Mapping lateritic bauxite at Az Zabirah, Saudi Arabia, using ground-penetrating radar exploration method

  • Yasir A. Almutairi
  • Hesham M. ElAraby
  • Habes A. GhrefatEmail author
  • Abdulrahman M. Alotaibi
Review Paper


This paper presents the three-dimensional (3D) data interpretation of a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey, in conjunction with the existing boreholes, covering the area of the Az Zabirah bauxite deposits, northern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this study was to measure and map the volume of the bauxite deposits in the selected survey area, as well as to prove the success of the ground-penetrating radar exploration method in detecting and mapping the bauxite layer. The 3D GPR data interpretation detected the bauxite layer at different depths and of variable thickness. The interpretation of the GPR profiles show three distinct layers, namely sandstone, upper clay, and bauxite of variable thicknesses. Each zone has a different reflection pattern or radar facies, which aided in their differentiation. The calculated total volume of bauxite in the study area from the GPR survey and borehole data was 34,696 m3 and 34,101 m3, respectively. The minor difference in the calculated volumes between the two datasets was approximately 1%.


Ground-penetrating radar Az Zabirah Bauxite deposits Saudi Arabia Mapping Borehole 



The authors would like to thank King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Ma’aden Company for their scientific support and assistance during the field work. Appreciation is also extended to colleagues Khaled Almutairi, Abdulaziz Almutairi, Ramzi Almutairi, and Abdulsalam Alasmari (King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology) for their help and support.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasir A. Almutairi
    • 1
  • Hesham M. ElAraby
    • 2
    • 3
  • Habes A. Ghrefat
    • 2
    Email author
  • Abdulrahman M. Alotaibi
    • 1
  1. 1.King Abdulaziz City for Science and TechnologyRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.College of Science, Geology and Geophysics DepartmentKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Faculty of Science, Geophysics DepartmentCairo UniversityCairoEgypt

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