Potential hazards to a tunnel caused by adjacent reservoir impoundment

  • Bin ZhangEmail author
  • Han-xun Wang
  • Yi-wei Ye
  • Jun-liang Tao
  • Lian-ze Zhang
  • Lei Shi
Original Paper


A reservoir impoundment located near a tunnel structure negatively affects groundwater seepage to varying degrees. This can result in water inflow, structural collapse, and other engineering hazards during tunnel excavation. In addition, in cold regions, reservoir impoundment and water seepage can exacerbate frost heave damage during tunnel operations. This paper describes a comprehensive case study on the quantitative evaluation of the seepage effects of the proposed Longsheng Reservoir on the adjacent proposed Kouzi village tunnel (located in Ulanchap, Inner Mongolia, North China). An engineering geology survey was conducted to identify the topography and geological features in the tunnel and reservoir area. A geohydrological survey was conducted to identify groundwater runoff patterns and to assess the possible seepage paths. Pumping and injection tests were conducted to characterize the in-situ permeability of the strata. Based on the detailed field information, the seepage field and stress field of the study area were investigated using COMSOL Multiphysics and ABAQUS software. From these numerical simulations, the evolution of the water inflow and the stress/strain field in the shallow buried section of the tunnel could be predicted quantitatively at different construction and operation stages. This study showed that the seepage influence of the Longsheng Reservoir on the Kouzi village tunnel during the excavation and operational stages will be relatively weak. However, structural collapse of the tunnel and water inflow are likely to occur beneath the two gullies. Mitigation measures such as impervious walls and inverted arch structural elements were proposed to address these potential hazards.


Tunnel inflow Reservoir impoundment Seepage field Stress field Potential hazards 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 41572301, 41330634, and 61427802) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (no. 2-9-2015-071). The authors would also like to acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which helped to significantly improve the quality of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Han-xun Wang
    • 1
  • Yi-wei Ye
    • 1
  • Jun-liang Tao
    • 2
  • Lian-ze Zhang
    • 1
  • Lei Shi
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering and TechnologyChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of AkronAkronUSA

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