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30.06.2020 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 10/2020

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 10/2020

A 3D synthetic rock mass numerical method for characterizations of rock mass and excavation damage zone near tunnels

Zeitschrift:
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment > Ausgabe 10/2020
Autoren:
Yabing Zhang, Xinrui Liu, Tianhong Yang, Peng Jia, Xin Liu, Fengyu Ren

Abstract

In practice, a damage zone is generally formed after tunnel excavation in jointed rock mass. This damage zone is closely related to rock mass properties and requires careful examination in order for cost effective supporting designs. In this research, a synthetic rock mass (SRM) numerical method is applied for characterizations of the jointed rock mass and excavation damage zone (EDZ) near underground tunnels in 3D. The SRM model consists of bonded particles and simulates deformation and crack propagation of the rock mass through interactions between these particles. The effects of joint stiffness and distribution on the rock mass properties are systematically examined by comparing the numerical data with an empirical geological strength index (GSI) system and an associated Hoek-Brown strength criterion. The numerical results suggest that rock mass properties are comparable to the empirical GSI/Hoek-Brown system only when inclined joints are simulated in the rock mass subjected to axial loading. The rock mass is strengthened and the empirical GSI/Hoek-Brown characterization becomes inappropriate when the joints are less favorable to shear sliding. The SRM method is then applied for characterizations of tunnel EDZ. It appears that the depth and location of the EDZ are a function of the tunnel orientation, joints, and in situ stresses. The EDZ depth is expected to be higher when inclined joints are simulated. The EDZ area is reduced when the joints in the rock mass are horizontally and vertically distributed.

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