KARSTIFICATION AND RELATED PROBLEMS, EXAMPLES FROM IRAQ

Abstract

Karstification is a common phenomenon in different parts of Iraq, where large areas are involved, causing severe damages to infrastructures and occasionally life losses. The main Karstified rocks are limestone and gypsum. The latter is restricted to the Fat`ha Formation, which covers considerable parts of Iraq, especially in the Al-Jazira vicinity. Whereas, the former is exposed in different formations that are exposed almost every where. Among the involved formations are Euphrates, Anah, Dammam, Ratgah, Pilaspi, Aqra – Bekhme, Qamchuqa… etc. Among Quaternary deposits, the gypcrete is another potential deposits that are highly karstified after being in contact, shortly, by water. The gypcrete also covers considerable parts in Iraq.Beside the economic lost caused due to karstification, some death causalities are also recorded. Moreover, in the Western Desert, karstification plays big role in miss leading the stratigraphic position of different horizons within different Jurassic and Cretaceous formations, making them in very complex situation, although they are in horizontal (not folded) position.