Horizontal and Vertical Geotechnical Variations of Soils According to USCS Classification for the City of An-Najaf, Iraq Using GIS

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77171
Access full text here:10.1007/s10706-019-01139-x
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geoteknik, Geotechnical, USCS, Soil types, GIS, Kriging, Najaf, Soil Mechanics
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 15 Life on land
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai


The unified soil classification system (USCS) first proposed by Casagrande and subsequently developed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It widely used in many building codes and books. An-Najaf city is the most important city in Iraq due to its religious and spiritual value in the Muslim world, so it is fast expanding and continuous developing city in Iraq. The data from 464 boreholes in the study area for depths of 0–26 m have been used. 13 Soil samples were collected from each borehole with 13 depths level (0–26) m with 2 m intervals. The USCS was applied to the soil samples from 13 depth levels borehole. This research aims to create a geodatabase for soil properties for An-Najaf. The ArcGIS 10.5 software was used to interpolate the spatial data to produce 33 geotechnical maps for fine soil, coarse soil and USCS for 13 depth levels. For numerical soil data, Ordinary Kriging has been used for interpolation mapping of Fine and Coarse percentage data for each depth. For non-numerical (nominal) soil data (USCS class), the Indicator Kriging method is used. The results show that the coarse soil occupied 85–95% for depth 0–16 m and consist of (SP, SP-SM, SM) while fine soil occupied 5–15% consisting of (OL, CH, ML) subsequently, this soil when compacted has a permeability of pervious to semi impervious, good shearing strength, low to very low compressibility and acceptable workability as a construction material. The results also show that after 16 m depths until 26 m, the fine soil percentage increased to 40% with a coarse soil percentage of 60%, indicating changes in soil characteristics as the permeability became semi-pervious to impervious, fair shearing strength, medium compressibility and fair workability as a construction material. The study results will provide help and saving time, efforts and money in preliminary engineering designs.


Sohaib Kareem Al-Mamoori

Department of Environmental Planning, Faculty of Physical Planning, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq
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Laheab A. Jasem Al-Maliki

Department of Hydraulic Engineering Structures, Faculty of Water Resources Engineering, University of Al-Qasim Green, Babylon, Iraq
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Ahmed H. Al-Sulttani

Department of Environmental Planning, Faculty of Physical Planning, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq
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Khaled El-Tawil,

Faculty of Engineering, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
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Hussain M. Hussain

Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq. Remote Sensing Center, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq
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Nadhir Al-Ansari

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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