Mining of Mineral Deposits

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Numerical modelling for geotechnical assessment of rock mass behaviour and performance of support system for diversion tunnels using optimized Hoek-Brown parameters

Zahid Ur Rehman1, Sajjad Hussain1, Muhammad Tahir1, Saira Sherin1, Noor Mohammad1, Nasrullah Dasti2, Salim Raza1, Muhammad Salman2

1University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan

2Punjab University (New Campus), Lahore, Pakistan

Min. miner. depos. 2022, 16(1):1-8

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      Purpose. Empirical and numerical methods play a vital role in assessing rock mass behaviour quantitatively and qualitatively to design underground structures/caverns and support systems. This research aims to assess and evaluate the rock mass be-haviour for safe, stable, efficient, and economical design of support system for underground structures especially tunnels in diverse rock mass conditions.

      Methods. In this research, such empirical design methods as Rock Mass Rating (RMR), Q-system and GSI were used to characterize and classify the rock mass environment along the tunnel for the preliminary design of twin tunnels and support systems. The geomechanical parameters, Hoek-Brown failure criterion, and its variants for assessing rock mass behaviour were optimized using multiple regression of Stewart, generalized and globalized variant of nonlinear regression method. The rock mass was classified for the selected section A-A. The excavation method and support system for the said section were designed based on the results obtained from empirical modelling. 2D elasto-plastic finite element method (FEM) was used for numerical analysis of rock mass behaviour and performance of the designed supports in section A-A.

      Findings. The major rock type encountered in the diversion scheme comprises gabbronorite (GN) and Ultramafic Association (UMA). Based on the quantification of RMR, Q-system, and GSI, section A-A’s rock mass ranges from very poor to poor. From the numerical analysis for the said rock mass environment both RMR and Q system support recommendations are equally efficient to support the rock mass surrounding the tunnel. However, keeping in view the yield zone, especially in the crown, the rock bolt’s length should not be less than 5 meters. Based on the analysis of results, both the tunnels are at a safe distance from each other.

      Originality. In this research, the design input parameters for numerical modeling were optimized by using different techniques to eliminate the chances of error in evaluating rock mass behaviour and designing an optimum support system in the said rock mass environment.

      Practical implications. The assessment of rock mass behaviour and the design of optimum support systems in heterogenous conditions is quite challenging and requires thorough investigation through different design techniques. This research provides a refined meth-od to be used for the safe, stable, and economical design of tunnels.

      Keywords: rock mass, RMR, Q-system, UMA, GN, FEM


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  33. Лицензия Creative Commons