Application of the comprehensive forecast system for water-bearing structures in a karst tunnel: a case study

  • Lin Bu
  • Shucai Li
  • Shaoshuai ShiEmail author
  • Lipin Li
  • Yong Zhao
  • Zongqing Zhou
  • Lichao Nie
  • Huaifeng Sun
Original Paper


While tunneling in karst terrains, engineers may encounter unpredictable well-developed karst conduits, which frequently lead to water inrush accidents. Geological processes significantly affect the varieties and characteristics of water-bearing structures. Therefore, a comprehensive system for water-bearing structure prediction is first put forward, and then the geological and hydrogeological engineering conditions of the Yuelongmen tunnel in Southwest China are analyzed. To accurately predict the geometric characteristics of water-bearing structures and their spatial relationship with the tunnel face, the transient electromagnetic method (TEM) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) were comprehensively applied. Then, the induced polarization method (IP) was utilized separately to detect the three-dimensional position and spatial distribution pattern of the water-rich area. According to the comprehensive forecast conclusion, targeted boreholes were drilled, which were selected to verify the water-bearing structure in the survey area. The drilling and detection results matched. Furthermore, the curtain grouting method was adopted for the treatment of the water-rich area. By establishing a comprehensive prediction technology system with the principle of “from qualitative analysis to quantitative identification, from structure locating to the water-bearing structure discrimination, as well as from far and near,” this comprehensive prediction system was successfully put into practice in the karst tunnel in Sichuan; it can play a guiding role in similar projects.


Karst tunnel Water-bearing structures Comprehensive prospecting system for water-bearing structures Curtain grouting method 



Much of the work presented in this article was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (grant no. 2013CB036000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 51609129), State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology (grant no. SKLGDUEK1515), Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (grant no. ZR2014EEQ 002), and Shandong Postdoctoral Innovation Project Special Foundation (grant no. 201502025). Useful suggestions and information were given by ChengLan Railway Co., Ltd. China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co., Ltd., and China Railway No. 19 Engineering Group Co., Ltd., are also acknowledged. The authors would like to express appreciation to the reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which helped improve the quality of the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Bu
    • 1
  • Shucai Li
    • 1
  • Shaoshuai Shi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lipin Li
    • 1
  • Yong Zhao
    • 3
  • Zongqing Zhou
    • 1
  • Lichao Nie
    • 1
  • Huaifeng Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Geotechnical and Structural Engineering Research CenterShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground EngineeringChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  3. 3.Project Design and Approval Center of Ministry of RailwaysBeijingChina

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