Stability analysis and long-term behaviour of deep tunnels in clay formations

Arnaud Dizier, Marc Scibetta, Gilles Armand, Jad Zghondi, Temenuga Georgieva, Guangjing Chen, Jan Verstricht, Xiang Ling Li, Didier Leonard, Séverine Levasseur

    Research outputpeer-review


    Demonstrating the feasibility of constructing tunnels in deep clay formations is an important goal of the Belgian RD&D programme on the geological disposal of radioactive waste. In 2002 a major achievement was reached when the HADES Underground Research Laboratory (URL) in Boom Clay was extended with the construction of the Connecting Gallery. This demonstrated that it is feasible to construct galleries in poorly indurated clays using industrial techniques. To monitor the mechanical behaviour of the gallery and assess its stability, strain gauges were embedded in the segmental gallery lining and prisms were installed on the segments. These sensors provide valuable information that will support the design of future galleries. This paper presents the acquired 20 years of monitoring data in the Connecting gallery and a first analysis of these data in term of Boom Clay behaviour. In addition, the key findings are compared to those of a similar analysis performed by Andra (the French Radioactive Waste Agency) at the Meuse/Haute-Marne URL. The latter URL is excavated in the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COX). The comparison identifies general trends and highlights similarities between the behaviour of tunnels in poorly indurated clay (Boom Clay) and in claystone (COX).
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number86
    Number of pages20
    JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
    StatePublished - 27 Feb 2023
    Event2022 - Exchange Meeting HADES 40
    - Tabloo, Dessel
    Duration: 9 Dec 20229 Dec 2022

    Cite this