Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling  book cover
1st Edition

Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling

ISBN 9781138629981
Published June 18, 2017 by CRC Press
274 Pages

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Book Description

This Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling fills an important void in the literature for a practical guide to the design and construction of tunnels in rock.

Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling takes the reader through all the critical steps of the design and construction for rock tunnels starting from geotechnical site investigations through to construction supervision. The guide provides suggestions and recommendations for practitioners on special topics of laboratory testing, durability of rock and acceptance for unlined water conveyance tunnels, overstressing or deep and long tunnels, risk-based evaluation of excavation methods, contract strategies, and post-construction inspections. Key considerations and lessons learned from selected case projects are presented based on the author’s extensive international experience of over 30 years and 1000 km of tunneling for civil, hydropower, and mining infrastructure, including some of the most recognized projects in the world to date.

Instead of revisiting all theory and concepts that can be found in other sources, this book contains the hard learned lessons from the author’s experience in the field of Rock Tunneling, gathered over 30 years of service.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Functional uses of rock tunnels
2.1 General
2.2 Functional uses

3 Tunnel project execution
3.1 General
3.2 Project delivery method
3.3 Execution stages
3.4 Pre-planning by client
3.5 Project engineering by consultants
3.6 Engineering effort and deliverables during execution
3.7 Functional requirements for design build
3.8 Early contractor engagement and involvement
3.9 Constructability reviews
3.10 Independent TBM risk assessment

4 Site investigations
4.1 General
4.2 Potential consequences of limited site investigations
4.3 Review of existing information and previous experience
4.4 Planning and budgeting for site investigations
4.5 Compilation of relevant information and base map
4.6 Identification of key geological risks and possible concerns
4.7 Planning of phased investigations
4.8 Field mapping and ground proofing of inferred geological faults
4.9 Geophysical surveys
4.10 Borehole drilling
4.11 In situ testing
4.12 Selection and preparation of samples
4.13 Laboratory and quality assurance testing
4.14 Field instrumentation and monitoring before construction
4.15 Pilot or test excavation/gallery
4.16 Reporting
4.17 Drillcore photographs
4.18 Long term storage of drillcore

5 Rock characterization
5.1 Regional and site geology
5.2 Tunnel alignment geology
5.3 Faults and fracture zones
5.4 Rock mass fractures
5.5 Rock strength
5.6 Rock mineralogy
5.7 Rock alteration
5.8 Rock abrasivity
5.9 Rock durability and swelling potential
5.10 Groundwater conditions, predicted inflows, and quality
5.11 In situ stresses
5.12 Rock mass quality
5.13 Tunnel alignment and section characterization

6 Rock tunnel design
6.1 Design criteria and basis
6.2 Technical standards and codes of practice
6.3 Tunnel cross section and internal geometrical requirements
6.4 Tunnel size and shape
6.5 Portal locations and support design
6.6 Horizontal alignment and separation
6.7 Vertical alignment
6.8 Practical grade
6.9 Intermediate or temporary access requirements
6.10 Drainage requirements
6.11 Invert requirements
6.12 Operational design requirements
6.13 Access requirements
6.14 Design of hydraulic pressure tunnels
6.15 Seismic design considerations for rock tunnels
6.16 Constructability of design

7 Tunnel stability
7.1 General
7.2 Probable modes of instability
7.3 Stability analyses and selection of parameters
7.4 Empirical assessments of stability
7.5 Kinematic stability assessment
7.6 Rock mass stability assessment
7.7 Discrete element rock mass stability assessment
7.8 Evaluation of overstressing and characterization
7.9 Tunnel stability at fault zones
7.10 Squeezing conditions
7.11 Stability of aging hydropower tunnels
7.12 Review of stability of existing tunnels in similar geology

8 Tunnel excavation
8.1 Practical considerations
8.2 Minimum construction size
8.3 Overbreak considerations
8.4 Drill and blast excavation
8.5 Blasting design
8.6 Chemical rock breaking without vibrations
8.7 Scaling
8.8 High speed drill and blast excavation for long tunnels
8.9 Sequential Excavation Method (SEM) for weak rock
8.10 Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) excavation
8.11 Assessment of TBM applicability
8.12 The use of TBMs in squeezing ground conditions
8.13 The use of TBMs for mining projects
8.14 Minimum technical specifications for TBMs
8.15 Roadheader excavation
8.16 Methods for inclined excavation
8.17 Shaft excavation
8.18 Cavern excavation
8.19 New and developing technologies for excavation in rock
8.20 Construction methodology evaluation and risks

9 Tunnel support
9.1 General design principles
9.2 Initial rock support
9.3 Final rock support
9.4 Practical installation
9.5 Portal support
9.6 Support components and typical products
9.7 Tunnel support for severe overstressing and rockbursts
9.8 Tunnel support for squeezing conditions
9.9 Corrosion potential assessment
9.10 Pre-support requirements
9.11 Ground freezing
9.12 Tunnel stability and support design verification

10 Tunnel lining requirements
10.1 Purpose of tunnel linings in rock
10.2 Acceptability of unlined tunnels in rock
10.3 Shotcrete for final lining
10.4 Shotcrete for final lining of hydraulic tunnels
10.5 Cast-in-place concrete for final lining
10.6 One-pass concrete segmental lining with TBM excavation
10.7 Waterproofing requirements and applications
10.8 Fire protection requirements

11 Construction considerations
11.1 Site mobilization
11.2 Site preparation of camps, staging and laydown areas
11.3 Portal and shaft access
11.4 Ventilation
11.5 Construction water supply
11.6 Electrical supply
11.7 Construction pumps and sumps
11.8 Groundwater and construction water treatment
11.9 Environmental sampling and testing requirements
11.10 Spoil disposal
11.11 Tunnel support design implementation
11.12 Geological and geotechnical mapping requirements
11.13 Quality assurance inspections
11.14 Geotechnical instrumentation

12 Construction risks and mitigation measures
12.1 Portal hazards
12.2 Tunneling hazards
12.3 Stability influence between adjacent and existing tunnels
12.4 Groundwater control and management
12.5 Tunnel construction impacts and disturbances to the community
12.6 TBM entrapment and relief
12.7 TBM special problems and design features
12.8 Generation of fine materials during TBM excavation
12.9 Probe drilling
12.10 Pre-drainage
12.11 Pre-excavation grouting
12.12 Post-excavation grouting
12.13 Pilot tunnels
12.14 Investigative techniques during construction
12.15 Additional tunneling equipment and resources during construction

13 Construction cost estimation for rock tunnels
13.1 General
13.2 Costing standards and recommended procedures
13.3 Key assumptions for construction cost estimates
13.4 Direct construction costs
13.5 Indirect construction costs
13.6 Construction cost contingencies and profits
13.7 Client's costs
13.8 Total anticipated tunnel project cost
13.9 Probabilistic analysis of construction costs and geological uncertainty
13.10 Integrated cost and schedule risk analysis
13.11 Benchmark comparisons to similar projects 176

14 Construction scheduling for rock tunnels
14.1 Identification of key construction activities and graphic presentation
14.2 Procurement lead time for key equipment
14.3 Evaluation of realistic rates of productivity and working hours
14.4 Schedule contingencies for risk events
14.5 Critical path activities

15 Tunnel contract strategy and implementation
15.1 General
15.2 Contract documentation and types of contracts
15.3 Pre-qualification
15.4 Form of payment
15.5 Risk sharing and compensation for differing site conditions
15.6 Geotechnical baseline reports and implementation
15.7 Construction contract and scheduling management
15.8 Partnering
15.9 Dispute resolution
15.10 Claims management

16 Risk management
16.1 Risk management and practice
16.2 Qualitative risk assessments and risk registers
16.3 Risk allocation
16.4 Quantitative risk assessments

17 Inspection of rock tunnels
17.1 General
17.2 Manual inspections, data documentation, and safety practices
17.3 Unwatered inspections of hydraulic tunnels using ROVs

18 Renovation, repairs, and decommissioning
18.1 Renovation of rock tunnels
18.2 Repair of rock tunnels
18.3 Decommissioning of rock tunnels

19 Case histories and lessons learned
19.1 General
19.2 Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 1, Lesotho
19.3 Pacific Place Pedestrian Tunnel, Hong Kong
19.4 Taipei Ring Road Tunnels, Taiwan
19.5 Bolu Mountain Road Tunnel, Turkey
19.6 Gotthard Base Rail Tunnel. Switzerland
19.7 Seymour Capilano Twin Drinking Water Tunnels, Canada
19.8 Niagara Hydropower Tunnel, Canada
19.9 Arrowhead Inland Feeder Water Transfer Tunnels, USA
19.10 Canada Line Transit Tunnels, Canada
19.11 Ashlu Hydropower Tunnel, Canada
19.12 Forrest Kerr Hydropower Project, Canada
19.13 Rio Esti Hydropower Tunnel, Panama
19.14 Chacayes Hydropower Tunnel, Chile
19.15 Los Arandanos Hydropower Tunnels, Chile
19.16 Red Lake Gold Mine High Speed Tram Tunnel, Canada
19.17 Pascua Lama Mine Conveyor Tunnel, Chile
19.18 Los Condores Hydropower Tunnel, Chile 229

20 Engagement and roles and responsibilities of professionals
20.1 Engagement of professionals
20.2 Roles of professionals
20.3 Responsibilities and liability of professionals

21 Health and safety

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Dean Brox has over 30 years of experience as a tunneling practitioner with more than 1200 km of major tunneling and infrastructure projects around the world. Dean graduated in 1985 from the Geological Engineering Program of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, in 1985 and obtained his Master in Science in Engineering Rock Mechanics with Distinction from Imperial College, London, in 1990. Dean started his career in underground mining rock mechanics in South Africa before moving into tunneling for civil engineering infrastructure projects around the
world including the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, the Hong Kong Airport Core Projects, and the Gotthard Base Rail Tunnel in Switzerland. Dean has extensive experience with tunnels for hydropower projects and his areas of particular interest include high speed drill and blast excavation of long tunnels, long and deep TBM excavated tunnels, overstressing of deep or weak rock tunnels, asset performance of hydropower tunnels and TBM applicability assessments for mining projects. Dean practices as an independent consulting engineer and lives in Vancouver, Canada.


"Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling is exactly that, a useful tool and guide for practitioners in the tunnel business. This book provides insight into nearly every subject and for all steps of a rock tunnel project from planning through construction and operations and inspection. This book is a valuable reference for owners/clients, as it includes discussion of subjects such as: project planning, costing, scheduling, and risk assessment, never covered in classic technical books. Excellent photographs and graphics are contained throughout the book, which clearly illustrate the author’s message from practical experience on the multitude of subjects.

This book provides guidance on the current up-to-date state-of-the-practice in rock tunneling discussing innovations of the last decade from televiewer logging of bore holes, LiDAR aerial surveys for geological fault mapping, proper photography of rock core, to the modern use of fiber reinforcement in pre-cast concrete segments. New technical evaluation and graphical methods are presented for overstressing and squeezing of deep tunnels as part of constructability assessments. A good discussion, illustrated with photographs, of the importance of rock durability is provided. The acceptability of unlined tunnels for water conveyance and criteria to consider are discussed.

This book is based on 30 years of practical experience of investigation, design, construction, and operation of rock tunnels coupled with a thorough review of the literature. “Practical Guide to Rock Tunneling” should be part of all tunnel practitioner’s libraries; this includes staff engineers, geologists, project managers, and owners."

Don W. Deere, P.E., Denver, Colorado.


"I enjoyed reading this new book by Dean if only because it reminded me of what l`d forgotten and what has changed in Rock Tunnelling! Dean has produced an engaging summary of the current practice of planning, design, management and construction in Rock Tunnelling and it is a good basis for BSc/MSc students and beginners learning the art of rock tunnelling. It is a well laid out book following a clear format with useful references and case studies—and some excellent pictures. Each of the 21 chapters are not too wordy and Dean gets to the point without unnecessary verbage [...] Of particular note are the chapters on Rock Characterisation, Risk & Mitigation and Lessons Learned ( Chapters 5, 12 &19). The essential points for each of these areas of Rock Tunnelling are covered and well explained and uncomplicated. Chapter 15 on Contract Strategy and implementation, whilst not specifically unique to Rock Tunnelling, is nevertheless explained clearly without burdening the reader with too much detail; and for those just beginning a career in tunnelling the background is a welcome summary putting into context the commercial framework for procuring construction in Rock Tunnelling.

For those looking for more detail then the book does give useful references and for those looking for detail of Case Histories then the brief examples serve as a starting point for satisfying those who want to delve more into practical examples and to gather more lessons learned.
All in all l`d be delighted if l was just beginning a career in tunnelling to have the benefit of Dean`s helicopter view of an industry that he knows well and understands."

Martin Knights FREng, Former president of the International Tunnelling Association, and independent consulting engineer.