Studies on soil-foundation interaction in the Sabkha environment of Eastern Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Digital Library
This study was conducted to assess the possibility of utilizing clay as a stabilizer and liner in sabkha. The durability of plain and blended cement concretes in sabkha environment was also evaluated. The sabkha soil was characterized and investigated for the soil compressibility and infiltration of hazardous ions. Plain and blended cement specimens were exposed to a typical sabkha solution and their performance was evaluated by measuring compressive strength, sulfate resistance, chloride diffusion, and reinforcement corrosion. The effect of wet-dry and heat-cool cycles on the performance of blended cements was also evaluated. The results of this study indicated that the addition of clay to sabkha increases its compressibility and inhibits the permeation of hazardous ions through the soil liner and significantly mitigates the percolation of the trace metals. However, an increase in the chloride diffusion was noted when clay was added to the sabkha soil. Blended cements performed better than plain cements. However, the presences of magnesium sulfate in the solution exacerbated the deterioration of blended cements, especially silica fume cement. This cement was also affected by heat-cool cycles leading to higher water absorption. On the other hand, blended cements were found to have higher resistance to reinforcement corrosion than plain cements. The chloride permeability and chloride diffusion of blended cements were also less than that of plain cements.