3D Ground Movements Due to Tunnel Face Collapse

Abdelaziz Ads, Magued Iskander, Ashraf K. Nazir

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Soil movements due to tunnel face collapse have catastrophic effects on both surface and underground structures and utilities. The aim of this study is to determine the extent of the zone of influence resulting from tunnel face movements, experimentally. Several models made of transparent soils were employed to visualize deformations leading to tunnel-face collapse. A soft transparent synthetic clay made of magnesium lithium phyllosilicate (MLPS), which is commercially known as Laponite RD was employed to simulate a soft marine clay. An embedded plane of seeded particles was used to track soil movements. Digital image correlation (DIC, aka particle image velocimetry, PIV) was employed to obtain deformations perpendicular and parallel to the tunnel face. These deformations were combined to obtain the 3D zone of influence and compute the resulting volumetric and shear strains. The effect of tunnel face displacement on surface and subsurface settlements are presented for two tunneling configurations. Settlements due to a range of face losses resulting from retraction of the tunnel face by 5% to 30% of the tunnel diameter, were determined, and correlated to the observed ground displacements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 316
StatePublished - 2020
EventGeo-Congress 2020: Engineering, Monitoring, and Management of Geotechnical Infrastructure - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Feb 25 2020Feb 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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