The Ataturk dam was built across the Firat River on clayey limestone. A grout curtain, providing impermeability in the left and right abutments, was done in grouting galleries. The well known rock mass classification systems for tunneling purposes [rock structure rating (RSR), rock mass rating (RMR) and rock mass quality index (Q)] were used to classify the rock mass along these galleries. Based on RSR, RMR and Q values, the rock masses in the galleries have been classified into three different classes. Correlation between the three classification systems is discussed and suggestions are made for using rockbolt, shotcrete with wiremesh and steel ribs for supporting the rock mass. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.