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Twin-tunnelling-induced changes to clay stiffnesses

Divall, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-9212-5115, Goodey, R.J. & Stallebrass, S. E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3747-9524 (2017). Twin-tunnelling-induced changes to clay stiffnesses. Géotechnique, 67(10), pp. 906-913. doi: 10.1680/jgeot.sip17.P.151


Tunnels used for transportation in urban environments are often constructed in pairs. Projects in which tunnels are constructed sequentially and within close proximity are referred to as ‘twin tunnelling’. Case studies and recent research indicate that the prediction of settlements for such schemes cannot be determined using existing simple methods derived from consideration of a single tunnel. To establish the reasons for the observed variation in settlements, a series of centrifuge tests was undertaken on various twin-tunnel arrangements in overconsolidated clay. The tests consisted of preformed cavities from which a specific quantity of supporting fluid could be drained, with precision, creating a predetermined magnitude of tunnelling volume loss. Data were obtained for surface and subsurface displacements, changes in pore-water pressure near the tunnels and the support pressure within the tunnels. The systematic use of cavity contraction models was found to be an informative method of explaining the observations. Use of an elastic–perfectly plastic cavity contraction model coupled with observations from the experiments enabled the shear stiffness of the clay around the tunnel to be described. Further analysis demonstrated a reduction in shear stiffness of the soil prior to and during the second tunnel excavation, explaining the increase in volume loss observed in that event.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright ICE Publishing, 2017.
Subjects: T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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