Engineering Geological Map of Ad Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar Cities, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-TR-2008-4 Hassan M. Al-Harbi, Abdullah A. Al-Otaibi, Waheed M. Baamer, Khalid Z. Al-Ahmadi, Turki E. Al-Sehli, brahim M. Al-Harthi, Abdulkhaleg S. Doban, Marwan M. Al-Saikhan, Mohammed S. Al-Theeban, and Marwan Y. Bokhari
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Ad Dammam, Dhahran and Al Khobar are the major cities in the Eastern Province. With the continuing expansion of all parts of the Kingdom, the three towns will inevitably merged into one. Each of the three towns, which compose the Dammam Area, retains their own character and some local administrative functions. Dammam Area forms a single administrative entity with population of 3,360,157 million inhabitants (2004) census. Geologically, Ad Dammam area consists of dolomite and different types of limestones that represent the sequence of the geologic units of the Tertiary period of a marine environment. Sabkhah, coastal deposits, surface carbonate deposits and eolian sands represent the overlying sequence of the geologic units of the Quaternary period.  These units pose geotechnical problems to the area.  The Eastern Regions are currently undergoing intensive urban and industrial development. Power plants, desalination plants, petrochemical and steel industries, highways and bridges are under construction while new large settlements are being built.  The main geotechnical problems at Ad Dammam, Dhahran and Al Khobar can be summarized in to two types.  The first one deals with the unsuitable soil condition, which may create foundation problems as in case of sabkha deposits. The second one is the sand dune activity. The present investigation program starts with mapping the geological units in the area, followed by extensive in-situ testing and surface soil sampling that covers the cities.  The samples were tested for their engineering properties and the engineering geological zones were identified and characterized.  The field and laboratory work was based on the system set by the American Association for Engineering Geologists (AAEG) to map the geology of the major cities of the world.  A surface comprehensive engineering geological map was prepared at a scale of 1:70,000 that can be used for multiple purposes.  The map took into consideration the surface modifications in the soil type and the new boundary between the various geological units.  In addition, a database was constructed from the obtained information in this research and the related information from the numerous geotechnical reports that were collected and analyzed.



Al-Harbi, H.M., Al-Otaibi, A.A., Baamer, W.A., Al-Ahmadi, K.Z., Sehli, T.E., Al-Harthi, I.M., Doban, A.S., Al-Saikhan, M.M., Al-Theeban, M.S., and Bokhari, M.Y., 2009,  Engineering geological map of Ad Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Khobar cities, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey Technical Report SGS-TR-2008-4, 39 p., 25 figs., 11 tables, 3 apps., 2 plates