Characteristics of Carbonate Rocks and Environmental Conditions of Some Caves, Northern Iraq


  • Hiba A. Alobadi College of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq
  • Azealdeen S. Al-Jawadi College of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq
  • Abdul Sattar A. Al-Sanjari College of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq



Carbonate rocks, Weathering, Geotechnical properties, Discontinuities, Caves, Iraq


Six caves were studied in north Iraq, which is the Beeston and Shanidar in Erbil, Garston, Swaratuka, and Ain Ishky in Duhok Governorate, Al-Naqut in Nineveh Governorate. All these caves are located within geological formations of carbonate rocks, limestone, and dolostone. Geotechnical and geometrical measurements were made for these caves, and rocks were sampled from different areas inside and outside the caves. The slake durability of the rocks was measured and thin sections were made, in addition to measuring the percentage of insoluble residues and analyzing the mineral constituents of the collected samples by using X-ray diffraction. By reviewing the geotechnical characteristics and environmental conditions, the Beeston Cave was found to be the oldest of the caves studied because its size is greater than that of the other caves and its rocks have better geotechnical characteristics than the other caves, which means that the time required for it to form is longer. The Al-Naqut Cave was also found to be the newest among these six caves because, in addition to its small size, it has the lowest durability value after the Shanidar Cave and has the lowest value of compressive strength.





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