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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4820716, 11 pages
Research Article

Functional Catastrophe Analysis of Collapse Mechanism for Shallow Tunnels with Considering Settlement

School of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Hunan 410075, China

Received 26 March 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Oleg V. Gendelman

Copyright © 2016 Rui Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Limit analysis is a practical and meaningful method to predict the stability of geomechanical properties. This work investigates the pore water effect on new collapse mechanisms and possible collapsing block shapes of shallow tunnels with considering the effects of surface settlement. The analysis is performed within the framework of upper bound theorem. Furthermore, the NL nonlinear failure criterion is used to examine the influence of different factors on the collapsing shape and the minimum supporting pressure in shallow tunnels. Analytical solutions derived by functional catastrophe theory for the two different shape curves which describe the distinct characteristics of falling blocks up and down the water level are obtained by virtual work equations under the variational principle. By considering that the mechanical properties of soil are not affected by the presence of underground water, the strength parameters in NL failure criterion can be taken to be the same under and above the water table. According to the numerical results in this work, the influences on the size of collapsing block different parameters have are presented in the tables and the upper bounds on the loads required to resist collapse are derived and illustrated in the form of supporting forces graphs that account for the variation of the embedded depth and other factors.