An Investigation of the Seismic Interaction of Surface Foundations and Underground Cavities using Finite Element Method

Document Type: Original Article


In this study, the seismic interaction of surface foundations and underground cavities was investigated. For this purpose, a parametric study of geometric dimensions of the foundation and cavity, their location, and the effect that they can have on the interaction between surface foundations and underground cavities was evaluated. The variable parameters include the ratio of the overburden height to the foundation width (H/B = 0.5, 1 and 2), the location ratio of the cavity to the foundation width (X/B=0, 2 and 8) and the ratio of the cavity diameter to the foundation width (d/B=0.5, 1 and 2), respectively. The accuracy of the finite element method was evaluated using a laboratory study and it was found that the used method provides an accurate prediction of tunnel behavior. The results indicated that by increasing the overburden height, the stress on the tunnel surfaces was increased for all values of X/B (the horizontal tunnel distance to the foundation width). So that for example in the case where the tunnel is located exactly along the center at the bottom of the foundation (X/B=0, d/B=2), the maximum stress generated is approximately 2.13 times greater than its corresponding value in the ratio of the depth to width of 0.5 (X/B=0, d/B=0.5). So it can be concluded that the higher overburden height, the greater stresses caused by the dynamic loads of the earthquake on the tunnel wall.