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Washout of clay-rich gouge in a pregrouted fault zone and increase of groundwater inflow during tunnel excavation in Neogene siliceous mudstone (Horonobe, Japan)

Ishii, Eiichi  ; Hashimoto, Yuta; Inagaki, Daisuke*

This manuscript describes unpredicted inflow which occurred during tunnel excavation for a permeable fault zone with clay-rich gouge although the fault zone was pregrouted. Some observational evidence indicates that the gouge was increasingly washed out into the tunnel through the rockbolts penetrating the gouge and the boundary between the shotcrete and the gouge on the excavation side wall during excavation. The resultant piping/erosion of the gouge probably accelerated groundwater flow from the outer aquifer of the pregrouted zone to the tunnel. After an excavation outcrop exposing the fault zone was temporarily shotcreted, major inflow occurred from the nucleated flow channel in the fault zone, breaking the shotcrete. When a fault zone including such clay-rich gouge is pregrouted, washout of the gouge during tunnel excavation should be fully cared because the gouge itself is not cemented by pre-grouting due to its low-porosity.

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