Deformability of rock masses influencing their behavior is an important geomechanical property for the design of rock structures. Due to the difficulties in determining the deformability of jointed rock masses at the laboratory-scale, various in-situ test methods such as pressuremeter, dilatometer, plate loading tests etc. have been developed. Although these techniques are currently the best and direct methods, they are time-consuming and expensive, and present operational difficulties. In addition, the influence of the test volume on deformation modulus depending on the method employed is also important. For these reasons empirical equations to indirectly estimate the deformation modulus have also been recommended by several investigators as an alternative approach. In this study; the geomechanical quality of weak, heavily jointed, sheared and/or blocky greywacke rock masses, on which very concentrated civil works are continuing at the southern and southwestern parts of Ankara (Turkey), was assessed. The deformation modulus was determined by pressuremeter tests, the possible effects of variables on the derived deformation modulus from the pressuremeter test were evaluated by numerical methods, and the comparisons between the deformation modulus of the greywackes obtained from the pressuremeter tests and their geomechanical quality (GSI and RMR) were made. Numerical simulations revealed that the presence of a disturbed annulus around the borehole causes underestimation of the deformation modulus, while the effect of length to diameter ratio of the pressuremeter probe on the deformation modulus is minor. Based on the geoengineering characterization assessments, mainly two greywacke rock masses with different geomechanical qualities were identified. Geotechnical quality of one of these rock masses was verified by the back analysis of two slope failures. The empirical equations to indirectly estimate the deformation modulus of the greywackes using their GSI and RMR values yielded high coefficients of correlation. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.