Shallow Seismic Refraction Tomography and MASW Survey for Investigating the Fractures Along Qena-Safaga Road, South of Egypt

  • Ahmed M. Abdel GowadEmail author
  • Michele Punzo
  • Vincenzo Di Fiore
  • Daniela Tarallo
  • Assem El-Haddad
  • Abdel Hady Al-Akraby
Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


Qena-Safaga road, which is one of the vital transportation lines in south of Egypt, is affected by a set of recent NE-SW to ENE-WSW vertical tensile and en echelon fractures. These fractures are distributed for about 12 km along both sides of the road and constitute a major threat to the infrastructure and environment. Some studies suggested the tectonic origin of these fractures while others suggested that they were formed due to geotechnical problems in the shallow subsurface soil. In order to study the nature and distribution of these fractures in the subsurface, low cost seismic surveys were conducted at the area of KM 22 of Qena-Safaga road. Eleven shallow seismic refraction lines as well as three MASW lines were acquired. The seismic refraction data were analyzed using tomographic methods to produce 2D velocity-depth models. To estimate the near surface seismic properties such as Vp/Vs and Poisson’s ratio that are important for the geologic interpretation of the data, MASW data where analyzed to obtain 1D shear wave velocity models. 3D images including 3D volume, fence diagram and depth slices were also produced to study the vertical and lateral variation of the P-wave velocity. In the resulted 2D tomographic models, three seismic units were deduced. The first unit represents the thin weathered surface layer having P-wave velocities of 300–700 m/s. The second unit has P-wave velocities of 700–1600 m/s and S-wave velocities of 281–926 m/s. It may represent the marl unit of Pliocene Durri Formation. Its thickness ranges from 11.8 m to 30 m. The bedrock was deduced to be at depths from 13 to 40 m and is characterized by velocities greater than 1600 m/s. The fractures were traced down to the bedrock along the seismic sections. The variable thickness of the marl unit as well as the variable depths of the bedrock were deduced to be resulting from the effect of subsurface.



The authors would like to thank Dr. Ahmed M. Ibrahim Ahmed, Assistant lecturer in Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt for sharing valuable information and results of his ongoing geological and geotechnical study on the fractured zone of Qena-Safaga road. Also, we would like to thank Dr. J. Wasowski and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed M. Abdel Gowad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michele Punzo
    • 2
  • Vincenzo Di Fiore
    • 2
  • Daniela Tarallo
    • 2
  • Assem El-Haddad
    • 3
  • Abdel Hady Al-Akraby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceSouth Valley UniversityQenaEgypt
  2. 2.Institute of Coastal Marine Environment, IAMC-CNRNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceAssuit UniversityAssuitEgypt

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