Analysis of long-term closure in drifts excavated in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone : roles of anisotropy and hydromechanical couplings

Abstract : The French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra) began in 2000 the construction of an Underground Research Laboratory (URL) with the main goal of demonstrating the feasibility of a geological repository in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone. Several research programs have taken place to improve the knowledge of the rock properties and its response to the excavation progress. A network of experimental drifts has been constructed with variations on: excavation method, structure geometry, supports system and orientations with respect to principal stresses’ directions. In each drift different sections have been instrumented to monitor the hydro-mechanical behavior of the rock mass formation. Continuous monitoring of the excavated zone around the drifts in the main level (-490 m) revealed the development of a fractured zone (extensional and shear fractures) induced by the excavation. The extent of this fractured zone depends on the drift orientation regarding the in-situ stress field. Accordingly, the convergence measurements showed an anisotropic closure which depends also on the drifts’ orientations. Moreover, marked overpressures and an anisotropic pore pressure field around the drifts have been also observed.The approach proposed in this work is mainly based on a direct analysis of the convergence measurements, for studying the anisotropic response of the rock formation during and after excavation. The convergence evolution is analyzed on the basis of the semi-empirical law proposed by Sulem et al. (1987) [Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 24: 145–154]. The monitoring and analysis of convergence data can provide a reliable approach of the interaction between rock mass and support. Therefore, the anisotropy and the variability of the closure are analyzed taking into account different field cases: drifts excavated in two different orientations (i.e. influence of the initial stress state), different methods, sizes and rates of excavation and different supports systems with different conditions of installation. This broad range of cases permits to refine the analysis for reliable predictions of the convergence evolution in the long term. This approach can thus be used for the design of various types of support and the evaluation of its performance in the long term.On the other hand, the pore pressure evolution induced by excavation of drifts as recorded in situ has been analyzed. The anisotropic response observed in-situ suggests that the intrinsic anisotropy of the material plays a key role in the response of the rock formation. To understand these phenomena, an anisotropic poroelastic analysis of the pore pressure evolution induced by the drift excavation is performed. The main goal is to simulate the main trends of the pore pressure evolution with a simple model taking into account the inherent anisotropy of the material. Finally, an analysis of the onset of failure shows the key role of the hydro-mechanical coupling on the extension of the failed zone around the drifts
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Lina María Guayacan Carrillo. Analysis of long-term closure in drifts excavated in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone : roles of anisotropy and hydromechanical couplings. Geophysics [physics.geo-ph]. Université Paris-Est, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PESC1120⟩. ⟨tel-01542407⟩

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