Pore water pressure and total horizontal stress response to EPBM tunnelling in London Clay

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Abstract

The ground response, in terms of surface and subsurface displacements, to twin-bore Crossrail tunnel construction beneath a research monitoring site in Hyde Park, London, using earth-pressure-balance machines (EPBMs) in London Clay, has recently been reported in two companion papers by the authors. This third paper presents and discusses corresponding changes in pore water pressure and total horizontal stress measured using multi-level piezometers and pushed-in spade cells. The three papers together provide a comprehensive and completely unique field monitoring case history of the short-term ground response to EPBM tunnelling in London Clay, making them invaluable for validating future numerical analyses. The fully grouted vibrating-wire piezometers were able to measure the rapid pore water pressure changes around the tunnels as they were constructed. Five distinct immediate pore water pressure responses are identified, induced by different stages of the tunnel drives as the EPBMs approached and passed the instruments. The responses are correlated with tunnel-boring machine operation variables and a postulated arching mechanism, identified for the first time through field measurements. The sense and magnitude of changes in horizontal total stress were reasonable and are correlated with overall pore water pressure changes. Both responses are linked where possible with measured subsurface displacements and generally correlate well, at least qualitatively. Limitations to the measurements and influencing factors are also discussed.

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Wan, M. S. P., Standing, J. R., Potts, D. M., & Burland, J. B. (2019). Pore water pressure and total horizontal stress response to EPBM tunnelling in London Clay. Geotechnique, 69(5), 434–457. https://doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.17.P.309

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