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Swelling potential of clay-sulfate rocks in tunneling in complex geological settings and impact of hydraulic measures assessed by 3D groundwater modeling

Butscher, Christoph and Scheidler, Stefan and Farhadian, Hadi and Dresmann, Horst and Huggenberger, Peter. (2017) Swelling potential of clay-sulfate rocks in tunneling in complex geological settings and impact of hydraulic measures assessed by 3D groundwater modeling. Engineering Geology, 221. pp. 143-153.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/70930/

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Abstract

Swelling of clay-sulfate rocks is a feared problem in tunneling in such rock, causing heave of the tunnel invert and leading to swelling pressures that seriously damage the tunnel lining. Prediction of the swelling potential of rocks in different tunnel sections and tools to evaluate measures that aim at reducing the swelling risk would be a major aid for designers of tunneling projects and rehabilitation works in order to respond adequately to the swelling problem. The study presents a hydrogeological approach to assess the swelling potential of clay-sulfate rocks in tunneling, using the Belchen tunnel in Switzerland as a case study. It shows that this approach can be applied to complex geological settings using structurally consistent 3D numerical models to simulate groundwater flow influenced by tunneling. The models are in particular used to evaluate hydraulic measures that aim at preventing or minimizing water inflow into clay-sulfate rocks after tunneling. Analyzed hydraulic measures include pumping shafts connected to the tunnel drainage, sealing structures applied to the rock zone around the tunnel damaged by the excavation process (excavation damaged zone), as well as groundwater level drawdown in aquifers crossing the tunnel. A sensitivity study addresses model uncertainties and evaluates the impact of model parameters on the swelling potential. Promising measures include the installation of pumping shafts in tunnel sections of clay-sulfate rocks at the border to aquifers and permeable fault zones. The study shows that monitoring of hydraulic heads as well as of groundwater volumes drained by the tunnel would increase the predictive capability of the models. Presented results are site specific. However, the approach to assess the swelling potential of clay-sulfate rocks in tunneling, and to assess hydraulic measures to respond to the swelling problem, can be transferred to other tunneling projects. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Applied Geology (Huggenberger)
UniBasel Contributors:Scheidler, Stefan
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0013-7952
e-ISSN:1872-6917
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:12 Apr 2020 13:17
Deposited On:12 Apr 2020 13:17

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