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Keywords:

  • Gotthard Base Tunnel;
  • deep tunnel;
  • crystalline rock;
  • settlements;
  • horizontal movements;
  • fracture impermeabilization

SUMMARY

Surface movements were measured in the Gotthard massif as the Gotthard Base Tunnel was excavated. These movements might damage concrete dams constructed on the surface valleys. The leading assumption of this work is that deformation is induced by the dissipation of pore pressures in the massif caused by tunnel drainage. Deformations induce both horizontal and vertical surface displacements. Horizontal displacements, may lead to valley closures if they are in opposite direction, which would induce negative effects on arch dams. An analytical solution is derived using the method of images and an approximated integration of deformations to calculate the movements and the flow rate collected in the tunnel. Numerical calculations were carried out in 2D (vertical cross section) and 3D to investigate the problem under different conditions and to study the effect of parameters. The 3D models permit to incorporate the presence of a vertical fracture perpendicular to the tunnel that increases the drainage and pressure drop as it is hit by the tunnel. It was also possible to simulate the impermeabilization works in the tunnel to reduce drainage and consequently, movements. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.