederichs M., Labrie D., Bandini A., Berry P. (2014) Crack damage evaluation of crystalline rock by means of Acoustic Emission technique. Proceedings 48th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. Minneapolis (USA), 1-4 June 2014.
  • Bandini A., Berry P. (2014) Relazione tra comportamento deformativo di rocce ed emissioni acustiche per la previsione dei rockburst. Incontro Annuale Ricercatori di Geotecnica (IARG2014). Chieti 14 – 16 Luglio 2014.
  • Coli N., Boldini D., Bandini A., Lopes D.S. (2012) Modeling of complex geological rock mixtures under triaxial testing conditions. Proceedings International Symposium on Rock Engineering & Technology for Sustainable Underground Construction. Eurock2012. Stockholm 28-30 Maggio 2012.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D., Bruno R. (2012) The contribution of geostatistics to the characterisation of some bimrock properties. Engineering Geology 137-138: 53-63, ISSN: 0013-7952.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Bruno R., Boldini D. (2011) An integrated geostatistical-geomechanical approach for the characterization of a bimrock. Proceedings 45th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. San Francisco June 26 – June 29, 2011, p. ARMA 11-259-259, ISBN: 9781618391544.

Altre pubblicazioni

  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D. (2011) In situ non-conventional shear tests for the mechanical characterisation of a bimrock. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 48: 95-102, ISSN: 1365-1609.
  • Coli M., Livi E., Berry P., Bandini A., Jia X.N. (2010) Studies for rockburst prediction in the Carrara Marble (Italy). Proceedings 5th International Symposium on In-situ Rock Stress (ISRSV). Beijing, China 25-27 August 2010, London: CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group A Balkema Book, vol. 1, p. 367-373, ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-415-60165-8.
  • Coli M., Livi E., Berry P., Bandini A., He M., Jia X. (2010). Studies for rockburst prediction in the Carrara Marble (Italy). ISRM NEWS JOURNAL, vol. 2010, pp. 51-54, ISSN:2073-3127.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D. (2010) In situ non-conventional shear tests for the mechanical characterization of a bimrock. In: Rock Mechanics in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Lausanne, Svizzera, 15-18 June 2010, London: Taylor & Francis Group, p. 585 – 588, ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-415-58654-2.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D., Bruno R. (2009) Investigation of Block Geometrical Properties of the Shale-Limestone Chaotic Complex Bimrock of the Santa Barbara Open Pit Mine (Italy). In: Rock Engineering in Difficult Conditions. Toronto, ON, Canada, 9 – 15 May 2009, s.l: s.n, p. paper 3999.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D., Bruno R. (2009) In Situ Large Size Non-conventional Shear Tests for the Mechanical Characterization of a Bimrock in The Santa Barbara Open Pit Mine (Italy). Proceedings of the 43rd US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 4nd US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium. Asheville, June 28 – July 1 2009, s.l: s.n.
  • Coli N., Berry P., Boldini D., Castellucci P. (2008) Analysis of the block-size distribution in the Shale-Limestone Chaotic Complex (Tuscany, Italy). Proceedings of the 42nd US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 2nd US-Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium. San Francisco, June 29 – July 2, 2008, MADISON: Omnipress.