Effect of Geometric Parameters and Construction Sequence on Ground Settlement of Offset Arrangement Twin Tunnels

Md Shariful Islam, Magued Iskander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A parametric study that examines the ground surface settlement due to the excavation of shallow offset arrangement twin tunnels is presented. Offset arrangement tunnels are those that run parallel to each other, but at different elevations. The study focuses on the influence of both the construction sequence and various geometric parameters on the induced soil settlement. A series of three-dimensional finite element analyses was carried out to investigate the settlement behavior and interactions between offset arrangement twin tunnels excavated in clay using a simplified mechanized excavation method. Analyses were carried out for three cover-to-diameter (C/D) ratios, three possible construction sequences, five angular relative positions, and five angular spacings. In addition, settlement data were also investigated by varying horizontal and vertical spacings while keeping the angular spacing constant. The total settlement of the excavated twin tunnels and the settlement induced solely by the new second tunnel are both presented, and special attention was paid to identifying the dominant geometric parameters. The observed data trends from this study are generally consistent with the limited data available in the literature. This study confirmed a few perceived behaviors. First, angular relative position better describes the settlement behavior in comparison to angular spacing. Second, the effect of the vertical distance is noticeably more significant than that of the horizontal distance between the two tunnels. Third, excavation of the lower tunnel at first induces higher total ground settlement than when the upper tunnel is excavated first or when both tunnels are excavated concurrently. Fourth, settlement due to the construction of the newer tunnel decreases with the increase in the cover depth. In addition, two design charts have been proposed to calculate the settlement induced from a new second tunnel excavation and the eccentricity of the maximum total settlement relative to the center of the new tunnel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Angular relative position
  • Angular spacing
  • Construction sequence
  • Cover-to-diameter ratio
  • Settlement
  • Three-dimensional numerical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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