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Analysis of Long-Term Anisotropic Convergence in Drifts Excavated in Callovo-Oxfordian Claystone


The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the convergence measurements in drifts of the Underground Research Laboratory (URL) of the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra), excavated in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone. These measurements show an anisotropic closure, which depends on the drift orientations with respect to the horizontal in situ stresses. This anisotropic character of the deformation is taken into account by assuming that the drifts section evolves following an elliptical shape. The characteristics of the deformed elliptical section are evaluated following the methodology proposed by Vu et al. (Rock Mech Rock Eng 46:231–246, 2013). Then, using the semi-empirical law proposed by Sulem et al. (Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 24:145–154, 1987), the convergence evolution is fitted independently for each axis of the ellipse. This method allows to distinguish two effects: the face advance and the time-dependent behavior of the ground. The results for the two drift orientations (along the major horizontal stress and perpendicular to it) show very close values for the parameters describing the time-dependent properties of the ground, the distance of influence of the face, and the extent of the decompressed zone around the drift. Finally, the model is validated by keeping these parameters as constants and by simulating the convergence data on a new drift. It is shown that with a period of about 40 days of convergence monitoring, the model can provide valuable insights for predictions of the convergence evolution in the long term.

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Correspondence to Jean Sulem.

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Guayacán-Carrillo, LM., Sulem, J., Seyedi, D.M. et al. Analysis of Long-Term Anisotropic Convergence in Drifts Excavated in Callovo-Oxfordian Claystone. Rock Mech Rock Eng 49, 97–114 (2016).

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  • Convergence measurements
  • Tunnel deformation
  • Anisotropy
  • Underground excavation
  • Claystone