Structural design model for tunnels in soft soils: From construction stages to the long-term

Minh Ngan Vu*, Wout Broere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


In bored tunnel design, most recent structural design models for tunnel linings concentrate on the behaviour of the tunnel lining in the long-term. The load on the tunnel lining in these models is derived from the original soil stresses, often simplified for a single homogeneous layer. Field observations show that higher loads may occur in the initial hours after the assembly, that might effect the tunnel lining and that soil layers with different stiffnesses may have a negative impact on the internal forces of the tunnel lining. This paper proposes a new model for these early construction stages and also includes a more accurate model which explicitly models the impact of multilayered soils. The change of internal forces in the tunnel lining from the initial construction time to the long-term is investigated with this model. Validations with field observations and other analysis results at time of construction and the long-term confirm that the new structural analysis models can accurately predict internal forces in the tunnel lining. The analysis results also show that internal forces in the tunnel lining have an increasing trend in time and become stable in the long-term and accord with field observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Soft soils
  • Structure
  • Tunnel


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