Numerical modelling of hydraulic decompression due to the excavation of tunnel and drifts at the Tournemire underground laboratory


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Abstract

The Tournemire underground laboratory is situated in a clay formation and consists of a disaffected railway tunnel and two perpendicular drifts. The paper presents modelling and 3D simulations of the hydraulic behaviour of the argillaceous formation around the works. Experimental measurements of porosity, permeability and specific storage coefficients allowed us to model the hydraulic properties of the shale. Numerical simulations are performed with the code CASTEM. Numerical results of hydraulic heads are compared to experimental measurements. Calculations show that the excavation of the tunnel and drifts has induced an hydraulic decompression of the indurated argillaceous formations. The zones of decompression are centred around the structures and extend depending on the values of hydraulic parameters such as permeability and specific storage selected in the model. Six years after the excavation of the drifts, the hydraulic steady state in the fractured zone is not yet reached.

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