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Mixed empirical-numerical method for investigating tunneling effects on structures

Haji, Twana; Marshall, Alec M.; Franza, Andrea


Twana Haji

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering

Andrea Franza


The assessment of potential for building damage due to ground displacements caused by tunnelling is a global issue being faced by engineers. There is a two-way interaction between tunnelling and existing buildings; tunnel construction affects a building by inducing displacements in the soil underlying its foundation, and buildings influence tunnelling induced displacements via their weight and stiffness. Numerical analyses are widely used to investigate tunnelling and its impact on structures, however numerically predicted ground displacements are generally wider and shallower than those observed in practice. This paper presents a two-stage mixed empirical-numerical technique to estimate the effect of building stiffness on ground displacements due to tunnelling. In the first stage, greenfield soil displacements are applied to the soil model and the nodal reaction forces are recorded. In the second stage, the effect of tunnelling on a structure is evaluated by applying the recorded nodal reactions to an undeformed mesh. Results from conventional numerical analyses of the problem are compared against those obtained using the mixed empirical-numerical approach. Results demonstrate the importance of imposing realistic inputs of greenfield displacements when evaluating structural response to tunnelling.


Haji, T., Marshall, A. M., & Franza, A. (2018). Mixed empirical-numerical method for investigating tunneling effects on structures. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 73,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 22, 2017
Publication Date Mar 1, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 23, 2018
Journal Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Print ISSN 0886-7798
Electronic ISSN 0886-7798
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 73
Keywords Tunnelling; Displacement prediction; Soil-structure interaction; Building response
Public URL
Publisher URL


Mixed_E-N_main tunnel.pdf (5.1 Mb)

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