Stability investigations around a mine tunnel through three-dimensional discontinuum and continuum stress analyses

Xin Wang, P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, Wei Dong Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


To exploit an underground mine effectively and safely, it is important to have a good understanding of the geotechnical behavior around the underground excavations made in the mine. The aim of this study was to investigate the geotechnical behavior around a tunnel excavated in a metal mine in China at the three-dimensional level. Using the information available on lithology, geological structures, in situ stress measurements, physical and mechanical properties of intact rock, discontinuities and interfaces between different rocks, a three-dimensional numerical model was built by using the 3DEC software package to simulate a tunnel excavation under a high in situ stress condition. Effect of the discontinuity network, possible intact rock and discontinuity parameter variability, representation of rock masses as discontinuum or equivalent continuum material and rock support system on the deformation, and stability around the tunnel was investigated. A very good agreement was obtained between the collected field deformation monitoring results and the results of the conducted numerical stress analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-112
Number of pages15
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Discontinuities
  • Discontinuum modeling
  • Equivalent continuum modeling
  • Geotechnical behavior
  • Rock tunnel
  • Three-dimensional stress analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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