3D Modelling of a Tunnel Re-excavation in Soft Ground

M. Hilar


The construction of the shallow tunnel at Brezno started using the Pre-Vault Method. The tunnel excavation, in complicated geological conditions, led to many difficulties which finally resulted in a collapse, when a significant part of the temporary tunnel lining collapsed. Various options for re-excavating the tunnel were evaluated prior to further construction. Finally a decision was made to separate the collapsed area into sections 9 m in length using 16 m-wide, transversally oriented pile walls, to improve the stability of the collapsed ground. The walls were constructed from the surface prior to excavation. It was also decided to re-excavate a collapsed area using the Sprayed Concrete Lining (SCL) method. Due to problematic soft ground conditions, which had been made even worse by the collapse, some additional support measures had to be considered prior to re-excavation (ground improvement, micropile umbrellas embedded into the pile walls, etc.)This paper describes numerical modelling of the tunnel re-excavation through the collapsed area. Initial calculations of the tunnel re-excavation were made using a 2D finite element method. Subsequently, further calculations to evaluate the rock mass behaviour in the collapsed area were provided in 3D. The 2D calculations were used to provide sensitivity studies, while 3D modelling was mainly used for evaluating the tunnel face stability (impact of the pile walls, impact of ground improvement) together with other factors (length of advances, moment of the temporary invert closure, etc.) The results of the modelling were compared with the monitoring results.The paper also briefly describes the construction experience (technical problems, performance of various support measures, etc.) The excavation and the primary lining construction were completed in 2006, and the tunnel was opened for traffic in April 2007.


tunnel; clay; soft ground tunnelling; sprayed concrete; New Austrian Tunnelling Method; NATM; Sprayed Concrete Lining; SCL; numerical modelling

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague