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

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Civil Engineering, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran


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 of 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). Therfore, 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). It can be concluded that the higher overburden height, the greater stresses caused by the dynamic loads of the earthquake on the tunnel wall.


1.     Rasti, A. and Marandi, S.M., "Parameters analysis of the covering soil of tunnels constructed in liquefiable soils", International Journal of Engineering, Transactions A: Basics, Vol. 25, No. 4, (2012), 333-346. doi: 10.5829/idosi.ije.2012.25.04a.05
2.     Nikbakht, R., Moghtaderi Esfahani, A., Behnamfar, F. and Ghandil, M., "Analysis of structural vibrations due to passage of underground trains", International Journal of Engineering, Transactions C: Aspects, Vol. 29, No. 6, (2016), 742-751. doi: 10.5829/idosi.ije.2016.29.06c.00
3.     Tsinidis, G., de Silva, F., Anastasopoulos, I., Bilotta, E., Bobet, A., Hashash, Y.M., He, C., Kampas, G., Knappett, J. and Madabhushi, G., "Seismic behaviour of tunnels: From experiments to analysis", Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology,  Vol. 99, (2020), 103334.
4.     Karabin, M., Kitsakis, D., Koeva, M., Navratil, G., Paasch, J.M., Paulsson, J., Vučić, N., Janečka, K. and Lisec, A., "Layer approach to ownership in 3d cadastre in the case of underground tunnels", Land Use Policy, (2020), 104464.
5.     Xu, Q., Overview of underground space utilization and standardization suggestions, in Data processing techniques and applications for cyber-physical systems (dpta 2019). 2020, Springer.195-204.
6.     Cui, J. and Nelson, J.D., "Underground transport: An overview", Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology,  Vol. 87, (2019), 122-126.
7.     Jahani, M., Oulapour, M. and Haghighi, A., "Evaluation of the seismic bearing capacity of shallow foundations located on the two-layered clayey soils", Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transactions of Civil Engineering,  Vol. 43, No. 1, (2019), 49-57.
8.     Saberi, M., Annan, C.-D. and Konrad, J.-M., "Implementation of a soil-structure interface constitutive model for application in geo-structures", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,  Vol. 116, (2019), 714-731.
9.     Achouri, A. and Amrane, M.N., "Effect of structures density and tunnel depth on the tunnel-soil-structures dynamical interaction", Pollack Periodica,  Vol. 15, No. 1, (2020), 91-102.
10.   Asheghabadi, M.S. and Rahgozar, M.A., "Finite element seismic analysis of soil–tunnel interactions in clay soils", Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transactions of Civil Engineering,  Vol. 43, No. 4, (2019), 835-849.
11.   Ozturk, B., "Free vibration analysis of beam on elastic foundation by the variational iteration method", International Journal of Nonlinear Sciences and Numerical Simulation,  Vol. 10, No. 10, (2009), 1255-1262.
12.   Ozturk, B. and Coskun, S.B., "The homotopy perturbation method for free vibration analysis of beam on elastic foundation", Structural Engineering and Mechanics,  Vol. 37, No. 4, (2011), 415-425.
13.   Ozturk, B. and Coskun, S.B., "Analytical solution for free vibration analysis of beam on elastic foundation with different support conditions", Mathematical Problems in Engineering,  Vol. 2013, (2013).
14.   Asakereh, A., Moghaddas Tafreshi, S. and Ghazavi, M., "Strip footing behavior on reinforced sand with void subjected to repeated loading", International Journal of Civil Engineering,  Vol. 10, No. 2, (2012), 139-152.
15.   Asheghabadi, M.S. and Matinmanesh, H., "Finite element seismic analysis of cylindrical tunnel in sandy soils with consideration of soil-tunnel interaction", Procedia Engineering,  Vol. 14, (2011), 3162-3169.
16.   Sabouni, R., "Displacement and effective stresses changes underneath strip footing on stiff ground with single and double voids", in Published in the proceeding of GeoMontreal 2013 Conference, Montreal, Canada, 29th October-3rd September. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.1334.1447
17.   Lee, J.K., Jeong, S. and Ko, J., "Undrained stability of surface strip footings above voids", Computers and Geotechnics,  Vol. 62, (2014), 128-135.
18.   Tsinidis, G., Pitilakis, K. and Madabhushi, G., "On the dynamic response of square tunnels in sand", Engineering Structures,  Vol. 125, (2016), 419-437.
19.   Tsinidis, G., "Response characteristics of rectangular tunnels in soft soil subjected to transversal ground shaking", Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology,  Vol. 62, (2017), 1-22.
20.   Alielahi, H., Kamalian, M. and Adampira, M., "Seismic ground amplification by unlined tunnels subjected to vertically propagating sv and p waves using bem", Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,  Vol. 71, (2015), 63-79.
21.   Hibbitt, H., Karlsson, B. and Sorensen, P., "Abaqus theory manual, version 6.3", Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA,  (2006).
22.   Pais, A.L., "Dynamic coupling of multiple structures through soil", Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  (1988),
23.   Jafari, H., Atrchian, M. and Daghigh, Y., "Dynamic response of buried pipelines retrofitted with concrete canvas panels under blast loading", Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transactions of Civil Engineering, (2020), 1-15.
24.   Jiang, L., Chen, J. and Li, J., "Seismic response of underground utility tunnels: Shaking table testing and fem analysis", Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration,  Vol. 9, No. 4, (2010), 555-567.