Abstract

Predicting geologic interfaces ahead of a tunnel front is of major importance when boring tunnels. Unexpected variations in ground properties can cause problems for tunnel-boring advance and risk for human safety. The tunnel-seismic-while-drilling (TSWD) method utilizes noise produced during mechanical excavation to obtain interpretable seismic data. This passive method uses accelerometers mounted on the advancing tunnel-boring machine (reference signals) together with seismic sensors located along and outside the tunnel. Data recorded by fixed sensors are crosscorrelated with the reference signal and sorted by offset. Similar to reverse vertical seismic profiling, crosscorrelated TSWD data are processed to extract the reflected wavefield. During mechanical excavation of a 950-m tunnel through upper Triassic dolomite, a survey was performed to predict geologic interfaces. Faults intersecting the tunnel were observed on seismic TSWD data and later were confirmed by geostructural inspection. P- and S-wave interval velocities obtained by TSWD data along the bored tunnel were used to compute dynamic rock moduli to support tunnel completion.

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