Hydro-chemo-mechanical modelling of tunnels in sulfated rocks
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A modelling procedure to address the tunnel–anhydritic rock interaction is described in this paper. The model incorporates the basic physico-chemical phenomena involved in rock swelling, often observed during excavation and subsequent operation of tunnels. It includes (a) a provision for rock damage during tunnel excavation, (b) the precipitation of gypsum crystals in discontinuities and (c) a stress-dependent relationship between swelling strains and mass of gypsum precipitation. The model includes hydro-mechanical coupling and the transport of sulfate salts dissolved in the massif water. Rock damage is described by the development of a network of fractures that increases permeability and allows gypsum crystal growth. Field information, laboratory data and monitoring records available for Lilla tunnel, located in the province of Tarragona, Spain and excavated in Tertiary anhydritic claystone, were selected as a convenient benchmark case to test model capabilities. Predictions and measurements (swelling records of the unlined tunnel floor and swelling pressures against a structural invert) were found to agree reasonably well.
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CitationRamon, A., Alonso, E., Olivella, S. Hydro-chemo-mechanical modelling of tunnels in sulfated rocks. "Géotechnique", Novembre 2017, vol. 67, núm. 11, p. 968-982.