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Tunnel flexibility effect on the ground surface acceleration response

Abstract

Flexibility of underground structures relative to the surrounding medium, referred to as the flexibility ratio, is an important factor that influences their dynamic interaction. This study investigates the flexibility effect of a box-shaped subway tunnel, resting directly on bedrock, on the ground surface acceleration response using a numerical model verified against dynamic centrifuge test results. A comparison of the ground surface acceleration response for tunnel models with different flexibility ratios revealed that the tunnels with different flexibility ratios influence the acceleration response at the ground surface in different ways. Tunnels with lower flexibility ratios have higher acceleration responses at short periods, whereas tunnels with higher flexibility ratios have higher acceleration responses at longer periods. The effect of the flexibility ratio on ground surface acceleration is more prominent in the high range of frequencies. Furthermore, as the flexibility ratio of the tunnel system increases, the acceleration response moves away from the free field response and shifts towards the longer periods. Therefore, the flexibility ratio of the underground tunnels influences the peak ground acceleration (PGA) at the ground surface, and may need to be considered in the seismic zonation of urban areas.

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Correspondence to Masoud Rabeti Moghadam.

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Baziar, M.H., Moghadam, M.R., Choo, Y.W. et al. Tunnel flexibility effect on the ground surface acceleration response. Earthq. Eng. Eng. Vib. 15, 457–476 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11803-016-0336-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11803-016-0336-y

Keywords

  • box-shaped tunnel
  • flexibility ratio
  • acceleration response
  • ground surface
  • centrifuge modeling
  • numerical simulation