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Published July 1, 1989 | public
Journal Article

Centrifuge Study of Faulting Effects on Tunnel


If a tunnel crosses a geological fault which is considered to be active, the possibility of a displacement in the fault must be accounted for in the tunnel design. When the tunnel is embedded in soil, the assessment of the effect of the fault movement is not easy to assess. As a guide to analysis, a series of correctly scaled model experiments in a centrifuge is undertaken. The deflections and stresses induced in a tunnel crossing a fault caused by: (a) Fault displacement; and (b) differential earthquake motions across the fault are quantified by a series of centrifuge tests on a finite length model tunnel. The centrifuge results are used to calibrate a one‐dimensional finite element model of the tunnel for soil‐tunnel interaction effects. The numerical model is then used to predict the response of an essentially infinite length tunnel for design purposes. Bending movements, displacements and shears are displayed. Surprisingly small changes in the bending movements from the finite‐length to the infinite tunnel case are obtained.

Additional Information

© 1989 ASCE. Discussion open until December l, 1989. To extend the closing date one month, a written request must be filed with the ASCE Manager of Journals. The manuscript for this paper was submitted for review and possible publication on August 16, 1988. This paper is part of the Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 7, July, 1989. This study was carried out under contract to Lindvall, Richter and Associates (LRA), through funds from the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD). The writers appreciate the interest of C. E. Lindvall of LRA and J. E. Crawley of SCRTD in applying a new technique to a recurring question. The centrifuge experiments would not have been possible without the assistance of J. R. Lee of Caltech, who built and instrumented the tunnel, and ensured the successful completion of the tests and data acquisition.

Additional details

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