Time-Dependant Behavior of Solution Caverns in Salt

by Jameshid Ghaboussi, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.,
Randall E. Ranken, Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.,
Afred J. Hendron, Jr., (M.ASCE), Stone & Webster Engrg., Denver, Colo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 10, Pg. 1379-1401

Document Type: Journal Paper


Creep finite-element analyses of several solution caverns in rock salt were performed to study the long-term behavior of such caverns. The effect of cavern shape (height-to-diameter ratio) and the internal pressure on the time-dependent behavior of caverns were the main objectives. The pattern of creep-induced stress changes around the caverns were studied, and the main aspects were demonstrated through the results of the analyses. The cavern volume closures can be expressed by a simple equation as a function of time, and the accuracy of this expression was verified by the results of the analyses. The other aspects of the time-dependent behavior of the caverns studied were: (1) the influence of a drop in internal pressure; (2) the influence of creep deformations on the results and interpretation of pressure tests for cavity tightness; and (3) the influence of gradual cavity growth due to the leaching process as compared to the analysis of cavity assumed at full size initially.

Subject Headings: Creep | Cavitation | Finite element method | Time dependence | Stress analysis | Rocks | Salts | Verification

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