Investigating the Effect of Face Pressure on Ground Settlement in Tunneling with Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) Shield (Case Study: Qom Metro Line A)
In the mechanized boring method, the factors affecting ground surface settlement can be mainly divided into five categories: geometric, geomechanic, boring machines working, operating and management parameters. In urban tunnels bored mainly in shallow soil bed, face pressure can be one of the factors preventing ground settlement. The Line A tunnel in Qom metro project is bored with an EPB (Earth Balance Pressure) mechanized boring machine. The effect of face pressure on ground surface settlement was analyzed in the present study according to five sections of the tunnel. These five sections were selected in different kilometers of the tunnel where settlement gauges were installed and the results could be validated. To investigate the effect of face pressure on maximum ground surface settlement, four pressure levels of 100 kPa, 150 kPa, 200 kPa, and 400 kPa were taken into consideration. These were 1, 1.5, 2, and 4 times of the initial face pressure level, respectively. The ground surface settlement was assessed at four pressure levels using the finite element software, PLAXIS 3D TUNNEL. The results were validated using ground-level instrumentation (settlement gauges) on all sections. The validation showed that the modeling results are in good agreement with the results obtained from settlement gauges. Comparison of the results indicated that a 4-fold increase in the face pressure led to a maximum decrease of 4.45 mm in the maximum settlement. Therefore, an increase in the face pressure can reduce settlement, although quite minimally. It was also found that an over-increased face pressure (face pressure over 200kPa) not only did not reduce the maximum ground surface settlement but also may lead to passive failure or uplift of ground surface ahead of the shield.
Journal of Engineering Geology, Volume:12 Issue:5, 2018
107 - 134
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