Assessment of Foundation Instability Using Integrated Geotechnical and Geophysical Techniques: A Case Study of Giza, Keana LGA, Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria

Ibrahim Idris Giza, Ogbonnaya Igwe


Engineering structures such as buildings, in Giza community (central Nigeria) have developed severe cracks, undergone differential settlement, and failed in some parts. These have been a disturbing situation to its inhabitants. Integrated geophysical, geotechnical, and hydrogeological techniques were employed to investigate the causes of this menace. Vertical Electric Sounding (VES) was used to delineate the subsurface geo-electric layers. Soil samples were analyzed for grain-size distribution, Atterberg Limit, moisture content, specific gravity, compaction, coefficient of permeability, and undrainedtriaxial test. Static water level measurements were carried out during wet and dry seasons to establish the zone of groundwater fluctuation. VES results revealed that foundations within the cracked zone are underlain by incompetent, low resistivity (2.77 – 24.8 Ωm) saturated clay (0.5-3.1m thick). The non-cracked zone is underlain by moderately competent, clayey sands (3.5-6.9m thick). Geotechnical results of the cracked zone revealed high plasticity (29-51%), high moisture content (10.11-12.02%,), and low permeability (4.26×10-5-5.36×10-7m/sec) which impedes drainage. Maximum dry density ranges from 1.76 – 1.88g/m3 with corresponding optimum moisture content of 10.11 – 12.02%. Cohesion contributes more to the shear strength than angle of internal friction in the cracked zone, compared to the non-cracked zone, which shear strength is controlled by both.  The groundwater fluctuation zone was found to be 1.1-6.2m and within the clay layer. The shallow zone of fluctuation saturates clays under foundation making it highly plastic. The soils experiences swelling and shrinking as water level rises and falls, which cause buildings to heave, crack, or settles differentially leading to failures.


Cracks; Foundations; Giza; Geotechnical; Active zone.

Full Text:



I.O. Agbede, and P. Smart. “Geotechnical Properties of Makurdi Shale and Effect on Foundation” Nigerian Journal of Technology. 26 (2): pp.63-73, 2007.

O.P. Aghamelu, and C.O.Okogbue. “Geotechnical Assessment of Road Failures in the Abakaliki Area, Southeastern Nigeria” International Journal of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 11 (2): pp.12 – 24, 2011.

O.J. Akintorinwa and F.A. Adeusi “Integration of Geophysical and Geotechnical investigation for a proposed lecture classroom complex at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, SW Nigeria” Journalof Applied Sciences 2 (3) : pp.241 – 254, 2009.

N.A. Al-shaye “Combined Effect of Clay Moisture content on Remolded Unsaturated Soil” Engineering Geology,. Amsterdam, 62; pp.319-342, 2001.

P.D. Ameh, O. Igwe, and B. Ukah “Evaluation of the Bearing Capacity Near Surface soils Using Integrated Methods: A Case Study of Otukpa, in Ogbadibo LGA, Benue State North Central Nigeria” Journal of GeologicalSoceityof India.90 (1): 93 – 101, 2017

K.R. Arora “Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering” 6thedn. Standard Publishers Distributors, Delhi. Pp.364-432, 2004.

K.R. Arora “Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering” 8thedn.Standard Publishers Distributors, Delhi. Pp. 69-356, 2008.

F.G. Bell “Engineering Geology” 2nd edn. Elsevier: London, UK.Pp. 207-248, 2007.

F.G Bell “Engineering Geology For Tomorrow’s Cities” International Association For Engineering Geology and The Environmental Internal Congress p. 245, 2009.

M.J. Benkhelil “Is Benue Trough a ridge? Bull. Centre Rech.Exploration Production Elf. Aquatanine 7: 315-321, 1983.

N.L. Binbol “A Climate of Nasarawa State. Report of Geographical Prospective on Nasarawa State” Department of Geography,Nasarawa State University. 2006.

F. Celik and H. Canakci “An Investigation of sand content on Geotechnical properties of fibrous peat” Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering 39 (10): PP. 6943-6948, 2014. https://doi/10.1007/s13369-014-1298-x

F.H. Chen, “Foundations on Expansive Soils” Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co. New York, 1975.

Y. Chen, W. Zhao, P. Jia, and J. Han “Proposed Analysis of Ground Settlement Caused by Excavation and Dewatering of A Deep Excavation in Sand Area”. Indian GeotechnicalJournal. pp. 1-11, 2017.

C. G. Chinnaswamy and D. N.G. Chew Chiat “Assessment of pile response due to deep excavation in close proximity—A case study based on DTL3 Tampines West Station.”Cogent Engineering, 2015.

T.V. Duong, Y.J. Cui,A.M. Tang, J-C. Dupla, J. Canou, N. Calon, and A. Robinet “Effects of water and fines contents on the resilient modulus of the interlayer soil of railway substructure.” Acta Geotechnical11 (1): pp. 51 – 59, 2015.

N.I. Eltaif and M.A. Gharaibeh “Impact of Alum on Crust Prevention and Aggregation of Calcareous soils.”Lab. Studies.Soil Use Manual. 24: pp. 424-426, 2008.

C. Emeh and O. Igwe “The combined effect of wood ash and lime on the engineering properties of expansive soils.” InternationalJournalof Geotechnical Engineering.10 (3): 246-256, 2016.

F.C. Emesiobi ‘Testing and Quality Control of Material in Civil and Highway Engineering”. Blue Print Publishers,Port Harcourt, 2000.

I.E. Ezeribe “The characterization of some Nigeria shales relative to their engineering uses; MSc Thesis, Universityof Nigeria, Nsukka, 1994.

S.I. Fadele, B. S. Jatau,andA.Umbugadu “Engineering Geophysical Investigations. Around UngwanDoka, Shia Area within the Basement Complex of Western Nigeria.”Journal of Environment and Earth Sciences. 2 (7), 2012.

J.O. Fatoba and M.O. Olorunfemi ”Subsurface Sequence Delineation and Saline Water Mapping of Lagos State.South Western Nigeria.” Global Journal of Geological Sciencespp. 111-123, 2004.

N.C. Henry, and O.Igwe “Undrained Saturated Expansive Clays: A Case Study of Awgu Shale Oji-AguAkpogu Southeastern Nigeria.” Journal of Geological Society of India 87: 222-226, 2016.

N.P. Iloeje “A New Geography of Nigeria”. New Revised Edition, Longmans Nig. Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos, 1981.

H. Jun-Jie, Q. Ya-guang, W. Wei, and W. Lei. “Strength Response Characteristics and Coupling Support of Deep Roadway in Soft Rock Masses” Cogent Engineering, 2017.

M.E. Kalinski “Soil Mechanic Lab Manual” 2ndedn. Wiley E-Text. pp. 7-23, 2011.

J.N. Kay “Use of Liquid Limit for Characterisation of Expansive Soil” Sites CE32 No.3, 1990.

M.D.A. Khan, J. X.Wang, and B. W. Patterson. “A study of the swell-shrink behavior ofexpansive Moreland clay” International journal of Geotechnical Engineering pp. 1-13, 2017.

L. Liu and X.Liu “Future Groundwater Extraction Scenarios Based on COMSOL Multiphysics for the Confined Aquifer at Linfen Basin, Shanxi Province, China.”Cogent Engineering, 2017.

R.I. Maduka, N.O. Ayogu, C.N. Ayogu and G.A. Gbakurun “Role of Smectite-rich Shales in Frequent Foundation Failures in Southeast Nigeria.” Journal of Earth System Science125 (6):1215–1233, 2016.

J. Manasseh and A.IOlufemI “Effect of lime on some geotechnical properties Igumaleshale.”Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering.(3): pp.1–12, 2008.

S.K. Mohanty, P.K. Pradhan and C.R. Mohanty ”Consolidation and Drainage Characteristics of Expansive Soil Stabilized with Fly Ash and Dolochar.”Geotechnical and Geological Engineering 34 (5): pp.1435–1451, 2016.

M. Mosallanezhad, and H. Moayedi “Comparison Analysis of Bearing Capacity Approaches for the Strip Foundation on Layered Soils.”Arabian Journal for Sciences and Engineering 42:3711-3722, 2017.

C.S. Nwajide “Cretaceous Sedimentation and Paleogeography of the Central Benue Trough” Vieweg and Sohn, Germany, 1990.

N.G. Obaje “Coal Petrography, Micrfofossils and Paleoenvironment of Crataceous Coal in the Middle Benue Trough of Nigeria.”Tuebingermikropaleotologische mitteilungen. 11:1-165, 1994.

M.E. Offodile “The Geology of Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria” Paleontological Institute of the University of Uppsala Special, 1976.

S.A. Ola “Geotechnical Properties of Sokoto clay Shales of Northern Nigeria. In Tropical Soil of Nigeria in Engineering Practices”pp. 131–144, 1983.

M.A. Olade “The Genesis of Lead-Zinc Deposit in Nigeria’s Benue rift: A reinterpretation.” Journal of Mining and Geology 13:20-27, 1976.

M.A. Oladunjoye A.J. Salami, A.P. Aizebeokhai, O.A.Sanuade, and S.I Kaka “Preliminary Geotechnical Characterization of a Site in South Western Nigeria Using Integrated Electrical and Seismic Methods.” Journal of Geological Society of India 9:209-215, 2017.

K.F. Oyedele and O.O. Bankole ” Subsurface Stratigraphic Mapping Using Geophysics and its Impacts in Urbanization in Arepo Area, Ogun State, Nigeria.” New York Science Journal5:31-45, 2009.

T.S. Rambabu, G.V.R. PrasadaRaju and S.V. Sivapullaiah “Solid Waste as Cushion Material to Prevent Swell Potential of Expansive Soils” Indian Geotechnical Journal, 2017.

A.S. Rao, B.R. Phanikumar and R.S. Sharma “Prediction of swelling Characteristics of Remoulded and Compacted Expansive Soils Using Free Swell Index.”Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology. Hydrogeological, Society of London 37: pp. 217-226, 2004.

R.A. Reyment “Aspects of Geology of Nigeria” Ibadan University Press, Nigeria p. 145, 1965.

J.P. Sahoo and P.K. Pradha “Effect of Lime Stabilized Soil Cushion on Strength Behaviour of Expansive Soil.”Geotechnicaland Geological Engineering 28. Pp. 889–897, 2010.

R.E. Sheriff “Encyclopedic Dictionary of Exploration Geophysics” Society of Exploratory Geophysicists, Tulsa. 1991.

P.V. Sivapullaiah “Surprising Soil Behavior: Is It Really.”Indian Geotechnical Journal 45: pp.1-24, 2015.

G.B. Sowers and G.E. Sower “Introductory Soil Mechanics and Foundations” Macmillan Book Publishing Company, London. p. 337, 1970.

W.H. Telford, L.P. Gilbert, and R.E. Sheriff “Applied geophysics. Cambridge University Press. London. p. 720, 1977.

K.K. Tripathi and P.V. Viswanadhan “Evaluation of The Permeability Behavior of Sand-Bentonite Mixtures Through Laboratory Tests.”Indian Geotechnical Journal 42: pp. 267-277, 2012.

E.R. Uduji, C.O. Okagbue and T. U.S. Onyeobi “Geotechnical Properties of Soils Derived from the Awgu and Mamu Formations in Awgu-Okigwe of Southeastern Nigeria and their Relations to Engineering Problems.” Journal of Mining and Engineering Geology. 30 (1):117-123, 1988

C.O. Una, O. Igwe, R. Maduka, A. Brooks, R.Ajodo, E.J. Adepehin, and E. Okwoli “Integrating Geotechnical and Geophysical techniques in assessing frequent building collapse in Akpugo, Nkanu West LGA, Enugu State Nigeria.”Arabian Journal of Geosciences.Pp. 1866-7511, 2015.

S.K. Vindula, R.V.P.Chavali, and P. H.P.Reddy “Role of fly ash in control of alkali induced swelling in kaolinitic soils: a micro-level investigation.”International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering pp.1-7, 2016.


  • There are currently no refbacks.




About ASRJETS | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

ASRJETS is published by (GSSRR).