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Wadi natural aggregates in Western Saudi Arabia for use in Concrete

Utilisation de granulats naturels d’oueds pour la fabrication de bétons (Ouest de l’Arabie Saoudite)


The engineering properties (physical and mechanical) of Wadi Al-Yamanyah natural aggregate were determined. In addition, correlations between these properties have been made. This Wadi is located in the central part of the western province of Saudi Arabia between Makkah and Taif. The aggregate along the Wadi was studied and five major rock units were identified namely granite, granodiorite, gneiss amphibole schist and andesite. These rocks were classified into three aggregate groups: basalt, granite and schist.

Ninety aggregate samples were carefully collected and tested. The results of overall aggregate properties pointed out that Wadi Al-Yamanyah natural mixed aggregate is within the international and local specification limits and it is suitable for use in concrete. The estimated volume of natural aggregate in the Wadi is about 2 million m3.

The engineering properties of individual aggregate groups were also determined. Basalt and schist groups, which represent about 65% of the Wadi natural aggregate, were of higher quality and low degree of alterations than the granite group.

Direct and inverse relationships were found between some physical and mechanical properties for mixed natural aggregate of Wadi Al-Yamanyah with the exception of elongation index (IE). It is recommended to use the derived equations, representing the best fit between the aggregate properties, with care and for rough estimation only.


L’étude porte sur les propriétés géotechniques des granulats naturels extraits de l’oued Al-Yamanyah, et essaie d’établir quelques corrélations entre ces propriétés. Cet oued est situé dans la partie centrale de la provence occidentale de l’Arabie Saoudite, entre Makkah et Taïf. Cinq espèces pétrographiques principales ont été identifiées dans les granulats: granite, granodiorite, gneiss, schiste amphibolique et andésite. Elles ont été regroupées en trois entités: basalte, granite, schiste.

Les essais ont été réalisés sur 90 échantillons et ont montré que globalement les granulats de cet oued convenaient pour la fabrication des bétons, le volume estimé des réserves étant d’environ 2 millions de mètres cubes.

Les caractéristiques des trois entités ont été également étudiées séparément: l’ensemble «basalte-schistes» qui représente 65% du total des alluvions est de meileure qualité et moins altéré que l’ensemble «granite».

Des essais de corrélation ont également été réalisés, qu’il ne faut utiliser qu’avec prudence et seulement pour des estimations grossières.

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Al Harthi, A.A., Abo Saada, Y.E. Wadi natural aggregates in Western Saudi Arabia for use in Concrete. Bulletin of the International Association of Engineering Geology 55, 27–37 (1997).

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  • Saudi Arabia
  • Natural Aggregate
  • British Standard Institution
  • Aggregate Property
  • Mixed Aggregate