Spatial variability analysis of subsurface soil in Mashhad city, NE Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Geology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Simulation and Data Processing Laboratory, Department of Mining Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Civil Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Reliable characterization of subsurface soil in urban areas is a major concern in geotechnical and geological engineering projects. In this regard, this research deals with development of a 3D geological engineering model on Mashhad City soil using Sequential Gaussian Simulation (SGS) approach. The intense variability of soil in the study area has sometimes caused serious problems in civil engineering projects in the city. Therefore, a better understanding of these deposits is critical for current and future civil engineering work. The main objectives of this study were investigating the spatial variability of soil through variograms and then predicting the values of soil properties at unsampled locations using SGS method. In this study, some geotechnical index parameters including percentage of fine grained material, plasticity index, and liquid limit have been employed as input data. A database including the data of 1750 boreholes was built and the hard data were transformed into normal scores in order for them to be applicable as input data in SGS modeling. Maps related to the average of all realizations along with Coefficient of Variation (CV) were provided for each variable as well. Then the maps were interpreted according to Mashhad City sedimentary environment.