An evaluation of the geotechnical characteristics of Gahirat marble using empirical methods: A case study from the Chitral area, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, North Pakistan

Bukhari S. A. A., Basharat M., AKGÜN H., Sarfraz Y., Riaz M. T.

JOURNAL OF HIMALAYAN EARTH SCIENCES, vol.54, no.2, pp.28-39, 2021 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier
  • Page Numbers: pp.28-39
  • Keywords: Chitral, Gahirat marble, Geotechnical properties, uniaxial compressive strength, Brazilian tensile strength, Empirical correlation, North Pakistan, MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES, PHYSICOMECHANICAL PROPERTIES, PETROGRAPHIC FEATURES, LESSER HIMALAYA, DIMENSION STONE, POINT-LOAD, STRENGTH, GRANITE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The use of marble as a building or dimension stone is one of the most growing commodities throughout the world. Due to the rapid increase in urbanization, dimension stones are commonly used in building interiors as well as exteriors. Marble, being a metamorphic rock is very desirable to be utilized in structural as well as decorative purposes. The study presented herein evaluates the geotechnical characteristics of the Gahirat marble in the Chitral area, Pakistan. For this purpose, 40 representative samples of the Gahirat marble from ten different vicinities of the Chitral area were collected and tested to determine the correlation amongst the different geotechnical properties of the studied rock. The uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), Brazilian tensile strength (BTS), water absorption, specific gravity, point load strength (PLS), Schmidt rebound hammer, ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), and soundness, tests were performed to evaluate the strength of the Gahirat marble for its possible use as a dimension and building stone. An average of 12 measurements for each of the ten rock sample collection vicinities were performed. The statistical analysis shows that a fairly strong linear positive correlation (R2 = 0.80, 0.81, 0.84, 0.92) exists between UCS along with BTS, specific gravity, water absorption PLS and UPV. The maximum values obtained for the 12 measurements regarding the mechanical properties such as UCS, BTS, PLS and Schmidt hammer rebound number were 97.25 MPa, 11.34 MPa, 6.75 MPa and 51, respectively. The maximum values of the physical properties such as water absorption, soundness, specific gravity and UPV tests were calculated to be 0.08%, 0.38, 2.68 and 5.04 km/s, respectively. The results of the uniaxial compressive strength, Brazilian tensile strength, point load strength and Schmidt hammer rebound tests indicate that the Gahirat marble shows high resistance to crushing and bending effects while the specific gravity values indicate its ability to bear the impact of the degree of polishing and grinding. The water absorption and soundness test values indicated that the Gahirat marble is appropriate to be utilized for floor tiles and outdoor cladding due to its resistance against weathering and low rate of the water absorption.