Reporting a Case on the Risk Assessment for Karst Hazards at a Facility in Saudi Arabia

This paper gave a practical example of the challenges facing an existing facility built on a karstic
limestone formation in 1970’s. Multiple geophysical techniques such as Microgravity, Electrical
Resistivity Imaging, Vertical Seismic Velocity Profiling, Cross Hole Seismic Tomography, Ground
Penetration Radar, Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Waves, as well as boreholes and down-hole
video imagery, were deployed through the journey of assessing the karst associated hazards of
potential sinkholes or general subsidence. Results and findings of preliminary, geotechnical and
geophysical investigations have been utilized to identify the major factors influencing the karst
formation. Analyses and integration of obtained results to estimate the type and magnitude of risk
affected the major components of industrial facility at the project site using well-known statistical
approach were presented in this paper. Consequently number of remedial measures implemented to
combating the experienced and expected karst hazards at the studied industrial facility placed in
karstified landform are given. A model for using integrated geophysical and geotechnical techniques
to assess karst-related risks to a facility was further explored herein.

Author(s) Details

Bassim A. Nawaz
Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, KSA.

Emmanouil Spyropoulos
Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, KSA.

Adly Kh. Al-Saafin
Gulf Consult, Al-Khobar, KSA.

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