Support aspects of tunnels in fault zones: Aspekte des Ausbaus von Tunneln in Störungszonen

Wulf Schubert, Manfred Blümel, Robert Staudacher, Stefan Brunnegger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Special considerations are required for the support of tunnels in fault zones. On the one hand, standard support elements are not compatible with the imposed displacements. On the other hand, local shearing can cause damage to the lining already at rather small displacements magnitudes. Cracks in the lining frequently are observed, when the geometry of the tunnel changes, or at the intersection with cross passages. As strengthening of the lining in many cases cannot prevent damage, temporarily leaving an open gap in the primary lining. Implementing yielding elements into the lining is as well feasible, as economical increasingly replaces the traditional method of leaving open gaps. This results in a better utilization of the lining's capacity and a considerable reduction of displacements. As the lining with integrated yielding elements develops considerable thrust, a transfer of the loads via the construction joints is required. Thus, careful construction of those joints is essential. Another problem can be the bond between bolt, grout, and rock mass, as the bolts are installed, when the displacement rate is highest, and the strength of the grout still low. This paper deals only with phenomena caused by discontinuities and large displacements, and does not address other hazards, like flowing ground.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-352
Number of pages11
JournalGeomechanics and Tunnelling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • construction joints
  • Conventional tunnelling
  • rock bolt
  • squeezing rock
  • Support
  • yielding elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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