Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 163–178 | Cite as

Modelling the transverse behaviour of circular tunnels in structured clayey soils during earthquakes

  • Lowell Tan Cabangon
  • Gaetano EliaEmail author
  • Mohamed Rouainia
Research Paper


The paper presents novel results from advanced numerical simulations of the transverse behaviour of shallow circular tunnels in natural clays accounting for soil structure degradation induced by earthquake loading. It combines the calibration of a kinematic hardening model against real laboratory data with outputs from a parametric study with different degradation rates of soil structure to demonstrate the good performance of the model and draw conclusions of significance to both researchers and designers. The sensitivity analysis indicates an increase in the maximum and minimum values of the lining forces attained during the earthquake motions and in the lining hoop force and bending moment increments in response to the seismic events when higher rates of destructuration are accounted for. Hence, the paper highlights for the first time the importance of the initial structure and its degradation in controlling the magnitude of the tunnel lining forces and, consequently, the overall seismic tunnel design.


Constitutive models Destructuration Earthquakes Finite element method Natural clays Tunnels 



The authors would like to thank Daniela Menozzi from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and Fabio Maria Soccodato from the University of Cagliari for providing some of the Avezzano Clay data presented in the PhD thesis of Marco D’Elia. The authors would also like to acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Building Engineering and Chemistry (DICATECh)Technical University of BariBariItaly

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