The author expresses the doubts that many have with regard to the efficacy of the present methods of describing rock mass weathering. As an alternative to these methods the author recommends the use of a ratings system which classifies weathering in terms of engineering significance. The author also recognizes that all ratings systems which are successful have been developed over the years as a consequence of the experience of many users, but proposes, as a starting point for further discussion, a ratings system developed during engineering geological fieldwork in Spain.

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