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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 18, Number 3, June30 2019 , pages 235-245

Face stability analysis of rock tunnels under water table using Hoek-Brown failure criterion
T.Z. Li and X.L. Yang

    This paper presents a novel methodology for face stability assessment of rock tunnels under water table by combining the kinematical approach of limit analysis and numerical simulation. The tunnels considered in this paper are excavated in fractured rock masses characterized by the Hoek-Brown failure criterion. In terms of natural rock deposition, a more convincing case of depth-dependent mi, GSI, D and sigmac is taken into account by proposing the horizontally layered discretization technique, which enables us to generate the failure surface of tunnel face point by point. The vertical distance between any two adjacent points is fixed, which is beneficial to deal with stability problems involving depth-dependent rock parameters. The pore water pressure is numerically computed by means of 3D steady-state flow analyses. Accordingly, the pore water pressure for each discretized point on the failure surface is obtained by interpolation. The parametric analysis is performed to show the influence of depth-dependent parameters of mi, GSI, D, sigmac and the variation of water table elevation on tunnel face stability. Finally, several design charts for an undisturbed tunnel are presented for quick calculations of critical support pressures against face failure.
Key Words
    face stability; pore water pressure; numerical simulation; horizontally layered discretization technique; Hoek-Brown failure criterion
T.Z. Li and X.L. Yang: School of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, 410075, China

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