Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 363–374 | Cite as

Karst Sinkholes Stability Assessment in Cheria Area, NE Algeria

  • Azizi Yacine
  • Menani Med. Ridha
  • Hemila Med Laid
  • Boumezbeur Abderahmane
Original paper


This research work deals with the problem of karst sinkhole collapse occurring in the last few years in Cheria area (NE Algeria). This newly revealed phenomenon is of a major constrain in land use planning and urbanization, it has become necessary to locate and assess the stability of these underground features before any planning operation. Several exploration methods for the localization of underground cavities have been considered. Geological survey, discontinuity analysis, resistivity survey [ground penetrating radar has not been used as most of the Mio-Plio-Quaternary filling deposit covering Eocene limestone contains clay layers which limits the applicability of the method (Roth et al. in Eng Geol 65:225–232, 2002)] and borehole drilling were undertaken in order to locate underground cavities and assess their depth, geometry, dimensions, etc. Laboratory testing and field work were also undertaken in order to determine both intact rock and rock mass properties. All the rock mechanics testing and measurement were undertaken according to the ISRM recommendations. It has been found that under imposed loading, the stability of the karst cavities depends on the geo-mechanical parameters (RMR, Rock Mass Rating; GSI, Geological Strength Index; E, Young modulus) of the host rock as well as the depth and dimensions of the gallery. It increases with RMR, GSI, E and depth and decreases as the cavity becomes wider. Furthermore, the calculation results show that a ratio (roof thickness to gallery width) of 0.3 and more indicate, a stable conditions. The results obtained in this work allow identifying and assessing the stability of underground karst cavities. The methodology followed in this paper can be taken as a road map in the establishment of a hazard map related to the studied phenomenon. This map will be a useful tool for the future urban extension planning in Cheria area.


Karst Rock Mass Rating (RMR) Sinkhole collapse Tebessa 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Azizi Yacine
    • 1
  • Menani Med. Ridha
    • 1
  • Hemila Med Laid
    • 2
  • Boumezbeur Abderahmane
    • 2
  1. 1.Hadj Lakhdar UniversityBatnaAlgeria
  2. 2.Chieckh Larbi Tebessi UniversityTebessaAlgeria

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