Engineering Geological Evaluation for Two Factory Sites, Al Jubail Industrial City (Stage 3), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed F. Baamer, Gabel Z. Al-Barakati, Abdulkhaleg S. Al-Doban, Khaled Z. Al-Ahmadi,
Marwan Y. Bokhari, and Abdullah A. Sabtan
Al Jubail is a huge site for large-scale petrochemical industries. Extensive construction has been going on since the 1980’s and the rapid expansion is faced with challenging geologic constraints. Proper engineering geological investigations and mapping are essential in outlining the geological conditions that affect the foundation and growth stages of cities, by identifying the nature of the soil layers and their expected geotechnical problems. This will be beneficial to urban planners, engineers, and designers in order to plan adequate foundations, modification, and/or soil improvements. The present investigation is restricted only to Stage 3 of the Al Jubail expansion. The area is rectangular in shape (2 x 8 km) and is adjacent to the Arabian Gulf coast. The program starts with mapping the geological units in the ground surface and the exploration of the subsurface soil to a depth of 15 m. Thorough laboratory tests were then carried out to identify the engineering properties of the obtained soil samples. It was found that the Al Jubail area (Stage 3) is composed of sand sheets, dunes, low-lying sabkhas, and few rock exposures. The soil type at the investigated depth is mainly poorly graded sand (SP) of different color, but mixed in some locations with silt (SP-SM, SM) and clay (SC). The surface of the soil is largely poorly graded sand (SP) and is grouped into three zones based on color and minor constituents. The surface and subsurface large-scale special purpose engineering geological maps were prepared for the spatial distribution of SPT and CPT measurements. The upper soil layer down to 2 m is mainly very loose, the soil strength then improves to medium dense from 2 to 8 m and then becomes more dense at greater depths. The identified geological hazards include drifting sand and migrating dunes, the weak and corrosive sabkhas, and water-uplift pressure. The engineering geological maps will provide a general picture of the material types and their engineering properties in the Al Jubail Stage 3 expansion. It will be beneficial to the developers, construction companies, consulting engineers, and will aid in using suitable foundations and avoiding hazardous environments.
Baamer, M.F., Al-Barakati, G.Z., Al-Doban, A.S., Al-Ahmadi, K.Z., Bokhari, M.Y., Sabtan A.A., 2012, Engineering Geological Evaluation for Two Factory Sites, Al Jubail Industrial City (Stage 3), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2011-9, 31 p., 17 tables, 6 apps.