Norway's Olympic Cavern

by Rajinder Bhasin, Res. Fellow; Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, P.O. Box 40, Tåsen, N-0801 Oslo 8, Norway,
Fredrik Løset, Sr. Geologist; Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, P.O. Box 40, Tåsen, N-0801 Oslo 8, Norway,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 12, Pg. 60-61

Document Type: Feature article


A mountainous task had been undertaken by Norwegian firms in constructing the world's largest in-mountain colosseum for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Norway. The Norwegian Method of Tunnelling (NMT) requiring thorough descriptions of geological and geotechnical aspects of the project has been employed. Approximately 140,000 m³ of rock has been blasted and removed using 170 tons of explosives amounting to nearly 1.2kg explosive per cubic meter of rock. A total of 43,000 non-electric (Nonel) detonators had been consumed during the construction process. Detailed engineering geological investigations have been carried out from the feasibility to the construction stage at the site for the 25 million dollars Olympic cavern. This work has been done according to the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) method, meaning that the rock mass classification approach has been applied extensively to obtain and derive the geotechnical parameters needed for predicting the behavior of the rock mass. In addition, rock mechanical parameters, including joint geometry, joint roughness and strength have been measured. Other geotechnical works performed by NGI in cooperation with various consulting firms have included rock deformation measurements, stress monitoring, cross hole seismic and georadar monitoring and blast vibration monitoring in adjacent caverns. Integration of geotechnical data with experimental and modeling studies have allowed prediction of the cavern performance for comparison to that observed at the time of excavation completion.

Subject Headings: Rock masses | Rocks | Blasting effects | Explosions | Site investigation | Construction sites | Parameters (statistics) | Joints | Norway | Europe

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