Tunnels, Vertical Shafts and Pipelines

  • Milutin SrbulovEmail author
Part of the Geotechnical, Geological, and Earthquake Engineering book series (GGEE, volume 20)


Traditional belief is that tunnels are not affected much by earthquakes except if an active tectonic fault moves across a tunnel. Dowding and Rozen (1978) studied the response of 71 tunnels in rock to earthquake motions. The damage ranged from cracking to closure in total 42 cases. Sharma and Judd (1991) compiled a database on the response of 192 tunnels during 85 earthquakes throughout the world; 94 of the tunnels suffered from small to heavy damage. More than half the damage reported was caused by events that exceeded magnitude 7 of the Richter scale, and nearly 75% of the damage reported occurred within 50 km of the earthquake epicentre. There was no damage in tunnels where the horizontal peak ground acceleration was up to 0.2g. In most cases where damage was reported, the peak ground accelerations were larger than 0.4g. The data show that shallow tunnels are at greater risk during earthquakes than deeper tunnels; roughly 60% of the total cases had overburden depths less than 50 m and suffered some damage. Ground type is also important; 79% of the openings excavated in soil were reported to have suffered some damage. Dean et al. (2006) reviewed data of 1108 tunnels worldwide with diameters larger than 3 m, of which only twelve were subjected to earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 6 that caused the peak horizontal ground accelerations in excess of 0.16g since 1980. Only four tunnels were reported damaged none of which had precast concrete tunnel linings.


Peak Ground Acceleration Ductile Iron Peak Ground Velocity Peak Particle Velocity Tunnel Lining 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abrahamson N (2003) Model for strain from transient ground motion. In: Proceedings workshop on the effects of earthquake induced transient ground surface deformation on at-grade improvements. CUREE publication No. EDA-04,, Oakland, CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Alheid HJ (1994) Seismic response of deep underground openings, chapter 1. In: Bull JW (ed) Soil-structure interaction: numerical analyses and modelling. E&FN Spon. London, UK, pp 1–36Google Scholar
  3. Ambraseys NN, Douglas J, Sigbjornsson R, Berge-Thierry C, Suhadolc P, Costa G, Smit P (2004) European strong motion database – volume 2. The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council of the United Kingdom GR-52114-01Google Scholar
  4. Dean A, Young DJ, Kramer GJE (2006) The use and performance of precast tunnel linings in seismic areas. IAEG paper No 679, The Geological Society of London, UKGoogle Scholar
  5. Dowding CH, Rozen A (1978) Damage to rock tunnels from earthquake shaking. ASCE J Geotechn Eng Div 104:175–191Google Scholar
  6. EN 1998-1 (2004) Eurocode 8 – design of structures for earthquake resistance, part 1: general rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings. European Committee for Standardization, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  7. Giek K, Giek R (1997) Engineering formulas, 7th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  8. Hashash YMA, Hook JJ, Schmidt B, Yao JIC (2001) Seismic design and analysis of underground structures. Tunnel Underground Space Technol 16:247–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hashash YMA, Park D, Yao JIC (2005) Ovaling deformations of circular tunnels under seismic loading, an update on seismic design and analysis of underground structures. Tunnel Underground Space Technol 20(5):435–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoeg K (1968) Stresses against underground structural cylinders. ASCE J Soil Mechanics Foundations Div 94(SM4):833–858Google Scholar
  11. Huo H, Bobet A, Fernandez G, Ramirez J (2005) Load transfer mechanism between underground structure and surrounding ground: evaluation of the failure of the Daikai station. ASCE J Geotechn Geoenviron Eng 131:1522–1533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Isenberg J (1979) Role of corrosion in water pipeline performance in three US earthquakes. In: Proceedings of the 2nd US national conference on earthquake engineering, Stanford, CA, pp 683–692Google Scholar
  13. Jenkins WM (1989) Theory of structures, chapter 3. In: Blake LS (ed) Civil engineer’s reference book, 4th edn. Butterworth, Oxford, UK, pp 3–16Google Scholar
  14. Kontoe S (2009) Case study: geotechnical structures. Soc Earthquake Civil Eng Dyn UK, Newslett 21(3):12–14Google Scholar
  15. Kontoe S, Zdravkovic L, Potts DM, Menkiti CO (2008) Case study on seismic tunnel response. Canad Geotechn J 45:1743–1764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kramer GJE, Sedarat H, Kozak A, Liu A, Chai J (2007) Seismic response of precast tunnel linings. In: Proceedings of the conference rapid excavation and tunnelling, Toronto, pp 1225–1242Google Scholar
  17. Malvar LJ, Crawford JE (1998) Dynamic increase factors for concrete. In: 28th Department of Defence explosives safety board seminar, Orlando, FL, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  18. Nakajima Y, Abeki N, Watanabe D (2000) Study on the stability of H/V spectral ratio of micro tremor in short period range for the estimation of dynamic characteristics of surface geology. In: Proceedings of the 12th world conference on earthquake engineering, Auckland, New Zealand. CD-ROM, Paper No. 2904Google Scholar
  19. O’Rourke TD, Bonneau AL (2007) Lifeline performance under extreme loading during earthquakes. In: Pitilakis KD (ed) Proceedings of 4th international conference on earthquake geotechnical engineering, Thessalonica, Greece. Springer, New York, NY, pp 407–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. O’Rourke TD, Jeon S-S (1999) Factors affecting the earthquake damage of water distribution systems. In: Proceedings of the 5th US conference on lifeline earthquake engineering, Seattle, WI, pp 379–388Google Scholar
  21. O’Rourke TD, Liu X (1999) Response of buried pipelines subjected to earthquake effects. Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research monograph No. 3. University at Buffalo, New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. Paolucci R, Pitilakis K (2007) Seismic risk assessment of underground structures under transient ground deformations. In: Pitilakis KD (ed) Proceedings of 4th international conference on earthquake geotechnical engineering, Thessalonica, Greece. Springer, New York, NY, pp 433–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Penzien J (2000) Seismically induced racking of tunnel linings. Earthquake Eng Struct Dyn 29:683–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sharma S, Judd WR (1991) Underground opening damage from earthquakes. Eng Geol (Amsterdam) 30:263–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shirozu T, Yune S, Isoyama R, Iwamoto T (1996) Report on damage to water distribution pipes caused by the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu (Kobe) earthquake. In: Hamada M, O’Rourke T (eds) Proceedings from the 6th Japan-US workshop on earthquake resistant design of lifeline facilities and countermeasures against soil liquefaction. Technical Report NCEER-96-0012, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, pp 93–110Google Scholar
  26. Simsek O, Dalgic S (1997) Consolidation properties of the clays at Duzce plain and their relationship with geological evolution. Geol Bull Turkey 40(2):29–38Google Scholar
  27. Srbulov M (2003) An estimation of the ratio between horizontal peak accelerations at the ground surface and at depth. Eur Earthquake Eng XVII(1):59–67Google Scholar
  28. Trifunac MD, Lee VW (1996) Peak surface strains during strong earthquake motion. Soil Dyn Earthquake Eng 15:311–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tromans I (2004) Behaviour of buried water supply pipelines in earthquake zones. PhD thesis, Imperial College, University of London.
  30. Wong RCK, Kaiser PK (1988) Design and performance evaluation of vertical shafts: rational shaft design method and verification of design. Canad Geotechn J 25:320–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UK

Personalised recommendations