Numerical investigation of arching mechanism to underground excavation in jointed rock mass

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In this paper, the discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA) is applied to numerically investigate the formation of pressure arch and the stabilization mechanism of rock bolts for underground excavation in laminated rock mass. A global pressure arch with elevated stress is observed sustaining the weight of the overburden and providing the natural shield over the opening. Below the pressure arch is a loosened zone, where a group of local voussoir beam arches are formed to transfer the weight of each layer to the abutments. Detailed parametric studies regarding the in-situ stress ratio, joint friction angle, overburden depth and dip angle of strata are conducted and their influences on the formation of global pressure arch and local voussoir beam arches are identified and discussed. Based on the observed phenomena, the corresponding reinforcement scheme is proposed and the effectiveness and stabilization mechanism are examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54 - 67
Number of pages14
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015


  • Pressure arch
  • Voussoir beam theory
  • Rock bolts
  • Discontinuous deformation analysis

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