Critical face pressure and backfill pressure in shield TBM tunneling on soft ground

Kiseok Kim, Juyoung Oh, Hyobum Lee, Dongku Kim, Hangseok Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The most important issue during shield TBM tunneling in soft ground formations is to appropriately control ground surface settlement. Among various operational conditions in shield TBM tunneling, the face pressure and backfill pressure should be the most important and immediate measure to restrain surface settlement during excavation. In this paper, a 3-D hydro-mechanical coupled FE model is developed to numerically simulate the entire process of shield TBM tunneling, which is verified by comparing with real field measurements of ground surface settlement. The effect of permeability and stiffness of ground formations on tunneling-induced surface settlement was discussed in the parametric study. An increase in the face pressure and backfill pressure does not always lead to a decrease in surface settlement, but there are the critical face pressure and backfill pressure. In addition, considering the relatively low permeability of ground formations, the surface settlement consists of two parts, i.e., immediate settlement and consolidation settlement, which shows a distinct settlement behavior to each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
JournalGeomechanics and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 30


  • Backfill pressure
  • Consolidation
  • Face pressure
  • TBM
  • Tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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