Characterization and stabilization of Eastern Saudi Marls

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Saudi Digital Library
Calcareous soils, locally known as marls, are extensively exploited in the construction of highways and building foundations. Despite their wide prevalence all-over the world, a review of the literature indicates that calcareous soils have received little attention from the geotechnical community. Therefore, this comprehensive research program was devoted to study first the characterization and the geotechnical properties of eastern Saudi calcareous soils. Marl sample were collected from over 20 different sites in the Eastern Province od Saudi Arabia. The samples were characterized and their geotechnical properties were determined. Based on these tests, it was found that marl soils are extremely sensitive to the molding and testing moisture contents. The existing classification systems and specifications are of limited applicability to these soils classification systems and specifications are of limited applicability to these soils. Owing to their poor engineering behavior, the second phase of this research program focused on improvement and stabilization of some selected marl soils. The selection was based not only on the poor behavior of these soils, but also the availability of these soils and their potential future use. Mechanical and chemical soils stabilization techniques were investigated. Chemical stabilization using cement was found to be an effective and efficient way to significantly improve the inferior properties of these soils in terms of strength and durability. This research has opened a new door towards a better and more economical utilization of the low quality marl soils in eastern Saudi Arabia in particular, and calcareous soils worldwide in general.