Study on the Anisotropic Displacement Pattern at a Conventional Tunnel Drive

Alexander Kluckner, Wulf Schubert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


A 1 km long excavated section of the Semmering Base Tunnel has been analysed. With a few exceptions, two distinct and continuous features of the system behaviour can be observed: (1) the displacements of the sidewalls are larger than of the crown and of the shoulder points; (2) the displacements of the right sidewall are larger than those of the left sidewall. As the rock mass in this section comprises different types of rock and the rock mass structure varies too, the anisotropic displacement pattern must have its origin not only in the geology but also in the excavation geometry and in the boundary conditions. To identify the main reasons for the anisotropic behaviour, construction details, primary boundary conditions and the rock mass are analysed (from preliminary investigations / design, and as met during construction). Factors which do not cause such anisotropic behaviour are excluded. Results from numerical simulations validate hypotheses introduced to explain the anisotropic displacements. Including the geological and geotechnical site observations in the study of the displacement pattern, the cause for anisotropic displacements and for any deviation from the normal behaviour could be found. The anisotropy origins from the orientation of the foliation and from the primary stress state with the major horizontal stress pointing either to the left or the right side of the tunnel. Deviations are mostly caused by geological inhomogeneities and structural features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics and International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future
Subtitle of host publicationFuture Initiative for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering – Collaboration between Young and Skilled Researchers/Engineers
Number of pages6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2019


  • Semmering Base Tunnel
  • Conventional Tunnelling
  • System Behaviour
  • Anisotropy
  • Numerical Simulations


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