Precipitation in Saudi Arabia occurs in excessive quantities for a very short period, causing fast flowing floods that result in massive human and material losses. Land cracks and rifts are caused by human-induced factors and by the natural factors that cause faulting and fracturing, such as earthquakes, volcanic activities, and the quality of the subsurface. It is known that chemical weathering contributes to the dissolution of calcareous rocks, forming subsurface voids and ground caves. These voids widen over time due to natural weathering processes, which are caused by the excessive withdrawal of groundwater, the saturation of the upper layers of the subsurface due to rainfall, or the seepage of water leaking from farms, which lead to increased loads and subsidence.

Current Targets

  • Study on the hazards related to torrents and floods as regards valleys, and their various impacts on infrastructures.
  • Raising the awareness of the communities and their protection against the impact and negative effects of torrents and floods.
  • Identification of hazardous areas that are prone to torrents and floods.
  • Development of the necessary solutions and recommendations to reduce and mitigate the hazards of floods.
  • Creation of a database on the hazards of torrents and floods in Saudi Arabia.
  • Study on the hazards relating to land subsidence and its impact on infrastructures.

 

2018 Projects

Hydrogeological and topographic study of the Riyadh Region

Landslides are rapid geologic processes. The hazards associated with landslides are caused by the movements, sliding, or collapse of parts of the soil or rock formations due to natural and human-induced factors, including rainfall or earthquakes.

The mountainous regions of the Kingdom are the most vulnerable areas to this hazard, especially in areas where roads and human settlements were built. The Geologic Hazards Division has studied several mountain roads, including the Al-Hada Road, Aqabat Al-Baha, Aqabat Shaar, Aqabat Dhela, and the roads in the Jazan Region, such as Faifa and Al-Rayth, and developed engineering solutions to prevent these slides and reduce their risks.