Experimental study on water inflow characteristics of tunnel in the fault fracture zone

  • Xin Zhao
  • Xiaohua YangEmail author
Original Paper


The characteristics of water inflow in tunnels within a fault fracture zone were investigated in this paper. The model test was conducted to explore the influence of surface water and the effect of grouting on the water pressure distribution and inflow quantity in the tunnel. Water inflow was characterized by four stages—wet stage, dripped stage, gushed stage, and collapsed stage—based on monitoring of the inflow quantity. The rapid decrease in water pressure was observed before the collapse of the tunnels. Meanwhile, the critical thickness of the layer installed against the inrush (the “anti-inrush layer”) was studied in the model test; this layer varied from 2 to 6 cm under different conditions. It was found that the presence of surface water increases the water inflow and the minimum thickness of the anti-inrush layer, and that grouting may effectively decrease the water inflow and also affect the minimum thickness required for the anti-inrush layer. A numerical simulation was conducted, and it was found by comparisons with the model test and field investigation that good agreement was achieved.


Fault fracture zone Water inflow Model test Numerical simulation Anti-inrush layer 


Funding information

This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51378071), Scientific and Technological Research Project of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (No. 124006-10).


  1. Aulisa E, Ibragimov A, Toda M (2010) Geometric framework for modeling nonlinear flows in porous media and its applications in engineering. Nonlinear Analysis Real World Applications 11 (3): 1734-1751Google Scholar
  2. Bordier C, Zimmer D (2000) Drainage equations and non-Darcian modeling in coarse porous media or geosynthetic materials. J Hydrol 228 (S3-4): 174-187Google Scholar
  3. Chen XY (2015) An experiment study of the characteristics of tunnel water burst in fault fracture zone. Dissertation, Chang’an UniversityGoogle Scholar
  4. Cherubini C, Giasi CI, Pastore N (2012) Bench scale laboratory tests to analyze non-linear flow in fractured media. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 16(8):2511–2522Google Scholar
  5. Fang L, Jiang SP, Lin Z, Wang FQ (2011) Shaking table model test study of tunnel through fault. Rock Soil Mech 32(9):2709–2713Google Scholar
  6. Fancher GH, Lewis JA (1933) Flow of simple fluids through porous materials. Ind Eng Chem 25(10):1139–1147Google Scholar
  7. Guo X, Chai JR, Qin Y, Xu ZG, Fan YN, Zhang XW (2018) Mechanism and treatment technology of three water inrush events in the Jiaoxi river tunnel in Shaanxi, China. J Perform Constr Facil 33(1):04018098Google Scholar
  8. Gothall R, Stille H (2010) Fracture-fracture interaction during grouting. Tunnel Underg Space Technol 25(3):199–204Google Scholar
  9. Golian M, Teshnizi ES, Nakhaei M (2018) Prediction of water inflow to mechanized tunnels during tunnel-boring-machine advance using numerical simulation. Hydrogeol J 26:2827–2851Google Scholar
  10. Jeon S, Kim J, SeoY HC (2004) Effect of a fault and weak plane on the stability of a tunnel in rock-a scaled model test and numerical analysis. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 41(S1):658–663Google Scholar
  11. Javadi M, Sharifzadeh M, Shahriar K (2010) A new geometrical model for non-linear fluid flow through rough fractures. J Hydrol 389(1-2):18–30Google Scholar
  12. Kolymbas D, Wagner P (2007) Groundwater ingress to tunnels-the exact analytical solution. Tunnel Underg Space Technol 22(1):23–27Google Scholar
  13. Li LP (2010) Study on catastrophe evolution mechanism of karst water inrush and its engineering application of high risk karst tunnel. Dissertation, Shandong UniversityGoogle Scholar
  14. Li SC, Liu HL, Li LP, Zhang QQ, Wang K, Wang K (2016) Large scale three-dimensional seepage analysis model test and numerical simulation research on undersea tunnel. Appl Ocean Res 59:510–520Google Scholar
  15. Liu JQ, Chen WZ, Yuan JQ, Li CJ, Zhang QY, Li XF (2018) Groundwater control and curtain grouting for tunnel construction in completely weathered granite. Bull Eng Geol Environ 77:515–531Google Scholar
  16. Liu Q, Liu F, Turner I, Anh V (2009a) Numerical simulation for the 3D seepage flow with fractional derivatives in porous media. IMA J Appl Math 74:201–229Google Scholar
  17. Li ZP, Li SC, Zhang QS, Zhang X, Wang DM, Zhu MT, Zhang LZ (2013) Study on parameters of grouting reinforced circle for water-rich and soft fault fracture zone in tunnel. Appl Mech Mater 470:925–929Google Scholar
  18. Liu AH, Peng SQ, Li XB, Chen HJ (2009b) Development and application of similar physical model experiment system for water inrush mechanism in deep mining. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 28(7):1335–1341Google Scholar
  19. Lai HP, Song WL, Liu YY, Chen R (2017) Influence of flooded loessial on the tunnel lining: case study. J Perform Constr Facil 31(6):1–11Google Scholar
  20. Li SC, Yuan YC, Li LP, Ye ZH, Zhang QQ, Lei T (2015) Water inrush mechanism and minimum safe thickness of rock wall of karst tunnel face under blast excavation. Chin J Geotech Eng 37(2):313–320Google Scholar
  21. Moutsopoulos KN, Papaspyros INE, Tsihrintzis VA (2009) Experimental investigation of inertial flow processes in porous media. J Hydrol 374(3-4):242–254Google Scholar
  22. Oda M, Takemura T, Aoki T (2002) Damage growth and permeability change in triaxial compression tests of Inada granite. Mech Mater 34(2):313–331Google Scholar
  23. Panthulu TV, Krishnaiah C, Shirke JM (2001) Detection of seepage paths in earth dams using self-potential and electrical resistivity methods. Eng Geol 59(S3-4):281–295Google Scholar
  24. Qiu JZ, Zan YW, Wang J, Wang J, Du JH (2001) Rock grouting theory and engineering examples. Guo, BeiJingGoogle Scholar
  25. Ren WF (2015) Theory research of stress field displacement field and seepage field and study on grouting waterproofing of high water pressure tunnel. Central South University, DissertationGoogle Scholar
  26. Shin JH, Potts DM, Zdravkovic L (2005) The effect of pore-water pressure on NATM tunnel linings in decomposed granite soil. Can Geotech J 42(6):1585–1599Google Scholar
  27. Tan YH (2017) Evolutionary mechanism of mud bursting through water-inrich fault in tunnels and engineering applications. Dissertation, Shandong UniversityGoogle Scholar
  28. Tan ZS, Li ZH, Zhou ZL, Liu Q, Chen ZF (2016) Experiment study on waterproofing system of large section near sea tunnel. Chin J Highway Transport 29(12):109–115Google Scholar
  29. Tzelepis V, Moutsopoulos KN, Papaspyros JNE, Tsihrintzis VA (2015) Experimental investigation of flow behavior in smooth and rough artificial fractures. J Hydrol 521:108–118Google Scholar
  30. Tao XL, Ma JR, Zeng W (2015) Treatment effect investigation of underground continuous impervious curtain application in water-rich strata. Int J Min Sci Technol (6):968–974Google Scholar
  31. Wang FM, Xu JG, Yang L, Zhon YH, Li J (2015) Static load experiment numerical analysis of polymer diaphragm wall of dam. J Arch Civil Eng 32(2):27–34Google Scholar
  32. Wu MJ, Xu XB, Zhao MJ, Liu XH (2004) Construction mechanics response study of highway tunnel in karst region. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 23(9):1525–1529Google Scholar
  33. Wang DM, Zhang QS, Zhang X, Wang K, Tan YH (2016) Model experiment on inrush of water and mud and catastrophic evolution in a fault fracture zone tunnel. Rock Soil Mech 37(10):2851–2860Google Scholar
  34. Xu QW, Cheng PP, Zhu HH, Ding WQ, Li YH, Wang WT, Luo Y (2016) Experimental study and numerical simulation on progressive failure characteristics of the fault-crossing tunnel surrounding rock. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 35(3):433–445Google Scholar
  35. Yang YN (2009) Research of karst tunnel water bursting hazard risk assessment system in the southwest mountainous area. Chengdu University of Technology, DissertationGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhai YD (2000) Study on the rational size of the coal column to prevent water inrush at karst collapse column. J Taiyuen Univ Technol 31(2):197–199Google Scholar
  37. Zhang WJ (2014) Mechanism of grouting reinforcement of water-rich fault fractured zone and its application in tunnel engineering. Dissertation, Shandong UniversityGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhou Y, Li SC, Li LP, Zhang QQ, Shi SS, Song SG, Wang K, Chen DY, Sun SQ (2015) New technology for tests of underground engineering and its application in experimental simulation of water inrush in filled-type karst conduit. Chin J Geotech Eng 37(7):1232–1240Google Scholar
  39. Zou JF, Qian ZH, Xiang XH, Chen GH (2019) Face stability of a tunnel excavated in saturated nonhomogeneous soils. Tunnel Underg Space Technol 83:1–17Google Scholar
  40. Zhuo Y, Sun GQ (2009) Grouting construction technology of high pressure and rich water fault F11 in Qiyueshan Tunnel. Eng Sci 11(12):82–86Google Scholar
  41. Zhang QS, Wang DM, Li SC, Zhang X, Tan YH, Wang K (2017) Development and application of model test system for inrush of water and mud of tunnel in fault rupture zone. Chin J Geotech Eng 39(3):417–426Google Scholar
  42. Zhang MQ, Yin HL (2006) Treatment of burst water on fault F3 of bieyancao tunnel on yichang-wanzhou railway line. J Rail Eng Soc 78(1):67–69Google Scholar
  43. Zhou JM, Yan Q, Meng GW (2013) Seismic dynamic model tests on tunnel lining passing through the fault. Appl Mech Mater 368-370:1732–1737Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HighwayChang’an UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations