Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • William H. GodwinEmail author
  • Richard Escandon
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_287


Mine; Subway; Underground passageway


Tunnels are artificially constructed passageways beneath barriers such as a stream or other bodies of water, hill or other earthen structures, or a building. In all cases, a tunnel has a minimum of two openings, one for entry and another for exit, depending on the point of ingress and egress. A tunnel can convey fluids either by gravity or under pressure through either a lined or unlined excavation. Other uses are for motorized vehicular transport from one point to another where horizontal curvature or cultural restrictions prevent removal of overburden or the barrier in question. Simple uses include human passage. Tunnels can be built through rock, soil, or a combination of both in either an open-cut/cover arrangement or by means of mining using drill and blast, tunnel boring machine, or sequential excavation methods.


Tunnels have their origin in the early industrialized world in urban settings where conventional...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Barton NR (2002) Some new Q-value correlations to assist in site characterization and tunnel design. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 39(2):185–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barton NR, Lien R, Lunde J (1974) Engineering classification of rock masses for the design of tunnel support. Rock Mech Rock Eng 6(4):189–236 (Springer)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bickel J, King E, Kuesel T (1996) Tunnel engineering handbook, 2nd edn. Chapman & Hall, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bieniawski ZT (1989) Engineering rock mass classifications: a complete manual for engineers and geologists in mining, civil, and petroleum engineering. Wiley, New York, 251pGoogle Scholar
  5. Deere DU (1963) Technical description of rock cores for engineering purposes. Rock Mech Eng Geol 1(1):16–22Google Scholar
  6. Deere DU, Deere DW (1988) The Rock Quality Designation (RQD), index in practice. In: Kirkaldie L (ed) Rock classification systems for engineering purposes. ASTM, Philadelphia, 1984Google Scholar
  7. Goodman RE, Moye DG, Van Schalkwyk A, Javandel I (1965) Groundwater inflows during tunnel driving. Eng Geol 1(1):39–56Google Scholar
  8. Goricki A, Rachaniotis N, Hoek E, Marinos P, Tsotsos ST, Schubert W (2006) Support decision criteria for tunnels in fault zones. Felsbau 24(5):51–57Google Scholar
  9. Heuer RE (1974) Important parameters in soft ground tunneling, proceedings of specialty conference on subsurface exploration for underground excavation and heavy construction. ASCE, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Heuer RE (1995) Estimating rock tunnel water inflow. RETC Proceedings, Chapter 3, pp 41–60Google Scholar
  11. Maidl B, Thewes M, Maidl U, Sturge D (trans) (2013) Handbook of tunnel engineering I: structures and methods. ISBN: 978-3-433-03048-6 482 pages DecemberGoogle Scholar
  12. Maidl B, Thewes M, Maidl U (2014) Handbook of tunnel engineering II: basics and additional services for design and construction. ISBN: 978-3-433-03049-3 458 pages MarchGoogle Scholar
  13. Marinos P, Hoek E, Marinos V (2006) Variability of the engineering properties of rock masses quantified by the geological strength index: the case of ophiolites with special emphasis on tunneling. Bull Eng Geol Environ 65(2):129–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Rabcewicz L (1964) The New Austrian tunneling method, part one, water power, November 1964, 453–457, part two, water power, December 1964, 511–515Google Scholar
  15. Rabcewicz L (1965) The New Austrian tunneling method, part one, part three, water power, January 1965, 19–24Google Scholar
  16. Sauer G (1990) Design concept for large underground openings in soft ground using the NATM, International Symposium on Unique Underground Structures, Colorado School of Mines, Earth Mechanics Institute and US Bureau of Reclamation, vol. 1. 1–1/1–20Google Scholar
  17. Terzaghi K (1946) Rock defects and loads on tunnel supports. In: Proctor RV, White T (eds) Rock engineering with steel support. Commercial Shearing Co, Youngstown, pp 15–99Google Scholar
  18. Terzaghi K (1950) Chapter 11: Geologic aspects of soft ground tunneling. In: Task R, Parker D (eds) Applied sedimentation. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. U.S. National Committee on Tunnel Technology (USNCTT) (1984) Geotechnical site investigations for underground projects, vol 1. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 182 pGoogle Scholar
  20. Underground Technology Research Council (UTRC) (2007) Geotechnical baseline reports for construction, Technical Committee on Geotechnical Reports of the UTRC, ASCE, Reston. 62 p. (Gold Book)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CarmelUSA
  2. 2.KleinfelderRiversideUSA