Rock mass characterization for the underground cavern design of Khiritharn pumped storage scheme
A general approach to rock engineering designing aspects adopted at the Khiritharn Pumped Storage Scheme is described. The scheme involves excavation of three large caverns and tunnels in jointed sandstone within a suture zone in Southeast Thailand. Geological condition and engineering properties of the sandstone were investigated. Strength and modulus properties of the intact rock were determined from laboratory tests and properties of rock mass were empirically estimated for the design analysis in the de.nite study stage on the basis of three rock mass classi.cation systems namely the Rock Mass Rating (RMR), Geological Strength Index (GSI) and a Japanese system (EPDC). While the GSI gives strength and modulus of deformation values slightly higher than the RMR classi.cation, the EPDC gives a lower value of modulus of deformation but comparable rock mass strength value for the level of con.ning pressures at the depth of the cavern excavation. The results of stress analysis and loosening wedge analysis for the cavern excavations suggest favorable excavation condition.
Keywords. cavern design FEM simulation rock mass classi.cation rock mass properties triaxial rock strength underground cavern.
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