Estimating Tunnel Strain in the Weak and Schistose Rock Mass Influenced by Stress Anisotropy: An Evaluation Based on Three Tunnel Cases from Nepal
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. 2018, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-018-1448-7
Total plastic deformation in tunnels passing through weak and schistose rock mass consists of both time-independent and time-dependent deformations. The extent of this total deformation is heavily influenced by the rock mass deformability properties and in situ stress condition prevailing in the area. If in situ stress is not isotropic, the deformation magnitude is not only different along the longitudinal alignment but also along the periphery of the tunnel wall. This manuscript first evaluates the long-term plastic deformation records of three tunnel projects from the Nepal Himalaya and identifies interlink between the time-independent and time-dependent deformations using the convergence law proposed by Sulem et al. (Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech 24(3):145–154, 1987a, Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech 24(3):155–164, 1987b). Secondly, the manuscript attempts to establish a correlation between plastic deformations (tunnel strain) and rock mass deformable properties, support pressure and in situ stress conditions. Finally, patterns of time-independent and time-dependent plastic deformations are also evaluated and discussed. The long-term plastic deformation records of 24 tunnel sections representing four different rock types of three different headrace tunnel cases from Nepal Himalaya are extensively used in this endeavor. The authors believe that the proposed findings will be a step further in analysis of plastic deformations in tunnels passing through weak and schistose rock mass and along the anisotropic stress conditions.