Keywords: calcium bentonite, sand dune stabilisation, environmental engineering, wind speed, Saudi Arabia, sand dunes, sand movement, desert sediments, sand dune treatment
Different methods for stabilisation of sand dunes using calcium bentonite
Sand dunes movement in the Arabian arid area hinder land development, expansion of city limits, and diversely affects rural roads, farms, irrigation, and grazing. Early attempts to curb sand movement used agriculture schemes required continuous supply of water; chemical treatment poses environmental concerns. Studies were conducted for sand dune fixation using agricultural and chemical means, but no concrete results to continue using them economically and environmentally were found. This paper is the summary of a study of the various methods of dealing with treatment of sand dunes by non–active bentonite in Saudi Arabia. The treatment, not only for surface, but in all directions, was done. This is due to the strong cohesion property of bentonite with granules of sand grains. In addition, this was a very simple use of raw bentonite which is widespread in most desert sediments. It was found that the best treatment method was the mixing and compacting with powder bentonite, by which the degree of improvement was attained 80 times more than the value before treatment.