The Engineering Properties and The Effect of Geogrid on Peat in Sibu, Sarawak

syazie-nordzaima3Project Title:   The Engineering Properties and The Effect of Geogrid on Peat in Sibu, Sarawak

Research ID:  4/2015/06

Principal Researcher:   Syazie Nordzaima bt Ali Mohamad

Co-Researcher:  Azrul Zulwali Kifli

Project Start Date:  12/1/2015

Duration of Project:  24 months

Research Summary:   Peat is defined as highly organic soil with the heterogeneous mixture of partially decomposed plant remains, with some contents of sand, silt and clay under damp and anaerobic condition (Sa et al. 2015).  Peat is unconsolidated superficial deposits with high non-crystalline colloid (humus) content, constituting the subsurface of wetland systems.  They may also occur as strata beneath other superficial deposits (Huat et al. 2014).  Peat which is brownish-black in color is consisting of decayed organic and mineral substance.

Sibu is located at the confluence of Batang Rajang and Batang Igan.  Sibu and its surroundings are overlain with substantial formations of peat soil, almost unrivalled when compared to other parts of Malaysia.  The peat formations in some parts of Sibu are well over 10 meters in depth.  Land subsidence is a serious problem in Sibu with frequent refiling and repairing being carried out to reinstate structures, platforms and infrastructure (Vincent & Chok 2014).  The Sibu Airport road was constructed on deep peat land of about 2.5 km.  The road pavements at these locations are subjecting to severe settlement problem – both total as well as differential settlement.  This is causing unpleasant and unsafe driving of vehicles.  The road surface shows serious cracks.  It is therefore desirable for a research study on a stretch of road in Sibu.

Some field and laboratory studies will be conducted to find engineering properties of peat soil in most problematic peaty area in Sibu.  An in-situ study at the peat area will also be  conducted to determine and analyse the effect of the geogrid.  It is expected that the result will show the engineering properties of peat and the effect of the geogrid on peat in Sibu and will help in the infrastructure development on peat construction in Sibu.