Geotechnical Assessment of Dimension stone Resources in Oman

Sobhi Nasir*, Rajedran Sankaran, Mohamed El-Ghali, Talal Al Hosni, Khalid Alzebdeh, Ghazi Al-Rawas

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this research we report the result of a study carried out to identify rocks that might be used for the production of dimension stone based on knowledge of the geology of Oman. The resources selected as the targets for the dimension stone assessment were the carbonate and ophiolite rock sequences in the Oman Mountains.
The suitability of different rock type was assessed based on the possibility of extracting large blocks, the mechanical properties of the stone, the appearance of the stone when cut and polished, and the accessibility of the site. The porosity, water absorption and saturation coefficient are used to indicate the durability of the rock. Strength values, used with rock mass data such as discontinuity information, are used to identify the most appropriate methods to extract building stone.
Of the sites assessed, the exotic limestone rocks were classified as having the highest potential for producing dimension stone. The compressive stress and geological features are found to be the controlling factors in the classification of dimension stone. The exotic limestone occur as dense, white to beige to yellowish polishable non crystalline limestone. These Omani limestone "marbles" occur in a large number of places as "exotic blocks" within the allochthonous Hawasina formation and are thought to represent former coral reefs rising from the deeper sea. These rocks are used extensively as ornamental stone tiles and slabs in the Oman building industry and is also exported to nearby countries. Omani exotic limestone marble has a sound economic standing with inexhaustible reserves. Other marble / limestone deposits in Oman show intense fracturing, which makes their use as ornamental stone difficult. The sites with low potential for dimension stone production are a mixture of limestone, gabbro, harzburgite and dunite rock units. Mostly these sites are a low priority because they do not have the potential to produce large blocks and rock samples do not have an attractive appearance and do not meet the engineering property criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of chemical, environmental and biological sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Oman
  • dimension stone
  • geology,
  • geotechnical properties


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