Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1673–1683 | Cite as

Interaction of longitudinal surface settlements for twin tunnels in shallow and soft soils: the case of Istanbul Metro

  • Ibrahim OcakEmail author
Original Article


Increasing demands on infrastructures increases the attention on shallow soft ground tunneling methods in urbanized areas. Especially, in metro tunnel excavations, it is important to control the surface settlements observed before and after excavation, which may cause damage to surface structures. To solve this problem, earth pressure balance machines (EPBMs) have widely been used throughout the world. This study focuses on surface settlement measurements, the interaction of twin tunnel surface settlement, and the relationship between shield parameters and surface settlement for parallel tunnels using EPBM shields in clay and sand soils. In this study, the tunnels were excavated using two EPBMs. The tunnels were 6.5 m in diameter, as twin tubes with a 14 m distance from center to center. The EPBM in the first tube followed about 100 m behind the other tube. Segmental lining with 1.4 m of length was employed as a final support. The results from this study showed that (1) the most important parameters for the maximum surface settlements are the face pressure and backfill; (2) in twin tunnel excavation with EPBM for longitudinal profile, the settlement rate reached its peak value when the shield came to the monitoring section and this peak value continued until the shield passed the monitoring section; (3) every shield affected the other tunnel’s longitudinal surface settlement profile by approximately 35–36.8 %; (4) S A, S B and S C values were found to be 38.0, 35.8 and 26.2 %, respectively for an EPBM, and (5) ensuring good construction quality is a very effective way to control face stability and minimize surface settlement.


Twin tunnel excavation Surface settlement EPBM Interaction of settlements 



This study was supported by Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University, Project Number 24410. The author is grateful to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality for supplying data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mining Engineering DepartmentIstanbul UniversityAvcilar/IstanbulTurkey

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