American Society of Civil Engineers

Geotechnical Characterization of the Simsima Limestone (Doha, Qatar)

by Ioannis Fourniadis, Ph.D., (Engineering Geologist, Arup Geotechnics, 13 Fitzroy Street, London, UK E-mail:
Section: Seepage and Porous Mechanics, pp. 273-278, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Geoenvironmental Engineering and Geotechnics: Progress in Modeling and Applications
Abstract: The Simsima Limestone is the main founding stratum in Doha, Qatar. The weathering pattern of the Simsima Limestone is complex, with unweathered rock often overlying more weathered rock, and the common presence of dissolution cavities secondarily infilled with uncemented material. To account for this variability, a weathering scheme has been developed that classifies the Simsima Limestone in terms of rock quality, taking into account the relative percentage of original limestone to secondary carbonate material; the degree of cementation of the secondary material; core recovery parameters; and intact rock strength. The rock quality zones are then related to engineering behaviour, especially as regards rock mass strength and stiffness. The classification of the Simsima Limestone into rock quality grades has been utilized in a number of recent geotechnical projects, where the improved classification of this complex material has the potential to lead to savings in terms of foundation design.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Geotechnical engineering
Middle East