Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Hosseini, N, Oraee, K and Gholinejad, M, Seismic analysis of horseshoe tunnels under dynamic loads due to earthquakes, in Aziz, N (ed), 10th Underground Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2010, 140-145.


Due to seismic events, such as earthquakes, the elastic waves propagate through a medium. The impact of these waves on underground structures is to provide dynamic forces and moments that may affect the stability of underground structures. The aim of this paper is to analyse the effects of seismic loads on the stability of horseshoe tunnels. As a case study, the stability state of the main access entry to C1 coal seam of Tabas collieries in Iran are analyzed using Phase2 software in static and dynamic states. It is often assumed that the effect of earthquakes on underground structures such as tunnels is negligible but the results of this study show that the stress caused by seismic loads can be harmful to the tunnel stability. It is concluded that the stress and displacement balance of forces around the tunnel are adversely affected and due to redistribution of these forces that create undue concentration in some areas, instability occurs in the tunnel. The paper also concludes that increasing the stiffness of the support system can increase the effect of the seismic loads. The analysis provided in this paper together with the conclusions obtained can serve as useful tools for the tunnel design engineers, especially in areas susceptible to seismic phenomena.