Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 1751–1762 | Cite as

Developing a risk assessment system for gas tunnel disasters in China

  • Xiao-bing Kang
  • Sheng Luo
  • Qing-shan Li
  • Mo Xu
  • Qiang Li


Gas disasters always restrict the tunnel constructions in mountain area, which becomes a major geological barrier against the development of underground engineering. China is rich in coal resources and has a large amount of gas with a wide range of distribution. However, China experienced not only adverse effects on coal mining but also gas disasters in underground engineering construction, such as tunnels and chambers. With the increased number of tunnels passing through coal-bearing strata, the incidence of gas accidents is also rising. Therefore, the significance of preventing and mitigating gas disasters should be emphasized, and an effective risk assessment method for gas disasters should be established. On the basis of research on over 100 gas tunnels in China, a relatively ideal gas disaster risk assessment method and system for tunnels are established through the following measures. Firstly, geo-environmental conditions and gas situations were analyzed during construction. Secondly, qualitative analysis was combined with quantitative analysis. Finally, the influencing factors of gas disasters, including geological conditions, gas, and human factors, were investigated. The gas tunnel risk assessment system includes three levels: (1) the grading assessment of a gas tunnel during the planning stage, (2) the risk assessment of gas tunnel construction during the design and construction stages, (3) the gas tunnel outburst risk assessment during the coal uncovering stage. This system was applied to the dynamic assessment of gas disaster during the construction of the Zipingpu tunnel of Dujiangyan–Wenchuan Highway (in Sichuan, Southwest China). The assessment results were consistent with the actual excavation, which verified the rationality and feasibility of the system. The developed system was believed to be back-up and applied for risk assessment of gas disaster in the underground engineering construction.


Tunnel engineering Gas disasters Risk assessment Index system Zipingpu tunnel 


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The authors would like to acknowledge the support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41302244). And also would like to express appreciation to the reviewers and editors for their valuable comments and suggestions that helped to improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.College of EngineeringSichuan Normal UniversityChengduChina

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