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Technical paper: Short- and long-term tunnelling-induced settlements at Whitechapel Station

Eyre Hover, Sotiris Psomas and Colin Eddie, UNPS. This paper was first published in GE’s December 2015 edition.


In a forever changing world, urban environments are becoming gradually more congested – both by increasing populations and increasing infrastructure. The underground space is no exception, with basements, foundations, pipes, utilities and tunnels among the structures competing for room. While the effect of any new construction on its vicinity can be reasonably predicted in the short-term, methods for doing so for the long-term are less well defined.

This paper presents an investigation into the tunnellinginduced short- and long-term settlements measured over the Whitechapel Station sprayed concrete lining (SCL) tunnelling works between 2012 and 2014, and a tentative prediction of the future ground behaviour. A novel approach to analysis has been used owing to the long-term interaction between the two parallel station tunnels and this method is proposed for predicting such behaviour at similar sites in the future.

It was found that settlements and slopes increase over time at a logarithmically decreasing rate, and rapidly can no longer be described by a Gaussian curve. The long-term effects are dependent on the number of tunnels and their spacing, the permeability of the lining, and the material surrounding the excavation. 

Readers' comments (2)

  • the link to the paper "Short- and long-term tunnelling-induced settlements at Whitechapel Station" appears dead - which is not the first time I have tried to get a paper that this had happened.

    In addition, the layout of your pages need a bit more thought - trying to actually find the link to pdf if really unusual for a webpage - 'Related files" - really!!! could you find a smaller font for "PDF"!!

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  • Thank you for pointing out the issue, Chris. The link has now been updated.

    I believe the issue arose when we migrated to the new website platform in December 2015 and this one slipped through the net when we were resolving the teething problems.

    Going forward, we have asked our digital team to look at whether the PDF could be relocated on the past papers, however, future papers published in GE will be presented in a feature format with the full paper viewable within the website, so these will be fully searchable.

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