Evaluation of Engineering Properties and Industrial Utilization of Scoria, Harrat Hutaymah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-OF-2005-19 Turki Al Sehly, Abdulkhaleg Doban, Khalid Al Wagdani Khalid Abdul-Hafez, and Ibrahim Al Harthy
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Volcanic activity that accompanied the opening of the Red Sea from the Miocene to the present, resulted in the formation of vast fields of subaerial basaltic flows in the western part of Saudi Arabia, referred to by the Arabic term “Harrat”. Along the western part of the Kingdom there are 12 large harrats in addition to a number of smaller ones covering an area of about 90,000 km2, The harrats occur over parts of the Proterozoic Arabian shield and adjacent Phanerozoic rocks of the Arabian Platform and Red Sea basin, extending from Yemen in the south through the Kingdom, Jordan and Syria in the north.  It is considered to be one of the greatest alkaline volcanic regions in the world.  Several occurrences of scoria were explored in the harrats in the Arabian shield. The Saudi Geological Survey investigated some of these resources, evaluated their quantities and tested some of their chemical and physical properties. The studied occurrences were never tested for the potential uses of the scoria as lightweight aggregate, raw material for block manufacturing and/or cement additive. Harrat Hutaymah was selected to start a series of investigation of the engineering properties of construction materials in the Kingdom.  This investigation is prepared by the Geohazards and Engineering Geology Department, Engineering Geology laboratory with the collaboration of the Industrial Minerals team. Harrat Hutaymah site is located 120 km southeast of Ha’il city. Two promising scoria cones (Halat Umm Idhin and Jabal al Hilyan) were selected within the harrat. The cones were geologically mapped and the scoria deposits were drilled to evaluate its resources and obtain samples for determination of engineering properties.  The engineering properties of the collected samples were tested according to the ASTM specifications for the uses of scoria as construction materials.  Specifically the scoria was tested for their uses as:
1- Raw material for manufacturing lightweight heat-insulating building blocks.
2- Lightweight concrete aggregate.
3- Portland cement additive.
The scoria as a construction material has the properties of a good insulating material. It can be a good prospect to manufacture building blocks that save energy. After the completion of this project, a workshop will be planned to introduce the benefits of scoria in construction to the potential investors.



Al Sehly, T. Doban, A., Al Wagdani, K., Abdul-Hafez, K., Al Harthy, I., 2006, Evaluation  of engineering properties and industrial utilization of scoria, Harrat Hutaymah, KSA: Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report SGS-OF-2005-19, 26, 21 figs., 25 tables, 2 apps.