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Time-based two dimensional modelling of NATM

J.H. Shin and D.M. Potts

Abstract: A two dimensional model is commonly employed in practice for the analysis of tunnelling. Such analyses
are computationally cheap and are useful for assessing the sensitivity of the problem to the construction method, study-
ing the influence of varying soil conditions, and (or) finding appropriate locations for placing measuring instruments.
However, simulating the three dimensional nature of tunnelling in two dimensions requires certain simplifications, in-
cluding the use of empirical parameters to represent the construction sequence. In many cases the choice of parameter
values are arbitrary and often not fully explained. In addition, the modelling methods are often only applicable for un-
drained or fully drained soil conditions where no time-dependent behaviour is involved during tunnel construction. In
this paper an alternative two dimensional approach termed the “time-based modelling method” is proposed that can
simulate both the three dimensional effects at the tunnel heading and the time-dependent behaviour during construction.
It is proposed that the new approach is appropriate for the analysis of tunnelling in a relatively permeable soil and, as
an example, the method is applied to the analysis of a new Austrian tunnelling method (NATM) tunnelling problem in
decomposed granite soil. The results are compared with field data and excellent agreement is obtained.

Key words: numerical modelling, time-dependent behaviour, NATM tunnelling, decomposed granite soil.

Résumé : Un modèle bidimensionnel est communément utilisé en pratique pour analyser le percement de tunnel. De
telles analyses coûtent peu cher de calcul et sont utiles pour évaluer la sensibilité du problème à la méthode de cons-
truction, permettant d’étudier l’influence des conditions variables du sol et/ou de trouver les localisations appropriées
pour la mise en place des instruments de mesure. Cependant, la simulation à deux dimensions de la nature tridimen-
sionnelle du percement d’un tunnel requiert certaines simplifications, comprenant l’utilisation de paramètres pour repré-
senter la séquence de la construction. Dans plusieurs cas, les valeurs des paramètres choisis sont arbitraires et souvent
pas pleinement expliquées. De plus, les méthodes de modélisation sont souvent applicables seulement pour les condi-
tions de sol non drainées ou complètement drainées, là où il n’y a pas de comportement dépendant du temps
d’impliqué durant le percement du tunnel. Dans cet article, on propose une approche alternative bidimensionnelle ap-
pelée « méthode de modélisation fonction du temps » qui peut simuler tant les effets tridimensionnels au front
d’avancement du tunnel que le comportement fonction du temps durant la construction. On considère que la nouvelle
approche convient à l’analyse du percement de tunnel dans un sol relativement perméable, et comme exemple, la mé-
thode est appliquée à l’analyse du problème de percement du tunnel du NATM dans le sol de granite décomposé. Les
résultats sont comparés avec les données de chantier, et une excellente concordance est obtenue.

Mots clés : modélisation numérique, comportement fonction du temps, percement du tunnel du NATM, granite décomposé.

[Traduit par la Rédaction] Shin and Potts 724

Introduction numerical modelling, the excavation process is simulated by

a sequential release of the out-of-balance forces along the
A two dimensional (2D) plane strain model is commonly excavation boundary, due to the removal of soil from within
employed in practice for the analysis of tunnelling. Such the tunnel. The timing of the installation of a lining is mod-
analyses are useful for assessing the sensitivity of the con- elled by using empirical parameters, which account for the
struction method, studying the influence of varying soil con- construction sequence. There are several approaches to mod-
ditions, and (or) finding appropriate locations for placing elling 3D effects in two dimensions. These methods can be
measuring instruments. broadly categorized in terms of the factors controlling the
Simulating the three dimensional (3D) nature of tunnel- 3D effect, namely: the stress control method (percentage un-
ling in two dimensions requires certain simplifications. In loading factor, Panet and Guenot 1982); the stiffness control

Received 13 March 2001. Accepted 9 November 2001. Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cgj.nrc.ca on
22 May 2002.
J.H. Shin1 and D.M. Potts.2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and
Medicine, Imperial College Road, London SW7 2BU, England.
Present address: Seoul Metropolitan Government of Korea, GIS Division, Information Planning Bureau, 37 Seosomoon-dong
Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Corresponding author (e-mail: d.potts@ic.ac.uk).

Can. Geotech. J. 39: 710–724 (2002) DOI: 10.1139/T02-009 © 2002 NRC Canada

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Shin and Potts 711

method (stiffness reduction factor, Swoboda 1979); and the Fig. 1. Time-dependent behaviour during tunnelling.
displacement control methods (volume loss, Potts and
Addenbrooke 1997; gap parameter, Rowe and Kack 1983).
Generally, the results from these 2D analyses are dependent
on empirical parameters. However, as exact rules for the se-
lection of the empirical parameters do not exist, experience
from field measurements and an understanding of the nu-
merical modelling methods are needed to estimate them.
Although these approaches are frequently used in practice,
they are only applicable for situations where the soil behaves
either undrained or fully drained. In cases where time-
dependent behaviour is involved, the situation becomes more
complicated and cannot be simply modelled in two dimen-
sions using the above approaches, as the empirical parame-
ters no longer have constant values. Thus, involvement of
time-dependent behaviour during construction requires addi-
tional numerical modelling considerations.
To consider time-dependent effects properly, a 3D coupled
consolidation analysis is required. However, such analyses
are, at present, difficult to perform and computationally ex-
pensive. The 2D modelling methods mentioned above are
not applicable for modelling time-dependent problems with-
out modification, as it is difficult to define the empirical pa-
rameters when time-dependent effects are significant during
construction. It is, therefore, appropriate to devise an alter-
native 2D modelling concept to account for the 3D effects at
the tunnel heading and the time-dependent behaviour during
tunnel construction.
In this paper, such a concept is proposed for the analysis
of new Austrian tunnelling method (NATM) tunnels con-
structed in relatively permeable soils. In principle, the
method is applicable to tunnels constructed in all types of
soil, from those that behave undrained during construction to
those that behave fully drained. It could also be extended to
consider shield driven tunnels, however, such tunnels are be-
yond the scope of this paper.
few papers (e.g., Samarasekera and Einsenstein 1992). How-
Time-based approach for the modelling of ever, analyses to investigate the combined effects of pore-
tunnelling water pressure change and the behaviour of young shotcrete
have rarely been made. This paper considers only the time-
In NATM tunnelling, there are several sources of time-
dependent behaviour arising due to the dissipation of excess
dependent behaviour. In addition to the effects of time-
pore-water pressures, the stiffness of the shotcrete lining,
related changes in pore-water pressures, creep behaviour,
and the tunnel advance rate. These time-dependent processes
and construction characteristics are also important. The
are modelled directly by using the coupled finite element
time-dependent material properties of a sprayed concrete lin-
procedure (pore pressure dissipation), by including the time-
ing, such as the creep of the young concrete and its harden-
dependent behaviour of material properties (stiffness of the
ing with time, may affect the resulting time-dependent
lining), and by a suitable excavation process (advance rate).
behaviour. As a sprayed concrete lining gains most of its
The effect of time-dependent behaviour can be examined
strength in the first few days, time-dependent properties in-
by considering two simple limiting cases of advance rate, as
fluence only short-term behaviour. The practice of NATM
shown in Fig. 1. In one case, it is assumed that construction
tunnelling has also highlighted the significance of the tunnel
occurs so rapidly that no time-dependent behaviour occurs,
advance rate (Fuente et al. 1998), where the general trend is
and in the other, construction is so slow that significant
that the faster the advance rate, the larger the reduction in
changes in pore-water pressure occur during construction.
maximum settlement (short term).
As shown in Fig. 1a, the tunnel convergence, C(x, t), where
Time-dependent behaviour at the tunnel heading is clearly x is the distance from the tunnel face and t is time, is larger
a 3D problem. Early studies using a 2D modelling method for any value of x with the slower advance rate than with the
assumed that time dependency due to tunnelling results en- higher advance rate. The difference is attributable to time-
tirely from the viscous properties of the soil (Hanafy and dependent behaviour. In general, it is therefore convenient to
Emery 1982 and Cividini et al. 1991). Until now, time- express the time-dependent tunnel convergence as
dependent behaviour, which relies on pore-water pressure
generation and dissipation, has been analyzed only in a very [1] C(x, t) = Cf(x) + Ct(t)

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712 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

Fig. 2. Expression of tunnelling sequence in terms of time.

where Cf(x) represents the convergence if the tunnel is con- as a tunnel progresses, this unloading process can be ex-
structed quickly with no time effects and Ct(t) is the addi- pressed as a function of time (Sakurai 1978). In this paper, it
tional convergence due to time effects. If the tunnel advance is assumed that the unloading is progressive and similar to
rate, Ar, is known, then the distance from the tunnel face can the time-displacement behaviour during construction. While
be expressed as a function of time (x = Art) and conse- the convergence or radial deformation at the excavation
quently, so can the total convergence (C(x, t) = C(t)). As the boundary is the most appropriate measure of displacement to
radial stress in the soil immediately adjacent to the tunnel examine in this respect, such data is scarce due to the diffi-
decreases as the tunnel convergence increases, and as the lat- culty involved in measuring it. Consequently surface or
ter can now be expressed in terms of time, then the charac- subsurface settlements are considered instead. Generally,
teristic curve can also be plotted in terms of time as shown field measurements (Nyren 1998) have revealed that short-
in Fig. 1b. Consequently, use can be made of the conver- term time-settlement curves are similar to the longitudinal
gence–confinement concept (Panet and Guenot 1982), based settlement profiles, which can be represented by an error
not on displacement, but on time as shown in Fig. 1b. To im- function (cumulative probability function). Based on these
plement this time-based confinement concept in a 2D analy- field observations, an error function is considered here to
sis, it is necessary to define the whole tunnelling process in represent the time-dependent unloading due to tunnel exca-
terms of time, including the unloading due to excavation, the vation. If the time span of tunnel construction is T, and the
lining installation process, and the time-dependent material total out-of-balance stress to be unloaded is divided into N
properties. equal increments, then an error function type of unloading
procedure can be expressed using the following step-wise
Expression of excavation unloading in terms of time form:
In numerical modelling, the excavation process is com-
monly simulated by a sequential release of the out-of- n{σ ο}  2 tn − t 2 
π ∫0
balance forces on the excavation boundary due to the re- [2] {σ(t n )} = 1 + e dt 
moval of soil from within the tunnel. It is often assumed that 2N  

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Shin and Potts 713

where n is the nth increment and tn is the time required to Fig. 3. Determination of model parameters.
reach the nth increment, {σ(tn)} is the time-dependent out-
of-balance stress on the excavation boundary at time tn, and
{σo} is the initial total out-of-balance stress on the tunnel ex-
cavation boundary.
Equation [2] fits the range –(T/2) < t < (T/2) by assuming
that *σ(–T/2)* = 0 and *σ(T/2)* = *σo*. The time range of
the curve is modified to 0 < t < T and shown in Fig. 2a. As
eq. [2] indicates full unloading at an infinite time, truncation
of t was made such that at t = T, σ(T)/σo = 0.1%. In eq. [2],
it is necessary to define T; the time required to release all of
the out-of-balance forces due to excavation.

Expression of lining installation

To express the whole tunnelling process in terms of time,
it is also necessary to represent the lining installation in the
context of time. This can be achieved by defining a specific
time, t*, which indicates the time to installation of the lin-
ing. In terms of T, t* can be expressed as
[3] t* = αT
where α is the time-based confinement factor.

Expression of time-dependent lining stiffness

In a NATM tunnel, once a sprayed concrete lining is
placed, it hardens with time. This behaviour has often been
modelled using a time-dependent stress–strain function
(Vollstedt and Duddeck 1978). However, the effect can also
be modelled using a laboratory formulae for the stiffness– accurate simulation of the rapid increase in shotcrete
time relationship (Soliman et al. 1994). An empirical for- stiffness that occurs just after installation. The time-based
mula proposed by Weber (1994) is employed here and it is approach also requires the analysis to include coupled con-
of the following form: solidation.
 c 
Determination of modelling parameters
E(t) = aE28e t
0.6 
[4] The two parameters, T and α, must be defined for time-
based 2D modelling. These are essentially empirical parame-
where E(t) is the time-dependent elastic Young’s modulus of ters. Ideally T and α can be estimated from field measure-
the concrete, E28 is the elastic Young’s modulus of the con- ments of surface settlement with time from a similar site to
crete after 28 days, a and c are constants depending on the that under consideration, as shown in Fig. 3a. The parameter
type of cement and water content, and t is time. T is associated with the tunnel advance rate. If the influenc-
ing distance, L (see Fig. 3b) in the direction of the tunnel
Proposed modelling method axis at the tunnel heading can be expressed in terms of the
The whole tunnelling procedure described in terms of tunnel depth, then T can be determined by using the tunnel
time is summarized in Fig. 2. The approach assumes that advance rate as shown in Fig. 3b, which can be obtained
simulation of tunnel excavation takes place over a finite from the construction plan, as
number of solution increments each of which is assigned a
time step. This approach requires two parameters: T and α. η Z0
[5] T =
The physical meaning of T is the time period over which the Ar
3D effects due to tunnel excavation take place. The lining in-
stallation starts at time t* (= αT) and then the lining stiffness where Ar is the advance rate, Z0 is the tunnel depth (i.e., the
increases exponentially with time, according to eq. [4]. Over distance from the ground surface to the tunnel axis level),
each time step (increment) the shotcrete stiffness is assumed and η is an empirical factor. If the rate is slow, the influenc-
to be the average of the values at the beginning of the step ing time span will be longer than if it is fast. The influencing
and the end of the step, these latter values being evaluated distance can be obtained from field data. For example, from
from eq. [4]. It should be noted that the use of the error the work of O’Reilly and New (1982), Hurrell and Attewell
function in eq. [2] gives smaller time steps for equal-sized (1984), and Rankin (1988), it can be shown that field data
load increments in the middle of the time range, T, as op- suggest the influencing distance is approximately 0.9–1.8Z0.
posed to those for load increments at the beginning and at Attewell and Hurrell (1985) also reported that the influenc-
the end of the time period. This is beneficial for modelling ing distance is typically in the range of (1~2)Z0, giving an
the shotcrete stiffness, as the smaller time steps are usually average value of η = 1.5. Clearly, as more field data be-
associated with lining installation and therefore allow a more comes available, more refined estimates of η can be made.

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714 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

Fig. 4. Unloading percentage-increment-time step. changes of pore-water pressure is expected to depend on the
soil permeability, six cases of permeability are considered.
The 2D finite element model used for this study is shown
in Fig. 5. A single horse-shoe-shaped tunnel is considered. A
small strain nonlinear elastic model combined with a
nonassociated Mohr-Coulomb plastic model was employed
to model the weathered granite. The soil parameters used are
shown in Table 1 and in Appendix A (Table A1). The fill–al-
luvium was modelled as linear elastic with a Young’s modu-
lus E = 1.5 × 104 kPa and a Poisson’s ratio µ = 0.35. The
lining had a Young’s modulus given by eq. [4] with pa-
rameters as follows: E28 = 1.5 × 107 kPa; a = 1.062 and
c = –0.446 (after Weber 1994); a Poisson’s ratio, µ = 0.15;
and a thickness of 0.25 m.
While it is usual to assume that soil permeability remains
constant throughout an analyses, it is known that permeabil-
ity is dependent on void ratio, which is dependent on mean
For present purposes a value of η = 1.5 will be assumed, but effective stress (Lambe and Whitman 1969; Vaughan 1989).
it must be noted this value may vary from site to site. Thus Vaughan (1989) pointed out that when there are significant
the T value can be evaluated from the construction plan, changes in effective stress along flow paths, the variation of
e.g., planned advanced rate. Once the T value has been de- permeability with effective stress has a dominant effect on
termined, the corresponding time step required for the nth in- the distribution of pore-water pressure at steady state. He in-
crement of the analysis, dtn (= tn – tn–1), based on equal- dicated that predictions based on the conventional assump-
sized load increments, can be calculated using the unloading tion of a constant permeability are usually far from reality,
percentage-increments time-step curve based on the error and one of the main causes of discrepancy is the effect of
function as shown in Fig. 4. For illustrative purposes, this nonlinearity in permeability. During the equalization period,
figure is based on 100 solution increments. In practice, ap- during and after tunnel construction, the effective stresses
preciably fewer increments are likely to be used (i.e., 20 to are likely to be changing in the ground. It is therefore appro-
30). priate to use a nonlinear permeability model that allows the
The parameter α can be evaluated from field data or other permeability to vary during an analysis in response to
more rigorous 3D numerical analyses. As the unloading pro- changes in effective stress. Addenbrooke (1996) compared
cess due to excavation is assumed to follow the shape of an the long term steady state pore-water pressure profiles above
error function with time, approximate evaluation of α can a 34 m deep permeable tunnel predicted with a linear (per-
also be made based on the longitudinal ground surface set- meability reducing with depth) and a nonlinear permeability
tlement profile. A conservative estimation of undrained set- model (permeability varying with effective stress as defined
tlement above the tunnel face, for tunnels constructed in the next paragraph). The nonlinear model produced pore
without face support, has been recommended (Attewell and pressure profiles more consistent with field data than the lin-
Woodman 1982; Lake et al. 1992) as 0.5Smax, where Smax is ear model.
the maximum surface settlement once the tunnel construc- For the analyses in this paper, the log law permeability
tion has passed beyond the influencing distance. Accord- model proposed by Vaughan (1989) was employed to repre-
ingly, in such cases, if the longitudinal settlement trough can sent the flow behaviour of the soil
be assumed to be represented by an error function, t* = 0.5T [6] k = koe–Bp′
can be assumed. However, as Nyren (1998) pointed out, in
many cases this assumption may be conservative, and result where ko is the coefficient of permeability at zero mean
in too large displacements. Ideally, site specific settlement effective stress, p′ is the mean effective stress, and B is a ma-
data should be used if it is available. Figure 3 shows the terial property with units of m2/kN.
evaluation scheme for the parameters T and t* from a longi- A 2D flow condition with a static groundwater table is as-
tudinal settlement trough. sumed. The excavated tunnel boundary is prescribed as per-
A 2D plane strain analysis of a longitudinal tunnel section meable. Analysis cases and model parameters are listed in
and (or) a simplified representative 3D analysis can also be Table 2. The geometry and material properties are based on
used to estimate the parameters T and α. If neither field data those found on the Seoul subway in Korea (Shin and Yoo
nor the results from analyses are available, care must be 1985).
taken when assuming values for design purposes. To investigate the effect of construction duration, i.e., Ar,
three cases with T = 15, 30, and 50 days are considered, cor-
Parametric study responding to Ar = 1.84, 0.92, and 0.55 m/day, respectively.
To evaluate the time-based 2D modelling method and in- The influence of time-dependent effects during construction
vestigate the effect of time-dependent behaviour during tun- is examined by considering results at the end of construction
nelling, a parametric study has been performed. The (short term). Figure 6a shows the variation of short term vol-
parameters considered are the tunnel construction duration ume loss with permeability, where the volume loss is defined
(advance rate), lining installation time, and time-dependent as the excess volume of soil excavated above the volume of
lining properties. As the time-dependent behaviour due to the tunnel divided by the latter and expressed as a percent-

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Shin and Potts 715

Fig. 5. Soil-tunnel profile and finite element mesh. EL-00, EL-08, EL-20, EL-32, and EL-50 are elevation levels.

Table 1. Soil properties for the parametric study

Bulk unit weight, Coefficient of earth Angle of shearing Angle of
Soil stratum γ (kN/m3) pressure at rest, Ko Cohesion, c′ (kPa) resistance, ϕ ′ (°) dilation, υ (°)
a a
Fill–alluvium 15.7 0.54 0.00
Decomposed granite soil 19.6 0.45 c′ = 2 + 0.67Z1b ϕ ′ = 23 + 0.622Z1 21
Highly to moderately 21.5 0.42 c′ = 10 + 7.5Z2b 42 21
weathered granite
Moderately weathered to 24.5 0.35 c′ = 100 + 500Z3b 56 28
unweathered granite
The fill–alluvium is assumed to be linear elastic.
Z1, Z2, and Z3 are defined on Fig. 5.

Table 2. Analysis cases for the parametric study.

Advance rate, Time span of tunnel Coefficient of Lining installation Minimum time
Analysis cases Ar (m/day) construction, T (days) permeability time (days) step, daysa
Effect of advance 1.84 15 k1 – k6b t* = 0.3T 0.675 (30)
rate 0.92 30
0.55 50
Effect of lining 1.84 15 k2, k4 t* = (0.3, 0.4, 0.5)T 0.675 (30)
installation time
Effect of time 1.84 15 k2, k4 t* = 0.5T 0.226 (30)
dependent stiffness 0.675 (10)
1.153 (6)
1.806 (4)
Numbers in parenthesis are increments.
Nonlinear permeability model: ki = koi e –β p′ , β = 0.0043, where ko1 = 1.9 × 10–6 m/s, ko2 = 1.9 × 10–7 m/s, ko3 =
1.9 × 10–8 m/s, ko4 = 1.9 × 10–9 m/s, ko5 = 1.9 × 10–10 m/s, and ko6 = 1.9 × 10–11 m/s.

age. The coefficients of permeability stated on the horizontal ing excavation is essentially undrained whereas if the per-
axes are the approximate values at the top of the decom- meability is greater than 10–7 m/s it is drained. The results
posed granite soil. The results show that if the permeability are replotted using a nondimensional time factor, Tv, which
is between 1.0 × 10–7 and 1.0 × 10–10 m/s, then time- is analogous to the conventional consolidation time factor:
dependent drainage effects are involved during construction.
They also indicate that, over the range of permeabilities, the
cvT kT
greater the advance rate, the smaller the volume loss. For [7] Tv = =
soils with a permeability less than 10–10 m/s, behaviour dur- Hd2
γ wHd2m v

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716 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

Fig. 6. Time-dependent behaviour during construction (short-term volume loss).

Fig. 7. Effect of lining installation time (short term, Ar = 1.84 m/day).

Fig. 8. Effect of time-dependent stiffness of shotcrete lining (Ar = 1.84 m/day, t* = 0.5T ).

where k is the coefficient of permeability at the tunnel axis

level, cv is the coefficient of consolidation, Hd is the length of Tv in which significant time-dependent drainage takes
of the drainage path taken as the depth of the tunnel axis be- place during excavation is 0.01 < Tv < 1.0. This curve also
low the ground water level (= 12 m), mv is the average coef- shows the appropriate conditions for assuming drained or
ficient of compressibility in the decomposed granite above undrained soil behaviour. For instance, if Tv < 0.01, un-
the tunnel (= 3.0 × 10–5 m2 /kN), and γ w is the bulk unit drained excavation can be assumed, and total stress analysis
weight of water (= 9.81 kN/m3). All three curves then plot as is applicable. Short term settlement due to excavation can be
a unique curve, as shown in Fig. 6b. It shows that the range dealt with separately from the long term behaviour. Alterna-

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Shin and Potts 717

Fig. 9. Results from the 3D analysis.

tively, if Tv > 1.0, free drainage takes place and steady-state loads applied per increment than an analysis with a small
seepage conditions are reached during construction. Conse- number of increments. The time step corresponding to each
quently, consolidation behaviour would be involved in the increment will also vary between analyses. As explained
so-called short term behaviour (during construction). In this previously, and indicated in Fig. 4, for each analyses the
case, it is appropriate to consider the effect of ground water time step will vary from increment to increment with the
movement when modelling tunnelling. smallest time steps occurring for increments when the lining
In principal, the above recommended values of Tv defin- is installed. Consequently, while the time steps for each in-
ing the limits to undrained or fully drained soil behaviour crement are not constant for a particular analysis they will
during tunnel construction should apply to other soil types be smaller the more increments that are employed. In partic-
and tunnelling methods. However, the present work has been ular, the smallest time step used in an analysis will reduce as
restricted to a NATM tunnel of one size. Clearly further the number of increments increases.
work is required before the general nature of the above val- The results of the different analyses are plotted in terms of
ues of Tv can be completely verified. In this respect, it is an- tunnel volume loss versus the size of the minimum time step
ticipated that the Tv values could be slightly dependent on used in the analysis in Fig. 8b. This time step corresponded
the size and shape of the tunnel. to the increment immediately after the lining was con-
The effect of lining installation time was investigated and structed and its value is listed in Table 2. The use of a larger
the results are shown in Fig. 7. As the installation of the lin- number of increments, which gives a shorter time step, re-
ing is delayed, i.e., an increase in α, the short term volume sults in a slight increase in volume loss. The effect on sur-
loss has increased significantly, which implies that early face settlements is even less significant. These results also
placement of the lining reduces volume loss, however, hoop imply that once the lining is placed, behaviour is not that
forces are inversely proportional to the magnitude of the vol- sensitive to its time-dependent stiffness. Similar findings
ume loss. were obtained by Desari et al. (1996) who indicated that the
To examine the effect of modelling the time-dependent early placement of the shotcrete has a more significant effect
stiffness of the shotcrete lining and in particular the effect of on subsequent behaviour than its time-dependent stiffness.
the stepwise approximation used to represent the variation of
lining stiffness with time, a series of analyses were under- Comparison with 3D analyses
taken each with a different number of solution increments
over which tunnel excavation was carried out. As noted Three dimensional finite element analyses were performed
above, the empirical formula expressed by eq. [4] was used to calibrate the model parameters for the 2D modelling,
to represent the time-dependent stiffness of the shotcrete and Shin(2000). Model parameters for the time-based approach,
Fig. 8a shows the resulting variation of shotcrete stiffness T and α, were assessed from the longitudinal settlement pro-
E(t) with time. As each increment of excavation in a particu- file obtained from a 3D analysis with no coupled consolida-
lar analysis represents a constant amount of unloading ap- tion. Figure 9a shows the longitudinal settlement profile at
plied to the tunnel boundary, the magnitude of the the ground surface. It is clear that the longitudinal settlement
incremental unloading will depend on the number of incre- curve is very similar to an error function.
ments employed to fully excavate the tunnel. Hence, an anal- Determination of the parameters T and α from these
ysis with a large number of increments will have smaller curves is complicated by the fact that it is not easy to define

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718 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

Fig. 10. Typical geological profile and tunnel location in the Seoul Subway.

the beginning and end points of the settlement curves as the from residual soil to weathered rock, were encountered at
settlements tend to be asymptotic to the S = 0 and S = Smax the tunnel face. Weathering of the granite decreases with
values. From the 3D finite element results presented in depth without the development of core stones. The ground-
Fig. 9a, it can be estimated, using the actual advance rate water table is located at 8 m below the ground surface. The
Ar = 2 m/day, that settlements start at about t = –6 days and soil permeability at the tunnel spring line is approximately
end at t = 9 days giving a total period T of 15 days and a 1.0 × 10–8 m/s. The evaluated time factor for the problem is
corresponding α of 0.4 (i.e., 6/15). In contrast, the fitted er- 0.3 (from Hd = 12 m, mv = 3.0 × 10–5 m2/kN, and γ w = 9.81
ror function curve indicates t values at the start and end of kN/m3). Therefore, with 0.01 < Tv < 1.0, drainage effects are
the settlements of –8.5 and 10 days, respectively, giving a T coupled with tunnel excavation, which is the situation where
of 18.5 days and an α of 0.46. It can therefore be concluded time-dependent effects during tunnelling are significant. The
that T is between 2–3 weeks and α is in the range 0.4–0.46. horse-shoe-shaped tunnel geometry and dimensions are such
To avoid this ambiguity, and to provide a robust approach that typically a single tunnel system, which contains two
for practical application, it seems sensible to define the start railway tracks, has a height of 8.2 m and a width of 10.6 m,
of the time period when S/Smax = 0.1% and the end when giving a cross sectional area of 66.5 m2 (the equivalent cir-
S/Smax = 99.9%. For the data given in Fig. 9 this gives t = cular tunnel would have a diameter, D = 9.2 m), and a twin
15.2 days and α = 0.46. tunnel system, each tunnel containing a single railway track,
To evaluate time-dependent predictions, 3D coupled con- has a height of 7.2 m, giving a cross sectional area of
solidation analysis were also preformed. The groundwater 40.7 m2. The tunnels were designed to act as drains. A
table was assumed to coincide with the ground surface. Con- sprayed concrete lining was employed.
fined flow with a fully permeable excavated tunnel boundary
was employed. Figure 9b compares the distribution of pore- Soil models
water pressures three weeks after tunnel excavation for the The problem domain to be analyzed includes several
2D and the 3D analyses. The results indicate that by allow- types of material, ranging from soil to weathered rock.
ing an appropriate construction time, a good prediction of The gradual variation of weathering with depth was mod-
time-dependent behaviour can be obtained. elled by considering a continuous variation of material
properties from soil to weathered rock. As for the para-
Application to tunnelling in decomposed metric study described above, a relatively simple soil
granite soil model assuming isotropic elastic behaviour pre-yield,
combined with a Mohr-Coulomb plasticity model, was
Tunnelling in decomposed granite soil used to represent the top fill–alluvium stratum and the
The proposed time-based modelling method was applied weathered rock. The behaviour of the decomposed granite
to a tunnelling problem in decomposed granite soil. The tun- soil and the highly weathered granite is likely to be signif-
nel considered is from Seoul subway lines 3 and 4 (Shin and icant during tunnel excavation, since this soil appears at
Yoo 1985). The geological profile is shown in Fig. 10. Sub- the tunnel face and immediately above the tunnel. Thus
way alignment is typically 15–30 m below the ground sur- particular attention was given to the modelling of the be-
face, and consequently, various weathered granites, ranging haviour of these strata.

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Shin and Potts 719

Fig. 11. Yielding of residual soil. Fig. 12. Modelling of finite permeable lining.

To represent the pre-yield behaviour of the decomposed

granite soil and the highly weathered granite (from 8 to
32 m below ground level), the nonlinear elastic model pro-
posed by Jardine (1985) was employed. In this model, the
variation of secant shear and bulk moduli are represented by
periodic logarithmic functions of strains. Model parameters
were evaluated from two different tests; seismic cross hole
tests (Lee et al. 1990), and drained triaxial tests (Lee 1991)
and are presented in Appendix A.
Yielding of residual soils was identified by Vaughan
(1988) and Leroueil and Vaughan (1990). They have shown
that bonding can allow the soil to exist in the “structure per-
mitted” space (see Fig. 11a), which is outside the state
boundary surface of the same soil when reconstituted. This
gives rise to increased strength and stiffness. Maccarini
(1987) indicated that the yield curves of residual soils are
centered on the mean effective stress axis.
A decomposed granite soil usually has a bonded-structure
caused by the cementation of clay particles and relic bond-
ing (Lee 1991; Irfan 1996). In addition, triaxial tests on a de-
composed granite (Lee 1991) indicate that the yield surface
of the decomposed granite soil is centered on the mean ef-
fective stress axis, as shown in Fig. 11b. Thus, the general
framework of a structured soil, described above, is applica-
ble to the decomposed granite soil. By plotting the plastic
potential strain vectors on the yield surface, Lee (1991) also
indicated that the soil presents nonassociated plastic flow be-
haviour. To account for this behaviour, a model proposed by
Lagioia et al. (1996) was used. The model is an advanced
critical state type model incorporating yield and plastic po-
tential functions for bonded-soils. This model employs the
hardening–softening rule proposed by Gens and Nova
(1993) and Lagioia and Nova (1995), which takes account of
the bonded-structure. The mathematical expression of this
model and material parameters used are presented in Appen-
dix A. These values were determined based on the triaxial
test results of Lee (1991).
Again the nonlinear permeability model proposed by
Vaughan (1989) and given by eq. [6] was employed to repre-
sent the flow behaviour of the decomposed granite soil (ko =
1.9 × 10–8, B = 0.0043). Modelling of the tunnel lining is

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720 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

Fig. 13. Results from the single horse-shoe shaped tunnel.

Fig. 14. Modelling and results of the twin tunnels.

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Shin and Potts 721

shown in Fig. 12. For the analyses, the lining had a finite the second tunnel agrees with the general trend of field
permeability, kl which was defined as a ratio kl/ks = 0.1 observations. Overall, the predicted results show good
where ks is the initial soil permeability at the tunnel axis agreement with the measurements.
Modelling of construction
Both a single tunnel (horse-shoe-shaped) and twin tunnels A 2D modelling technique termed the “time-based
were considered. The construction sequence was simulated method” has been proposed for the analysis of NATM tun-
using the time-based approach. In practice, bench excavation nels that simulates the 3D effects at the tunnel heading in-
was employed for each tunnel, with an upper bench being volving time-dependent behaviour. In this approach, the
excavated some 5 m ahead of a lower bench. Clearly, such a tunnelling procedure and material properties are expressed
two-stage excavation process is a complicated 3D tunnelling in terms of time. In addition, two essentially empirical pa-
problem, and 2D modelling of it requires assumptions about rameters are required, one associated with the tunnel ad-
an additional time parameter that defines the excavation se- vance rate and the other with the installation of the tunnel
quence. This is beyond the scope of this paper, and conse- lining. These can be determined from field data and (or)
quently, full face excavation was assumed for the analysis. simple 3D numerical analysis, if it is available. The ap-
The parameters T and α were evaluated from both field proach improves on current 2D modelling methods in that it
data and the tentative 3D finite element analysis described can give a better understanding of the simulation of 3D ef-
previously. The tunnel depth Z0 is 20 m and the target ad- fects at the tunnel heading in two dimensions and provides a
vance rate was 2 m/day, although construction records indi- better modelling scheme for a soil for which time-dependent
cate that the average advance rate was approximately behaviour is important during construction. In addition, the
1.85 m/day. Adopting values of η = 1.5 (as discussed previ- evaluation of the model parameters is relatively simple.
ously), Z0 = 20 m, and Ar = 2 m/day gives T = 15 days. As Guidelines for the applicability of numerical modelling
noted previously, the 3D finite element analysis indicates assuming either a fully drained or undrained tunnel excava-
that α = 0.46, and consequently, this value has been adopted tion have been identified using the tunnelling time factor, Tv
for the present analysis. The significance of the values of T (= cvT/Hd2). When Tv < 0.01 an undrained assumption (i.e.,
(or η) and α has been discussed previously where it was total stress analysis) is valid, and when Tv > 1.0 the assump-
shown that the most significant parameter is the value of α. tion of fully drained excavation is appropriate; otherwise
The importance of T (or η) increases with soil permeability. time-dependent effects due to equalization of pore-water
As the soil is permeable, a drained condition (i.e., zero pressures become combined with the unloading procedure in
pore-water pressure along the excavated tunnel boundary) the short term. The time-based approach is useful in cases
was assumed. The lining was modelled using isotropic elas- where the ground has an intermediate range of permeability,
tic beam elements with a stiffness varying with time as in such that the equalization of pore-water pressures due to tun-
the parametric study described above. nelling combines with the unloading procedure due to exca-
As an example, the time-based method was applied to the
Results of the analyses problem of tunnelling in a decomposed granite soil. Coupled
The symmetric geometry of a single tunnel in a green consolidation analyses, employing an advanced constitutive
field site was used, and therefore only half of the problem model for the soil, were performed. The predicted surface
was analyzed. The finite element mesh is shown in Fig. 5. settlements showed excellent agreement with the field data
Figure 13a compares the settlement troughs obtained from for a horse-shoe-shaped tunnel.
field measurements and the analysis. Although the field data
does not cover the whole settlement profile, the numerical
results show excellent agreement with the available field Acknowledgments
measurements plotted. Figure 13b shows the corresponding
The work presented in this paper was funded by the Seoul
lining response from the analysis.
Metropolitan Government, an Overseas Research Award,
Figure 14a shows the profile of the twin tunnel section and the British Council. Their support is gratefully acknowl-
and its finite element mesh. The tunnel geometry considered edged.
is the scenario of two tunnels running side by side at the
same depth. The pillar width between the tunnels is 12 m.
Excavation was simulated sequentially, assuming that the ex- References
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Appendix A

Table A1. Material parameters for the nonlinear elastic model.

Shear modulus A B Cm (%) α γ ε d min (%) ε d max (%) Gmin (kPa)

parameters 1515 1485 2×10–4 0.955 0.818 9.0×10–3 0.35 9706
Bulk modulus R S Tm (%) δ λ ε v min (%) ε v max (%) Kmin (kPa)
parameters 475 465 2×10–4 0.848 0.872 5.0×10–3 0.5 6438

Table A2. Material parameters for the post- strain) against stress ratio (ηs = q/p′, where q is the deviator
yield model. stress = σ1 – σ3):
Decomposed granite soil α M 
[A2] d = µ s(M − ηs) s + 1
Plastic potential parameters  ηs 
αp 0.1
µp 0.9999 where αs is a parameter which represents the closeness to the
Mp 1.5 ηs = 0 axis. By using the normality condition and carrying
out integration of eq. [A2], the plastic potential function,
Yield surface parameters
P(σ′), was obtained and a similar expression was then as-
αf 0.0001
sumed for the yield function, F(σ′), (see Lagioia et al.
µf 2.3 (1996)). In the case of µ σ ≠ 1,
Mf 1.16
Hardening parameters  η′  (1− µ s )( K1 − K2 )
Bp 0.02 1 + s 
ξ  P(σ′)  p′  K2 
− 
[A3]   =
ρm 2000  F(σ′) p′H K1

ρt 1000  η′s  (1− µ s )( K1 − K2 )

1 + 
pso exp(5 + 0.07Z1)a
 K1 
pmo 30 + 0.3Z1
pto 10 + 0.1Z1 where
Z1 is the depth below the top of the decomposed
 K1  µ s(1 − α s)  4α (1 − µ s)  η
granite soil, see Fig. 5.
  = 1 ± 1 − s 2 
and η′s = s
 2
K 2(1 − µ s 
)  µ s (1 − α s 
)  M
Nonlinear elastic model
The elastic stiffness parameters are given by where (±) is (+) for K1 and (–) for K2. In the case of µs = 1,
 λ αs
  ε  η
K   log  v     P(σ′)  p′ − s 
(1 − α s) ′  (1 − α s ) 2
[A1a] = R + S cos δ  [A4]   = − e 1− α s  ηs + 1
p′    Tm     F(σ′) p′H  αs 
   
γ  where p′H is the state parameter. For the work presented in
 
3G   Ed    this paper, the model has been extended to general stress
[A1b] = A + B cos α  log    space by assuming that both the plastic potential and the
p′    3C m   
  yield functions can be described by the Matsuoka and
Nakai’s surface (see Potts and Zdravkovic 1999).To define
where G is the secant shear modulus, K is the secant bulk the yield and plastic function surfaces, three parameters, i.e.,
modulus, p′ is the mean effective stress (= (σ1′ + σ2′ + σ3′)/3), M, αs, and µs, are required for each surface.
A, B, Cm, α, γ, R, S, Tm, δ, and λ are constants, and εv and εd The state parameter p′H is given by:
are the volumetric and deviatoric strains, respectively, de-
fined as εd = 2 [{(ε1 – ε2)2 + (ε1 – ε3)2 + (ε2 – ε3)2 }/6]1/2 and [A5] p′H = ps + pm + pt
εv = ε1 + ε2 + ε3, where ε1, ε2, and ε3 are principal strains.
where ps is the conventional hardening parameter for an
Lagioia, Puzrin, and Potts (L,P&P) model unbonded soil, and pm and pt are additional hardening pa-
Initially, L,P&P considered triaxial compression condi- rameters governing the magnitude of the bonding. They can
tions for the development of the model. The L,P&P model be expressed as:
assumes that the plastic strain rates give a straight line, with  εp + ξ J 
slope µs, in a diagram of dilatancy (d = dε pv/dε pd , where ε pv is [A6] ps = pso exp v 
 B 
the plastic volumetric strain and ε pd is the plastic deviatoric  p 

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724 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 39, 2002

[A7] pm = pmo exp[−ρm (ε pv) 3 ] where pso, pmo, and pto are initial values of the hardening pa-
rameters; ρm and ρt are parameters defining the rate of bond
degradation; J is the deviatoric stress invariant; and ξ and Bp
are material parameters.
[A8] pt = pto exp[−ρt (ε pv)]

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