Methodology for tunnel and portal support design in mixed limestone, schist and phyllite conditions: a case study in Turkey

Kockar M. K., Akgun H.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ROCK MECHANICS AND MINING SCIENCES, vol.40, no.2, pp.173-196, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The purpose of this study is to present a methodology for tunnel and support design in mixed limestone, schist and phyllite conditions through investigating two highway tunnel case studies that are located along the Antalya-Alanya Highway in southern Turkey. The main lithologies of the project area are regularly jointed, recrystallized limestone and the weak lithologies of the schist unit (i.e., pelitic schist, calc schist, graphitic phyllite and alternations of these lithologies). A detailed geological and geotechnical study was carried out in the project area, and the tunnel ground support types and categories were determined according to the Q-system, rock mass rating method and New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM). The shear strength parameters and geomechanical properties of the rock masses were obtained by using the geological strength index (GSI). The deformation moduli and post-failure behavior of the rock masses have been determined. Slope stability analyses were performed at the portal, side or cut slope sections. Kinematic and limit equilibrium analyses incorporating the effects of water pressure were performed for the regularly jointed failed rock slopes. Circular failure analogy was used for the slope stability analyses of irregularly jointed, highly foliated lithologies. Slope support system recommendations were made. A back analysis on a failed slope was performed. The results of the back analysis compared well with the results obtained through the GSI method. The tunnel grounds were divided into sections according to their rock mass classes. The deformations and stress concentrations around each tunnel section were investigated and the interactions of the empirical support systems with the rock masses were analyzed by using the Phase 2 finite element software. The regularly jointed rock masses were modeled to be anisotropic and the irregularly jointed, highly foliated and very deformable soil-like lithologies were modeled to be isotropic in the tunnel finite element analyses. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.