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Volume 2

Part 14
Earthworks
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Copyright2015.Allrightsreserved.

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Contents Page

Acronyms and Abbreviations ....................................................................................................v

1 Introduction .................................................................................................................1
1.1 Scope ........................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Use of Soil and Rock Terms ......................................................................................... 1

2 Planning of Earthworks ................................................................................................3


2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 3
2.2 Sustainable Practices ................................................................................................... 3
2.2.1 Materials Stewardship ................................................................................. 3
2.2.2 Preservation of Topsoil ................................................................................ 3
2.2.3 Use of Nonstandard or Recycled Materials ................................................. 4
2.2.4 Minimization of Erosion ............................................................................... 4
2.3 Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Assessments and Ground Investigation for
Earthworks ................................................................................................................... 5
2.4 Consideration of Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures .......................... 6
2.5 Existing Earthworks ..................................................................................................... 7

3 Earthworks Design .......................................................................................................9


3.1 Balancing Earthwork Materials Volume ...................................................................... 9
3.2 Potential Effects of Sustainable Drainage ................................................................. 11
3.3 Disposal of Surplus Fill ............................................................................................... 11
3.4 Design of Cuttings ...................................................................................................... 11
3.4.1 Modes of Slope Failure............................................................................... 11
3.4.2 Cutting Slope Design .................................................................................. 12
3.5 Influence of Construction Procedures on Cutting Slope Stability ............................. 15
3.5.1 Seismic Effects ............................................................................................ 15
3.6 Design of Embankments and Filled Areas ................................................................. 15
3.6.1 Embankment and Fill Slope Design ............................................................ 15
3.6.2 Seismic Effects ............................................................................................ 16
3.7 Embankments over Weak Ground ............................................................................ 17

4 Earthworks Construction ............................................................................................19


4.1 Quality Control of Earthworks Materials ................................................................... 19
4.2 Placement of Earthworks Materials .......................................................................... 19
4.2.1 Soils ............................................................................................................ 19
4.2.2 Rocks .......................................................................................................... 20
4.3 Slope Inspections ....................................................................................................... 21
4.3.1 Soil Slopes................................................................................................... 21
4.3.2 Rock Slopes................................................................................................. 21
4.4 Minimizing the Effects of Construction Plant Operations ......................................... 21
4.5 Blasting ...................................................................................................................... 21

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5 Information on Specific Materials and Issues ............................................................. 25


5.1 Soils and Bedrock Strata ............................................................................................ 25
5.2 Seismic Hazard ........................................................................................................... 25
5.3 Geosynthetics ............................................................................................................ 25
5.4 Prevent the Spread of Plant and Animal Diseases ..................................................... 25

6 Highways in Dune Areas............................................................................................. 27


6.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 27
6.2 Dune Formation and Movement ............................................................................... 27
6.3 Design and Construction in Dune Areas .................................................................... 27
6.3.1 Highway Location ....................................................................................... 27
6.3.2 Design Elements ......................................................................................... 27
6.3.3 Design and Construction Considerations ................................................... 30
6.3.4 Dune Stabilization....................................................................................... 31
6.3.5 Dune Destruction ....................................................................................... 32

References ............................................................................................................................. 33

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Tables

Table 3.1 Typical Bulking Factors for Rock and Soil ............................................................ 9
Table 3.2 Typical Permanent Slopes in Cut for Various Soil and Rock Materials.............. 13
Table 3.3 Typical Permanent Slopes in Fill for Various Soil and Rock Materials............... 16

Figures

Figure 6.1 Typical Schematic Embankment Using Dune Sand Fill ...................................... 30
Figure 6.2 Sand Dune FillEmbankment Planting............................................................. 31

Appendixes

Appendix A Potential Modes of Slope Failure ...................................................................... 35


Appendix B Dune Areas and Example Treatment ................................................................ 41

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Acronyms and Abbreviations

Ashghal State of Qatar Public Works Authority

BS British Standard

cm centimeter(s)

H horizontal

m meter(s)

Mg/m3 megagrams per cubic meter

mm millimeter(s)

mm/s millimeter(s) per second

MOE Ministry of Environment

ppv peak particle velocity

QCS 2010 Qatar National Construction Standards

RQD rock quality designation

SuDS sustainable drainage systems

V vertical

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1 Introduction
1.1 Scope
This part of this manual covers the design and construction of earthworks. It is
applicable to arterials, expressways, and freeways.

1.2 Use of Soil and Rock Terms


Numerous published definitions of soil and rock are often related to specific fields
of work. These definitions usually are based on characteristics such as particle size,
hardness, durability, inertness, and combinations thereof. The way in which rock is
defined can have significant implications for road project construction costs;
consequently, the Qatar National Construction Standards (QCS 2010) (Ministry of
Environment [MoE], 2011) provides the definition of rock for use in construction
contracts. In this part, the terms soil, rock, and material reflect general geotechnical
engineering designations, and no contractual definition should be inferred.

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2 Planning of Earthworks
2.1 Introduction
The strategy of the earthworks designer should be to provide a design that is feasible,
functional, constructible, and suitable for the proposed end use. Consideration should
be given to land requirements, including temporary works. The design should be
developed to minimize environmental impact during the construction phase, during
use, and for future maintenance operations. This part summarizes the main issues to
consider when planning the earthworks of a highway project.

2.2 Sustainable Practices


2.2.1 Materials Stewardship
To the extent practicable, earthworks volumes should be balanced to avoid the need to
import material from elsewhere to make up a shortfall to dispose of surplus fill,
particularly off-site. Section 3.1 in this Part provides further discussion, as does Part 21,
Environmental, of this manual.

Rock excavated on-site can provide an opportunity for producing aggregates that can
reduce the need for imported materials. Surplus processed materials of soils-type
grading, subject to meeting specification requirements, can be used as general
earthworks and landscape earthworks fill. Thoughtful design and construction can
maximize reuse of larger rock fragments, as discussed in Clause 4.2.2 in this Part.

2.2.2 Preservation of Topsoil


Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, usually the top 5 to 20 centimeters (cm), which
will normally contain organic matter, microorganisms, and a seedbank for the
vegetation cover they support. Topsoils are important for re-establishing vegetation
cover along a highway corridor after construction. In Qatar, topsoils are mostly sands
with limited organic matter; nonetheless, it is important to preserve and reuse the
topsoil horizon and its seedbank.

Geotechnical investigations should clearly identify the depth of available topsoil in


both cut and fill areas. This information can then be used by the designer to establish
the appropriate depth of stripping to maximize the availability of local topsoil and
minimize requirements for import. It is important to avoid loss of organic material
through soils mixing and by general overlay of earthworks fill. The designer should
consider topsoil-forming materials balance, taking into account the volume of
material needed to cover areas such as embankment and cutting slopes and
shoulders and also for reinstatement of borrow pit areas, where appropriate, after
completion of materials extraction.

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The stripping of vegetation before topsoil removal should be undertaken so as to


maximize the vegetative matter and natural seedbank in the recovered topsoil. This
will assist and promote the regeneration of native vegetation that can be expected to
be tolerant of local conditions. To the extent practicable, the material should be
reused near to where it is extracted to maintain the integrity of the topsoil and
support a cost-effective operation. Further information on the preservation of topsoil
can be found in Part 21, Environmental, of this manual.

Slopes with a gradient of 1 vertical to 4 horizontal (1V:4H) or less generally will have
greater success than steeper slopes in retaining topsoil, limiting its loss from erosion
processes, and encouraging more successful planting establishment and long-term
growth.

In cases where it is necessary to import topsoil, the material should be certified as


being free of pathogens, toxins, weeds, and their roots.

2.2.3 Use of Nonstandard or Recycled Materials


Where projects involve the demolition of structures, removal of existing highway
pavement, or both, suitable opportunities should be sought to reuse those materials
within the new works rather than dispose of them off-site. Concrete and other
suitable structure materials might be crushed and processed to produce aggregates,
as well as specific and general engineering fills. The recycled materials also might be
blended with virgin materials.

Recycled materials normally are tested to establish their engineering and chemical
properties to verify their suitability for the proposed end use. Approvals for their use
also might need to be sought from relevant authorities. Further information on the
use of nonstandard and recycled materials can be found in Part 21, Environmental, of
this manual.

2.2.4 Minimization of Erosion


To minimize the potential for erosion and landslips, where practical, the road
alignment should avoid steep topography, and the earthworks should be designed to
suitably stable slopes.

Chapter 6 discusses aspects of wind erosion. The main risk of water erosion relates to
occasional (once or twice per year) high-intensity rainfall that generates high overland
flow. Therefore, the designer should consider the controlled discharge of water from
the road pavement and over earthworks slopes. Where there is sufficient road
corridor space, designing slopes to be as flat as 1V:6H and to support denser plant
growth will reduce the potential for soil erosion.

Part 10, Drainage, of this manual discusses the use of swales to intercept flow from
the highway and convey runoff slowly along their length, which limits erosion.
Particular attention should be given to the erosive power of stormwater flowing from
a culvert outlet so the designer can ensure that design outflow velocity accounts for

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local soils and thereby minimizes the potential for downstream scouring. Dispersive
materials will require very detailed treatments.

2.3 Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Assessments and


Ground Investigation for Earthworks
The geotechnical assessment and any associated ground investigation for the design
and construction of highway earthworks should be advised and implemented by the
projects geotechnical practitioners as part of overall geotechnical studies, which are
described in Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide,
of this manual. The advice of a geoenvironmental specialist should be obtained for
projects where there is known or potential contamination, a need to manage waste
materials as part of the project earthworks, or both. The geoenvironmental specialist
should assess the risks of hazardous substances and address aspects such as waste
classification and its management. These activities will require appropriate testing as
part of the ground investigation. The geotechnical assessment, together with any
required geoenvironmental work, should be conducted according to the geotechnical
certification procedure set out in Part 16, Geotechnical Risk Management, of this
manual.

The geotechnical practitioner and, where required, the geoenvironmental


practitioner, need to consider the following matters in relation to project earthworks:

Existing ground and reuse of materials:


Establishing the location and extent of the various materials available in
cuttings and borrow areas that may be suitable for use as select fill, structural
fill, capping layer, and pavement subbase. High-quality materials may be
nominated for special uses or stockpiled for later use on other stages of a
project or on other projects. In cases where significant quantities of sound
rock can be extracted from large cuttings, a mobile crushing plant might be
used to produce aggregate and graded fill materials for a variety of uses.
Performing relationship testing to establish the suitability of materials for
use in construction.
Assessing the chemical environment of the ground, particularly in relation to
concrete, and mitigation measures to be taken.
Performing contamination testing that is sufficient to develop a conceptual
model of the site to inform an appropriate risk assessment.
Modification of marginal materials for use as engineering fills
Use of unsuitable materials for landscape earthworks
Enhancement of soils as a growing media

Materials generated on-site for which there is no suitable reuse in project


construction, such as excavated soils, are commonly referred to as waste. Such
materials usually are classified as inert, nonhazardous, or hazardous waste. The cost

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of off-site disposal is higher for hazardous wastes than for nonhazardous wastes, with
the disposal of inert waste being the least expensive. When contamination is
identified as an issue for a project and a design requires off-site disposal of waste,
there is likely to be a significant commercial benefit in reducing the proportion of
material classified as hazardous or nonhazardous waste and increasing the proportion
classified as inert waste. The following treatment methods may be cost-effective,
depending on the condition and volumes of the materials for disposal:

Sorting or screening to separate inert materials from hazardous materials


Stabilizing with hydraulic binders (cement stabilization)
Bioremediation
Soil washing

In such cases, detailed ground investigation and testing may be required to assist in
the assessment and detailed design of the treatment process to manage the waste
materials from a site.

Materials that might require off-site disposal should be tested to assess the following:

Classification under relevant international standards and guidelines. No Qatari soil


or groundwater standards have been established. The typical default standard is
the Circular on Target Values and Intervention Values for Soil Remediation
(Ministerie van Volkshuisvestig, 2000), commonly referred to as the New Dutch
List.
Classification with regard to waste acceptance criteria.
Suitability for off-site reuse (subject to acceptance by the Ministry of
Environment, State of Qatar Public Works Authority (Ashghal), and Ministry of
Municipality & Urban Planning).

2.4 Consideration of Environmental Impacts and Mitigation


Measures
The planning of earthworks should consider the environmental impacts of the
proposed works and appropriate mitigation measures that might be implemented.
The following aspects should be considered:

Habitat loss and opportunities for existing habitat enhancement and new habitat
formation, or both. Loose tipping (reduced compaction) of subsoil or shallow
ripping of placed subsoils to loosen near-surface materials can promote
vegetation establishment. These techniques might be adopted in areas where
they would not be detrimental to the engineering performance of the earthwork.
Refer to Part 21, Environmental, of this manual.
Use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). Such systems can provide for
enhanced biodiversity, but there can be downsides, as discussed in Section 3.2 in
this Part. See also Part 10, Drainage, and Part 3, Roadway Design Elements, of this
manual.

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Geodiversity and its enhancement through the retention of exposures in cutting


and the retention of spoils of mineralogical or paleontological interest.
Maximizing use of local resources, including recycled and secondary aggregates,
to avoid unnecessary disposal of materials off-site. This includes use of excess
materials in landscaping earthworks or environmental earthworks, such as noise
reduction mounds, to reduce the need for off-site disposal. Refer to Part 21,
Environmental, of this manual.
Land-take options. The physical footprint of an earthwork can be modified by
design to mitigate adverse impacts of land-take. A narrow footprint reducing land-
take requirements in areas where limited land is available or where land has
particular environmental value might be achieved by use of reinforced soil. A wide
footprint with gentle slopes in other areas would be beneficial in establishing
vegetation and minimizing erosion and would assist with integration into the
adjacent landforms. Refer to Part 21, Environmental, of this manual.
Air and noise quality in the immediate area that can be influenced by the form of
the earthwork. Refer to Part 21, Environmental, of this manual.

2.5 Existing Earthworks


In situations where existing earthworks are subject to modification, such as
embankment widening, special consideration should be given to establishing the
necessary information through the ground investigation to assess any issue of
differential settlement between the existing and new construction. Likely changes, if
any, in pore water pressures within the fill or founding soils also should be
determined to assess any impact on stability.

Where an existing earthwork is to be modified and shows signs of distress or has


failed, the ground investigation should be designed to identify the failure mechanism
and to provide sufficient information to design an engineering remediation solution.

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3 Earthworks Design
3.1 Balancing Earthwork Materials Volume
Once a highway grade line has been selected that satisfies geometric requirements,
consideration should be given to raising or lowering it between control points to
achieve a close balance between the volume of cut materials and the volume of fill
materials, referred to as an earthworks balance. If an earthworks balance cannot be
achieved, it will be necessary to import material from elsewhere to make up a shortfall
or to dispose of surplus fill, which may be difficult in urban or environmentally sensitive
areas.

In assessing the earthworks balance, consideration should be given to the potential


volume change between materials excavation and their placement in engineered
earthworks. The in situ density of solid rock can range typically from 2.1 to
2.7 megagrams per cubic meter (Mg/m3), whereas the density of placed rockfill will
normally be lower, generally from 1.9 to 2.2 Mg/m3). Consequently, rock from an
excavation will normally facilitate filling of a larger volume of earthworks fill. The
magnitude of the change is typically referred to as the bulking factor and is
dependent on the type of rock.

The aeolian sands, continental soils, and residual soils of Qatar normally provide
about the same volume of compacted fill as was excavated. Small changes on large
volumes of filling can, however, have a significant impact on a project. The in situ
density of the source soil materials and their compacted density in the engineered
earthworks, therefore, should be considered. Table 3.1 lists the typical ranges of
bulking factors for rock and soils.

Table 3.1 Typical Bulking Factors for Rock and Soil


Material Bulking factor
Solid rock 1.2 to 1.6a
Aeolian sand 0.95 to 1.15
Note:
a Relative to the type of rock

In assessing cut-and-fill volumes in earthworks, allowance should be made for waste


due to spillage, disposal of surplus oversize rock which is not to be processed, and
materials obtained from areas such as excavations for trench drainage and structure
foundations. Waste can vary from 5 percent to 15 percent, depending on the
topography (more waste is typically generated in hilly country) and the large particle
content of blasted rock excavated material.

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Slopes will influence the level of the highway grade line required to achieve an
earthworks balance. Consideration should be given to the difference in cost of
achieving an earthworks balance by raising the grade line and providing steeper
slopes in rock cuttings to reduce cut volume or by lowering the grade line and
flattening slopes in soft rock or soil cuttings to increase cut volume. Rock excavation
requiring blasting and loading into dump trucks is significantly more expensive than
excavation of materials that can be ripped by a bulldozer and transported by scrapers.

For an earthworks balance, it is important that allowance is made for the backfill of
excavations associated with the removal of topsoil, soil-forming materials, and
unsuitable material such as sabkha. This is discussed further in Part 15, Ground
Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide, of this manual. Allowance
should also be made for the overall thickness of the proposed highway pavement.

Where massive rock excavation is to be performed, it is good practice to identify


areas, such as mounding and fill slope flattening, where rock boulders too large to be
placed as common fill can be buried as low-grade, nonstructural fill.

Where an earthworks balance cannot be readily achieved and a shortfall of fill


remains, a ready supply of fill must be made available from either borrow areas,
another project, or commercial sources such as a local quarry, sand pit, or gravel pit.

During construction, the earthworks should be monitored and steps should be taken
to maintain the earthworks balance to the extent practicable. Factors that can alter
the cut-fill balance include the following:

Unforeseen unsuitable earthworks materials


Unforeseen contaminated material that cannot be remediated
Unforeseen factors affecting the execution of the works (for example, traffic
management constraints, land access constraints, or program constraints, all of
which can create local surpluses or shortfalls)
Inappropriate use of material with specific performance criteria (for example, use
of structural backfill for embankment construction)
The magnitude of bulking that occurs when any material is excavated and
recompacted
Poor management of surface water and groundwater or construction plant
resulting in suitable fill becoming unsuitable

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3.2 Potential Effects of Sustainable Drainage


Surface water drainage systems developed in line with the ideals of sustainable
development are collectively referred to as SuDS. SuDS are designed to manage the
environmental risks resulting from urban runoff and to contribute wherever possible
to environmental enhancement. The philosophy of SuDS is to replicate, as closely as
possible, the natural drainage from a site before development. SuDS are increasingly
being adopted as the main form of drainage for highway projects and other
developments.

From an earthwork perspective, the most notable aspect of SuDS is the


encouragement of surface water infiltration into the ground rather than its runoff
over impermeable surfaces. Poorly planned SuDS that introduce water or enhance
groundwater levels within a slope can have a potentially deleterious effect on the
stability of either existing or newly constructed earthworks. Therefore, close liaison
among the earthworks and drainage designers and the landscape architect is
important, so that the benefit of SuDS may be gained while avoiding introduction of
any significant additional risks to the earthworks. Possible increase in risk of instability
is best managed by providing infiltration away from such areas. Further information
on SuDS can be found in Part 10, Drainage, of this manual.

3.3 Disposal of Surplus Fill


If excess fill is generated because of an earthworks imbalance, its disposal as a waste
to an off-site facility should be avoided, where possible. Opportunities to use the
surplus material on other projects should be considered. The surplus materials might
also in effect be disposed of within the highway corridor by flattening embankment
slopes, mounding, or landscaping. The ability to perform such work will depend on
the area available and the nature of the excess material. Boulders too large for
narrow slope flattening or mounds can generally be buried, removed to a crushing
plant, or split with rock hammers or explosives so that the rocks can then be used in
embankment construction. The amount of unsuitable fill needs to be quantified.

3.4 Design of Cuttings


3.4.1 Modes of Slope Failure
When preparing designs for the alignment and slopes of a cutting, in addition to
assessing the overall stability against the various forms of failure described in Appendix A,
the possibility of local landslips and rockfalls on the slopes faces should be
considered. Local landslips or rockfalls can typically result from random pockets of
weak, unstable, or water-bearing soils or from thin layers of weak or shattered rock.
In most cases, local instability may be addressed as it becomes evident by
implementing appropriate remedial works. Flattening of slopes in an effort to limit
local landslips and rockfalls is rarely justifiable.

The overall stability of cutting slopes should be assessed using the design standard
adopted for the project.

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3.4.2 Cutting Slope Design


The excavation of a road cutting inevitably results in the removal of support to higher
ground on one or both sides of the cutting. As a result, the slopes local to the cutting,
and possibly those at some distance, may be destabilized or may be prone to landslips
or falling rock. The impact of such events is high and in extreme cases can result in
road closures, death or personal injury, and extensive damage to nearby property and
to the highway. The proximity, type, and condition of adjacent buildings and other
structures need to be considered in design.

The natural groundwater levels and possible future changes in the groundwater
regime should be considered in the design of the base platform to underpass and
cutting areas and in the design of their associated drainage. Groundwater levels
representative of long-term conditions may not be established during the relatively
short period of ground investigation site works because of seasonal variations, the
influence of dewatering exercises in surrounding areas, or the effects of groundwater
rise. Refer to Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide,
of this manual. Such factors should be considered in the assessment of the
groundwater levels to be used in design. Appropriate adverse groundwater levels for
the structure or earthwork location, over the designated design life of the
infrastructure, should be used in design.

Determining the maximum slopes in cuttings depends on aspects such as the


following:

Types of materials in the cutting


Groundwater tables, current levels taking into account any local lowering or rise
and possible future levels
Locations of buildings
Angle of rock and soil bedding planes relative to the slope
Presence of soft, weaker materials that are more prone to failure or are easily
eroded by wind or surface water
Environmental constraints

For deep cuttings, it is common practice to provide benches (often referred to as


berms) at regular intervals based on the stability of the slope, requirements for
drainage of water permeating from the ground within the cutting face, and the width
of the road corridor. Benching reduces risks associated with landslip and falling rock,
facilitates the maintenance and repair of cut slopes, and improves the access safety
for maintenance workers. In rock cuts, berm widths of 3 meters (m) to 4 m typically
are adopted. In soil slopes, berm widths of at least 5 m typically are adopted.

The gradient of a slope may not depend wholly on the stability of the material as
determined by geotechnical design, but may be influenced by factors such as
aesthetics, landscaping requirements, and whether there is a shortage of fill.
Generally, for cuttings through soft, highly fractured, or weathered rock and soil, the

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maximum slopes should be no steeper than 1V:2H and will normally need to be 1V:4H
or less to establish vegetation and limit soil erosion. Cuttings through stable rock
formations where planting is not required to prevent erosion may be up to 6V:1H,
depending on the strata joints orientations and the quality of the rock. Table 3.2
provides guidance on the typical geometry for safe slopes in the range of rock and soil
conditions generally found. The actual slope design details should, however, be
established based on the actual site conditions, the materials characteristic
engineering parameters interpreted from the geotechnical investigations conducted,
and relevant slope stability analyses.

Table 3.2 Typical Permanent Slopes in Cut for Various Soil and Rock Materials
Typical Maximum Slope
Height before Incorporating
Typical Slope Ratio a Berm or Between Berms
Rock/Soil Material (vertical : horizontal) (m)
Good to excellent rock conditions, RQDa >75b 6V:1H to 5V:1Hc 10
Poor to fair rock conditions, 25 < RQD <75 4V:1H to 2V:1Hc 8
Very poor rock conditions, RQD <25 2V:1H to 1V:2Hc 6
Gravelly materials 1V:1.5H to 1V:2Hd 6
Sand 1V:1.5H to 1V:2.5Hd 6
Notes:
a RQD = rock quality designation (ratio of length of solid core pieces longer than 100 millimeters to length

of core run [%])


b Rock of this quality is rarely found in Qatar.
c Depends on joint orientation, the extent of clay interbeds, and groundwater conditions.
d Slopes of gradient 1V:4H or less generally will have a greater success in retaining topsoil, limiting its loss

from erosion processes and encouraging more successful planting establishment and long-term growth
compared to steeper slopes.

The behavior of a rock mass is dominated by discontinuities such as faults, joints, and
bedding planes. Therefore, cuttings in rock are commonly designed by kinematic
assessment, as detailed in Hoek and Bray (1981) and others. Limit equilibrium stability
analyses design methods are also used in the design of rock slopes, particularly when
construction is in poor quality rock. For limit equilibrium analyses of rock slopes it is
necessary to establish engineering properties representative of the rock mass, which
is not readily practicable from testing.

Rock mass classification systems including the Rock Mass Rating (RMR) system
(Bieniawski 1973 and 1989) and the Q system (Barton et al 1974) are commonly used
to make an initial assessment of the excavation procedures to be used in tunnel and
underground space construction in rock and of the measures required to support the
exposed excavated rock wall (eg rock bolts or shotcrete). The RMR system can be
used to estimate the rock mass properties and is utilized in the Hoek-Brown failure
criterion (Hoek, et al., 2002) widely used to establish rock mass engineering
parameters for use in design. A software program for determining rock mass strength
parameters, RocLab, has been developed to apply the Hoek-Brown failure criterion.

The excavated rock slopes should, however, be inspected by a suitably experienced


geotechnical practitioner to identify any areas of the face that require removal of

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loose material, localized rock bolting to secure specific rock blocks, or dentition work
to secure and protect particular weak horizons. For unnetted faces, a rock trap should
be provided at the toe of the cut slope to capture small-scale fall debris and prevent it
from reaching the highway. For particularly unstable rock strata, extensive rock
bolting and netting may be needed. Fookes and Sweeny (1976) provided information
on stabilization and control of local rock falls, including the design of rock traps.

The limit equilibrium methods of stability analysis are normally used in Qatar for
design of soil slopes. A limit-state design approach is now commonly used in Europe
and may be adopted in Qatar at some future date. If a limit-state design approach is
adopted in Qatar, refer to BS EN 1997-1:2004.

The safety factors adopted for use in limit equilibrium-stability analyses for design of a
soil slope should be derived by the geotechnical practitioner after careful
consideration of the following:

The complexity of the ground conditions


The adequacy of the ground investigation
The certainty with which the design parameters (for example, shear strength and
groundwater pressures) represent the actual in situ conditions
The length of time over which stability has to be assured
The likelihood of unfavorable changes in groundwater regime
Surface profile or other factors occurring in the future
The likely speed of movement and consequences of any failures

In general, it is important to distinguish between first-time failures and failures


involving preexisting slip surfaces. For first-time failures at a site, where there is a
good standard of ground investigation, analyses performed using suitably
conservative characteristic shear-strength parameters and design water conditions,
and for which no unusually risks are associated with a failure, a safety factor
between 1.3 and 1.4 would normally be appropriate. For a failure involving a
preexisting failure and analyses using back-analyses parameters, but otherwise of
similar status, a safety factor of 1.2 would normally be appropriate.

The design water conditions should take into account those conditions that could
reasonably be expected to occur over the design life of the earthworks, with
allowance where appropriate for higher groundwater levels or higher pore water
pressures than those observed in the ground investigation and subsequent
monitoring periods. Information on groundwater problems in Qatar is provided in
Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide, of this
manual.

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3.5 Influence of Construction Procedures on Cutting


Slope Stability
Cutting slope stability can be influenced by construction-related factors, including the
following:

Sequence and geometry of excavation. Stability of the slopes must be maintained.


Where appropriate, temporary slopes and excavations might be designed with
safety factors lower than those used for design of permanent works. The safety
factors to be used, however, must be assessed on a risk basis by a suitably
experience geotechnical practitioner.
Effect of explosives. Vibrations from blasting should be considered in the design.
Control of groundwater. The potential for groundwater conditions during
construction to have detrimental effect on the earthworks should be considered
and, where necessary, appropriate measures should be incorporated within the
works. This might necessitate control of the rate of excavation in pervious water-
bearing soils to achieve a gradual reduction in the water table or dewatering
techniques to release pore water pressures trapped by low-permeability strata.
Control of surface water. The works should be shaped to prevent water flow or
ponding conditions where these are likely to have a detrimental effect on the
earthworks.
Construction of drain trenches at the base of the slope.

The potential for construction-related factors to affect cutting slope stability should
be assessed in design and appropriate allowance made to maintain adequate stability.

3.5.1 Seismic Effects


The designer should assess the potential seismicity of the location and make
appropriate allowance for seismicity in the design of cutting slopes. Further
information on seismic loading in Qatar and associated ground risks is given in
Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide, of this
manual.

3.6 Design of Embankments and Filled Areas


3.6.1 Embankment and Fill Slope Design
Embankments and filled areas should be designed to have adequate stability against
shear failure and to ensure that any deformation is within acceptable limits. The
following information should be obtained to design the cross section of an
embankment:

Ultimate width at the top of the embankment


Loading on the top of the embankment
Geotechnical properties of the foundation soils and fill materials

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Restrictions on width of land available for construction


Groundwater tables and current levels, taking into account local lowering or rise
and possible future levels
Special conditions to which the embankment would be subject (for example, tidal
waters, natural cavities, environmental, and economic factors that could influence
the final choice of cross section, such as earth banks for sound screening or
flattening of slopes for promoting vegetation establishment and providing for
landscape and an aesthetic earthwork)

Table 3.2 provides guidance on the typical geometry for safe embankment slopes in
the range of rock and soil conditions generally found in Qatar. However, the actual
slope design details should be established based on the actual site conditions, the
materials characteristic engineering parameters interpreted from the geotechnical
investigations conducted, and relevant slope stability analyses.

Table 3.3 Typical Permanent Slopes in Fill for Various Soil and Rock Materials
Typical Slope Ratio Typical Maximum Slope Height before
Rock/Soil Material (vertical : horizontal) Incorporating a Berm or Between Berms (m)
Selected hard rock fill 1V:1.4Ha 6
Selected gravel material 1V:1.5H to 1V:2Ha 6
Selected sand 1V:1.5H to 1V:2.5Ha 6
Note:
a Slopes of gradient 1V:4H or less generally will have a greater success in retaining topsoil, limiting its

loss from erosion processes and encouraging more successful planting establishment and long-term
growth compared to steeper slopes.

The overall stability of embankment slopes should be analyzed using the design
standard adopted for the project. The limit equilibrium method of stability analysis is
typically used for design in Qatar. The factors to be considered by the geotechnical
practitioner in determining the safety factors to be adopted in limit equilibrium stability
analyses of embankments and fill areas and typical safety factors adopted are as
described for cutting slopes in Clause 3.4.2 in this Part. A limit-state design approach is
now commonly used in Europe and may be adopted in Qatar at some future date. If a
limit-state design approach is adopted in Qatar, refer to British Standard 1997-1
(BS EN 1997-1:2004).

Some deformation of the fill and of foundation soils is to be expected, and the
magnitude of those movements should be assessed using data obtained as part of the
project ground investigation. In some instances, it may be desirable to analyze
embankment deformations using finite-element methods to determine whether
deformation is acceptable.

3.6.2 Seismic Effects


The designer should assess the potential seismicity of the location and make
appropriate allowance for it in the design of embankments and fill slopes. Further
information on seismic loading in Qatar and associated ground risks is given in Part 15,
Ground Investigation and Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide, in this manual.

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3.7 Embankments over Weak Ground


Weak, compressible soils, such as sabkha, are typically near the surface and are of
shallow depth in Qatar. In many instances, existing ponds are reclaimed using poor
quality compressible soils. Where such deposits lie below an embankment footprint,
they are generally removed and replaced with engineered fill.

In some instances, it may be necessary or preferred to leave the weak, compressible


deposits in place. In these cases, ground treatment measures will likely be required to
ensure stability of the embankment and to limit post-construction ground movements
to within serviceability limits. Geotextiles might be also included within the base of
the embankment to distribute expected loading and to reduce differential
movements. Implemented ground treatment works and post-treatment ground
performance should be monitored to verify the design.

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4 Earthworks Construction
4.1 Quality Control of Earthworks Materials
The nature of materials to be used in earthworks construction should be checked
against the design and the findings of any project ground investigation to confirm that
when placed and compacted, they remain in accordance with the contract
specification.

The designer should provide a table that clearly sets out the testing requirements for
earthworks materials as they are excavated on-site. The designer should include the
frequency or number of tests, depending on the size or duration of the works being
performed. Testing should be carried out at excavation for materials found on-site,
unless the material is likely to change between excavation and deposition, in which
case further sampling and testing should be carried out at deposition.

Where earthworks materials are to be imported for use on-site, initial source testing
should be specified along with compliance testing requirements.

4.2 Placement of Earthworks Materials


4.2.1 Soils
The placement of soil fills in earthworks typically is controlled by either an end-
product specification or method specification to confirm that adequate compaction is
achieved in construction. End-product specification is mainly used in Qatar, including
in the QCS 2010 (MoE, 2011), with placed fill compacted to 95 percent maximum dry
density, as determined by Test 13: 4.5-kilogram rammer method in British
Standard 1377-4 (BS 1377-4:1990). If required, further information on the use of
method specification can be found in HA 70/94 (UK Highways Agency, 1994).

When using an end-product specification, it is useful to establish a rolling/compaction


procedure that should achieve the required degree of compaction and for that to be
adopted as the minimum requirement for construction of the permanent works. The
adoption of such a procedure should minimize disruption related to compliance
testing and any requirement to apply additional compaction to a fill layer with
associated further compliance testing. The compaction procedure is normally defined
in terms of a maximum thickness of each fill layer placed and the number of passes
applied to it by a roller of specific type and size. The QCS 2010 requires compaction
trials before construction of any permanent earthworks and specifies that the trials be
carried out on areas of 50 m by 10 m (MoE, 2011).

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Rapid verification of the compacted density of placed earthworks fill is essential if


earthworks filling operations are not to be unduly disrupted. Consequently, nuclear
methods are normally used as the primary means of establishing the in situ density
and moisture content of the placed soils and compliance with the specification.
Nuclear density and moisture content testing should be carried out in accordance
with QCS 2010 requirements (MoE, 2011). Calibration of the equipment is required,
and personnel conducting the tests require approved user certification by the Qatar
Ministry of Environment.

If particular concerns exist regarding the results of nuclear test methods or the ability
of the test to provide accurate results in particular circumstances, then the in situ
density of the placed fill should be determined using by the appropriate sand
replacement method suitable for the soil grading, in accordance with QCS 2010
testing requirements (MoE, 2011).

Intelligent compaction technology systems can optimize earthworks construction and


provide a comprehensive geographic information systembased record of the quality
of earthworks compaction at a site. The systems involve continuous assessment of the
mechanistic soil properties (for example, stiffness modulus) through compaction-
roller vibration monitoring and continuous modification of roller vibration amplitude
and frequency. Research findings in Europe and the United States show that use of
such equipment can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of the compaction
process. Further information on these systems can be found in Use of Intelligent
Compaction Technology (Transport Research Laboratory [TRL], 2009).

4.2.2 Rocks
To the extent practicable, rock excavated on a project should be reused. Subject to
crushing and processing, it might provide a suitable source for aggregate or soils-type
graded earthworks fill. Larger rock fill may be used in earthworks construction subject
to the rock fill being placed in layers not exceeding twice the average size of the larger
fragments, with no layer exceeding 800-millimeter (mm) loose thickness. The largest
boulders and fragments should be placed and spread so that they are evenly distributed
within the fill and the voids between them should be completely filled with smaller rock
fragments, sand, or gravel. The in-filling of the voids can be promoted by the use of
watering techniques.

The QCS 2010 provides details of the acceptable compaction procedures for rock fill in
terms of the depth of fill layer and the number of passes to be applied for particular
sizes of vibratory roller (MoE, 2011). The placement of rock fill is not normally subject
to density verification testing, but it should be subject to inspection by experienced
and qualified personnel.

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4.3 Slope Inspections


4.3.1 Soil Slopes
The soil slopes of cuttings and embankments should be inspected during construction,
and at regular intervals thereafter, for signs of cracking or bulging that might indicate
imminent failure of the slope or for seepage that could lead to instability. Instability
early in a soil slope's life is likely to be deep-seated, related to some form of
discontinuity such as a preexisting shear plane or a thin weak layer. The consequences
are likely to be severe and may involve considerable amounts of failed material.
Shallow failures are relatively rare on new soil slopes when compared to slopes older
than 10 years, but they do occur more frequently on steep, recently constructed rock
fill slopes due to of topsoil slippage. The failure is not of the rock fill itself. Where a
failure has occurred or appears to be developing, remediation works will need to be
implemented.

4.3.2 Rock Slopes


The exposed faces of rock cuttings should be inspected for discontinuities, especially
those oriented in a manner that would lead to instability. The face should be
examined at regular intervals and for signs of excessive weathering after a period of
exposure, preferably through the winter season. If left unchecked, excessive
weathering could lead to instability and high future maintenance costs incurred due
to frequent removal of large amounts of debris from the base of the face. The
inspections should be performed by an experienced geotechnical practitioner, who
should then prepare a report on the stability of the face and whether remedial action
is needed. Guidance on the recording of rock exposures is provided by the
International Society for Rock Mechanics (1981); Transport Research Laboratory
(2011a and 2011b); and Hoek and Bray (1981). The method to be adopted on a
project will need to be determined by a qualified and experienced geotechnical
practitioner.

4.4 Minimizing the Effects of Construction Plant Operations


The designer should be alert to the problems that could arise when earthmoving
construction equipment and vibratory compaction equipment are operating in urban
areas and other sensitive locations. The Transport Research Laboratory (2000) provides
guidelines on acceptable vibration levels, and British Standard 7385-2 (BS 7385-2:1993)
provides guidance on the evaluation and measurement of vibration in buildings. Where
practical, the design should avoid or minimize noise and vibration effects (for example,
by microrouting away from sensitive receptors). Contract specifications should include
appropriate restrictions on working hours, noise levels, and vibration levels.

4.5 Blasting
The designer should consider possible requirements for blasting works on a project.
Blasting works have to be carried out in accordance with The Guide for Civil Users of
Explosives in Qatar (Ministry of Industry and Public Works, 2001). The personnel
conducting blasting works are required to be licensed.

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The designer should be aware that to establish safe and environmentally acceptable
working procedures, blasting trials should be performed by the contractor prior to
executing blasting operations on contract works. These trials should include
establishing the delay between explosions necessary to avoid superposition of
vibrations from successive delays. Preliminary blasting trials also might be performed
as part of the project geotechnical studies. Trial explosions should start with small
charges and increase to charges similar to the working charges, but only if the
measurements show that it is safe and environmentally acceptable to do so.

At the preconstruction consultation stage, a condition survey of neighboring


properties at risk from blasting should be carried out, including photographs. Selected
critical properties should then be monitored as part of preworks blasting trials and
also during the works themselves. Information on the procedures and equipment
necessary for effective vibration studies is provided by Transport Research Laboratory
(2000). Instruments exist that can measure both the peak overpressure associated
with air blast and ground vibration in three orthogonal planes.

Factors affecting vibration levels when explosives are used include the following:

Size of the explosive charge


Pattern of charges
Confinement of charge
Geology and nature of the ground (for example, the dip, depth and type of rock,
and presence of fault planes)

The safe level of peak particle velocity (ppv) is governed by the type and state of
repair of the structure affected and, very importantly, by the frequency of the
vibration of the structure. Peak particle velocities in excess of 50 millimeters per
second (mm/s) may be safe and acceptable for some structures, but often much
lower limits will need to be applied, particularly for domestic structures. Advice on
acceptable levels of vibrations in structures is given in British Standards BS ISO 4866
(BS ISO 4866:2010), BS 7385-2 (BS 7385-2:1993), and BS 5228-1
(BS 5228-1:2009+A1:2014).

An accepted maximum safe value for air-blast or peak overpressure is 0.7 kilonewton
per square meter, but this value is unlikely to be reached where the ground vibration
ppv is kept below 50 mm/s. Windows may rattle with a peak overpressure of
0.3 kilonewton per square meter, and this may alarm to the public unless they are
informed in advance.

Good public relations and an education program are essential. Human reactions to
vibration can be a limiting factor because perceived ppv nuisance levels can be as low
as 2 mm/s. British Standards BS 6472-1 (BS 6472-1:2008) and BS 6472-2
(BS 6472-2:2008) provide valuable guidance on acceptable levels of human exposure
to vibration. Human response should be considered when determining a criterion for
ppv but should not be regarded as paramount provided the public is kept well
informed.

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Safety is also an important consideration, and work should be performed in


accordance with local regulations. British Standard BS 5607 (BS 5607:1998) also
provides useful information on safe use of explosives in the construction industry.

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5 Information on Specific
Materials and Issues
5.1 Soils and Bedrock Strata
The designer should refer to Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of
Geotechnical Design Guide, of this manual for information on the engineering
characteristics, typical uses, and issues of the main soils and bedrock strata units in
Qatar.

5.2 Seismic Hazard


The designer should refer to Part 15, Ground Investigation and Aspects of
Geotechnical Design Guide, of this manual for information on the seismic hazard in
Qatar and seismic loadings to be used in design.

5.3 Geosynthetics
The designer should be alert to the risks of physical and chemical damage to
geosynthetics during construction because such damage can lead to a reduced life
and failure of the material and the constructed works. Typical physical damage
includes puncturing by sharp projections, tearing during placement, or as a result of
the construction equipment running over the geosynthetic once laid. The main
chemical damage to geosynthetics is embrittlement caused by ultraviolet light. The
designer should make appropriate allowances during design for possible damage
during construction. In addition, geosynthetics used in construction should be
afforded appropriate protection in transit from the manufacturer, during storage on-
site, and in placement within the works to avoid any significant damage.

5.4 Prevent the Spread of Plant and Animal Diseases


The designer should be alert to the potential for biological pathogens in surface soils
from past disposal of animal carcasses, including camels, horses, and other livestock,
both buried and unburied in rural areas. The designer also needs to be alert to the
potential spread of invasive animal and plant species associated with earthworks
operations.

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6 Highways in Dune Areas


6.1 Introduction
This chapter provides information on dune formation and movement and on the
design and construction of highways in dune areas from the Sultanate of Omans
Ministry of Transport and Communication (2010).

6.2 Dune Formation and Movement


Appendix B contains information on dune formation and movement.

6.3 Design and Construction in Dune Areas


6.3.1 Highway Location
It is always preferable to avoid routing highways through sand dune areas and, if such
an option exists, it should be considered as part of a value engineering exercise and in
the comparison of route options. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to locate
highways within sand dune areas, in which case the design principles set out in
Clause 6.3.2 in this Part should be followed.

Locating interchanges or intersections within sand dune areas should be avoided


where possible. Where it is necessary to locate an intersection within a dune area, the
design principles set out in Clause 6.3.2 of this part should be followed. Additionally,
there should be a site-specific assessment of conditions to determine the need for
special treatment or protection measures with regard to sand movement.

Grade-separation interchanges usually involve bridge structures and embankments.


The design and alignment of any bridges should be such that the prevailing wind can
easily pass through the structure without turbulence, which should help to reduce
sand deposition within the interchange area. Where such an alignment is not feasible,
use of windbreaks, located so that they unload windborne sand before entering the
interchange area, should be considered. Such windbreaks could consist of appropriate
plantings and fences or sand walls.

6.3.2 Design Elements


Sand will be deposited whenever the wind velocity falls below the critical velocity at
which it can carry sand particles (see Appendix B). Disruption to wind laminar flow is
likely to result in a drop in the wind speed and sand deposition. Turbulence also can
create areas of high velocity that can result in erosion or abrasion. For these reasons,
design elements and roadside features and furniture within the road corridor should
provide the most aerodynamic profile possible, facing the prevailing wind direction.

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Highway pavements are usually smoother than natural soil. Consequently, they
provide less friction for wind and, thus, tend to promote an increase in wind speed
that limits deposition of sand particles and their accumulation on the road surface.
Elevating the road platform above the desert floor can further help in keeping the
roadway surface clear of sand.

To avoid creating turbulence, earthwork side slopes should be fairly flat. Typically in
dune areas, 1V:10H maximum slopes should be used for cuttings and 1V:6H maximum
should be used for fill slopes. Wide toe-ditches of 3-m minimum width should be
provided to allow for the accumulation of deposited sand.

At selected locations and only in very special circumstances, steeper slopes of 1V:6H
maximum for cuttings and 1V:4H maximum for fill slopes might be adopted,
depending on the type of sand and frequency of sandstorms in the project area. The use
of steeper gradients will, however, be subject to the agreement to a Departure from
Standard by the Overseeing Organization, and detailed design should not commence until
that agreement is in place. The request for a Departure from Standards should be fully
evidenced and, where appropriate, might include a physical testpossibly at reduced
scale compared to the proposed worksconducted at critical locations on the project
site.

The design principles for highways in dune areas include the following:

Highway alignment
The highway should be located on the windward side of large dunes or
isolated dune fields.
Alignments running parallel to the prevailing wind direction will present less
potential for sand accumulation.
Grade lines should be kept above the elevation of upwind topography as
much as possible.
Through-cuts and cuts to the upwind dune slopes should be avoided as much
as possible.
Superelevation should not exceed 4 percent, and horizontal curvatures in
particular should be set such that this can be achieved.
Alignments should be located to minimize the need for drainage provision,
particularly box culverts.
When an upwind dune crest is above the roadway elevation, whether the
road is in cut or in fill, it is necessary to determine the relative positions of
the dune crest and the edge of road to determine the method of stabilization
needed (see Appendix B).

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Slopes
The general aerodynamic features of the natural topography should be
maintained to prevent or reduce sand accumulation, erosion, or both that
might affect the integrity of the roadway.
Cut slopes should be 1V:10H or flatter, regardless of material excavated.
Fill slopes should be 1V:6H or flatter when the maximum height of fill does
not exceed 4 m.
Medians
Wide, shallow medians should be used where possible to remove any need
for median safety barriers.
Drainage drop inlet structures, if used in medians, should be designed with
flat grates.
To ensure that medians are kept clear of sand accumulation, paving the
median could be considered. Paving would provide a similar friction
resistance to that of the road to avoid differential friction that could create
turbulence or reduce wind velocity, resulting in sand deposition and
accumulation.
Highway and structures construction, highway furniture, and planting
Highway curbs should not be used.
Raised pavement markers should be avoided where possible because their
protrusion could produce a break in wind speed and result in sand deposition.
Bridge openings at grade separations must be as large and clear as possible.
Elimination of piers by increasing bridge spans is desirable. Bridge railings
should be the open tubular type, while bridge deck sections should be
designed to be as aerodynamic as possible.
Vehicle restraint systems should be avoided wherever possible, which should
generally be practical where slopes are flatter than 1V:5H. If a vehicle
restraint system is required, steel beam and concrete barriers should not be
employed, and open-cable-type construction should be used.
Where feasible, signs should be mounted on grade-separation bridges rather
than creating additional supporting structures at ground level.
Structures or roadside items that might cause an obstruction to the natural
flow of the wind or cause wind turbulence should be avoided.
Consideration should be given to the use of wire fencing developed for
specific use as a right-of-way fence in sand dune areas. This fence type is
more open than chain link. Other types of fence that have a tendency to trap
paper and debris, which can cause sand deposition.
The top of concrete foundations for items such as small supports and fence
posts, where used, should be at least 100 mm below the sand surface.
Planting should be limited.

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6.3.3 Design and Construction Considerations


Dune sands, known as aeolian sands, essentially lack cohesion and are single sized.
Although they can be used for embankment construction both in and outside dune
areas, some precautions are necessary. Unless placed quite flat or appropriately
confined, dune sands are readily susceptible to sloughing due to vibration and erosion
by both wind and water. To use dune sands in embankment construction, the sand
core typically is confined with an outer shell of less-erosive soils. Figure 6.1 presents
basic dimensions for sand dune embankments.

Figure 6.1 Typical Schematic Embankment Using Dune Sand Fill

Highway construction in sandy and sand dune areas presents unique challenges for
contractors unfamiliar with practices and methods in such areas. The most common
approach for road construction is to establish a working platform at the base of the
embankment; otherwise, sand can cause substantial rolling resistance for
construction equipment and vehicles.

Figure 6.2 presents a detailed section showing the typical construction layers for an
embankment that uses sand fill, highlighting the disposition of the capping material
on the sides and the series of working platforms constructed in the core of the fill.

To start the construction process, the area of sand fill is normally rolled with steel
rollers, after which, a 50-mm working platform is spread and compacted. Spreading of
this layer is usually performed by end-tipping by truck and spreading forward onto the
in situ dune sand by bulldozers. In this way, the contractors hauling equipment is not
subject to the high rolling resistance of the dry sand, and the sand is intermixed with
the working platform material.

The establishment of this initial working platform is necessary to provide a firm


foundation upon which the embankment can be constructed in uniform layers. It is
generally impractical to require a high degree of compaction in this working platform
because the support from the underlying dry sand can be quite variable. A minimum
of 90 percent maximum dry density is usually acceptable.

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Figure 6.2 Sand Dune FillEmbankment Planting

On top of the working platform, uniform layers of sand, not exceeding 200 mm
compacted thickness, can be placed by forward spreading and can be compacted with
steel-wheeled rollers to 95 percent maximum dry density. Trucks with high tire-
contact pressure should not be used on dry sand embankment areas until after the
subsequent intermediate capping layers have been placed and compacted.

6.3.4 Dune Stabilization


Stabilizing dunes and other loose-sand areas involves immobilizing the sand. The
figures in Appendix B depict typical details of dune stabilization works.

In the case of small to medium Barchan dunes, stabilizing the crest and wings of a
dune causes the trough of the dune to trap sand. Sand then accumulates in the trough
until an aerodynamic profile to the dune is established. Once established, that profile
will usually remain essentially stable, even without any subsequent stabilization of the
trapped sand.

Dune stabilization may be performed in other ways. The application of a gravel


blanket will provide a protective layer that is not as susceptible to erosion or saltation.
The dune sand can be treated to bind the sand particles and provide some cohesion
through the application of crude oil, crude-oil blends, and emulsified asphalts. Some
chemical stabilizers also can be used; however, their effect is usually temporary.

Stabilizing large dunes with complete coverage can be quite expensive. However,
treated strips created perpendicular to the direction of the prevailing winds can be
successful in immobilizing large dune features. The width of untreated area between
the stabilized strips should not exceed 4 m to maintain the effectiveness of the
treatment. Wider untreated areas will encourage sand movement and erosion of the

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treated strips. Strip stabilization may be achieved by spray application or by injection


methods. Injection methods provide greater control with respect to the applied width
and depth of penetration, which is reflected in the typical treatment patterns used, as
shown in Figure B.10 in Appendix B.

The depth of penetration of sprayed materials varies with the type of material being
sprayed, the type and natural density of the dune sand, and to a lesser extent the rate
of application.

The use of sand fencing is effective in immobilizing dunes but ultimately requires
frequent maintenance. As each fence installation becomes buried, it must be
extended in height. Raising the height effectively can result in the trapping of many
thousands of cubic meters of sand, if properly maintained. Sand fences should be
considered on the upwind side of an interchange in a dune area. For such
installations, two or more parallel rows of fencing should be located perpendicular to
the prevailing wind. The upwind fence will likely fill in very quickly and will need to be
raised first. The second and possibly third fence downwind can be used to gauge the
rate of sand accumulation to plan future fence installations and maintenance (see
Figure B.12 in Appendix B). Vegetation also can be used to stabilize dune areas. The
arid environment of Qatar, however, makes the use of this method extremely limited.

6.3.5 Dune Destruction


In certain instances, commonly where dunes have migrated to a location close to a
road, it may be desirable to destroy them (see Figure B.13 in Appendix B). For
example, dune destruction might be beneficial where an overhead power line lies
between the highway and an approaching dune. Destruction or lowering of this dune
would preserve the vertical clearance to the power line.

The forces of the wind can be used to erode and lower a dune formation by orienting
strip stabilization in a direction parallel to the prevailing wind. For smaller dune
features, differential oiling of the wings or the center section of the crescent-shaped
dunes can be effective in inducing dune destruction.

Extreme caution must be exercised when using dune destruction because the eroding
sand must pass across the downwind road section. Aerodynamic slopes combined
with minimal obstructions will be essential to facilitate the sand moving across the
highway and prevent it from being deposited on the road surface. The downwind side
of the road also should be evaluated so that the increased sand accumulation coming
to this area does not cause new problems.

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References

Bagnold, Ralph A. The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. Methuen & Company: London,
England. 1941.

Barton N., Lien R. and Lunde J. 1974. Engineering classification of rock masses for the design of
tunnel support. Rock Mechanics, 6(4): 189-236.

Bieniawski Z. T. 1973. Engineering classification of jointed rock masses. Trans. S. African Inst. Civ.
Engners, 15(12): 335-344.

Bieniawski Z. T. 1989. Engineering Rock Mass Classifications. Wiley, New York.

BS 1377-4:1990. Part 4: Compaction-related Tests. Methods of Test for Soils for Civil Engineering
Purposes. British Standards Institution: London, England. 1990.

BS 5228-1:2009+A1:2014. Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and
Open SitesPart 1: Noise. British Standards Institution: London, England. 2008.

BS 5607:1998. Code of Practice for the Safe use of Explosives in the Construction Industry. British
Standards Institution: London, England. 1998.

BS 6031:2009. Code of Practice for Earthworks. British Standards Institution: London, England.
2009.

BS 6472-1:2008. Guide to Evaluation of Human Exposure to Vibration in BuildingsPart 1:


Vibration Sources Other than Blasting.. British Standards Institution: London, England. 2008.

BS 6472-2:2008. Guide to Evaluation of Human Exposure to Vibration in BuildingsPart 2: Blast-


Induced Vibration. British Standards Institution: London, England. 2008.

BS 7385-2:1993. Evaluation and Measurement for Vibration in BuildingsPart 2: Guide to


Damage Levels from Groundborne Vibration. British Standards Institution. 1993.

BS EN 1997-1:2004. Eurocode 7: Geotechnical DesignPart 1: General Rules. 2004 (incorporating


corrigendum February 2009). British Standards Institution: London, England. 2010.

BS ISO 4866:2010. Mechanical Vibration and Shock Vibration of Fixed Structures Guidelines for
the Measurement of Vibrations and Evaluation of their Effects on Structures. British Standards
Institution. 2010.

Department for Transport. Construction of Highway Earthworks. Design Manual for Roads and
Bridges. Volume 4, Section 1, Part 5. HA 70/94. UK Highways Agency: London, England. 1994.

Fookes, P. G. and M. Sweeny. Stabilization and Control of Local Rock Falls and Degrading Rock
Slopes. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology. Vol. 9. pp. 3755. 1976.

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Hoek, Evert, and John W. Bray. Rock Slope Engineering. Revised 3rd edition. Spon Press for
Institution of Mining and Metallurgy: London, England. 1981.

Hoek, Evert, Carlos Carranza-Torres, and Brent Corkum. Hoek-Brown Criterion 2002 Edition.
Proceedings of the 5th North American Rock Mechanics Symposium and the 17th Tunnelling
Association of Canada Conference (NARMS-TAC 2002), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
https://www.rocscience.com/hoek/references/H2002.pdf. Volume 1. pp. 267-273. 7-10 July
2002.

International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM). Rock Characterization, Testing and Monitoring
I.S.R.M. Suggested Methods. Ed. E. T. Brown. Pergamon Press: Oxford, England. 1981.

Ministerie van Volkshuisvestig. Circular on Target Values and Intervention Values for Soil
Remediation Dutch Target and Intervention Values 2000 (the New Dutch List). Dutch Ministry of
Housing Spatial Planning & Environment.
http://www.esdat.net/Environmental%20Standards/Dutch/annexS_I2000Dutch%20Environment
al%20Standards.pdf. Updated Soil Remediation Circular:
http://www.esdat.com.au/Environmental%20Standards/Dutch/ENGELSE%20versie%20circulaire
%20Bodemsanering%202009.pdf. Government of the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2000. Updated 2009.

Ministry of Environment (MoE). Qatar National Construction Standards. State of Qatar: Doha,
Qatar. 2011.

Ministry of Industry and Public Works. The Guide for Civil Users of Explosives in Qatar. State of
Qatar: Doha, Qatar. 2001.

Ministry of Transport and Communication. Highway Design Standards. Prepared by Dar


Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners) for Sultanate of Oman. 2010.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Groundborne Vibration Caused by Mechanised Construction


Works. TRL Report 429. UK Highways Agency: Berkshire, England. 2000.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Use of Intelligent Compaction Technology. TRL Published
Project Report PPR406. Berkshire, England. August 28, 2009.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Rock Engineering Guides to Good Practice: Road Rock Slope
Excavation. TRL Published Project Report PPR556. Berkshire, England. October 5, 2011a.

Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Rock Slope Risk Assessment. TRL Published Project
Report PPR554. Berkshire, England. October 24, 2011b.

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Appendix A
Potential Modes of
Slope Failure

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Table A.1 Potential Modes of Slope Failure


Failure Mode Description Sketch
RotationalCircular Rotational slideRotation of a mass of soil
along a curved slip surface.

Circular slideRotational slide on a slip


surface that is roughly circular.

Rotational Noncircular slideRotational slide on a slip


Noncircular plane that is not wholly circular.

Translational Translational slideMovement of a shallow


soil mass in a plane roughly parallel to the
slope due to weakness on the plane.

Compound Compound slideMovement of a soil mass


that combines the characteristics of a
rotational slide and a translational slide.

Flow slides Flow slide, mud flowTranslational slide in


saturated soil, caused by a sudden increase
in pore water pressure in which the soil
flows as a viscous liquid.

Debris slideTranslational slide of debris,


forming a mantle on a slope or the
disturbed material at the toe of a rotational
slide, when rainfall or diverted surface
water causes downward movement of the
debris. Includes debris flows.

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Table A.1 Potential Modes of Slope Failure


Failure Mode Description Sketch
Slab slide Slab slideTranslational slide in which the
sliding mass remains more or less intact.
Usually occurs in the weathered surface of a
slope.

Block slide Block slideTranslational slide in which a


block of relatively strong rock or stiff to hard
clay moves down a slope as a unit.

Progressive failure Progressive failure can occur in a mass of


brittle soil when it is not loaded uniformly.
Failure first develops along a rupture
surface or zone within part of the soil mass
and as the post-peak strains within the
failure zone increase; the soil strength
within the failure zone reduces from peak
toward residual. Final rupture of the soil
mass occurs before the failure surface has
developed fully.
Scour Removal of soil from the ground surface by
surface water that might be flowing within a
watercourse or occur as floodwater or
surface water run-off. Scour is a common
problem for slopes, riverbanks, or around
structures. On slopes, scour erosion can
quickly lead to the development of gullies.

Surface water runoff erosion of earthworks


also are referred to as washouts.

Internal erosion Loss of soil from a slope face as a


consequence of seepage of groundwater
from a preferential flow path at the slope
face (often referred to as piping), or the
slumping of a saturated mass of soil
prompted by water seeping through a slope
(commonly referred to as slumping or
sloughing).

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Table A.1 Potential Modes of Slope Failure


Failure Mode Description Sketch
Rock slopeplane A block of relatively strong rock or stiff to
failure hard clay moves down slope as a unit on a
plane of weakness in the form of a fissure or
joint.

Rock slopewedge Three-dimensional occurs when a wedge of


failure rock or stiff clay slides bodily forward and
downward on two or three well-defined
joint planes that intersect behind the slope.

Rock slopetoppling Toppling failures occur in rock slopes where


failures discontinuities behind the face are steeply
inclined.

Falls Falls occur from steeply cut faces in soils,


such as excavations for trenches or
foundation pits when only short-term
stability is required. Cracks open behind the
face as a result of stress relief or drying
shrinkage. Failure occurs near the base of
the freestanding column of soil bounded by
the crack system, and the mass of soil falls
forward or slides into the cut.
Source: BS 6031:2009. Code of Practice for Earthworks. British Standards Institution. 2009.

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Appendix B
Dune Areas and
Example Treatment

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Sand Movements and Deposition


A dune is a hill of sand built by aeolian processes: the winds ability to shape the surface of the
earth. Dunes exist in different forms and sizes based on their interaction with the wind. Most
dune shapes are longer on the windward side, where the sand is pushed up the dune, and
shorter on the slip face in the lee of the wind. The valley or trough between dunes is called a
slack. Figure B.1 shows the general shape of a sand dune.

Figure B.1 Sand Dune General Shape

A dune field is an area covered by extensive sand dunes. The southeast coast of Qatar and central
south area of the state are dominated by sand dunes occasionally interrupted by interdune areas
occupied by sabkha plains, further details of which are given in Part 15, Ground Investigation and
Aspects of Geotechnical Design Guide, of this manual. As part of site reconnaissance, the
designer should assess whether the proposed highway route is located in a mobile dune area and
the degree of hazard to which the proposed facilities will be subject due to windblown sand.

Sand dune areas present exceptional challenges to the designers of roads and associated
facilities. During sandstorms, blowing and shifting sand flows like fluid, filling every gap and
tracing each contour until a drop of momentum is encountered, resulting sand deposition. Sand
flow and deposition affect not only the maintenance costs of a facility but also user safety. It is
virtually impossible to eliminate all problems and hazards associated with blowing sand given
variations in site and sand conditions, the ever-changing wind direction, and natural topography.

In the absence of moist or cohesive binders, which is typical of sand dune areas in Qatar, the
movement of sand particles is largely a function of wind velocity and particle size. The research of
Ralph A. Bagnold (1941), as well as wind tunnel experiments and field observations in the Libyan
Desert, provide a basic foundation for theories and equation of sand movements.

To show the amount of sand that could accumulate on a roadway or within a facility, Figure B.2
presents a plot of wind speed versus rate of sand erosion per square meter as determined from
wind tunnel tests.

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Figure B.2 Wind Speed versus Quantity of Sand Movement

Sand movement in dune areas occurs in four basic modes:

1. Suspension: The movement of sand particles in suspension occurs when the upward wind
velocity component exceeds the downward gravitational forces of the sand grain size. The
sand particle assumes the wind speed and becomes suspended. This mode of movement
dominates during high-speed wind with associated with sandstorms or dust storms.
Depending on wind velocity, this mode of transport is limited to particles smaller than
0.08 mm.
2. Saltation: Saltation is particle transport wind or the more dense fluid, water. It occurs when
loose material is removed from a bed and carried by the fluid, before being transported back
to the bed surface. Saltation occurs during moderate wind velocities, at what is known as the
fluid threshold wind velocity, capable of lifting a sand grain and carrying it forward in the
wind direction. As the sand grain falls back to the bed surface, it either bounces back up or
hits and ejects other grains, which in turn move forward bounding and ejecting other sand
grains. Once such a process is initiated by blowing wind, it propagates downwind and
intensifies or fades depending on wind speed increase or decrease. Figure B.3 presents the
path of a single sand grain in saltation. Figure B.4 shows the paths of multiple sand grains in
saltation.

Figure B.3 Path of a Single Particle in Saltation

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Figure B.4 Sand Particles in Saltation

In a naturally graded dune, less than 5 percent of sand movement occurs by suspension, 75 to
80 percent occurs by saltation, and 20 to 25 percent occurs by creep. Figure B.5 presents the
theoretical relationship between grain size and mode of transport and the percentages of each
mode for a naturally graded sand dune.

Figure B.5 Grain Size Related to Movement Mode with Percentages for Each Mode

Figure B.6 through Figure B.13 present details related to dune stabilization and dune destruction
measures.

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Figure B.6 Dune Stabilization

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Figure B.7 (1 of 2) Dune Treatment in Fill Section Stabilization

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Figure B.7 (2 of 2) Dune Treatment in Fill Section Stabilization

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Figure B.8 Dune Treatment in Cut Section Stabilization

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Figure B.9 Small and Intermediate Dune Immobilization

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Figure B.10 Large Dune Immobilization

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Figure B.11 Dune Stabilization with Sand Fence

Figure B.12 Major Interchange Dune Stabilization with Sand Fencing

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Figure B.13 Dune Destruction

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