Construction problems due to expansive soils and rocks are evident in Al-Khod (northern Oman). The geological and climatic conditions in northern Oman favoured the formation of smectite clay minerals in certain materials which are causing ground heave problems. The paper describes the fundamental aspects covering the geological background, site investigation, laboratory soil test results, mineralogy and damage. A detailed description of the damage which occurred to various elements of certain structures is provided. Distress to a typical residential house, a store house and an asphalt road is investigated in detail. The width of the cracks developed in these structures varies from hairline to very severe (of the order of 150 mm). Finally, based on the case study investigation, a number of remedial measures to eliminate or minimize ground heave problems are outlined.
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