EXCAVATABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR THE EOCENE CARBONATE ROCKS AROUND AL-SALMAN DEPRESSION, SOUTH IRAQ

Abstract

Excavatability or rippability, also called diggability, is the ease of excavation to remove material from the rock mass. The excavation method is assessed using Discontinuity Spacing Index (If), the Point Load Index (Is) and the Geological Strength Index (GSI) of the intact rock. The data originate from seven sites, previously studied in detail in rock masses along the slopes around Al-Salman Depression. Those rock masses were assessed as strong strength, good quality and blocky to very blocky. According to the currently excavation assessments revealed that “Blasting” is not the only feasible method of excavating the studied rock types, as “Hard Ripping” using hydraulic machines, is possible option too.