Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 2519–2531 | Cite as

Cohesion variation during instability evolution of disaster medium in mud inrush of mountain tunnel

  • Teng Yang
  • Qing-song Zhang
  • Xiao Zhang
  • Xiang-hui LiEmail author
  • Jia-qi Zhang
  • Yu-xue Sun
  • Zhuang Li


Mud inrush in mountain tunnel is an independent geological hazard type different from water inrush, landslide and debris flow. The intrinsic factor of mud inrush is the instability failure of disaster medium. Its essence is that when the cohesion decreases gradually with the increase of void ratio to the point where the movement of soil particles cannot be restricted, soil particles and groundwater form slurry and gush out. Thus, accurate calculation of cohesion with variable void ratios is crucial for analyzing the reliability of disaster medium. In this study, the disaster medium was regarded as graded soil and a structural model was established wherein soil particles were simplified as cubes and the inter-particle pores were represented by the clearance between cubes. On the basis of the structure model of disaster medium, a function between the soil particle distance and void ratio was derived. Cohesion is equivalent to the resultant force between soil particles per unit area; thus, a cohesion function was derived in which the void ratio is the main variable. This function considers the influence of gradation characteristics on cohesion variation and is generally applicable to various types of disaster medium. A series of direct shear tests were carried out to determine the cohesion variation for different types of disaster medium with variable void ratios. By comparing the variation of cohesion obtained through direct shear tests with those deduced by the proposed cohesion function, we verified the validity and general applicability of the cohesion function. It is of great significance because the cohesion function can accurately predict the variation of cohesion by using the void ratio, and effectively evaluate the possibility of mud inrush according to the initial mechanical properties of disaster medium.


Cohesion Disaster medium Graded soil Structure model Void ratio Shear test 


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The research reported in this manuscript was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1706223) and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (Grant No. ZR2017MEE070).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geotechnical & Structural Engineering Research CenterShandong UniversityJinanChina

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