Monitoring of Umm Qasr Harbour – Yard 5 Development | Iraq

Project summary

Service provided:  Instrumentation and Monitoring Services during Soil Improvement Works
Location:  Iraq
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Client:  Menard
Period of the service:  2019-2022
Duration of service:  3 years
Sixense solutions used: 

Images of the project

The context:


The Port of Umm Qasr is by far the largest seaport and the only deep-water port of Iraq. BMT Container Terminal Yard 5 is situated at the northern end of the port, and is being redeveloped.


Soil improvement is required in order to pre‐consolidate the soft clay subsoil before construction. Menard is appointed by the Employer as soil improvement specialist to propose a solution on a Design & Build basis. Pre fabricated Vertical Drains (PVD) and pre-loading where chosen as the most suitable technique.


Sixense solution & added value:


Sixense was contracted to carry out the instrumentation and automatic monitoring activities during the ground consolidation process as an alternative to regular survey activities, allowing Menard to minimise staff in a difficult country.


The I&M system was set to achieve the following:

  • Control/ensure the stability of the surcharge during its set-up
  • Confirm achievement of project criteria by corroborating the expected settlements design and confirm that the consolidation process took place, with minimal residual settlements after consolidation.


In order to do so:


  • Settlement Beacons have been installed every 2.500m after PVD installation. The design of the assembly is such that its top section remains above the surcharge, and is equipped with an optical prism, which position is acquired automatically by an Automated Total Station, allowing the automatic monitoring of the settlement of the top of the clay layer.
  • Extensometers have been installed every 10.000m in order to assess the settlements at depth of the clay layer. They are measured manually and the assemblies are being extended as the ground surcharge activities progress.
  • Piezometer Sensors were selected for the automatic monitoring of the pore-water pressure at depth, mitigating the slope stability failure risks, and their datalogger fitted to the nearest settlement beacon.

Project Key figures

150 Optical Prisms read by 3 ATS: settlement data in real-time
35 Borehole Extensometers, extended as the surcharge is applied
35 Datalogged fullygrouted Piezometers providing real-time data
28 HA of ground instrumented and monitored during ground improvement

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