Groundwater inflow assessment is essential for the design of tunnel drainage systems, as well as for assessment of the environmental impact of the associated drainage. Analytical and empirical methods used in current engineering practice do not adequately account for the effect of the jointed-rock-mass anisotropy and heterogeneity. The impact of geo-structural anisotropy of fractured rocks on tunnel inflows is addressed and the limitations of analytical solutions assuming isotropic hydraulic conductivity are discussed. In particular, the study develops an empirical correction to the analytical formula frequently used to predict groundwater tunnel inflow. In order to obtain this, a discrete network flow modelling study was carried out. Numerical simulation results provided a dataset useful for the calibration of some empirical coefficient to correct the well-known Goodman’s equation. This correction accounts for geostructural parameters of the rock masses such as joint orientation, aperture, spacing and persistence. The obtained empirical equation was then applied to a medium-depth open tunnel in Bergamo District, northern Italy. The results, compared with the monitoring data, showed that the traditional analytical equations give the highest overestimation where the hydraulic conductivity shows great anisotropy. On the other hand, the empirical relation allows a better estimation of the tunnel inflow.

An empirical equation for tunnel inflow assessment: application to sedimentary rock masses

GATTINONI, PAOLA;SCESI, LAURA TERESA GIUSEPPINA
2010-01-01

Abstract

Groundwater inflow assessment is essential for the design of tunnel drainage systems, as well as for assessment of the environmental impact of the associated drainage. Analytical and empirical methods used in current engineering practice do not adequately account for the effect of the jointed-rock-mass anisotropy and heterogeneity. The impact of geo-structural anisotropy of fractured rocks on tunnel inflows is addressed and the limitations of analytical solutions assuming isotropic hydraulic conductivity are discussed. In particular, the study develops an empirical correction to the analytical formula frequently used to predict groundwater tunnel inflow. In order to obtain this, a discrete network flow modelling study was carried out. Numerical simulation results provided a dataset useful for the calibration of some empirical coefficient to correct the well-known Goodman’s equation. This correction accounts for geostructural parameters of the rock masses such as joint orientation, aperture, spacing and persistence. The obtained empirical equation was then applied to a medium-depth open tunnel in Bergamo District, northern Italy. The results, compared with the monitoring data, showed that the traditional analytical equations give the highest overestimation where the hydraulic conductivity shows great anisotropy. On the other hand, the empirical relation allows a better estimation of the tunnel inflow.
2010
Fractured rocks; Groundwater flow; Numerical modelling; Tunnel inflow; Italy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/577088
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