Monitoring and assessment of a cross-passage twin tunnel long-term performance using wireless sensor network

Thumbnail Image
Wang, Chao
Friedman, Miles
Li, Zili
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Canadian Science Publishing
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
The monitoring and assessment of ageing underground tunnels is critical to ensure their serviceability, stability, and safety as arteries for a transport network in the long term. This paper first comprehensively reviewed the long-term tunnel performance monitoring case studies, aimed at highlighting the limited field monitoring data and identifying research gaps. It was found that previous studies largely focused on the performance of single tunnel sections subject to short-term disturbances (e.g., adjacent excavation), whereas limited efforts concentrated on the long-term performance of twin tunnels, let alone those with cross passages, under the influence of deteriorations. To this end, a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) was deployed at a critical vehicle cross passage (VCP) twin tunnel section of Dublin Port Tunnel to monitor its long-term ageing performance with time, in addition to the existing long-term water leakage and lining crack monitoring. The evolvement of lining crack and water leakage since 2010 indicated the progressive deteriorations of the monitoring section, and the deployed WSN monitoring of lining inclination demonstrated a robust sensor deployment layout and monitoring plan for (quasi) real-time monitoring for a confined underground cross passage twin tunnel network. An analytical solution was proposed to convert tunnel inclination to horizontal deformation, with the converted measurements suggesting that even more than one decade after construction, both twin tunnels are still moving horizontally towards the VCP centreline in the long term, primarily due to twin tunnel interaction. Along tunnel longitudinal direction, the closer to the VCP, the greater tunnel deformation rate is, revealing the effect of cross passage on tunnel differential longitudinal behaviour, in agreement with hypotheses and numerical results in previous studies. The field observations were believed to be attributed to the two mechanisms which are hydro-geological degradation of the surrounding ground and hydro-mechanical deterioration of the tunnel, where the correlation between tunnel deformation and deteriorations was detailed.
Wireless sensor network , Tunnel deterioration , Cross passage , Twin-tunnel interaction , Long-term ageing performance
Wang, C., Friedman, M. and Li, Z. (2023) ‘Monitoring and assessment of a cross-passage twin tunnel long-term performance using wireless sensor network’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 60(8), pp. 1140–1160. Available at:
Link to publisher’s version
© 2023 The Author(s).