Geotechnical Considerations for Construction in Saudi Arabia

by Issa S. Oweis, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Converse Ward Davis Dixon, 91 Roseland Ave., P.O. Box 91, Caldwell, N.J. 07006,
John Bowman, Chf.; Foundation, Material and Survey Branch, United States Army Corps of Engrs., Middle East Div.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 3, Pg. 319-338

Document Type: Journal Paper


Several geologic environments prevail in Saudi Arabia. Problems in design and construction are intimately related to the environment at particular locations. Coastal areas are generally characterized by particularly soft and loose corrosive soils. Limestones in the interior are characterized by the potential for the presence of dry cavities and solution channels. Igneous and metamorphic rocks of good bearing quality characterize the high mountains overlooking the west coast; superimposed areas of sand dunes and salt flats could present special foundation problems. The availability of construction materials depends on bedrock geology and varies from relatively good in the western areas to poor in the eastern region. Offshore conditions in western coastal areas are characterized by varied subsurface conditions at relatively short distances, affecting the design of offshore facilities.

Subject Headings: Geotechnical engineering | Construction management | Construction materials | Offshore structures | Offshore construction | Corrosion | Soft soils | Limestone | Saudi Arabia | Middle East | Asia

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