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ENGINEERING GEOLOGICAL MAPPING OF THE HOLY CITY OF MAKKAH AL MUKARRAMAH, SAUDI ARABIA (2006)

The growth of the holy city of Makkah demonstrates a unique example among the birth of cities in the world. It flourished in a desert area, having no reliable source of water, food, or any other human culture. With the continuous growth of the city, the area around the Holy Mosque becomes heavily populated and the density of buildings increases. Naturally the city expands along the surrounding open land. However, some natural constrains are imported upon its development by the physical geography of the city. These obstacles are aligned along a series of narrow wadis flanked by bare steep-sided mountains. Because of these problems and
the strategic importance of the holy city, Makkah was selected by the Saudi Geological Survey to undertake an engineering geological mapping program. The mapping of the engineering geology of Makkah followed the
program suggested by the Association of Engineering Geology to map the geology of the major cities of the world. Geologically, Makkah is covered by different types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks of
Precambrian and lower Palaeozoic era. In addition, there are subordinate sedimentary rocks and basaltic lava flow of Tertiary and Quaternary age. A geological map at a scale of 1:50,000 was prepared as a base map for
the engineering geological map. The geotechnical properties of the different geological units were tested, a database was prepared, the sources for water and construction materials around the city were examined and
evaluated, and the constrains that affect the city were also considered and evaluated. A comprehensive surface engineering geological map was accordingly prepared. The map shows 11 engineering geological rock and soil units having different geotechnical properties. Site investigation reports were also collected from the different contracting companies and different
subsurface analytical engineering geological maps were also prepared. With the information given in the database a large number of the analytical maps can also be prepared upon the request of the investigating
engineer or planner.
Reference:
The 10th IAEG International Congress, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 6-10 September 2006, Paper number 552
Organization:
Saudi Geological Survey.
Saudi Arabia
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