Surface settlement predictions for Istanbul Metro tunnels excavated by EPB-TBM

Erçelebi S. G., Çopur H., OCAK I.

ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.62, no.2, pp.357-365, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-010-0530-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.357-365
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, short-term surface settlements are predicted for twin tunnels, which are to be excavated in the chainage of 0 + 850 to 0 + 900 m between the Esenler and KirazlA +/- stations of the Istanbul Metro line, which is 4 km in length. The total length of the excavation line is 21.2 km between Esenler and Basaksehir. Tunnels are excavated by employing two earth pressure balance (EPB) tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that have twin tubes of 6.5 m diameter and with 14 m distance from center to center. The TBM in the right tube follows about 100 m behind the other tube. Segmental lining of 1.4 m length is currently employed as the final support. Settlement predictions are performed with finite element method by using Plaxis finite element program. Excavation, ground support and face support steps in FEM analyses are simulated as applied in the field. Predictions are performed for a typical geological zone, which is considered as critical in terms of surface settlement. Geology in the study area is composed of fill, very stiff clay, dense sand, very dense sand and hard clay, respectively, starting from the surface. In addition to finite element modeling, the surface settlements are also predicted by using semi-theoretical (semi-empirical) and analytical methods. The results indicate that the FE model predicts well the short-term surface settlements for a given volume loss value. The results of semi-theoretical and analytical methods are found to be in good agreement with the FE model. The results of predictions are compared and verified by field measurements. It is suggested that grouting of the excavation void should be performed as fast as possible after excavation of a section as a precaution against surface settlements during excavation. Face pressure of the TBMs should be closely monitored and adjusted for different zones.