Evaluation of Effective Factors on Tunnel Instability Through Statistical Approach

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor; Faculty of Mining Eng., Petroleum and Geophysics, Shahrood University of Technology

2 Msc of tunnel and underground excavation, Shahrood university of technology

3 Assistant professor of Shahrood university of technology, department of mining, geophysics, and petroleum engineering


In this paper, the role of effective factors on the instability of tunnels and underground excavations was explored through statistical analysis. To reach this goal, the effective factors (including 25 different factors) on the tunnel instability were recognized based on the deep literature survey and expert judgment. Then, a database of previous tunnel instabilities was established based on the type of tunnels and the main factor of instabilities. The effective factors were classified into six main groups and utilized for statistical analysis based on the relative frequency of tunnel instability. The results of this paper show that the geomechanical factors, design-investigation issues, and geological-geographic conditions of the site are the main three reasons for tunnel instability, where these main factors control more than 70% of civil-utility tunnels through all case studies. In addition, the design-investigation issues and geological-geographic conditions show the lowest and highest dependency on the tunnel utility, respectively. The “weak zones”, “inadequate redesign during construction”, and “the groundwater level and conditions” are the main three effective factors in tunnel instability, where the relative frequency of instability due to these factors reaches up to 40% for most of the case studies. Based on the main effective factors of instability, the freeway and highway tunnels show the highest consistency with all other utilities for tunnels in the statistical population. Therefore, freeway and highway tunnels can be considered as the most representative of overall utilities. The outcome of this paper can be applied to risk assessment of tunnel instabilities and technical management. 


Main Subjects

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