Evaporitic rock durability induced by groundwater cause several construction challenges, but representative experimental studies to evaluate such conditions are still missing. Therefore, this study intended to provide better and more realistic degradability features of evaporites with groundwater besides a comparison with distilled water as slaking fluids. Forty-eight evaporitic rock blocks were collected from Abu Dhabi area, United Arab Emirates. 96 slake durability index (SDI) tests were performed, 48 with each of the slaking fluids; groundwater and distilled water, and their textural, mineralogical, and geochemical attributes were also examined before and after the SDI tests. In comparison to mineralogical and textural modifications, slaking fluid had a greater impact on the chemical composition of evaporitic rock. The study shows that the degradability of evaporites with groundwater and distilled water indicates a wide range from very low to high. The mean weight loss values after four cycles with groundwater and distilled water vary from 11 to 77 and from 4 to 81 wt.%, respectively. Consequently, slaking with groundwater illustrates a wide range compared to the slaking with distilled water. This could be due to quick interactions between groundwater and evaporites and fast hydration-dehydration process than distilled water due to the chemical composition of the groundwater. It is recommended to investigate the attributes of evaporitic rocks as well as groundwater geochemistry for safe, cost-effective, and sustainable structures.
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