Earth Fissures in Wadi Najran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The formation of earth fissures due to groundwater depletion has been reported in many places in North America, Europe, and Asia. Najran Basin is in the southern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and agricultural activities and other groundwater uses have caused significant groundwater depletion there. The basin recently experienced a sudden appearance of numerous earth fissures. An interdisciplinary study consisting of an evaluation of land-use changes, and hydrological, hydrogeological, and geophysical investigations was conducted to determine the reason for the formation of the earth fissures. The hydrological analysis strongly revealed that the groundwater level is decreasing with time. Groundwater depletion would lead to the accumulation of subsurface stress, causing soil hydro-consolidation which creates the ideal condition for the formation of earth fissures. Electrical resistivity, data indicated that there are anomalies in the profiles, which are most probably due to the presence of subsurface topography, another key factor for the formation of the earth fissures.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Earth Fissures; KSA; Najran; Water Depletion; Electrical Resistivity; Fissure; Groundwater Resource; Hydrogeology; Land Use Change; Resource Depletion; Topography; Najran [Saudi Arabia]

Geographic Coverage

Saudi Arabia

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 Springer Netherlands, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2014