Document Type : Case Study


1 Faculty of Mining, Petroleum & Geophysics Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

2 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


Various structural discontinuities, which form a discrete fracture network, play a significant role in the failure conditions and stability of the rock masses around underground excavations. Several continuum numerical methods have been used to study the stability of underground excavations in jointed rock masses but only few of them can take into account the influence of the pre-existing natural fractures. In this work, the pre-existing fractures are explicitly modeled as a Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) model, which is fully coupled with the FEM modeling for stability analysis of support systems in a diversion tunnel at the Rudbar Lorestan dam site. Hence, at first, using the surveyed data in the diversion tunnel and an estimation of the suitable probability distribution function on geometric characteristics of the existing joint sets in this region, the 3D DFN model was simulated using the stochastic discrete fracture networks generator program, DFN-FRAC3D. In the second step, a coupled 2D Finite Element Method and the prepared stochastic model were used for analysis of existent (based on technical reports) recommended support systems. The objective here is to grasp the role of the fracture networks on the results of the tunnel stability analysis using FEM modeling and also to compare the results with those obtained through stability analysis without considering the effect of fractures.


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