The social and economic plans for Al Ain City show that it is entering an unprecedented construction evolution, which will be reflected in the size and quality of the buildings needed to accommodate these ambitious plans. This evolution requires taking into consideration all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the people and the constructions. The top priority is, therefore, the understanding of the geological and the structural nature of the ground in Al Ain City and to precisely locate the cavities and the falajes, in addition to delimit the zones which might endanger future constructions. The knowledge of the various ground parameters of the top layer in the different sites in the city is the principal entrance to ensure successful planning designs which will avoid negative impacts on people, construction and environment.
It is known from the geological nature of Al Ain City and its suburbs of the existence of different size cavities in the near surface layers. In addition, the historical and local observations indicate the existence of a network of falajes in the area. These cavities and falajes have in some circumstances led to material damage. No human losses, thanks to Allah, have been suffered till now. In this respect, a number of examples around Al Ain of these facts, one of them is Shaikha Salama Mosque in the heart of the city. Many other observations such as the subsidence and fissuring of roads have been made.
In addition to the safety of the people and the construction, the existence of cavities and voids, even the small ones, may have strong and direct effects on the environment. For example, even after finishing a construction project, the existence of cavities and other structures might lead to ground collapses, which will consequently weaken the construction platform and might noticeably affect the roads and sewerage networks. The destruction or the fracturing of the sewerage network will lead to the contamination of groundwater.
In view of the above, Al Ain City Municipality in order to meet the future targets has considered this fact as one of the priorities and took the decision to conduct a geophysical survey to cover Al Ain City. Based on these facts, H.E. the General Manager of Al Ain City Municipality issued a decree number 3/364-2009 according to which the geophysical study is a mandatory requirement as one of the conditions for the issuing of building permits of all project sites in Al Ain. Al Ain City Municipality has started the feasibility study of the geophysical investigation in 2006. During the period 2006- 2009, the Municipality has exercised a number of tests to assure the importance of such a study in the soil test for the ongoing projects in Al Ain City and to assure the project sustainability.
Given the importance of the application of geophysical study before starting the project , head of the Department of Municipal Affairs issued the administrative decision No. (222) for the year 2014, which provides for compulsory application of geophysical study in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi before starting the implementation of a project to make sure the soil safety and suitability for the purposes and uses desired.
There are various geophysical techniques which permit an understanding of the subsurface geological conditions for any project site. The geophysical results will help the engineers and the designers to identify solid and safe bases for their future projects. For example, Al Ain City Municipality requested and supervised the geophysical investigation of Sheikha Salama Mosque in 2007. The study gave a detailed picture of the subsurface cavities underneath the mosque which have provoked a number of fractures in the old building.
The objective of this project is to study the layers beneath the surface to a depth of 40 meters in Al Ain City and its suburbs in all ongoing and future projects. In addition to the establishment of a database of the geological nature of Al Ain. The 40-meter depth of investigation is also conditioned by the type and height of the projects.
Reference: Al Ain City Municipality