SOIL STABILIZATION IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE
OF SAUDI ARABIA
Hamad I. AI-AbdulWahhab
Sahel N. Abduljauwad
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has nearly completed the
construction of major highways and expressways joining main city centers.
However, a large number of settlements and agricultural farms are yet to be connected
to the main highways by the rural or agricultural roads. Locally available
soils should be utilized in most effective manner for construction of these
roads. Due to high cost of scarce good quality aggregate, the upgrading of
marginal abundant material such as marl, sabkha and dune-sand
Marl is available in abundance in the Gulf
region including the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But its application
is limited due to its poor strength. The salt encrusted flat areas known as
"sabkha" along the coast and in some nearby
depressions of the Arabian Gulf region have
been viewed by the engineering community as potentially troublesome. At most
times the sabkha surface is sufficiently strong and
durable to serve as a substitute for surface roads. When the crust becomes wet
due to rainfall or storm tides, the soluble salts which produce the cementation
in the crust dissolve and the sabkha becomes
impassible. Dune sand, which is wind-blown sand, is covering the major part of
the Eastern Province
in Saudi Arabia.
This is characterized as poorly graded soil with high permeability.
stabilization admixtures that may have potential application in improving the
engineering performance of the local problematic soils including lime, cement,
emulsified asphalt, cutback asphalt and combined stabilizer.