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Seminar on

Underwater tunneling
N A M E: AR IJ IT G H O S H
R O L L N O : 2 0 1 0 5 053

G U ID ED BY : M R . SAN TO SH KU MAR D AS
U N IVER SIT Y IN S T IT U T E O F T E C H N O L OGY , B U

I NTRODUCTION :
Constructions of large infrastructures in the sea are supported by a lot
of special construction techniques. For instance, the petroleum resource
industry has developed many innovated techniques such as under water
drilling, platform construction, pipe installation. Some of these techniques can be
applied to construction of sub-sea facilities in the field of civil engineering,
naturally. A typical structure, to which such techniques could be applied, is an
underwater tunnel. Constructing a tunnel, however, is one of the most complex
challenges in the field of civil engineering. Many tunnels are considered
technological masterpieces and government have honoured tunnel engineers as
heroes.

D EFINITION OF T UNNEL :
A Tunnel is an Engineering Structure, artificial
gallery, passage or roadway beneath the ground,
under the bed of a stream or through a hill or
mountain.
An undersea tunnel is a tunnel which is partly or wholly
constructed under a body of water. They are often used
where building a bridge or operating a ferry link is
impossible, or to provide competition (or relief) for
existing bridges or ferry links. There are many reasons
for building an undersea tunnel as opposed to the
construction of a bridge or establishment of a ferry link.

Advantages of tunnels:
1. For carrying public utilities
2. Tunnel may be cheaper than bridges and open cuts.
3. Tunnel save tearing up of expensive pavements, so lesser
maintenance costs by providing protection from natural influences.
4. Cost of hauling is decreased due to lighter grades, possible in tunnel.
5. Aerial warfare and bombing of cities have given intangible value to tunnel.
Compared to bridges:
One such advantage would be that a tunnel would still allow shipping to pass. A low
bridge would need to be an opening or swing bridge to allow shipping to pass, which
can cause traffic congestion. Conversely, a higher bridge that does allow shipping may
be unsightly and opposed by the public. Bridges can also be closed due to harsh
weather such as high winds. Another possible advantage is space: the downward
ramp leading to a tunnel leaves a smaller footprint compared to the upward ramps
required by most bridges.
Tunneling will generate soil that has been excavated and this can be used to create
new land, as was done with the soil of the Channel Tunnel

Advantages Compared to ferry link:


As with bridges, albeit with more chance, ferry links
will also be closed during adverse weather. Strong
winds, or the tidal limits may also affect the workings
of a ferry crossing. Travelling through a tunnel is
significantly quicker than travelling using a ferry link,
shown by the times for travelling through the Channel
Tunnel (7590 minutes for Ferry and 21 minutes on
the Euro star.

Disadvantages of Tunnels:

Construction requires long time in completing as compared to open


cuts.
Specialized equipments make tunnels costlier than open cuts.
Compared to bridges
Tunnels require far higher costs of security and construction than
bridges. This may mean that over short distances bridges may be
preferred rather than tunnels (for example Dartford Crossing). As
stated earlier, bridges may not allow shipping to pass, so solutions
such as the Oresund Bridge have been constructed.
Compared to ferry links
As with bridges, ferry links are far cheaper to construct than tunnels,
but not to operate.

C LASSIFICATION

OF

U NDER WATER T UNNEL :

Underwater
Tunnel
Bored

Submerged
floating

Immersed
tube

Bored tunnel shall be


constructed when the ground
or waterbed is appropriate for
excavating and preferred for
deep tunnels. There are two
alternative methods to build a
bored tunnel: Drilling-blasting
method or by using a tunnelboring machine. Although a
TBM machine with a circular
cross-section excavates the
soil without disturbing it and
produces a smooth tunnel
wall, bored tunnel is only
suitable for self retaining soils
(TCRP Report/NCHRP Report
2006).

submerged floating tunnel also known as


an archimed bridge is a very new concept
in the world. Only, Norwegian and Chinese
have submerged floating tunnel projects in
the design phase. Unlike the traditional
underwater tunnels, submerged floating
tunnel (SFT) is not buried to the seabed; it
is suspended above the water floor and
anchorage to the ground with pontoons. It
requires less substructure and excavation
compared to the other two alternatives.
Nonetheless , SFT is only appropriate for
fjords, deep seas, and Dee lakes.

An immersed tube tunnel is made up of many prefabricated


tubes constructed on land, which are then floated and moved to
its dredged location by remoras in the sea. The tubes are
lowered and connected with each other underwater. Then, the
water is pumped out and the segments are covered with the
backfill materials. It is preferred if the water depth is not larger
than 60 m. and the waterbed is suitable for dredging, such as
soft sandy, silt or alluvial soils

CONCEPTUAL DISEGN OF THE TUNNEL:


The greatest difficulty encountered during the construction of this tunnel lay in
controlling the water inflow into the excavation. For this reason it was decided to design
a tunnel with the least possible width and to plan a constructive process that would
guarantee the stability in all the constructive phases.
For that it was decided that the tunnel should have two traffic levels, just as the rest of
the Line 9, but with space for only one track in each one of them.
This typology allows to consider the tunnel construction in two basically independent
phases;
since the concrete slab that permits circulating on the upper level facilitates the closure
of the first constructed section.
In addition, once the first phase excavation has been closed, a wall of micro piles was
foreseen in order to facilitate the excavation of the lower part of the tunnel. With this
concept of the tunnel the problems focus on controlling the water inflow through the
excavation front in the stretches in which the soil is heterogeneous and, consequently,
more permeable.
In order to control the probable water inflow into the front, when more permeable soils
were excavated, two actions were anticipated: firstly, lowering of the water table and
secondly, reducing the soil permeability through jet -grouting combined with concrete
grouting

CONCEPT OF THE WATERPROOFING SYSTEM


The waterproofing of a tunnel is a loose laid system. In case of a
leakage, the water is able to enter between the geo membrane and
concrete shell and will look for the weakest point of the concrete
structure. In general it is the joint between 2 concrete blocks. In the
complexity of the waterproofing, the possibility of leaks occurring
after installation of the waterproofing system must be considered.
Therefore it makes sense to plan the waterproofing system in such
way that a repair is possible after finishing the construction, without
perforating the concrete, and without damaging the waterproofing
system.

This can be achieved through two joint


methods:

The first one is to create compartments


with water stops to limit the spreading of
the infiltrating water over an important
length of the tunnel.

Fixing elements.
Reinforcement strips to protect the
geomembrane in the areawhere shuttering
for concrete shell finishes.
Protection geomembrane (French
prescription)

The second one, is to place injection


Anchors if necessary to hold the
devices to have the possibility to repair
leakages after having poured the concrete. reinforcement of the inside
Components of the waterproofing system: concrete shell.

Geotextile minimum 500 g/m


Polypropylene (no Polyester), depending
on the surface.

Geomembrane of homogenous
thermoplastic material like PVC-P, TPO,
min 2,0 mm, transparent (French
prescription) or with signal layer.

Water stops
Injection device

List of notable examples:


Thames Tunnel The oldest underwater tunnel in the world.
(0.4km) (1825 - 1843).
Severn Tunnel One of the oldest underwater tunnels in the world
(3.62 km) (1873 - 1886).
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (23 mi), connecting Virginia
Beach with the Eastern Shore of Virginia (1960 - 1964).
New Elbe Tunnel, Hamburg, Germany, 8-lane road tunnel
crossing the Elbe river (1968 - 1975).
Vard Tunnel (2.9 km), connecting the small island community of
Vard in northern Norway to the mainland (1979 - 1982).
Seikan Tunnel, world's longest undersea railway tunnel (53.9
km), when non-undersea portions of the tunnel are also
measured (1971 - 1988).

REFERENCES
Google.com
Akimoto, K., Y. Hashidate, H. Kitayama, and K. Kumagai. 2002. Immersed
tunnels in
Japan: Recent technological trends. Underwater Technology, Proceedings of the
2002 International Symposium on 81-86
Anastasopoulos, I., N. Gerolymos, V. Drosos, T. Georgarakos, R. Kourkoulis, and
G.
Gazetas. 2007. Behaviour of deep immersed tunnel under combined normal fault
rupture deformation and subsequent seismic shaking. Bulletin of Earthquake
Engineering 6(2): 213.
Akan, Asl E., . zen. 2007. Bursa Yeil Trbenin sonlu elemanlar yntemiyle
deprem
analizi.Deprem Sempozyumu Kocaeli 2007. http://kocaeli2007.kocaeli.edu.tr/
(accessed September 5, 2008).
Baltzer, W., P. Hehengeber. 2003. The case for immersed tubes. Tunnels and
Tunneling

Conclusion :
Complex immersed tunnel projects can be made feasible and executed
within planned cost, time and risk.
It requires however realistic planning, proper establishment of
expectations, experienced specialists involved, good project
management and effective collaboration between specialists from the
designers, contractors and owners.
Submerged floating tubes allow construction of a tunnel in extremely
deep water, where conventional bridges or tunnels are technically
difficult or prohibitively expensive. They would be able to deal
with seismic disturbances and weather events easily (as they have
some degree of freedom in regards to movement), and their structural
performance is independent of length (that is, it can be very long
without compromising its stability and resistance).
On the other hand, they may be vulnerable in regards to anchors or
submarine traffic, which therefore has to be taken in consideration
when building one.