With China's expanding economy, many tunnels are being designed and constructed. However, tunneling in hazardous geologic terrain, with faults, fractures, water-bearing openings, and other adverse geological conditions, construction safety is seriously endangered. To ensure the safety of tunnel construction, a tunnel geological prospecting method was proposed and applied at the Xiangyun Tunnel in Yunnan Province, China. In the investigation stage, the engineering geological and hydrogeological conditions were analyzed to recognize high-risk sections. In the construction stage, the “tunnel ahead” prospecting scheme was optimized based on the macroscopic geological conditions. Geological mapping of the tunnel, seismic ahead prospecting and transient electromagnetic soundings were employed as well as resistivity models to image potential adverse conditions. Horizontal drilling and tunnel excavation records verified the geophysical predictions and interpretations.

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