Military Geology and the Gulf War
ARMY TOPOGRAPHIC ENGINEERING CENTER ALEXANDRIA VA
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Engineering geologists and hydrogeologists assigned to the 416th Engineer Command ENCOM supported the planning and execution of construction and tactical operations during the Gulf War. Military geology applications included locating potential quarry sites for sources of construction aggregate and fill, evaluating terrain features such as sabkhahs to assess cross-country mobility, and developing water sources. Sources of construction aggregate were needed to support sustainment engineering requirements in building and maintaining roads, heliports, and aircraft parking aprons in Saudi Arabia. Technical advice and assistance were provided to host nation forces who supported the production and transportation of aggregate from the source to the stock pile. Terrain analysis contributed to the success of the ground war. Obsolete or inaccurate maps were updated with new satellite images and field reconnaissance. Areas with inadequate terrain data were investigated to document natural as well as man-made obstacles. Coastal sabkhahs were evaluated and tested to determine their effect on mobility. Extensive surficial samples were collected for detailed geologic analysis, and field-expedient methods to improve trafficability were recommended. Military hydrogeologists and engineers worked closely with the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture to design and site new water wells. Several water wells were drilled by military teams to support operations deep in the desert. Satellite images, aerial photographs, maps, existing reports, and field reconnaissance were utilized to evaluate geologic conditions, thorough knowledge of which greatly contributed to the success of the ground war.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
- Civil Engineering
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies