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Underground constructions

Keywords: tunnels, excavation safety, soil-structure interaction, numerical modelling
Fig. 1. View of the adopted Finite Element mesh (picture by D. Boldini).
Fig. 2. Distribution of curvature (displacement scale factor = 20) in the condition of maximum seismic deformation (picture by D. Boldini).
Fig. 3. Interpretation of the inclinometric measurements along the slope crossed by the Val di Sambro tunnel (picture by D. Boldini).

The research carried out in the fields of underground constructions and safety of excavations covers several topics, among which it can be mentioned:

 

  • the subsidence induced by tunnel excavation and the interaction with the above-ground structures (Fig. 1);
  • the seismic behaviour of tunnels (Fig. 2);
  • the soil-lining interaction in deep tunnels, with special reference to squeezing conditions;
  • the influence of hydro-mechanical coupling on tunnel behaviour;
  • the interaction between tunnel excavation and landslide movements (Fig. 3);
  • the statistical and geostatistical analysis of excavation parameters and their correlation with rock-mass quality;
  • the health and safety of workers in excavation works.

 

Most of the activities are developed with the use of numerical modelling. Peculiar attention is dedicated to the implementation of advanced constitutive models for soil, to the detailed simulation of the construction stages (also in 3D conditions) and to the appropriate schematisation of the structural elements.

When possible, the results of the numerical studies are compared to the monitoring data of real case-histories. The research group has been involved in the analysis of very important projects, including the Brenner base tunnel, the Val di Sambro tunnel and the Milan underground line 5.

Main publications

Boldini, D., Bruno, R., Egger, H., Stafisso, D. and Voza, A., Statistical and geostatistical analysis of drilling parameters in the Brenner Base tunnel, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, submitted.

Bandini, A., Berry, P. and Boldini, D., Tunnelling-induced landslides: the Val di Sambro tunnel case study, Engineering Geology, 196, 2015, pp. 71-87.

Fargnoli, V., Boldini, D. and Amorosi A., Twin tunnel excavation in coarse grained soils: observations and numerical back-predictions under free field conditions and in presence of a surface structure, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 49, 2015, pp. 454-469.

Fargnoli, V., Gragnano, C.G., Boldini, D. and Amorosi, A., 3D numerical modelling of soil–structure interaction during EPB tunnelling, Géotechnique, 65, No. 1, 2015, pp. 23-27.

Amorosi, A., Boldini, D., de Felice, G., Malena, M. and Sebastianelli, Tunnelling-induced deformation and damage on historical masonry structures, Géotechnique, 64, No. 2, 2014, pp. 118-130.

Amorosi, A., Boldini, D. and Falcone, G., Numerical prediction of tunnel performance during centrifuge dynamic tests, Acta Geotechnica, 9, No. 4, pp. 581-596.

Fargnoli, V., Boldini, D. and Amorosi, A., TBM tunnelling-induced settlements in coarse-grained soils: The case of the new Milan underground line 5, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 38, 2013, pp. 336-347.

Graziani, A. and Boldini, D., Influence of hydro-mechanical coupling on tunnel response in clays, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 138, No. 3, 2012, pp. 415-418.

Boldini, D. and Graziani, A., Remarks on axisymmetric modeling of deep tunnels in argillaceous formations. II: Fissured argillites, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 28, 2012, pp. 80-89.

Graziani, A. and Boldini, D., Remarks on axisymmetric modeling of deep tunnels in argillaceous formations. I: Plastic clays, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 28, 2012, pp. 70-79.

Amorosi, A., Boldini, D. and Elia, G., Parametric study on seismic ground response by finite element modelling, Computers and Geotechnics, 37, No. 4, 2010, pp. 515-528.

Amorosi, A. and Boldini, D., Numerical modelling of the transverse dynamic behaviour of circular tunnels in clayey soils, Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 29, No. 6, 2009, pp. 1059-1072.

Graziani, A., Boldini D. amd Ribacchi, R., Practical estimate of deformations, loads and stress relief factors for deep tunnels supported by shotcrete, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 38, No. 5, 2005, pp. 345-372.

Boldini, D., Lackner, R. and Mang, H.A., Ground-shotcrete interaction of NATM tunnels with high overburden, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 131, No. 7, 2015, pp. 886-897.

Boldini, D., Lackner, R. and Mang, H.A., Influence of face reinforcement and shotcrete support on static conditions of deep tunnels: a thermo-chemo-mechanical study, Rivista Italiana di Geotecnica, 4, 2004, pp. 52-69.

Boldini, D., Graziani, A. and Ribacchi, R., Raticosa tunnel, Italy: characterization of tectonized clay-shale and analysis of monitoring data and face stability, Soils and Foundations, 44, No. 1, pp. 59-71.

Research projects

RELUIS (2014-2016) “University Lab Net of Seismic Engineering: Urban Tunnels” founded by the Italian Civil Protection. 36 months. Participant to the Unit of Technical University of Bari.

Research agreement with PLAXIS B.V. for “Development of a Model for Masonry”. 12 months (March 2015). Participant to the Unit of Technical University of Bari.

Research contract with Galleria di base del Brennero – Brenner Basistunnel BBT SE on the possible exploitation of geothermal energy from the Brenner Base Tunnel. 12 months. Euros 16000 (June 2015).