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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 379326, 8 pages
Research Article

Numerical Simulation on Zonal Disintegration in Deep Surrounding Rock Mass

1Institute of Tunnel and Urban Railway Engineering, Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Geomechanics and Embankment Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2State Key Laboratory for GeoMechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221000, China

Received 13 October 2013; Accepted 21 November 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editors: B. Lin and B. Uy

Copyright © 2014 Xuguang Chen 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.


Zonal disintegration have been discovered in many underground tunnels with the increasing of embedded depth. The formation mechanism of such phenomenon is difficult to explain under the framework of traditional rock mechanics, and the fractured shape and forming conditions are unclear. The numerical simulation was carried out to research the generating condition and forming process of zonal disintegration. Via comparing the results with the geomechanical model test, the zonal disintegration phenomenon was confirmed and its mechanism is revealed. It is found to be the result of circular fracture which develops within surrounding rock mass under the high geostress. The fractured shape of zonal disintegration was determined, and the radii of the fractured zones were found to fulfill the relationship of geometric progression. The numerical results were in accordance with the model test findings. The mechanism of the zonal disintegration was revealed by theoretical analysis based on fracture mechanics. The fractured zones are reportedly circular and concentric to the cavern. Each fracture zone ruptured at the elastic-plastic boundary of the surrounding rocks and then coalesced into the circular form. The geometric progression ratio was found to be related to the mechanical parameters and the ground stress of the surrounding rocks.