Expansive potentiality of sabkha soils of Rabigh Lagoon, Saudi Arabia: a case study


The geotechnical assessment of expansiveness potentiality of sabkha soils, Saudi Arabia has been achieved on subsurface clayey soil samples collected in Rabigh sabkha along the Red Sea throughout a variety of physical, chemical, mineralogical, and mechanical tests. The obtained results show that the studied Rabigh sabkha clays were deposited in restricted supra-tidal marine conditions. These sabkha clayey soils consist of silts (53.4 to 69.1%), clays (20.1 to 35.7%), and sands (5.457 to 9.93%) and are classified into high plasticity clays (CH) and high inorganic silts (MH). The clay mineral species (montmorillonite, illite, kaolinite, chlorite, and palygorskite) are of detrital origin except palygorskite that was formed authigentically. Based upon the activity (A), these sabkha soils are classified into active soil type. The swelling potentiality of Rabigh sabkha clays ranges from moderate to critical swell potentiality.

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The authors, therefore, acknowledge with thanks the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) for technical and financial support. Also, the authors are deeply grateful to Prof. Dr. A.M. Al-Amri (the Editor-in-Chief) and the three anonymous reviewers for insightful comments and criticism that improved this manuscript.


This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under grant no. G-299-145-37.

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Correspondence to El-Sayed Sedek Abu Seif.

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Hakami, B.A., Seif, E.S.A. Expansive potentiality of sabkha soils of Rabigh Lagoon, Saudi Arabia: a case study. Arab J Geosci 12, 107 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-019-4271-x

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  • Sabkha soils
  • Mineralogy
  • Expansiveness potentiality
  • Rabigh, Saudi Arabia