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Geotechnical study for cavity detection in highways using Ground Penetrating Radar, Sulaimani City, Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Bakhtiar Q. Aziz1 and Halo A. Othman1

1Geology Department, College of Science, Sulaimani University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.

Original: 6 January 2016,  Revised: 15 June 2017,  Accepted: 19 July 2017,  Published online: 20 September 2017


Construction and extension of a road over the mountainous area have undergone different problems. Several of cavities and voids were encountered during road construction especially when the road is passing through some geological formations containing limestone layers. The annual precipitation in the area under consideration approaches 750 mm. Consequently, numerous cavities of different sizes and depths developed. These cavities reduce support to the ground above when overloaded daily by a large number of heavy tracks and can cause localized collapse of the overlying rocks and deposits. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has selected for detection the locations, extensions and depths of such cavities over a part of the Sulaimani – Said Sadek road passing through the limestone rocks. The GPR survey carried out over six traverses by using high resolution 200 MHZ antenna. 1642 m length covered by the survey. The result shows that GPR was very effectiveness in such high resistivity area, where the rocks are cropping out to the surface and no others geophysical methods have worked correctly. Several cavities were detected have a dimension ranging from 1 to 3 meters, and they located at depths ranging from 0.5 to 6 meters.

KeywordsGPR, Cavity, Geotechnical problems


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