Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment

, Volume 78, Issue 8, pp 6267–6283 | Cite as

Mud inrush flow mechanisms: a case study in a water-rich fault tunnel

  • Jiaqi Zhang
  • Shucai Li
  • Qingsong Zhang
  • Xiao ZhangEmail author
  • Peng Li
  • Deming Wang
  • Xianjie Weng
Original Paper


Fifteen serious inrushing disasters caused by mud flow occurred in the excavation of Yonglian Tunnel with a length of 2500 m in the water-rich fault fracture zone. By taking Yonglian Tunnel as a case study, the causes of inrushing and catastrophic mechanisms were determined according to the hydrogeological features of mud inrush with a series of field tests. In addition, based on the fluid-solid coupling effect, the evolution laws of mud inrush were revealed with numerical simulations. The results show that the excavation disturbances and the F2 fault with abundant fault mud, which is easy to soften and disintegrate in groundwater, are the key triggering factors of the mud inrush. Also, its evolution process, which is facilitated by the coupled effects of damage and seepage, consists of three stages: prepared stage, latent stage and explosive stage. The latent stage has especially important significance for early warnings. The engineering case provides a reference for similar engineering.


Mud inrush Inrushing cause Catastrophic mechanism Evolution law Water-rich fault tunnel 



This project was supported by the National Key Basic Research Development Plan of China (973; grant no. 2013CB036000) and the National Major Research Development Plan of China (grant no. 2016YFC0801604). The authors also thank Dr. Yongsung Park for his great help in the writing of the manuscript. In addition, this manuscript was edited for English language by American Journal Experts (AJE).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Research CenterShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Department, School of Science and EngineeringUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  3. 3.Engineering CollegeOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  4. 4.School of Transportation Civil EngineeringShandong Jiaotong UniversityJinanChina
  5. 5.Jiangxi Transport Consultation CompanyNanchangChina

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