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The influence of weakness zones on the tunnel stability based on investigations in Bodøtunnelen
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Svaghetszoners påverkan på tunnelstabilitet baserat på undersökningar i Bodötunneln (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

When planning for a tunnel, the ground conditions in which the tunnel is going to be excavated through will be investigated to different extent. Lack of relevant pre-investigation data or misinterpretations of the available data can cause both economical and/or unexpected stability problems.

Weakness zones that are expected to cross the tunnel could be investigated thoroughly with a variety of methods. Refraction seismicity survey and 2D resistivity survey are two geophysical methods that are common in Norway for obtaining information about the rock quality in weakness zones. In this work, a twin tunnel under construction in Bodø (northern Norway) called the Bodøtunnel is studied. The predictions based on the pre-investigation for crossing of some expected weakness zones are compared to the actual conditions encountered during tunneling. Tunneling observations (Geological mapping and photos), rock samples and measurement while drilling (MWD) were used to describe the weakness zones that were encountered during tunneling.

Rock samples were collected from two weakness zones and the general rock mass. These samples were tested in a point bearing machine for determination of their uniaxial compressive strength (UCS). These results indicated that the rock samples gathered from the weakness zones had significantly lower UCS than the samples from the rock mass. This was exceedingly clear for the samples of fault rock gathered in connection with a shear zone. The results from this work demonstrate that refraction seismicity had a high success rate for locating weakness zones, with the exception for the crossed narrow zones that were interpreted lacking a shear component. Empirical formulas relating Q-value and UCS with the seismic wave speed were used for calculating these factors for some interesting locations. The empirically calculated UCS was similar to the obtained UCS from the point bearing tests, while the empirically calculated Q-value showed large deviations from the mapped Q-value.

The resistivity measurements had a low success rate so far in this project; the reason for this could be disturbances in the ground and the location of the resistivity profiles, which had to adapted to the nearby railroad. It should be noted that only one full resistivity profile has been crossed and the rest of the profiles are expected to be more accurate. Based on the results from the crossed profile(s), the suitability of resistivity survey 2D in urban areas can be brought to question. This work also stumbled upon problems regarding the definition of weakness zones. Shear/fault zones are one of the more common type of weakness zones encountered in tunneling. These kind of zones often consists of different parts. Depending on which parts are regarded as a weakness zone by the responsible engineers, the Q-value might differ due to the SRF.

Different scenarios were also evaluated with numerical modeling for the expected remaining major weakness zones. This analysis highlights the importance of differentiation between more fractured zones and zones containing fault rock, such as breccia. The width of the zone had a major impact on the stability while the dip for wide zones had a minor impact on the stability, as long the zones dip is not so small that both tunnels are intersected at the same time. The rock mechanical parameter of the weakness zones that had the most impact on the overall stability was the cohesion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 136 p.
Master's thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 0349-6023
Keyword [en]
Rock mechanics, Numerical modeling
National Category
Geology Geophysics Geotechnical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59939OAI: diva2:1040691
External cooperation
Statens vegvesen
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering, master's level
2016-06-03, Luleå, 16:05 (English)
Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-10-25 Last updated: 2016-11-15Bibliographically approved

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