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Technical Paper: Validation of methods for assessing tunnelling-induced settlements on piles

Mike Devriendt, Arup Michael Williamson, University of Cambridge & Arup. This paper was first published in GE’s


For tunnelling projects, settlements of structures supported on piles are often appraised by using simplistic empirical assumptions. These include assuming the greenfield tunnelling induced ground movement a given distance down the pile represents the displacement at the pile head.

This paper compares two commonly used empirical assumptions with an analytical method of analysis. The analytical method has the advantage that the mobilisation of shaft friction and axial loading down the pile can be calculated. Analysis using the analytical method takes very little time to carry out, is an improvement in sophistication relative to empirical methods and is less time consuming than carrying out more rigorous analysis using finite element or finite difference methods.

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