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Book Chapter

The influence of different supports on the properties of the excavation damaged zone along the FE tunnel in the Mont Terri Underground Rock Laboratory

By
Hua Shao
Hua Shao
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hanover, Germany
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Benjamin Paul
Benjamin Paul
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hanover, Germany
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Xuerui Wang
Xuerui Wang
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hanover, Germany
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Jürgen Hesser
Jürgen Hesser
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hanover, Germany
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Jens Becker
Jens Becker
National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), Wettingen, Switzerland
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Benoit Garitte
Benoit Garitte
National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), Wettingen, Switzerland
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Herwig Müller
Herwig Müller
National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), Wettingen, Switzerland
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

Permeability and its spatial distribution around an underground opening in a geological formation are important for the interpretation of thermal, hydraulic and mechanical findings from an in situ demonstration experiment. Within the site characterization programme of the Full-scale Emplacement (FE) experiment, permeability measurements with nitrogen gas have been conducted from six short boreholes. Four of them were located in a section without shotcrete support and two in a section with a three-layer-shotcrete lining. As expected, the extension of the zone with an increased permeability was larger (up to 2 m) in the area without shotcrete support than that in the section with a shotcrete lining (less than 1.5 m).

The water content in the sections with or without shotcrete linings also showed different behaviour over long-term monitoring. The water content in the deep borehole section in the area with a shotcrete lining stayed almost constant, while the water content in the deep borehole section in the area without shotcrete tended to continuously decrease. In general, the water content close to the tunnel is influenced by the seasonal change in the temperature and relative humidity within the tunnel, especially in the section without a shotcrete lining.

Analysis of the abovementioned observations/findings was done by performing FEM (finite-element method) calculations with OpenGeoSys (OGS) software using a coupled hydromechanical model. Owing to the high stiffness of shotcrete, the displacement in the section with a shotcrete lining was smaller. This, in turn, results in a smaller extension in the excavation damaged zone (EDZ). However, shotcrete has a relatively high suction capacity and high initial water content: thus, the interface between the shotcrete and the Opalinus Clay becomes more saturated. Therefore, the excavation-induced fractures in the Opalinus Clay close to the shotcrete can be sealed by swelling. The water content decreases continuously, as a result of desaturation occurring during the operational phase and the associated change in porewater pressure.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Radioactive Waste Confinement: Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers

S. Norris
S. Norris
Radioactive Waste Management, UK
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J. Bruno
J. Bruno
Amphos 21, Spain
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M. van Geet
M. van Geet
ONDRAF/NIRAS, Belgium
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E. Verhoef
E. Verhoef
COVRA, The Netherlands
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Geological Society of London
Volume
443
ISBN electronic:
9781786203267
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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