3D Centrifuge Modeling of the Effect of Twin Tunneling to an Existing Pile Group

M. A. Soomro, M. A. Keerio, M. A. Soomro, D. K. Bangwar


In densely built urban areas, it is inevitable that tunnels will be constructed near existing pile groups. The bearing capacity of a pile group depends on shear stress along the soil-pile interface and normal stress underneath the pile toe while the two would be adversely affected by the unloading process of tunneling. Although extensive studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of tunnel construction on existing single piles, the influence of twin tunnel advancement on an existing pile group is merely reported in the literature. In this study, a series of three-dimensional centrifuge tests were carried out to investigate the response of an existing pile group under working load subjected to twin tunneling at various locations in dry Toyoura sand. In each twin tunneling test, the first tunnel is constructed near the mid-depth of the pile shaft, while the second tunnel is subsequently constructed either next to, below or right underneath the pile toe (Tests G_ST, G_SB and G_SU, respectively). Among the three tests, the 2nd tunnel excavated near the pile toe (Test G_ST) results in the smallest settlement but the largest transverse tilting (0.2%) of pile group. Significant bending moment was induced at the pile head (1.4 times of its bending moment capacity) due to the 2nd tunnel T. On the contrary, tunneling right underneath the toe of pile (i.e., Test G_SU) results in the smallest tilting but largest settlement of the pile group (4.6% of pile diameter) and incremental mobilisation of shaft resistance (13%). Due to stress release by the twin tunneling, the axial force taken by the front piles close to tunnels was reduced and partially transferred to the rear piles. This load transfer can increase the axial force in rear piles by 24%.


twin tunneling; pile group; three-dimensional; soil-structure interaction; centrifuge modeling

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