Analysis of stress redistribution in soil and earth pressure on tunnel lining using the discrete element method

M. Jiang, Zhenyu Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyzes the stress redistribution in the surrounding soil and the earth pressure acting on the shield tunnel lining due to tunneling. The construction of a 6. m diameter tunnel buried at a 12. m depth with a gap of 4. cm with the surrounding soil is modeled using DEM, utilizing the equivalent mass method. The principal stresses and their inclination angle in the surrounding soil are examined together with the earth pressure acting on the tunnel lining. Soil arching and unloading effects due to tunneling are also investigated. Furthermore, the construction of the tunnel at different buried depths and with different tail gaps is modeled. All the comparisons show that increasing the buried depth up to 12. m and the tail gaps up to 8. cm result in a significant soil arching effect. The soil arching effect ceases to increase for buried depths of more than 12 m and for tail gaps of more than 8 cm. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Discrete element method
  • Earth pressure
  • Principal stress inclination
  • Tunnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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