Subsidence above Shallow Tunnels in Soft Ground

by John H. Atkinson, Lect. in Civ. and Struct. Engrg.; University Coll., Cardiff, Wales; formerly, Sr. Asst. in Research, Cambridge Univ., Cambridge, England,
David M. Potts, Shell Exploration and Production Lab., Rijswijk, The Netherlands; formerly, Research Student, Cambridge Univ., Cambridge, England,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 4, Pg. 307-325

Document Type: Journal Paper


The paper investigates the influence of the depth of burial and crown settlement on the surface subsidence above shallow tunnels driven in soft ground. Model tests were conducted on tunnels in sand and in clay, and these are compared with one another and with observations of settlements above some real tunnels. There is good agreement between the model behavior and the field records. The error, or normal probability curve, may be used as an approximation for the trough of surface subsidence, and the standard deviation is an appropriate measure of the width. Empirical relationships exist between the depth of burial, the trough width and the crown and surface settlements for tunnels in sands and in clays.

Subject Headings: Soil settlement | Soft soils | Clays | Land subsidence | Tunnels | Soil analysis | Soil tests | Agreements and treaties

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