NGI's specialist expertise

  • material properties of fractured rock
  • rock mass modelling
  • rock classification and required support (Q system)

Construction in rock requires a knowledge of the properties of rock masses. Our expertise in general geology, engineering geology, rock mechanics, geotechnics and hydrogeology enables us to make assessments, plan and design the construction of tunnels and rock caverns.

In addition to special expertise as the developer of the Q system, one of the world's best-known classification method for rock masses and support requirements, NGI has extensive skills in the use of other classification methods. We have state-of-the-art expertise in the use of advanced calculation models for rock masses, in which deformation, stresses, water flows and the effect of various support measures are calculated.

Research and development

The research effort at NGI within engineering geology and rock mechanics is concentrated on the following topics:

  • verification of heavy rock support
  • verification and documentation of tunnel stability
  • black/alum shale

Q-system - a free app for downloading

The Q system is a classification system for rock masses in respect of stability of tunnels and rock caverns. The system was originally developed by NGI and is widely used, both in Norway and internationally. A separate app for the Q system (rock classification and support requirements) has now been developed and is ready for free downloading. See more about the Q system and Q app under "Read more about".

Norwegian tunelling technology

NGI Bok Tunnelteknologi

The book Norges tunnelgeologi (Norwegian tunelling technology), by Fredrik Løset (available only in Norwegian), provides a comprehensive description of various tunnels and rock caverns and a systematic review of the geology and challenges related to tunnel building in Norway. You can read excerpts from the book here. It can be ordered via NGI's Document Centre, and costs NOK 400 + postage. Enquiries should be addressed to