Investigation and assessment on mountain tunnels and geotechnical damage after the Wenchuan earthquake
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On May 12, 2008, a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 (Ms) struck Wenchuan town, in the eastern Sichuan area of west China. Following the earthquake on May 18, the Southwest Jiaotong University organized a damage survey team and dispatched it to the affected area for the investigation into the damage and collection of information and data. This paper outlines the findings of this investigation on the earthquake disaster to mountain tunnels and geotechnical engineering. The systematic investigation, involving geological conditions, design documents, construction and maintenance records of the tunnels, has been conducted and the degree of damage to investigated tunnels has been assessed according to the width and length of cracks, the stability of the slope above the tunnel, and the condition of the groundwater inrush. The results show that the major damage of the mountain tunnels was mainly concentrated in the tunnel portals due to widespread landslides and rockfalls, and the inner part of investigated tunnels suffered moderate damages mainly due to fault displacements. It is hoped that the information shared herein could enhance the outstanding of seismic behavior of mountain tunnels and improve seismic design and construction procedures.
Keywordsdamage investigation wenchuan earthquake mountain tunnels ground failures
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