Geotechnical assessment of ground conditions around a tilted building in Cairo, Egypt using geophysical approaches

Fathy Shaaban, Ahmed M. Ismail, Usama Massoud, Hany Mesbah, Ahmed Lethy, Abbas Mohamed Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flood plain of the Nile River has been a safe dwelling throughout history. Recently with a growing population and vast growing urbanization, some buildings have started to experience structural damages, which are not related to their construction design, but rather to the ground conditions around the buildings' foundations. Variations in properties of the soil supporting the buildings' foundations such as soil-bearing capacity, moisture content, and scouring may eventually lead to the failure of these buildings. This study is attempting to characterize the variations in the soil properties around the City Star shopping mall, in eastern Cairo, where a large building has tilted over the past few years. This tilting may lead to the collapse of the whole building if it continues at the same rate. An integrated geophysical investigation including multi-channel analysis of surface wave (MASW), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and 2-D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) was used around the affected building to help detect possible causes of deterioration. The GPR data showed a soil-filled layer overlaying a thick bottom layer of higher moisture content. The MASW data revealed a middle layer of relatively low shear wave velocity sandwiched between two relatively high shear wave velocity layers. The ERT data showed an upper low resistivity layer overlying a high resistivity layer. Integrating the interpretations of the three geophysical methods provides a combined model that reflects lateral and vertical variation in the soil properties. This variation becomes dramatic near the tilted corner of the building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4961-4972
Number of pages12
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • ISGS
  • Multi-channel analysis of surface wave
  • Geotechnical investigation
  • Egypt
  • Electrical resistivity tomography
  • Greater Cairo
  • Ground-penetrating radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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