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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3768453, 13 pages
Research Article

A Numerical Study of Underground Cavern Stability by Geostress Characteristics

1School of Civil Engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University, Jinan 250101, China
2State Key Laboratory of Mining Disaster Prevention and Control, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
3Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh EH9 3JL, UK
4Geotechnical & Structural Engineering Research Center, Shandong University, Jinan 250061, China

Received 27 April 2016; Revised 18 July 2016; Accepted 28 July 2016

Academic Editor: Ivo Caliò

Copyright © 2016 Xiao-Jing Li 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.


The stability of underground cavities is of increasing importance considering the predominant cavity locations built up in high mountain and canyon environments. Such cavity locations are characterized by a high initial in situ stress, which results in brittle fracture and deformation of the surrounding rock during cavity construction. This paper presents a numerical study of underground cavern stability considering four factors, namely, mechanical property of surrounding rock, cavern burial depth, lateral pressure coefficient in horizontal direction, and the angle included between plant longitudinal axis and horizontal principal stress. Analytical methods including the key point displacement in side wall, plastic zone volume, and splitting fracture volume are used to characterize the stability of underground cavern. A modified formula to predict side wall displacement is proposed based on prior work, which is applicable to 3D computation model by taking horizontal geostress in two directions into account. Eventually, the optimal layout of underground cavern is put forward under different conditions of geostress field.