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ASSOCIATION FRANAISE DES TUNNELS

ET DE LESPACE SOUTERRAIN
Organization member of the AFTES
www.aftes.asso.fr

AFTES
Recommendations
Characterisation of
geological, hydrogeological
and geotechnical
uncertainties and risks
GT32R2A1

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

Recommendation on the characterisation


of geological, hydrogeological and
geotechnical uncertainties and risks
Text submitted by Gianpino Walter BIANCHI (SEA Consulting) and Jean Piraud (ANTEA), leaders of Working Group GT32-2
Contributors:
Alain ROBERT (CETU) and Emmanuel EGAL (BRGM)
with additional material from:
Franois BERBET (Bouygues Construction), Lorenzo BRINO (LTF), Gilbert CASTANIER (EDF), Yves CHAMEROIS (SNCF), Daniel COLLOMB (BG Ing. Conseils),
Michel DUCROT (Eiffage TP), Elisabeth DEMAS (Coyne & Bellier), Denis FABRE (CNAM), Stefano FUOCO (SWS), Cdric GAILLARD (CETU),
Bernard GAUDIN (Egis Tunnels), Jean-Louis GIAFFERI (Chartered Geologist), Patrick LACOMBE (SNCF), Herv LE BISSONNAIS (Terrasol), Nathalie MONIN (LTF),
Patrick PIERRON (Go-CSP), Christian PLINE (Geodata), Fabien RIVAL (DREAL Rhne-Alpes, formerly of CETU), Jacques ROBERT (Arcadis),
Adrien SAITTA (Egis Tunnels), Hubert TOURNERY (Egis Tunnels), Philippe VASKOU (Geostock), Christophe VIBERT (Coyne & Bellier)
With thanks for assistance from the following reviewers:
Andrew BOURGET (Egis Tunnels), Roger COJEAN (Ecole des Mines-ParisTech), Jean-Louis DURVILLE (CGEDD), Attilio EUSEBIO (Geodata),
Jean-Bernard KAZMIERCZAK (Ineris), Georges SCHAEREN (Norbert) and Thierry YOU (Geostock)

The work of AFTES on risks relating to underground space has attracted interest on the part of the French Committee for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
(Comit Franais de Mcanique des Sols et de Gotechnique, CFMS), the French Committee for Rock Mechanics (Comit Franais de Mcanique des Roches, CFMR)
and the French Committee of Engineering Geology and the Environment (Comit Franais de Gologie de lIngnieur et de lenvironnement, CFGI). At their request,
these three commissions have also reviewed this recommendation and suggested a number of changes. This is because while they recognise that this text has been
drafted with underground works in mind, they also believe that it may easily be used or adapted for other types of structure for which risks relating to underground
space are a major factor.
The French original of the following text was validated by AFTES Technical Committee on 23/07/12.
AFTES welcomes all suggestions relating to this text.

Summary
1 - Purpose of the Recommendation- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318-

4.2 - General conduct of studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .329

1.1 - Review of the current situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318

4.3 - Preliminary studies phase (EP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .330

1.2 - Scope of the Recommendation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318

4.4 - Preliminary Design phase (AVP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .330

1.3 - Objectives of the Recommendation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318

4.5 - Project phase (PRO) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .331


4.6 - Assistance with awarding contracts of works phase (ACT) . .331

2 - Terminology- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319-

4.7 - Case of design / construction or other advance assignment


processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .332

2.1 - Vocabulary used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319


2.2 - Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319

5 - Bibliography- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333-

3 - Rick management methodology- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .321-

6 - Appendices- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334-

Important note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .321

1 - Relationship with existing texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334

3.1 - Review of Geotechnical Knowledge and Uncertainties . . . .323

2 - Quality of data and reliability of interpretations . . . . . . . . . .336

3.2 - Geotechnical risk assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .324

3 - Development of the geological model and graphical


representation of uncertainties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .341

3.3 - Risk treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .327

4 - Hydrogeological risks and uncertainties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348

4 - Application of risk analysis in each phaseof the project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .328-

5 - Uncertainties and risks relating to geotechnical parameters . .350

4.1 - Correspondence between geotechnical engineering missions


and the French Public Works procurement law (MOP) . . . .328

7 - Methods used to quantify risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353

6 - Summary of risk sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .351


8 - Acronyms and abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

Summary

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Purpose of the recommendation


This Recommendation follows on from previous work by AFTES investigating
the problems raised by uncertainties that are specific to underground works:
Recommendation GT1 on Characterization of rock masses useful for the
design and the construction of underground structures (2003),
research by GT32 itself, including its work Taking into account geological
uncertainties in Tender Documents (GT32-1 2004),
work by GT25 concerning best practices in terms of cost control and project
contractualisation (2007).
It is needed because as yet, there is no shared method to characterise geotechnical uncertainties or to provide a framework for risk analysis. In addition,
new types of contract such as Design & Build, PPPs, concession agreements
and so on have sometimes resulted in discrepancies or potentially misleading
information in terms of the way these risks are assigned.
AFTES is of the firm opinion that the geotechnical risks and uncertainties that
affect underground works projects must be identified, represented and
evaluated as soon, and as objectively, as possible. To control the effects of
such factors, construction methods and method of payment must be detailed
in the DCE, then validated by both parties prior to signature of the contract of
works. The aim of this Recommendation is thus to encourage all stakeholders to provide the resources required to cater for uncertain geotechnical
events in advance, so that when these occur, they will have the least
possible impact on costs and construction lead times for the structure
in question.
The term geotechnical is being used here in its broadest sense, to include
all issues relating to geology and hydrogeology as well as geotechnics in the
strict sense of the term. It may be extended by analogy to anthropic risks
relating to old foundations, galleries, shafts and other remains. It could also
be similarly extended to cover risks created by underground works on neighbouring buildings (the purpose of AFTES GT16).

Terminology
To minimise all-too-frequent misunderstandings, AFTES has decided to recommend the strict and exclusive use of the terminology defined at the international
level in French and English by two ISO standards:
ISO 31000: 2009 (F) Management du risque - Principes et lignes
directrices.
ISO: Guide 73: 2009 (E / F) Risk Management - Vocabulary.
This vocabulary, which is non-specific to geotechnics, is detailed in chapter 2
of the Recommendation. It includes fifteen or so terms. These may sometimes
differ from what is widely believed to be common usage, but their use makes
it possible to avoid the introduction of new definitions which are liable to
confuse matters further.

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For instance, risk is defined as the effect of uncertainty on objectives; the level
(seriousness) of this risk is the result of a combination of the likelihood of the
event under consideration and its consequences.

Risk management methodology


AFTES is of the opinion that studying geotechnical uncertainties and risks is
an iterative process that must be repeated at the end of each project phase
(e.g. EP, AVP, PRO, etc.) before moving on to the next one. Indeed, this study
and the conclusions the project owner draws from it with regard to the risks
the latter may or may not wish to bear will form the basis for proposals by the
project manager for additional survey work, changes to the project, the mode
of construction, and so on.
This approach assumes that adequate geotechnical survey work has been carried out (even in the event of advance contractor consultation): risks that have
not been properly defined beforehand cannot be fairly assigned or shared. It
comprises three successive sequences, to be repeated for each phase of the
project. These are shown in the logical diagram that forms Figure 1 (page 322):
- The review of geotechnical knowledge and uncertainties
- The resulting risk assessment
- Treatment of these risks.
a) Review of knowledge and uncertainties. This sequence largely covers
and supplements the establishment of Books A and B defined in the first GT32
Recommendation. It comprises four stages:
Compilation of factual data, whether gathered specifically for the project
or derived from previous worksites or publications (Book A).
Analysis of the reliability of data, following which data may be adopted or
rejected to establish geological and hydrogeological models and define the
geotechnical context this critical analysis is to be carried out and recorded
at the start of Book B.
Drafting the Summary Geotechnical Report (MSG), supplemented by the
longitudinal geotechnical profile. Together, these items form Book B.
Lastly, drafting the Register of Geotechnical Uncertainties, which in a sense
is the negative of the MSG. This register lists all the unknowns and uncertainties without analysing their consequences in terms of civil engineering
and forms the last chapter of the MSG.
b) Risk assessment. This sequence can be engaged as soon as a first
idea of the mode of construction of the work has been formed, in other
words a first draft of the Design Report (Book C). This consists of three
stages:
Risk identification. This involves reviewing all the uncertainties and imagining all the positive or negative consequences these might have on the conditions in which the structure is to be built. This stage draws on experience
with previous structures in similar rock or soil, including bibliographical
research and consultation with experts.
Risk analysis. As much as is possible, this involves quantifying (or at least

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qualifying) the likelihood of uncertain events and the seriousness of their


consequences in terms of costs, lead times, worksite safety, environmental
impact and so on. Since the consequences of an event may affect different
objectives in different ways, the resulting level of risk varies depending
on the objectives and priorities defined by the project owner. To illustrate
this analysis, a matrix with two inputs (likelihood x consequences) is often
used, combined with multiplying factors.
Risk evaluation involves comparing the results of the previous analysis with
the acceptability criteria defined by the project owner. It makes it possible
to determine which risks require treatment to bring their seriousness down
to an acceptable level.

stronger construction solutions, and so on. This analysis will lead to the Register
of Risks being updated.

c) Risk treatment. This sequence involves reducing the level of a risk, or even
eliminating it altogether, by using the following types of means: reducing likelihood by carrying out additional investigations, reducing consequences by
modifying tunnel axis, layout, profile, methods used and so on. Once these
measures have been applied, the level of risk is again evaluated and compared
to the project owners criteria, and so on.
This iterative analysis process involves amending and supplementing Book C
at every stage, particularly if new survey work has been launched in an attempt
to reduce some uncertainties. To ensure study traceability, a Register of Risks
should be established and maintained, in which to log all treatment actions
implemented, along with their expected outcomes.

d) Assistance with awarding contracts of works phase (ACT). This phase


consists chiefly in establishing the most recent versions of previous documents
as books A, B and C of the DCE, supplemented by chapters or documents relating to risk management. Pursuant to the new Fascicle 69 of the CCTG (to be
published in 2012), it is at this stage that the project manager must draft the
Risk Management Plan. This must set out the assignment of residual risks in
agreement with the project owner.

Application of this method


in each phase of the project
The purpose of chapter 4 of the Recommendation is to explain how the method
set out above should be applied to a standard project governed by the French
Public Works Procurement Law (MOP), with contractor consultation at the Project stage. Firstly, the way MOP design phases relate to geotechnical engineering missions set out in French standard NFP 94-500 is reviewed. The risk
study process is then detailed for each project phase:

c) Project phase (PRO). This phase includes an update to the Project Geotechnical Investigation (G2) in order to have a clearly defined project. Issues
to be settled include the investigations to be carried out as works progress,
threshold values appropriate to the construction methods used (convergence,
settlement, vibrations, etc) and the inspection procedures. Since there should
not be any more new surveying, the Register of Risks can be finalised. This
allows the project owner to measure the residual risks, check whether these
are acceptable, and define its definitive risk management strategy.

Lastly, detailed recommendations are supplied in appendix 3. These cover the


way geological cross-sections are drawn, the type of data to be shown on
them and how uncertainties should be shown. After a definition of what constitutes a 3D Geological Model, there is a presentation of the successive documents to be drafted: the map of outcrops and the interpreted geological map,
the Outline Geological Diagram, followed by the Documentary Cross-Section
and the Interpretative Cross-Section. Lastly, the importance of the Longitudinal
Geotechnical Profile is emphasised. This is a summary document that is an
illustration of the Summary Geotechnical Report and an indispensable complement to the latter.

a) Preliminary Study phase (EP). This phase corresponds to geotechnical


mission (G11) in the relevant standard. It comprises an inventory and complete
identification of risks and uncertainties for the project, drawing on the experience of prior works (i.e. expert analysis). In addition to the Preliminary Study
File specified by the MOP law, the resulting documents include:
a completed data sheet for each risk identified;
the Register of Uncertainties and the Register of Potential Risks for the worksite;
the programme of treatment actions to be undertaken, notably geological,
hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations.
b) Preliminary Design phase (AVP). This phase includes both a Preliminary
Design Geotechnical Study (G12) and an initial Project Geotechnical Investigation (G2) with the aim of providing an initial cost estimate for the structure.
The geological model derived from investigation campaigns allows geotechnical conditions that may be a source of risk to be properly identified, as well
as the general principles to minimise their consequences. These may include
altering the route, the longitudinal profile, carrying out a survey gallery, using

Collapse at the top of a tunnel excavation head


(St-Martin-la-Porte gallery).

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

1 - Purpose of the recommendation1.1 - Review of the current situation

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Since the late 1990s, AFTES has been very concerned with the impact of geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical uncertainties on underground works.
Consequently, it has set up three working groups:
GT1 (Characterisation of rock formations), which has established a method
for semi-quantitative description of rock formations from the point of view
of underground works; its recommendations were published in 2003 1;
GT32, which in its first configuration (known as GT32-1) suggested a methodology for taking into account these uncertainties in Tender Documents
(DCE), in particular by establishing Books A, B and C, the content of which
is set out in 4.6 (Recommendations published in 2004) [2];
Lastly, GT25 (control of risks and contractualisation), which examined everything which could favour good control of project costs and made a recommendation to this end for the attention of all stakeholders (text published in 2007) [3].
In the light of experience however, it appears that the situation is still far from
satisfactory for all aspects relating to the characterisation of uncertainties,
unforeseen circumstances and risks relating to underground space:
The graphical representation of these uncertainties on geological cross-sections is often incomplete, ambiguous or completely lacking;
In reports, the description of uncertainties is often insufficient, whether they
relate to geotechnical properties (natural dispersion), the location of events
(crossing faults), the frequency of unpredictable phenomena (crossing karst
cavities).
Often, the prime contractor of an underground structure project does not
have sufficient geotechnical engineering capacity, despite this being a vital
component for developing and managing a works contract;
There is no recognised, unequivocal methodology for taking these uncertainties into account in so-called Risk analysis reports. These have
become commonplace for tunnel projects and are even virtually mandatory
for international insurance companies (cf. ITIG, 2006) [9];
The new methods of contractualisation, particularly with early contractor
consultation, have sometimes led to the illusion that the contracting authority
could thereby transfer to the contractor most of the risks relating to underground space, and even reduce the investigation efforts incumbent upon it.
In fact this is not the case: even in the event of advance consultation, it is
not possible to proceed with a serious analysis and fair allocation of the risks
other than on the basis of thorough geotechnical investigations.
Faced with these findings, in 2009, AFTES reactivated working group GT32,
with a view to establishing a methodology for properly identifying and representing uncertainties related to underground space, then analysing and dealing
with the risks arising from them for underground projects.

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1.2 - Scope of the Recommendation


This recommendation relates to geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical
uncertainties and risks. These three terms have been deliberately kept in the
title to underscore the fact that in a tunnel project, risk analysis must call on
a range of expertise that lies at the meeting-point of earth science and physical
science (Geology, Geological engineering, Hydrogeology, Soil mechanics, Rock
Mechanics, etc.). However, the body of the text speaks simply of geotechnical
risks, this adjective being used in its broad English sense of Geotechnical
Engineering, covering all aspects relating to underground space.
The problems posed by anthropic remains (piles, shafts, galleries and old
infrastructures, etc.) surrounding a planned underground structure or one under
construction require a similar procedure, as they also involve uncertainties
which are difficult to resolve due to their location, state and behaviour. AFTES
is of the opinion that anthropic risks relating to these remains can be dealt
with using the same methodology as that suggested for geotechnical risks.
The approach of this recommendation must also be applied to uncertainties
and risks relating to the surroundings. This term refers to the neighbouring
structures and buildings and their foundations; these structures, located in the
Zone of Geotechnical Influence (ZIG), may either affect the structure to be
constructed (by disrupting uniformity or affecting load distribution, for example),
or more often, be affected by it (settlement or cracking in built structures,
vibrations, etc.). This approach may usefully be supplemented by the Recommendation currently being drawn up by AFTES working group GT16 (Effects
of settlement and vibrations on built structures).
Lastly, this recommendation does not deal with contractual risk management,
nor the way in which this can be shared or compensated for financially during
the course of works. These aspects are within the remit of GT25 (Contractualisation), which was relaunched in 2010 and whose work follows on from
that of GT32.

1.3 - Objectives of the Recommendation


Geotechnical risks and uncertainties that affect underground works projects
must be identified, represented and evaluated as soon, and as objectively, as
possible. To control the effects of such factors, construction methods and their
method of payment must be detailed in the DCE, then validated by both parties
prior to signature of the contract of works. The aim is to encourage all stakeholders to provide the resources and procedures required to cater for uncertain geotechnical events in advance, so that when these occur, they will
have the least possible impact on costs and construction lead times for the
structure in question.

The recommendation published in 2003 (TOS No.177) replaced a previous recommendation, of a much more summary nature, published in 1978 (TOS No.28).

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To contribute to this objective, the GT32 recommendation aims mainly to


achieve the following:
Specifying terminology in terms of uncertainties and risks relating to underground space (see chapter 2);
Establishing a methodology for examining risks (chapter 3);
Identifying the place of these risk studies in project procedure according to
regular French procedures, in particular those governed by the MOP law
(Public Works Procurement), from preliminary design work through to preparation of the DCE (chapter 4);
Making proposals with a view to improving certain practices and tools required, such as analysis of the reliability of investigations, graphical representation of uncertainties on geological cross-sections, etc. (cf. appendices).

Appendices 1 to 7 of this document bring together a set of recommendations


relating to particular points not dealt with in the text of the Recommendation
in the required amount of detail. These recommendations do not interfere with
the general approach set out in the body of the text, but should be taken as aids
or tools which are useful for applying it. They relate to the following main points:
1 - Relationship of the GT32.2 Recommendation with existing texts
2 - Quality of data and reliability of interpretations
3 - Development of the geological model and graphical representation of uncertainties
4 - Hydrogeological risks and uncertainties
5 - Uncertainties and risks relating to geotechnical parameters
6 - Summary of risk sources
7 - Methods used to quantify risks

2 - Terminology -

1.1 - Vocabulary used


As the initial discussions of the working group have shown, each engineer has
a particular understanding of terms such as: uncertainty, unexpected event,
risk, etc.; each engineer ascribes a meaning to these terms roughly based on
everyday language, convinced that their understanding is the same as everybody elses. This however is far from being the case, and this leads to constant
misunderstandings in this area.
It has therefore appeared vital to adopt a very strict reference list used as
widely as possible. For this reason, it has been agreed that the ISO definitions,
which have broad international recognition, will be used. The text of this
Recommendation makes strict use of the vocabulary defined in an ISO standard
and guide:
ISO 31000: 2009(F) Management du risque - Principes et lignes directrices [9].
ISO: Guide 73: 2009 (E / F) Risk Management - Vocabulary [10].
The definitions of the main terms used in ISO documents (in bold type) are
provided below in italics; the notes mentioned are also part of the ISO standard.
They are excerpts (without edits or comments) of the French version of the
standard, which has also been published in English.

Risk: effect of uncertainty on objectives


Note 1 - An effect is a deviation from the expected - positive and/or negative.
Note 5 2 - Uncertainty is the state, even partial, of deficiency of information

related to understanding or knowledge of an event, its consequence, or likelihood.


Note 2 - Objectives can have different aspects (such as financial, health and
safety, and environmental goals) and can apply at different levels (such as
strategic, organization-wide, project, product or process).
Note 3 Risk is often characterized by reference to potential events and
consequences or a combination of these.
Note 4 Risk is often expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event (including changes in circumstances) and the associated
likelihood of occurrence.
Risk source: element which alone or in combination has the intrinsic potential to give rise to risk.
Risk assessment: overall process of risk identification and risk evaluation.
Risk identification: process of finding, recognizing and describing risks.
Note 1: Risk identification involves the identification of risk sources, events,
their causes and their potential consequences.
Note 2: Risk identification can involve historical data, theoretical analysis,
informed and expert opinions, and stakeholders needs.
Event: occurrence or change of a particular set of circumstances.
Note 1: An event can be one or more occurrences, and can have several
causes.
Note 2: An event can consist of something not happening.

The numbers of notes appearing in the ISO standard have been kept, although it has been deemed more logical to alter the order of presentation.

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Note 3: An event can sometimes be referred to as an incident or accident.

Risk analysis: process to comprehend the nature of risk and to determine


the level of risk.
Note 1: Risk analysis provides the basis for risk evaluation and decisions about
risk treatment.

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Level of risk: magnitude of a risk or combination of risks, expressed in


terms of the combination of consequences and their likelihood.

Note 2: Risk treatments that deal with negative consequences are sometimes referred to as risk mitigation, risk elimination, risk prevention and risk reduction.

Residual risk: risk remaining after risk treatment


Note 1: Residual risk can also be known as retained risk.

2.2 - Comments
2.2.1 - An example of risk: the case of a TBM in hard rock

Consequence: outcome of an event affecting objectives.


Note 1: An event can lead to a range of consequences.
Note 2: A consequence can be certain or uncertain and can have positive or
negative effects on objectives.
Note 3: Consequences can be expressed qualitatively or quantitatively.
Note 4: Initial consequences can escalate through knock-on effects.
Likelihood: chance of something happening.
Note 1: In risk management terminology, the word likelihood is used to refer
to the chance of something happening, whether defined, measured or determined objectively or subjectively, qualitatively or quantitatively, and described
using general terms or mathematically (such as a probability or a frequency
over a given time period).
Note 2: The English term likelihood does not have a direct equivalent in
some languages; instead, the equivalent of the term probability is often
used. However, in English, probability is often narrowly interpreted as a
mathematical term. Therefore, in risk management terminology, likelihood is
used with the intent that it should have the same broad interpretation as the
term probability has in many languages other than English.
Risk evaluation: process of comparing the results of risk analysis with risk
criteria to determine whether the risk and/or its magnitude is acceptable
or tolerable.
Note 1: Risk evaluation assists in the decision about risk treatment.
Risk criteria: terms of reference against which the significance of a risk is
evaluated.
Note 1: Risk criteria are based on organizational objectives, and external and
internal context.
Note 2: Risk criteria can be derived from standards, laws, policies and other
requirements.
Risk treatment: process to modify risk.
Note 1: Risk treatment can involve:
- avoiding the risk by deciding not to start or continue with the activity
that gives rise to the risk;
- removing the risk source;
- changing the likelihood;
- changing the consequences;
- sharing the risk with another party or parties (including contracts and
risk financing;
- retaining the risk by informed decision

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The definitions listed in 2.1 above, quoted verbatim from ISO standard 31000,
are not very intuitive and require a certain amount of use to become familiar.
To help with learning these terms, a simplified example of a risk illustrating
the use of the main terms is presented below.
The case is that of a tunnel to be excavated using a TBM in a single geological unit
composed of hard rock with virtually no fractures. The design of the TBM depends
in part on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) values of the rock matrix;
this is determined by means of laboratory tests conducted on core samples.
One risk source is an under-estimation of unconfined compressive strength
(UCS) values.
The event in question is the occurrence of one or more areas of terrain where
resistance to cutting proves to be much more difficult than expected, due to
uniaxial compressive strength being much higher than expected.
The consequences of this event with respect to expectations are mainly as
follows:
slower rate of progress
greater wear and tear on tools and therefore higher tool consumption
longer completion times
additional costs due to excessive tool consumption and longer completion times.
These consequences are exacerbated when there are many, long areas with
higher uniaxial compressive strength and when the difference between the
actual value and forecast value is large.
The likelihood of risk (the probability that one or more areas have a higher
unconfined compressive strength value than the value used for the project)
depends on several factors:
the number and distribution of core samples along the project,
the number of tests conducted (statistical population),
the uniformity of the material forming the geological unit,
the dispersion of measured values.
Likelihood is all the lower when:
the material forming the geological unit concerned is highly uniform,
there are many surveys, spread adequately along the project,
there is a high number of tests which are also well distributed over all
boreholes,

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the statistical distribution of values measured is highly uniform (narrow


Gauss curve).

of GT32-1, AFNOR NF X 50-117, the ITIG Code of Practice, the RFF Book for
risk control and ITA/AITES Guidelines (2004) [6].

Risk treatment
During preliminary study phases, the level of risk is high because the geological
context is known only summarily and there is a very high degree of uncertainty.
At this stage the treatment measures consist in an initial investigation campaign aimed at drawing up a summary geological model.
During the ensuing study phases until the project is finalised, the treatment is
aimed at reducing the likelihood of risk by increasing the number of samples
and strength measurements.
When the works contract is drawn up, the risk treatment may consist, for instance, of the following:
a prudent choice regarding the projected values for the unconfined compressive strength : maximum measured value, mean plus one or two
standard deviations, etc.;
in addition, a prudent TBM design, taking into account an additional margin with respect to the maximum unconfined compressive strength;
possibly, abandoning TBM excavation.

The tables of equivalent terms presented in this appendix indicate fairly good
consistency between the different documents; however, it appears that certain
important terms are sometimes used with different meanings. This has made
it necessary to adopt a single reference, which has led to the choice made in
this Recommendation in favour of strict use of the ISO 31000 terminology [9].
In addition, GT32.R2F1 suggests the use of the term seriousness, which is
not included in the vocabulary suggested by ISO 31000, but is nonetheless
accepted to describe the magnitude of consequences.

2.2.4 - GT32-1 recommendation


From the point of view of its form, the previous recommendation of GT32-1
will need to be corrected to bring it into line with the terminology determined
here (cf. Appendix 1, 1).

2.2.2 - The term Uncertainty


In ISO documents, uncertainty is defined as ... the state, even partial, of deficiency of information related to, understanding or knowledge of, an event, its
consequence, or likelihood. (cf. 2.1. Definition of Risk, Note 5). In the following
part of this Recommendation, the term uncertainties (in the plural) is used
to mean the result of the uncertainty defined above, i.e. to refer to events the
occurrences of which (number and location) and/or the related geotechnical
conditions are affected by this state of uncertainty.

2.2.3 - Comparison with other documents dealing with risk


Appendix 1 presents a comparison of the terms used in a number of documents
dealing with how risks are taken into account: the previous Recommendation

A frequent risk: falling blocks at excavation front.

3 - Risk management methodology-

Important note
The risk management methodology defined below should be used in
conjunction with the design process for the underground structure in
question to form a single design procedure fully incorporating the issue
of risks.
To conduct such a design procedure, including all the different issues (geometry, geotechnics, construction methods, costs, lead times, planning and
contractualisation, etc.), the following is necessary:
the designer in charge of design studies must be constituted of a multidisciplinary team with all the necessary skills;

the studies must be conducted in a global, concomitant and interactive


manner, without the missions being compartmentalised;
an iterative process must be applied through to completion of the design
studies.
The designer must bear in mind at all times that the surrounding formation
in which the structure is excavated is a part of the structure itself, as are
the structural elements added during the construction of the structure (supports, linings, etc.). This means that for a given functional geometry (the
inside cross-section of a typical profile for example), the choice of construction method and dimensioning of the structure are closely and directly linked

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to the geotechnical characteristics of the formation which will be encountered throughout the duration of the project.
Any unsuitability of construction methods with regard to the geotechnical
conditions actually encountered may have extremely detrimental consequences. This is the essential reason why, during the studies for a tunnel
project, the civil engineering aspect cannot and must never be disassociated from the geotechnical aspect:
both are necessarily closely intertwined, right from the preliminary studies.
The geotechnical risk management
methodology which AFTES recommends should be applied for studies
comprises three major phases:
Compiling a Knowledge Review
covering geological, hydrogeological
and geotechnical data ( 3.1);
Geotechnical risk assessment based
on the summary of data; this phase
in turn comprises three stages: risk
identification, analysis and evaluation
( 3.2);
Geotechnical risk treatment ( 3.3).
COMPLEMENTARY
INVESTIGATIONS

All these operations are shown on the flowchart below.


It should be emphasised that the Risk Management procedure suggested here
is applicable to all stages of a project, and that it is an iterative process to be
conducted throughout the study process.

REVIEW OF KNOWLEDGE
AND UNCERTAINTIES
3.1
ANALYSIS OF RAW DATA

RELIABILITY OF THE DATA

SUMMARY AND INTERPRETATION

REGISTER OF UNCERTAINTIES

RISK ASSESSMENT
RISK IDENTIFICATION

RISK
TREATMENT

RISK ANALYSIS

DEFINITION
AND UPDATE

DEFINITION OF
RISK MITIGATION
MEASURES

OF THE RISK
RISK EVALUATION
REGISTER
(Appendix 7)

DEFINITION OF
RESIDUAL RISK
Figure 1 - Flowchart summarising risk
management methodology.

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(Appendix 7)

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The review of geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical knowledge and


uncertainties may be viewed as being equivalent to the Presentation of
geotechnical data in the Summary Report stage, as described in the first
AFTES GT32-1 recommendation [2]. This phase itself comprises four stages:
Presentation of the raw data available;
Assessment of its reliability;
Summary and interpretation;
Summary (register) of uncertainties and in particular gaps in knowledge.

3.1.1 - Presentation of the raw data available


During this first stage, as complete as possible a list must be drawn up
comprising all documentary data, whether this be geological, hydrogeological or geotechnical in nature, and relating to worksites conducted in similar terrain; the results of specific investigations conducted for the project
should of course be added to these data.
The nature and quantity of available data, their distribution, source and date
of acquisition must be clearly stated. For example, the map of outcrops and
the geological map, drawn up according to the recommendations set out
in appendix 3, form an integral part of the raw data to be taken into account.
With respect to geotechnical parameters, and with reference to the AFTES
GT1 Recommendation relating to the characterisation of rock formations,
these raw data correspond to the significant values provided by investigations (significant values means values measured by tests once non-representative values have been removed with justification).
The way in which data are presented is important. A presentation in the
form of tables and bar charts of values is to be preferred, for instance to
present data about identical rock types or facies. Generally speaking, the
total number of measurements for each sort of parameter must always be
specified. In addition to the summary, it must be possible to place all raw
data at the disposal of those working on the project, including values classified as non-representative.

3.1.2 - Data reliability


The second stage consists of conducting a critical evaluation of the quality
of the different types of data available: remote detection images, site observations, boreholes, geophysical investigations, laboratory and in situ tests,
investigation in shafts or galleries, experience feedback from neighbouring
structures, etc. This stage is highly recommended to correctly define the
contribution of these data to drawing up the geological, hydrogeological
and geotechnical model. It is also appropriate to evaluate the extent of gaps
in knowledge, i.e. what is not known.
This evaluation may be of a qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative
type; among the factors to be taken into account to evaluate reliability, the

complexity of the local geological context, the nature of investigation works


as well as the physical distribution of this work and its spatial density
may be mentioned (cf. appendix 3). At this stage the choice may be made
not to retain certain data; proper reasons for any such decision must be
supplied, as for a GBR (Geotechnical Baseline Report) type file.

3.1.3 - Summary and interpretation


The third stage consists in drawing up a geological, hydrogeological and
geotechnical model, on the basis of knowledge available at this stage, displaying the designers idea of the geological context and expected construction environment. This model is designed to become more specific and
detailed as the investigation works advance. The presentation of this model
includes producing two types of documents:
a report, detailing the hypotheses deemed the most likely by the designer
based on their analysis of all the data. This report should include distinct,
detailed chapters on Geology, Hydrogeology and Geotechnics;
graphical documents: geological and hydrological models and especially
provisional longitudinal geotechnical profiles, along with as many crosssections as necessary and, if required, a horizontal cross-section of the
project.
It is in these documents that uncertainties with respect to interpretation
should be pointed out, in particular on graphical elements (cf. appendix 3).
The provisional longitudinal geotechnical profile presents, in compliance
with the AFTES GT1 Recommendation, a break-down of the structure into
sections or geotechnical sub-sections deemed to be uniform along their
entire length from the point of view of the various applications for the project: design, dimensioning, construction methods, etc. This longitudinal profile should also include information about the variability of the parameters
within each sub-section, such as the following:
the dispersion of parameters, to allow the finalisation of methods (excavation, mucking, temporary support, etc.);
the characteristic values (as defined by GT1) chosen for the various geotechnical magnitudes. These values may be different depending on the
issue under consideration (excavation, temporary support, convergence,
settlement, etc.);
the limits within which the main parameters vary.
In the event of the possibility of geological uncertainties leading to significantly different geological models, two provisional longitudinal geotechnical profiles should be proposed, corresponding to the most contrasting
hypotheses, in uncertain areas, with the actual situation probably located
somewhere between them. The risk study will be conducted for the two
provisional longitudinal geological profiles. If necessary, the provisional geological profile(s) may be supplemented by explanatory diagrams deemed
to be useful for a proper understanding of the geological context.

3.1.4 - Register of Geotechnical Uncertainties


The fourth stage consists of summarising the uncertainties identified at the
end of the previous operation and bringing them together in a Register of

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3.1 - Review of Geotechnical Knowledge


and Uncertainties

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

Uncertainties3. To illustrate this, the non-exhaustive list below sets out the
main uncertainties likely to feature in this register:
uncertainties corresponding to gaps in geological, hydrogeological and
geotechnical knowledge: these relate to areas where the level of knowledge is insufficient to offer a reliable model;
uncertainties relating to the location of certain events, for example
contacts between geological formations or different facies within the
same formation, singular areas such as faults, overlapping, shearing
zones, etc.;
uncertainties relating to geotechnical conditions (extension, nature and
characteristics of component materials, hydrogeology, etc.) associated
with certain events and possibly their location (for example areas that
have been identified as singular in other respects: faults, etc.);
uncertainties as to the occurrence of well-identified uncertain events
(possible or probable), the number, location and related geotechnical
conditions of which are not known, for example: singular areas (faults,
etc.), areas with high water inrush, karst cavities, quartz seams, etc.;
uncertainties due to the natural dispersion (variability) of ground
properties.
This Register of Uncertainties should be limited to a list of the uncertainties
identified, without analysing the consequences. It must relate to the entire
Zone of Geotechnical Influence (ZIG) which is specific to each site and
each planned structure. This zone, defined in NF P 94-500 [8], corresponds
to the volume of terrain within which there is interaction between the structure (due to its construction or operation) and the environment (soil, groundwater, surrounding structures and buildings, etc.). The scope of the ZIG
depends on the geotechnical conditions, the diameter of excavation, depth
and the methods envisaged for construction. This scope is therefore not
intrinsic to the site and is liable to vary according to the different options
envisaged for the construction, so it must be constantly updated.
On completion of this first phase of Review of Geotechnical Knowledge
and Uncertainties, the elements drawn up during the four stages described
above are brought together in a single document including both a report
and diagrams, as well as the Register of Uncertainties. When the works
contract is drawn up, this single document constitutes the Summary
Geological, Hydrogeological and Geotechnical Report (as defined in CCTG
Fascicle 69), or Summary Geotechnical Report (MSG).

3.2 - Geotechnical risk assessment


For each of the risks under consideration, the risk assessment phase (as
defined by ISO and this document) includes three distinct phases:
risk identification,
risk analysis (in the strict sense of the term),
risk evaluation.

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3.2.1 - Risk identification


Excerpts from ISO 31000 standard: 2009 ( 5.4.2 of the standard: risk
identification):

...The aim of this stage is to make a comprehensive list of risks based


on events likely to cause, enhance, prevent, degrade, accelerate or delay
the achievement of objectives..... Risk identification should include an
examination of chain reactions of particular consequences, including
knock-on and cumulative effects. A wide range of consequences should
also be examined, even if the source or cause of the risk may not be
obvious. Whilst identifying what may happen, it is necessary to examine
the possible causes and hypotheses of potential consequences. All significant causes and consequences should be examined.
The organisation should use risk identification tools and techniques to
suit its objectives and aptitudes, and the risks to which it is exposed.
All the information used for risk identification must be relevant and upto-date. Whenever possible this should be backed up by appropriate
documentation. The people with the appropriate knowledge should take
part in risk identification.

Risk identification therefore requires the analysis of uncertainties with respect to their effects on expected results. Normally all uncertainties are a
source of risk, but some of them may have virtually no effect at all. One
example is the uncertainty relating to the location of the contact between
two geologically distinct but geotechnically similar formations. This contact
will not therefore require any change in construction plans; the position of
the contact, although uncertain, will have no bearing on the achievement
of objectives.
It follows that only uncertainties for which the deviations induced with respect to the geological and hydrogeological models (or the provisional longitudinal geotechnical profile) are sufficiently significant to cause notable
consequences, need to be identified as risks. These deviations may be
opportunities if these changes in circumstances are favourable for the project, or risks (in the usual sense of the term) if these changes are detrimental
to the project.
The risk identification stage therefore consists of ascertaining which of the
uncertainties listed are likely to lead to the occurrence of events of which
the consequences would constitute a change of circumstance with respect
to those taken into account in the geological/hydrogeological models and
in the provisional longitudinal geotechnical profile chosen.
For each of the uncertainties identified, several hypotheses may be formed,
e.g.:
for a given event, a variable number of occurrences, different locations
or more or less serious consequences;

In a large number of risk studies, the Register of Geotechnical Uncertainties is often improperly called the Register of Risks.

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To help with risk identification, it is very useful to conduct bibliographical


research on experience feedback from underground works built very close
to and/or in similar geotechnical and environmental conditions. Research
and analysis of experience feedback is carried out as and when investigations supply a detailed description of the geological model and provisional
longitudinal geotechnical profile. This kind of approach is highly profitable
for better risk identification, as well as to judge the relevance of the methods
to be used and direct the investigations to be carried out.

3.2.2 - Risk analysis


Excerpts from ISO 31000 standard: November 2009 ( 5.4.3 of the standard:
Risk analysis):

Risk analysis supplies the data for evaluating risks and taking the
decision to treat them or not, and enables the most appropriate treatment strategies and methods to be chosen. Risk analysis may also
contribute to decision-making when choices must be made and the
options involve different types and levels of risk.
Risk analysis involves risk causes and sources being taken into account,
as well as their positive and negative consequences and the likelihood
of these consequences occurring. The factors affecting the consequences and their likelihood must be identified, as well as other attributes of risk. An event may have a number of consequences and affect
a number of objectives. The existing risk control methods must be taken
into account, as well as their efficiency and performance.
The way in which the consequences and their likelihood are expressed
and the way in which they are combined in order to determine the level
of risk must correspond to the type of risk, the information available
and the risk assessment objective. Consistency with risk criteria must
be ensured. It is also important to take into account the interdependence
of the different risks and risk sources.
The level of confidence in the determination of the level of risk and its
sensitivity to prior conditions and hypotheses should be taken into
account in the analysis. Decision-makers should be informed of this as
well as other stakeholders if necessary. Factors, such as a difference
in expert opinion, uncertainty, the availability, quality, quantity and validity of the relevance of information and the limits of modelling should
be mentioned or even emphasised.
Risk analysis may be conducted to different levels of detail according
to the risk, the purpose of the analysis as well as the information, data
and sources available. This analysis may be qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative type, or a combination of the three, depending on
the circumstances ...

The Risk analysis stage includes three operations:


quantification of the consequences arising from an event identified as a
risk;
quantification of the likelihood of this event and/or consequences;
determination of the level of risk (significance of the risk) by combining
the consequences and likelihood.

3.2.2.1 - Quantification of the consequences arising


from an event
To proceed with risk assessment, the designer must draw up one or more
hypotheses for each event identified, describing the circumstances caused
by the occurrence of the event. This description of circumstances must be
sufficiently detailed to allow proper evaluation of all the consequences. The
consequences of the same event may affect several objectives and each
of these objectives in a different way. For each event, an analysis of its
consequences on each of the objectives should therefore be conducted.
Depending on the case, there may be a number of objectives 4: cost, lead
time, environment, safety, performance, legal issues, image, etc. Practically
speaking, for geotechnical risks only, the most relevant general objectives
are site safety, cost, lead time, performance and the environment. The consequence is usually estimated as being the additional costs and/or extra time
required by the construction work necessary to treat the event encountered.
Examples of methods for quantifying consequences are provided in appendix 7.

3.2.2.2 - Quantification of the likelihood of an event


The following stage consists of determining the likelihood of the identified
event and/or its consequences. Likelihood may concern the event and its
consequences, or only the consequences:
One example of the first case is an event identified as being possible,
with a range of possible consequences if the event occurs. Several
occurrence hypotheses should then be envisaged according to the
seriousness of the consequences:
In the second case, the event is certain but its consequences are unsure.
This may be the case for a fault, the occurrence of which is certain, but
the location and/or seriousness of which are not precisely known.
The likelihood of the event itself depends on a number of factors characterising the level of knowledge; the designer is responsible for analysing
the following:
the amount of investigation works carried out, its relevance (appropriate
type of investigation for the context being examined) and its quality of
execution;
the geographical proximity of investigation works to the structure;
the complexity of the geological context.

4 In the document Guidelines for tunneling risk management produced by AITES WG2, seven categories of consequence are suggested (cf. 7.3.2), distinguished according to the field concerned.
RFF opts for four categories of consequences (cost, lead time, performance and other).

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for a lack of geological knowledge, various configuration hypotheses


for the geological context.

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In short, likelihood depends essentially on the quality of the geological model


and its capacity to adequately represent reality and be as close to it as possible.
The table below provides qualitative or quantitative determination of likelihood in the form of probability.

Matrix
score

Likelihood scale

Indicative probability,
to be adjusted according
to the project being studied

Possible

1/5 = 20%

Unlikely

1/20 = 5%

Highly unlikely

1/50 = 2%

Improbable

1/200 = 0.5%

Several approaches that may be used to determine the likelihood value are
described in appendix 2.

b) Role of the designer and project owner


It is the project owners responsibility to establish the criteria to be used to
evaluate the acceptability of the risk. These criteria and the given threshold
values may be different depending on the expected objectives. For example,
they may be as follows:
maximum cost (or with very small likelihood of it being more), expressed
as an absolute value or as a percentage of the total estimated amount;
maximum time (or with very small likelihood of it being more), expressed
as an absolute value, as a percentage of the total time or as a deadline
such as the commissioning date for the structure;
adverse effects on the project image deemed to be unacceptable (unacceptable environmental impact, for example).
For the same risk, the criterion may also relate to the aggregated consequences for each of the expected objectives.
The designer then proceeds with risk evaluation by comparing their estimated level of risk (by combining the likelihood and consequence) to the
risk criteria expressed by the project owner. For each of the risks, the project
owner may take two attitudes:

3.2.2.3 - Determining the level of risk (significance of the risk)


The level of risk (NR) qualifies the significance of the risk and is usually
expressed by combining the likelihood with the consequence, both of which
are evaluated by the designer.
The combination of the likelihood and consequences may be qualitative,
semi-quantitative, quantitative or a combination of the three, depending
on the circumstances.
The level of risk may be determined either objective by objective, or for a
set of objectives, i.e. by adding together the impact of the consequences
on the different objectives. The level of risk is very frequently presented in
the form of a two-variable risk matrix (consequence and likelihood), as
shown in 3.2.3c. below.

3.2.3 - Risk evaluation


a) Reference texts
Excerpts from standard ISO 31000 (cf. 5.4.3 of the standard: Risk
evaluation):

Based on the results of the risk analysis, the aim of the risk evaluation
is to help decision-makers determine the risks requiring treatment and
priority for the implementation of treatments.
Risk evaluation consists of comparing the level of risk determined during
the analysis process with the risk criteria established when the background was established. On the basis of this comparison, the necessity
of treatment can be studied.
In certain cases, risk evaluation may lead to the decision to undertake a
more thorough analysis...

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1) Refuse the risk and request that the designer:


either revises the project, eliminating the risk source entirely (by modifying the planned alignment and/or longitudinal profile, for example);
or carries out more investigation works, with the aim of accurate identification of likelihood and consequence values in order to determine the
level of risk more accurately.
2) Accept the risk, with or without treatment:
in the first case, the project owner asks the designer to treat the risk to
reduce its impact;
in the second case, the project owner decides to take the risk, incorporating the possibility of increasing the production costs and lead times
estimated by the designer.
c) The risk matrix
To help with the project owners decision, the risk evaluation presentation
by the designer may take the form of a risk matrix, establishing the acceptability criteria according to the level of risk (LR). The risk matrix presented
below is supplied simply for the purposes of illustrating risk evaluation. In
this example, the four levels of risk (each associated with a colour to
improve visual appreciation) are defined in terms of likelihood multiplied
by consequence.
Each project and project owner has its own risk matrix, as its usefulness
relates solely to help with decision making. It is nonetheless recommended
that there should be an even number of likelihood categories and consequence categories in order to avoid a central positioning.

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Likelihood

Risk matrix
Possible

12

16

Not likely

12

Very Unlikely

Improbable

Slight

Medium

Significant

High

Table 1 - Example of a two-variable risk matrix (likelihood


and consequence) and 4 levels of risk. The coefficients
are supplied for illustrative purposes only and must be
adjusted according to each project.

A colour legend corresponding to the different levels of risk is presented below:


RN index

Indicative qualification of the level of risk to be adjusted according to each project


Negligible / minor risk

No action required, the risk factors must be subject to specific monitoring by means of procedures.

2 < NR < 5

Significant risk (but in principle acceptable)

Construction work may commence; risk factors must be subjected to specific monitoring by means of
procedures and the project may possibly be supplemented by a series of predefined measures which may
undergo adjustments during the execution.

5 < NR < 10

Major risk (to be monitored)

Construction work may not commence until the risk has been reduced or removed. Solutions are possible without
major changes to the project.

Unacceptable risk

Construction work may not commence until the risk has been reduced or removed. If the risk cannot be controlled,
the project may be abandoned or altered.

NR < 2

NR > 10

Table 2 - Illustrative example of definition and qualification of levels of risk (to be adjusted according to each project).

It should be emphasised that the coexistence of several risks, each of which


is deemed individually to be acceptable, may lead overall to a level of risk
deemed to be unacceptable.
It should also be pointed out that since the matrix is only one element to
aid with decision-making, each case must then be reassessed for confirmation or otherwise of the classification of the resulting Level of Risk.

3.3 - Risk treatment


3.3.1 - Reference text
Excerpts from standard ISO 31000: November 2009 ( 5.5 of the standard:
Risk treatment):

5.5.1 - Overview: Risk treatment implies the choice and implementation


of one or more options for modifying risks. Once implemented, treatments
produce or modify risk control resources.
Risk treatment implies an iterative process:
- evaluating risk treatment;
- deciding whether the levels of residual risk are tolerable;
- if they are not tolerable, generating a new risk treatment;
- and appraising the efficacy of the treatment.
Risk treatment options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and are not
appropriate for all circumstances. These options may include the following:
- refusal of the risk, marked by the decision not to commence or pursue
the activity involving the risk,
- taking or increasing a risk in order to pursue an opportunity,
- eliminating the risk source,

- altering its likelihood,


- altering its consequences,
- risk-sharing with another party (including contracts and funding of the
risk),
- and maintaining the risk based on a reasoned choice.
5.5.2 - Selection of risk treatment options: Selection of the most appropriate risk treatment options involves comparing the implementation costs
and efforts with respect to the advantages gained, taking into account legal
and regulatory obligations and other requirements such as social responsibility and protection of the natural environment. Decisions should also
take into account risks whose treatment cannot be justified from an economic point of view, for example certain serious risks (highly negative consequences) which are however rare (low likelihood).....

3.3.2 - Treatment actions


Risk treatment therefore aims at reducing the importance of risk, or eliminating
it altogether. Possible actions may include the following:
eliminating the risk source, for instance by performing a specific investigation enabling uncertainty to be eliminated locally
altering likelihood, also by means of additional investigation enabling
the geological model to be further clarified
reducing the consequences of an event on the circumstances of completion, through the implementation of preventive technical measures or
modification of construction methods
implementation of an early detection method for the occurrence of an
event and early definition of remedial technical measures.

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Consequences

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Following application of these measures, a fresh evaluation of each risk is


conducted. If, despite the treatment measures, the risk remains unacceptable,
a new risk treatment process is launched.

versions of the Register of Risks established during the different project phases
must be maintained by the project owner, with the aim of ensuring traceability
of the changes in risk analysis.

It should be noted that during design phases, most treatment actions consist
either in investigations aimed either at reducing uncertainty, or adjusting the
process itself, with the aim of making it as robust as possible with respect to
the consequences of these uncertainties. During the construction phase, residual risk treatment takes the form of anticipatory measures (investigation while
progressing) and predefined specific construction procedures.
In order to ensure the traceability of the entire risk management process, it is
appropriate to establish a Register of Risks, for which a framework is
suggested in appendix 7. This Register must provide a comprehensive list of
all the treatment measures implemented, with their results in terms of risk
reduction, as well as the measures decided during the study phase in progress
and to be implemented during the subsequent design phase. The successive

An investigation gallery eliminates almost all geological uncertainties.

4 - Application of risk analysis in each phase of the project-

4.1 - Correspondence between geotechnical


engineering missions and the French Public Works
procurement law (MOP)
The table below shows the correspondence between typical geotechnical engineering missions, as described in standard NF P 94-500 (December 2006) [8]
and the study phases defined in the French Public Works procurement law
(and its application legislation) [4]. This law lays down the conditions for project
management for construction works (buildings or infrastructure) completed
Stage

for public clients.


Although this Public Procurement Law relates only to French projects established for certain public Project Owners, the different phases of studies shown
in the following table are a good representation of the developments in the
design phases of a project, even if the project is not subject to the Public Procurement Law. Project Engineer is used in the Public Procurement Law to
refer more generally to the designer of the structure.

Typical geotechnical engineering missions (standard NFP 94-500)


Preliminary Geotechnical Site Study - G 11

Preliminary Studies (EP)

Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study - G 12 (a)


Project Geotechnical Investigation Study G 2 - Project Phase (b)

Preliminary Design (AVP)

Project Geotechnical Investigation Study G 2 - Project Phase (b) or


Updating and more thorough examination wherever necessary
Project Geotechnical Investigation Study G 2 - Works Contract Assistance Phase (c)

MOP law study phase

Geotechnical study and monitoring for


the works phase -G 3 Study Phase (d)

Geotechnical supervision for the works phase G 4


Phase Works studies supervision phase (e)

Geotechnical study and monitoring for the


works phase G 3 Monitoring Phase (d)

Geotechnical supervision for the works phase - G 4


Phase - Works supervision phase (e)

Geotechnical supervision for the works phase - G 4 - Works supervision phase (e)

Project Studies (PRO)


Assistance with awarding contracts of works (ACT)
Construction studies (EXE)

Approval of construction studies (VISA)

Supervision of construction department (DET)


Acceptance assistance (AOR)

a) With respect to Initial Geotechnical Investigation Studies (G1) including the Geotechnical Site Study (G11) and the Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study (G12), the
wording of the standard specifies that These missions exclude any examination of construction quantities, lead times and costs of construction of geotechnical
structures, which form part of a Project Geotechnical Investigation assignment (stage 2). The cost of these is normally incumbent upon the Project Owner. Given
that according to the MOP Public Procurement Law, the provisional cost for works is established on completion of the preliminary design studies, it is appropriate to
conduct a G2 Project Geotechnical Investigation at the time of this MOP law Preliminary Study phase. In the same spirit, as the feasibility of underground works
depends essentially on the geotechnical conditions, it may prove necessary to proceed with a Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study (G12) at the preliminary design
phase.

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b) For underground works, the G2 Project Geotechnical Investigation is almost always incorporated into the general project management mission (as stated in the
wording of the standard). It is during this G2 assignment that the essential part of the Summary Geotechnical Report (MSG) is drafted, or at least that the elements
required to draft it are gathered.
c) The DCE includes, notably, additional geotechnical investigations to be completed during the construction phase, the different threshold values depending on
the methods (convergence, settlement, vibration velocities, etc.), as well as the necessary inspection procedures to ensure measures are monitored and to control
adherence to threshold values. The definition of all these provisions forms an integral part of the G2 Project Geotechnical Investigation (cf. Standard 94-500:
Table 2 and chapter 8) drawn up by the Project Engineer.
d) The cost of this mission is incumbent upon the contractor.

4.2 - General conduct of studies


4.2.1 - Place of the risk study in the project procedure
For the purposes of project study work, risk analysis is global, i.e. it concerns
all risks, whether they are of a political, regulatory, land, environmental, organisational or technical nature, etc. Even within technical aspects, the analysis
of geotechnical risks forms only one part, which is nonetheless very important
given the role played by geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical conditions in the construction of a tunnel.
During the design phases, i.e. from the preliminary studies until the project
(missions G11 through to G2), the geotechnical risk analysis concerns only the
designer and Project Owner (the latter may be assisted by their engineers
assistant (AMO). Throughout the study process, the designer, who is deemed
to be knowledgeable, must supply the Project Owner with the elements which
are necessary for the latter to decide on the strategy to be adopted, based on
their own risk criteria.
For each study phase or geotechnical engineering mission, the methodology
described in chapter 3 should be applied, with its three major stages:
Review of knowledge and listing uncertainties
Risk assessment = Identification + Analysis + Evaluation of each risk
Risk treatment
The nature and content of the documents supporting the various components
of the risk study are set out in 4.6 for the DCE. These documents are of
course more succinct in the initial phases of the project, but they should be
individualised as soon as possible, at least in the form of distinct chapters:
these are living documents that should be developed, corrected and added to
throughout the project.

4.2.2 - Excerpt from the NFP 94-500 standard relating to


risk treatment
...For each identified risk, the possible preventive action for reducing it
(reduction of uncertainties and the potential impact of these uncertainties)
should be defined, as well as the provisions to be implemented to detect
its occurrence as soon as possible (monitoring and control programme with
associated threshold values) and remedial action to minimise the impact if
it occurs (adjustment of the project).

Risk treatment is adjusted to each phase of progress of the project.


The usual treatment pattern is as follows:
- the risk associated with a major event 5 is reduced or removed by appropriate measures (project modifications) from the preliminary design phase
onwards (stage 1);
- the risk associated with an important event is reduced or removed by
appropriate measures during the project stage (stage 2): adjustment of
the project, specific monitoring with predefined measures and related
threshold values, as well as possible adjustment to be introduced during
the construction phase;
- the risk associated with a residual event usually has a minor impact on
quality, costs, safety and lead times and may be grounds for an optimisation solution, during the construction stage (stage 3).
Risk management (and the ensuing management of potential costs) is based
on detecting them as early as possible and controlling the effectiveness of
the solutions planned. This is based on the following actions:
a) in the design stage of the structure:
- evaluation of the uncertainties and variability of major parameters
- environmental surveying, in particular for partially concerned surrounding
areas
- definitions of any additional construction provisions to be implemented
if the geotechnical situation or observed behaviour of the structure does
not comply with the provisions
- definition of possible adjustments and investigating potential opportunities
- taking inherent risks into account by budgeting for them
- maintenance inherent to certain types of geotechnical structures
b) during the performance of works: continuous geotechnical monitoring
and control (as appropriate for related threshold values)
c) after works: any implementation of maintenance inherent to certain types
of geotechnical structures, to suit the geotechnical situation of the site and
the specific characteristics of the surroundings of the structure.
5 In order to ensure consistency with the vocabulary recommended by standard ISO 31000,
the term event replaces the term unexpected event used in standard NFP 94-500.

4.2.3 - Conducting surveys and other investigations


Geotechnical risk management throughout the project design process (from
the preliminary studies through to the DCE) and during construction supposes
that at each stage of study, relevant and thorough soil investigation is conducted.

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e) This supervision mission is similar to an external control, and its cost is borne by the Project Owner.

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This is aimed at reducing the significance of residual risks as much as possible.


Particular attention should therefore be paid to these investigation processes
from the establishment of the programme through to receipt of the results.

All reproduction, translation and adaptation of articles (partly or totally) are subject to copyrigth.

The programme must respond to the need, which means accurately describing
the methods and resources to be implemented, best suited to eliminating
uncertainties. After the initial general investigation campaigns, priority must
be given to targeted investigations for identified risks based on the geological
model and the experience feedback from previous works in similar terrains.
The services to be delivered, the procedures to be followed and the reports required must also be described very accurately in the consultation documents, in
order to guarantee that the expected results are achieved. When the service providers bids are examined, checks must be made to ensure that the references
and human and material resources featuring in the bid enable quality of the service to be guaranteed. Control of execution also ensures procedures are adhered
to and that the services are indeed performed in accordance with the order.
Lastly, presentation of the results must highlight the uncertainty margins.

4.3 - Preliminary studies phase (EP)


It should be noted that one of the objectives set by standard NFP 94-500 for
a Preliminary Geotechnical Site Study (G11) is to proceed with an initial identification of risks. At the preliminary studies phase, the following should therefore be carried out:
listing all geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical data, by means
of a documentary survey covering the site and neighbouring structures
(within the ZIG perimeter);
an inspection of the site and its surroundings in order to directly check
the geological characteristics of the project site;
on the basis of the information gathered, identifying the main uncertainties and related risks.

Documents to be supplied: Standard NFP 94-500 defines very specifically (cf.


7.1 of the standard) the content of the preliminary site geological study which
is necessary for compiling the Preliminary Studies File as defined by the MOP
law. In addition to the report as specified in 7.1.3. of the standard, the preliminary studies file must include formalised material:
the Register of Uncertainties listing all the uncertainties relating to the
preliminary geological model drawn up following this first study phase;
the Register of Risks providing an assessment of the identified risks
based on the Register of Uncertainties, i.e. the identification, analysis
and evaluation of these risks;
the programme of treatment actions to be conducted to reduce the level
of residual risks so as to make these acceptable.
Attention is drawn to the level of expertise also required by this work to avoid
two pitfalls:
eliminating a solution or alternative too hastily due to a view which is
too pessimistic (or too cautious), when appropriate studies could have
shown that with certain provisions this would have been a technically
and economically acceptable solution;
underestimating or failing to detect very serious difficulties with a solution or alternative which at a later point, after studies and investigation,
could prove to be far more complex and costly than shown by the preliminary study.
Comment: In certain complex cases, it may prove necessary to proceed with
a more thorough Preliminary Geotechnical Site Study (G 11), and at this point
also proceed with a Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study (G12), in order to
consolidate the assessment of the technical feasibility and of the planned
structure at a reasonable cost. It may then prove necessary to proceed with
major investigation work at this phase: core drilling, or even exploratory adit
(cf. note a of 4.1).

4.4 - Preliminary Design phase (AVP)


This initial risk review, which must be as comprehensive as possible, is expert
work, requiring extensive experience of underground works and making
constant reference to cases experienced in construction conditions similar to
those of the project concerned. For each of the risks, a sheet must be drawn
up, describing the following:
the risk sources;
the likelihood of occurrence of any adverse event;
the consequences of the event should it occur;
possible risk treatment to reduce the level of risk.
At this stage of preliminary studies, risk treatment is essentially aimed at offering
an investigation and study programme to specify the geological, hydrogeological
and geotechnical situation as well as the seriousness of the geotechnical problems likely to be encountered. This programme is based on a preliminary geological model summarising the available data, as well as the uncertainties and
unknown factors, which are still (very) numerous at this stage.

330

For this phase, initially there is a Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study


(G12). This follows a procedure which is virtually identical to that of the previous
phase apart from two differences:
there is more data which is (in principle) more relevant as this data
shows the findings of investigation work and specific studies for the project
(decided on either at the end of the previous phase or at the beginning of
this phase);
the risk assessment and choice of treatment procedure starts to take
into account the construction methods envisaged and vice versa.
The result of this is, firstly, a more detailed geological model which is (in principle) more reliable and, secondly, a table describing the risks which is also
more detailed; in particular, major events 6 are identified, along with the general
principles for limiting their consequences. It should be noted that the risk description also depends on the construction method envisaged; this may lead to

In order to ensure consistency with the vocabulary recommended by standard ISO 31000, the term event replaces the term unexpected event used in standard NFP 94-500.

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Secondly, since the MOP law specifies that the provisional cost of works must
be established on completion of the Preliminary Design survey, at this phase
the G12 mission should be followed by a Project Geotechnical Investigation
(G2), leading to a design which is sufficiently thorough to enable an estimation
of this nature. This G2 mission is distinct from the previous ones due to the
clearly higher level of knowledge (specific surveying has already been carried
out), taking into account the construction methods which have already been
defined, dimensioning of structures and the identification of major events and
measures planned to reduce their consequences (cf. note a of 4.1).
Documents to be supplied. As for the previous phase, standard NFP 94-500
lays down very specifically (cf. 7.2 of the standard) the content of the Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study necessary for compiling the Preliminary
Design file (AVP) as specified by the MOP law. Similarly, in addition to the services laid down by 7.2.2. of the standard, the Preliminary Design file (AVP)
must include a formalised presentation of the same documents as the Preliminary Survey file, including of course, a greater degree of detail using the
information gathered during the investigation and treatment works conducted
between the two phases.

4.5 - Project phase (PRO)


During this phase, the Project Geotechnical Investigation (G2) carried out during
the previous phase is updated and finalised, including in particular the additional investigation work and the measures aimed at minimising the risks. In
principle, the project is fully defined at the end of this phase, except in certain
cases where certain details are finalised when the DCE is compiled. It is also
at the end of this phase that the table shown below listing and presenting the
risks is drawn up in its almost final form (cf. Appendix 7).
Attention is drawn to the fact that this table of risks forms the basis upon which
the Project Owner makes the final decision as to the risk management strategy
(acceptance of residual risks and determining related measures), before
moving on to the contract of works. It is therefore necessary for the project
manager to proceed with a detailed analysis of possible scenarios and consequences for each of the risks, describing these in detail and estimating their
possible additional costs and extended lead times, in order to inform the Project
Owners strategy as much as possible.
Documents to be supplied. As for the two previous phases, standard
NFP 94-500 lays down very specifically (cf. 8.2 of the standard) the content
of the Preliminary Design Geotechnical Study necessary for compiling the Project file (PRO) as specified by the MOP law. Similarly, in addition to the services
laid down by 8.2. of the standard, the Project file (PRO) must include a formalised presentation of the same documents as the Preliminary Survey and
Preliminary Design files, but in a more finalised form, as in principle this phase
is the final study phase and, except in particular cases, there is no investigation
or design work after this phase other than additional investigation work required
for the treatment of certain risks and on-progress investigations during the
course of works.

The risks not fully treated at the end of this phase are therefore all residual
risks, the level of which must be brought to the attention of the project owner
to check their acceptability. To do this, for this final study phase a summary
table of all the risks examined is recommended (Register of Risks) such as the
one presented in appendix 7, setting out in detail the likelihood and consequence for each of the project owners objectives. The project owner should
use this table as a basis for the Risk Management Plan to be drawn up for
the finalisation of the DCE and contract.
NB: As already stated (cf. 4.1, note c), the Project Geotechnical Survey defines
the additional geotechnical investigations to be conducted during the construction phase, the different threshold values associated with the methods (convergence, settlement, vibration velocities, etc.) as well as the necessary inspection
procedures to ensure measures are monitored and to check adherence to
threshold values.
Lastly, at this stage, it may be desirable for the project owner to involve its
insurers (if this has not already been done).

4.6 - Assistance with awarding contracts of works


phase (ACT)
This paragraph is limited to the consultation phase and does not deal with the
means of remuneration for residual risks, which is within the remit of AFTES GT25.
To present all the elements playing a part in taking into account uncertainties and
geotechnical risks in an underground works project, an architecture replicating
that of the first AFTES GT32-1 recommendation (2004) is suggested. This
suggested breaking down the DCE geotechnical file into three Books A, B and C.

4.6.1 - Raw data Book A


All the available raw data relating to geology, hydrogeology and geotechnics
is grouped together in a factual file known as Book A. This Book also includes
data relating to anthropic remains (shafts, galleries, pits and old foundations).
In addition, it is suggested that raw data relating to the existence, location and
pathological condition of neighbouring structures belonging to the ZIG and
likely to be affected by the works (such as surface constructions, above and
below-ground infrastructures, etc.) should be treated in the same way; this
data should be listed as geotechnical data and included in the factual file known
as Book A.

4.6.2 - Summary and Register of Uncertainties - Book B


Pursuant to Fascicle 69 of the CCTG Works and the first GT32 recommendation, the interpretation of geotechnical data by the project manager and their
view of the geological situation and expected construction conditions are the
subject of the Summary Geotechnical Report (MSG). This document has been
designed to be made contractual (cf. Fascicle 69) and was referred to as Book
B in the first GT32 recommendation. The Register of Uncertainties described
above ( 3.1.4) may constitute the last chapter of this Report.

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the exclusion of certain construction methods.

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As for geotechnical data, the interpretation of the data relating to the


surroundings and the designers assessment of their condition and sensitivity
may be included in the Summary Geotechnical Report (Book B).

All reproduction, translation and adaptation of articles (partly or totally) are subject to copyrigth.

4.6.3 - Design Report and Register of Risks Book C


Following on from Books A and B, the first GT32-1 recommendation defined
a Book C or Design Report, in which the project manager presents and
gives grounds for the construction provisions proposed in the DCE. These may
be adjusted or modified by the contractor in its offer. This document lists
all the risk treatment measures required or proposed by the project manager,
in particular action aimed at protecting the environment (buildings, existing
structures, underground and surface water, wildlife) with respect to harmful
consequences of the works undertaken.
The Register of Risks, presented in the form of a table as shown in the PRO
phase (cf. 4.5 below), may form the final chapter of this Book C, be the
subject of a separate document, or be included in the Risk Management
Plan planned in the new version of Fascicle 69, to be published in 2012. This
Register of Risks would thus form the database required for drawing up the
Risk Management Plan, in particular for the envisaged remuneration provisions. An
example for the presentation of the Register of Risks is provided in appendix 7.

4.7 - Case of design / construction or other advance


assignment processes
Use of processes in which the construction contract is assigned well before
the works is observed increasingly frequently, with the call for tender and resulting bids often carried out with very little investigation work having been done.
In these cases, the level of uncertainty and risk is potentially very high, and in
any case poorly known by the project owners (or concession awarder), as well
as by tenderers.
This lack of knowledge is sometimes obscured by the provision of a Register
of Risks that is supposed to compensate for the low level of knowledge. This
approach is not satisfactory; indeed, experience shows that when a project is
drawn up, the lack of investigation work often leads to an initial view of the
geological model that is simplistic and optimistic, concealing its high degree
of uncertainty.
Often, initial investigation work in this case have the effect of significantly
increasing the level of uncertainty felt by designers: this means that they
become aware of the complexity of the actual situation as they acquire initial
information drawn from the terrain. The upshot of this is that apart from certain
geological situations which have already been investigated elsewhere, it is
appropriate to treat risk studies compiled when little investigation work
has been done with extreme caution, as they are often far removed from
the actual situation.
Risk control is therefore based above all on the relevance of investigation work
and the use made of this work. Consultation carried out on the basis of uncer-

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tain information does not allow the project owner to ensure the compatibility
of possible risks and compliance with its objectives.
Furthermore, project owners can sometimes erroneously believe that involving
the construction company in the design will make the contractor liable for all
risks inherent in the construction of the project. In fact, it is not possible to
contractually transfer risks which have not been defined, at least in the form
of potential events, just as an insurance firm will insure only clearly defined
risks (events, consequences, and likelihoods). To enable a stakeholder (project
owner or construction company) to bear or transfer a risk in any manner whatsoever, they must have the information enabling potential events and their
consequences to be identified, and therefore an appropriate level of knowledge of the situation. If, on occurrence of a risk, it is proven that the information
available did not allow this risk to be identified and defined, the consequences
of this unforeseeable event will be borne by the project owner.
Given this state of affairs, some project owners may envisage transferring all
possible, imaginable risks, defining these them very broadly, aiming to cover
all eventualities. However, to do so they must then check beforehand that the
occurrence of these risks remains compatible with their objectives; in actual
fact, this will rarely be the case. In addition, they may not formally transfer
these risks, since bidders do not have the information enabling them to define
these risks and will therefore be incapable of defining their level of cover. As
a result, bidders who decide to respond to calls for tender will take gambles
which they are not really in a position to shoulder. This leads to unfair, unhealthy
contracts between stakeholders, and therefore to unmanaged risks.
Lastly, it is important to note that these non-conventional processes for assigning contracts have been designed for specific situations which must have
proper grounds and be legally valid. They do not provide solutions or improved
risk management for a project in and of themselves. On the contrary, it may
even be considered that operations with high levels of uncertainty (with high
risk) are unsuited to this type of approach and contract. This is for the above
reasons and also due to the following factors:
Construction companies cannot be asked to manage the project owners
risks, in the sense of identifying them, evaluating their consequences, choosing the means of treating them and/or covering them: the normal, legitimate interests of construction companies are not those of the project owner;
If each bidder offers its own analysis and risk cover, the principles of equality
and fairness of bids are very difficult to observe in the case of structures
with high levels of uncertainty, leading to very high legal risks, unless the
financial criterion is made the main criterion. If it is, this will mean choosing
the bid involving the least risk, which in turn will lead to risks not being
managed by the project owner, and thus to uncontrolled drift in costs and
lead times.
If the project owner has to choose this type of procedure for unavoidable reasons, the risk management principles developed in this Recommendation
remain relevant. To carry through the process described, the project owner
must ensure it benefits from a high level of competence in geotechnics and
underground works, so that the following can be achieved:

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1


a) prior to launch of the consultation: carrying out investigation campaigns
for fundamental data (geology-hydrogeology-geotechnics, existing structures,
buildings, etc.), the level of which must be appropriate to the complexity of
the situation. This must be even more detailed than in a conventional case,
because the design by the designer and construction company will be valid
only if this data is relevant.

c) during construction: monitoring the progress of works, and being able to


judge the acceptability of any requests for additional remuneration presented
by the design-construction company.

5 - Bibliography-

AFTES Recommendations

Other publications

[1] AFTES (2003) GT1 recommendations: Caractrisation des massifs


rocheux utile ltude et la ralisation des ouvrages souterrains. Revue
Tunnels & OS, no. 177, pp. 138-186.
[2] AFTES (2004) GT32-1 recommendations: Prise en compte des risques
gotechniques dans les DCE. Revue Tunnels & OS, no. 185, pp. 316-327.
[3] AFTES (2007) GT25 recommendations: Comment matriser les cots de
son projet. Revue Tunnels & OS, no. 201, pp. 128-168.

[13] Piraud, J. (1996) Vers une meilleure matrise de lincertitude propre aux
coupes gologiques prvisionnelles. AFTES study days, Chambry, pp.
245-250. Editions Spcifique.
[14] Lombardi G. (2002) Les risques gotechniques dans lvaluation financire des tunnels non urbains. Revue Tunnels & Ouvrages souterrains, no.
173, pp. 321-325.
[15] Bianchi, G.W, Perello P, Venturini G., Dematteis A. (2009) Determination
of reliability in geological forecasting for tunnel projects: the method of
the R-index and its application on two case studies. Proc. ITA-AITES World
Tunnel Congress, Budapest, pp. 23-28.
[16] Bieth, E., Gaillard C., Rival F., Robert, A. (2009) Geological Risk: a methodological approach and its application to 65 km of tunnels under the
French Alps AITES/ITA World Tunnel Congress, Budapest.
[17] Robert, J. (2009) Laccompagnement gotechnique indispensable pour
la russite dun projet 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics
and Geotechnical Engineering, Alexandria, vol. 3, pp. 2711-2714.
[18] Gaillard C., Humbert E., Rival F., Robert A., (2011) Le management des
risques gotechniques est-il toujours pertinent ? - AFTES International
congress, Lyon 17-19 October 2011.

Standards, regulatory texts and other


recommendations
[4] MOP law Amended law 85-704 of 12 July 1985 relating to public sector
contracting and its relationship with private project management.
[5] Swiss standards:
SIA 197 - Tunnel projects; general basis
SIA 199 - Study of surrounding rock formations for underground works
SIA 118/198 - General conditions for underground constructions
[6] AFNOR Documentary fascicle no. FD X 50-117 (April 2003): Management
de projet Gestion du risque
[7] ITA/AITES, Working Group No. 2 (2004) - Guidelines for Tunneling Risk Management Tunneling & Underground Space Technology, No. 19, p. 217-237
[8] AFNOR standard no. NFP 94-500 (Dec. 2006) Geotechnical engineering
missions, classification and specifications.
[9] ITIG (2006) Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works.
Recommendations of the International Tunnelling Insurance Group, English
and French versions published in Tunnels & OS, no. 214, Nov. 2009, pp.
188-224.
[10] ISO 31000 standard: 2009 (F) Management du risque; principes et lignes
directrices
[11] ISO standard Guideline 73: 2009 (E / F) Risk management; vocabulary
[12] Ministry of Ecology Fascicle 69 (Travaux en souterrain) of CCTG-Travaux
New version (introducing the principle of a Risk Management Plan). To
be published in 2012.

TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

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b) during the consultation process: being able to judge the relevance of the

risk management process implemented by the designer and construction company, and more particularly assess the treatment measures adopted or
planned, as well as the seriousness of the consequences of residual risks with
respect to its objectives.

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

6 - Appendices-

Appendix 1 - Correlations with existing literature

All reproduction, translation and adaptation of articles (partly or totally) are subject to copyrigth.

The purpose of Appendix 1 is to compare this Recommendation with other


documents dealing with risk management, more particularly the previous
Recommendation, GT32-1.

1 - GT32-1 recommendation
Published in 2004 [Ref. 2], Recommendation GT32-1, Prise en compte des
risques gotechniques dans les dossiers de consultation des entreprises pour
les projets de tunnels, (Taking into account geotechnical risks in tender documents for tunnel projects) took into account only the drafting of tender documents (DCE), as its name indicates. This Recommendation was applied
immediately on publication and is currently widely used in the profession. In
order to preserve the benefit of this Recommendation, it should be revised in
terms of both form and content, in order to make it consistent with this Recommendation, GT 32.R2F1.

1.1 - Consistency in terms of form

B) Concerning the distinction made between type 1, 2 and 3 uncertainties,


the further examination carried out in this recommendation offers an opportunity to replace this categorisation into three types of uncertainty by the list
and description of uncertainties presented in 3.1.4, Register of Uncertainties in the text of the recommendation.
AFTES will undertake a review of recommendation GT32-1.
C) Regarding the application to tender documents (DCE), which is not dealt
with by this recommendation, GT32.R2F1, care should be taken to ensure that
any revision of recommendation GT32-1 is consistent with the text of the new
fascicle 69 (to be published in 2012) and its application document (yet to be
drafted).

The application of the strict terminology selected for standard ISO 31000
involves rewording certain terms and expressions. Examples:
unforeseen event should be replaced by risk or event
uncertainty should usually be replaced by risk,
difficulties should be replaced by consequences or events,
probability of occurrence should be replaced by likelihood.

2 - AFNOR document: FD X 50-117

Lastly, revision of Recommendation GT32-1 is an opportunity to rectify a number of copywriting issues, including the following:
In 1 Purpose of the recommendation, the note discusses specific terminology for natural risks (including the term unforeseen event (ala)),
which, apart from this specific term, is never used in the text.
In the same note cf. 1 Purpose of the recommendation, the following
is stated: the term geological accident should not be used to refer to,
whereas in 5.2 section 3, Description of persistent uncertainties, this
exact term is used; it also features in the legend for a figure entitled Collapse
of the cutting face. AFTES confirms that this term is ambiguous and should
be avoided.

2.1 - Consistency in terms of form

1.2 - Consistency in terms of content


The main contributions of recommendation GT32-1 include the following:
presentation of the elements making up the geotechnical file in three books,
A, B and C, (and particularly the creation of this third book C: Design Report);
distinguishing three types of uncertainty: type 1, type 2 and type 3 uncertainties, with the latter equivalent to unforeseen in the sense of unforeseen events;
their application to DCE.

334

A) As to the three Books, this recommendation, GT32 R2F1, is in full agreement


with GT32-1, in that structuring the geotechnical file into three books A, B and
C has been preserved and extended either fully or in part to the preliminary
design phases.

M TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

This is a documentary fascicle rather than a standard. The document, entitled


Management de projet Gestion du risque (Project management - Risk
management) [Ref. 6] is applicable during the implementation of a project risk
management process.

Project risk is defined in this fascicle as an event the occurrence of which


is not certain, and the manifestation of which is liable to affect the projects objectives. This definition is very close to the definition of risk supplied in the ISO
standard. Moreover, it is relatively simple to establish a correlation between
the principal definitions (see the table below, although the term seriousness,
used here and in the RFF manual examined subsequently, used to define the
magnitude of the consequence, has no equivalent in the ISO standard, which
does not make use of this concept).

AFNOR FD X 50-117 April 2003

AFTES GT32.R2F1

project risk

risk

seriousness

Magnitude of consequences

criticality

level of risk

probability of occurrence

likelihood

risk estimation

risk analysis

risk evaluation

risk evaluation

residual risk

residual risk

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1


This AFNOR document also suggests classifying events into four categories,
as presented in the table below:
Non-identifiable
Virtual event

unexpected

Identifiable

Non-quantifiable

unforeseen event

Identifiable

Quantifiable

Risk
problem

It should be emphasised that the acceptance of risk adopted in recommendation GT32 R2F1 differs from this classification to the extent that it also deals
with identified events of which the consequences are very difficult to quantify,
and for which it is necessary to envisage multiple scenarios corresponding to
consequences with varying degrees of seriousness.

2.2 - Consistency in terms of content


Apart from the distinction specified above, the approach proposed in recommendation GT32 R2F1 draws very largely on elements developed in this AFNOR
document.

3 - ITIG recommendations for risk management for


underground works

RFF Manual

AFTES GT32.R2F1

acceptability

acceptability

treatment action

treatment action

unexpected event

event in question

cause

risk source

consequences

consequence

criticality

level of risk

probability

likelihood

seriousness

Magnitude of consequences

4.2 - Consistency in terms of content


The approach put forward in the RFF document is worth taking into consideration and certainly represents an excellent basis on which to establish
a detailed methodology of the risk management process.

5 - ITA WG2: Guidelines for tunneling


risk management

3.1 - Consistency in terms of form


Although it uses different terms (or the same terms with different definitions),
the International Tunnelling Insurance Group (ITIG) document features vocabulary that is very similar to the GT32.R2F1 Recommendation. It is relatively simple
to establish correlation between terms (see the table below), although it should
be emphasised that a degree of ambiguity exists regarding the term risk evaluation, whose meaning differs depending on the document in question.
International Tunnelling Insurance
Group [Ref. E 9]

AFTES GT32.R2F1

risk

level of risk

consequence

consequence

probability

likelihood

peril or danger

risk source

risk evaluation

risk analysis

risk evaluation

5.1 - Consistency in terms of form


Although the language difference may result in translation issues, a fair
degree of correspondence may be observed between the GT32-2 Recommendation and terms and definitions used in the ITAs working group WG2s
Guidelines [7]. It is relatively easy to establish correlation between terms
as shown in the table below:

ITA-AITES Guidelines

AFTES GT32.R2F1

hazard

risk source

risk analysis

risk analysis

risk evaluation

risk evaluation

risk assessment

risk assessment

5.2 - Consistency in terms of content


3.2 - Consistency in terms of content
The approach put forward in the GT32.R2F1 Recommendation is entirely
consistent with that described in the ITIGs document.

4 - RFF risk control manual (Internal RFF document)

The approach put forward in the GT32.R2F1 Recommendation is consistent


with that described in the ITA-AITES Guidelines. The ITA-AITES document also
provides considerations relating to risk management during the call for tender
phase and finalisation of the contract, but these aspects are not dealt with in
the GT32 Recommendation, since they are taken into account by GT25.

4.1 - Consistency in terms of form


This RFF document is destined for use with operations carried out under

TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

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Event that has occurred

direct project ownership. Although it uses different terms (or the same terms
with differing definitions), its vocabulary is very similar to that of the GT32.R2F1
recommendation and it is relatively simple to establish correlation between
terms:

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

Appendix 2 - Data quality and reliability of interpretations

All reproduction, translation and adaptation of articles (partly or totally) are subject to copyrigth.

1 - Assessment of the reliability of data and


anticipation of geotechnical conditions
As stated in 3.1.2, analysis of the reliability of data is one of the most
important tasks if the state of knowledge is to be properly assessed and
geotechnical uncertainties defined.
Experience shows that defining a geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical model and the reliability of the forecasts derived from it always
involves a certain degree of uncertainty. This may relate to two groups of
variables:
the geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical context, particularly its
complexity
the quality of investigations.
This section describes the factors to be taken into account when assessing
the reliability of data and the anticipations of future conditions. It also describes two methods currently in use to carry out this assessment.

1.1 - Complexity of the geological, hydrogeological and


geotechnical context
Geological contexts may involve very different degrees of variability and
thus complexity. Two extreme examples may be given:
1. Simple contexts, such as certain granite and gneiss formations with geotechnical characteristics that are either uniform or only slightly variable
(except those relating to the degree of alteration); certain sedimentary basins
comprised of horizontal layers with a constant thickness usually fall within
this category, except in the event of significant lateral variations in facies;
2. Highly complex contexts, such as formations characterised by intense
tectonics that are both ductile and brittle, including multiple folding and
a number of fault systems and/or with significant geotechnical variation
between the different lithological types.
To provide a framework for the degrees of complexity in geological contexts,
the following may be distinguished:
the complexity of the lithological and stratigraphic conditions,
the complexity of the ductile tectonics,
the complexity of the brittle tectonics,
the complexity of the hydrogeological context.
Interaction between the different degrees of complexity of these lithological
and tectonic contexts allows all geological situations to be described and
represented.

1.2 - Quality of the investigations and data


Experience shows that data quality may vary widely depending on the type

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of investigation and survey work and the methods used to carry these out.
In order to assess the resulting data quality, the various types of investigations used must be described and classified. The main types of investigation
are described in brief below:
Surface geological mapping: in this case, data quality is determined by
the size of zone investigated, the scale of the mapping, the percentage
of outcrops, and the type of measurements taken (lithological, structural,
etc.);
Boreholes: data quality is here defined by the type of borehole (full or
partial core sampling or destructive), the depth compared to that of the
project, the distance from the axis of the project, location with respect to
critical zones, the nature of structural measurements (reoriented or
not), the occurrence of in situ tests in boreholes, etc;
Geophysical investigations: quality here depends on the length of the
profiles investigated, the distance from the project alignment, the depth
of the investigation and the method used;
Existing underground structures: if such structures exist, the distance
from the projected structure must be appraised, as must the availability
of data carried out during the excavation, similarities with the geological
context of the project, etc;
Exploratory shafts and galleries: in complex geological contexts, this
type of structure (which sometimes forms part of the final main structure)
may be the only method enabling geological uncertainties to be significantly reduced.

2 - Assessment of the reliability of forecasts using


the R-Index method
A number of methods designed to evaluate the reliability of geological and
geotechnical forecasts as accurately as possible have been published in
recent years. The method known as the R-Index (for Reliability Index) is
shown below (cf. Bianchi et al., 2009; Perello et al., 2005) [15]. Another
method of analysis,which also involves the evaluation of reliability, is represented by the method for cost estimate of geotechnical risks, developed by
CETU (cf. Bieth, Gaillard et al., 2009) [16], [18], described in Appendix 7.
The R-Index method was designed to correlate the quality of geological
investigations with the complexity of the projects geological setting.
The first stage involves subdividing the tunnel axis into sections of uniform
length, irrespective of the encountered geological conditions. In the following
stages, two types of parameters are analysed for each section: firstly, the investigation parameters, and secondly the system parameters, more particularly
those allowing the geological setting and its complexity to be defined.
The investigation parameters comprise the following elements:
Surface geological mapping: the size of zone investigated, the scale of
the mapping, the percentage of outcrops, and the type of survey (geological, geological/structural, etc.);

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Analysis of investigation parameters makes it possible to define a quality


index for the investigation works carried out for each section.
The system parameters are represented by the following elements:
The complexity of the lithological context: this relates to the lateral and
vertical variation of thickness of lithological layers;
The complexity of the ductile structural context: this relates to the number
and type of ductile deformation phases;
The complexity of the brittle structural context: this relates to the number
and type of fault systems occurring in each section.
Similarly, analysis of the system parameters makes it possible to define a
complexity index for the geological setting in each section.
The following phase involves establishing a correlation between the investigation parameters and system parameters for each section being analysed. The aim of this is to check whether the investigations carried out are
capable of providing reliable forecasts in the light of the complexity of the
system. Correlation between these various parameters is established by
means of interaction matrices, often used for problems of a statistical nature
in applied geology. The final result is thus a Reliability Index (R-Index) value
ranging between 0 and 10 assigned to each section of the project layout.
The various degrees of reliability are supplied in the table below:

R-Index
Reliability
Value

7,5 - 10

5 - 7,5

Description

Good to
very good

Limits and faults reported in this kind of section are


definitely present and will be encountered within an interval of
25-50 m; the margin of error for the thickness of lithological
layers may be between 10 and 20%.

Average to
good

Limits and faults reported in this kind of section are


definitely present and will be encountered within an interval
of 50-100 m; the margin of error for the thickness of
lithological levels may be between 30 and 50%. In addition to
those indicated, other minor faults may be present.

2,5 - 5

Poor to
average

0 - 2,5

Unreliable
or not at
all reliable

Limits and faults reported in this kind of section are


definitely present and will be encountered within an interval of
100-200 m; the margin of error for the thickness of
lithological layers may be between 50-100%. In addition to
those indicated, other principal faults may be present.
Limits and faults reported in this kind of section may be absent,
and other elements may be present. The thickness of lithological
layers is not defined. Geological elements other than those
forecast may be present.

3 - How to improve the reliability of geological


forecasts?
A list of general recommendations is given below. These are supplied for
informational purposes and are designed to improve data quality and reliability in the resulting anticipated geological and geotechnical forecasts.
A. Surface geological measurements
An investigated area that is sufficiently large (the size will depend on the
overall geological structure)
Geological and structural measurements including characterisation of
fault zones
Analysis on a scale consistent with the project phase
With the development of 3D modelling (see below) the acquisition of new
data will increasingly make it possible to test and update interpretations
and models for the section under consideration, virtually in real time.
B. Boreholes
A sufficient number of boreholes to characterise the entire length of the
project alignment
Core sampling for the entire length of the boreholes
Boreholes whose length is appropriate for the depth of the structure
As close as possible to the project alignment
Representative sampling of the various geotechnical units identified
Conducting in situ testing for detailed characterisation of the formation
C. Geophysical investigations
Geophysical investigations often make it possible to optimise the location
of boreholes. Consequently, the former should be carried out first, with their
interpretation updated if necessary once the results of direct investigations
are available.
A sufficient number of sections to characterise the entire length of the
project alignment
An investigation depth that is appropriate to the depth of the structure
As close as possible to the axis of the project
In zones that are tectonically complex, structural analysis using a method
to reorient structures in their real position
High-resolution methods to be preferred
Using a method that is appropriate to the type of information being sought
and the depth of the project
Benchmarking using core samples is vital for all indirect investigation
methods
Interpretation carried out jointly by the geophysicist and the geologist
D. Establishing a geological model and 3D modelling
In order to improve interpretation of a zone under investigation, multiple
geological cross-sections (longitudinal, horizontal and transverse) should
be carried out and their consistency checked.
3D modelling will certainly come to be used more widely in this respect,
particularly for complex zones, to test and improve the consistency of data
and interpretation within 3D space. However, care must still be taken to
ensure reliability of the anticipated geological predictions resulting from

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Boreholes: their number, type (cored boreholes or destructive, with or


without diagraphy, etc.), their depth with respect to the depth of the tunnel
and their distance from the alignment;
Geophysical investigations: the method used, the length of the sections,
the distance from the alignment and the depth of investigations.

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

extrapolation of geological surfaces using 3D digital models: the purpose


of these tools is not to provide a single solution, and in isolation they are
not sufficient to ensure the quality of the geological model.

All reproduction, translation and adaptation of articles (partly or totally) are subject to copyrigth.

GT32 recommends that the geologist responsible for modelling should be


the project geologist and not a modelling specialist from outside the project.
Moreover, it should be noted that 3D modelling is only meaningful if the
amount and types of factual data are representative of the zone under consideration.

338

E. Investigation planning.
Once again, the extremely important nature of investigation works carried
out right at the beginning of design work is emphasised, in order to have
time to optimise the project, particularly by modifying the alignment or
layout of the project.

4 - Quality of Investigation assessment sheet


The Quality of Investigation sheet below has been established on the
model of the Protocol Sheets developed by the ISRMs Rock Engineering
Design Methodology Commission. These sheets deal with such specific
fields as geological conditions, local stress conditions, fractures and faults,
rock mass properties and so on.

M TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

Some 100 questions have been developed using a checklist type approach,
specifically with regard to surveying underground works. The aim is to provide
assistance in the conduct and assessment of investigations campaigns, from
establishment of the programme and site monitoring through to the procedures used to analyse the results. More pragmatically, this sheet can serve
as a reminder, destined mainly to ensure that no major technical elements
have been forgotten and that procedures for monitoring and analysing investigation work are in line with established best professional practice.
The Quality of Investigation sheet is qualitative in nature, and should be used
very early in a project where investigations are required. It may be completed
several times during the development and progress of a single project. The
investigation results may then be the subject of a quantitative estimation of
their reliability, for instance using analysis such as the R-Index (cf. Appendix 1).
On this sheet, each line corresponds to a question; ideally, it should be possible to answer each question in the affirmative. However, some questions
are highly dependent on the survey phase under consideration; as a result,
no answer may be possible for some questions, particularly during the preliminary study phase. Nevertheless, especially during preliminary design
and project phases, explanations of points that remain unanswered or with
a negative answer should be provided (for instance, deferred to a subsequent phase, deemed non appropriate for the site, etc.)

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Appendix 3 - Development of the geological model and graphical
representation of uncertainties

It must be observed that the representation of uncertain geological objects


such as interfaces, faults, changes of facies and local heterogeneous features is sometimes clumsy, incomplete, ambiguous or completely lacking.
This is a source of misunderstandings and may lead to disputes. Given that
the geological cross-section drawn by the geologist will often be used as
it is by design and works engineers, who have little geological knowledge,
it is vital to bear this state of affairs in mind when representing geological
information.
Moreover, experience shows that the comments and reservations expressed
by the geologist are gradually forgotten (or in some cases deleted) from
successive project documents, and the Summary Geotechnical Report is
not properly read or digested by all stakeholders. Consequently, the provisional longitudinal geotechnical profile, displayed in every site office, ends
up acquiring a status far in excess of that intended by the geologist who
originally drew the geological model that underpins this longitudinal geotechnical profile.

2 - Development of geological cross-sections


A provisional geological cross-section is always established right at the
outset of a tunnel project. This document is characteristic of any underground project, and will change significantly as studies progress, eventually
becoming a vital tool in the conduct of the worksite. The purpose of this
section is to define a number of specifications for establishing these geological cross- sections, as appropriate for each stage of progress of the
project.

In addition, most importantly, it allows the space taken up by the projected


structures to be superimposed on the geology in 3D. The advantage of digital
models is clear, particularly since both the geology and the structures in
question are geometrically complex.
All the various types of geological cross-sections that may be drawn are
based on such a model, from which a cross-sectional segment is taken.
For this to be properly done, particularly in geologically complex sites, the
following documents should be established in succession:
a) A map of outcrops and an interpreted geological map (see 4.1 below)
b) An Outline Geological Scheme (or conceptual geological cross-section). This is a clear, simple drawing (although with no precise scale), established by the geologist at the preliminary design phase. Its primary purpose
is to explain the geological structure of the site with regard to its history
(origins, tectonics, erosion, alterations, etc.).
c) A Documentary Geological Profile: this is an intermediate working document, which should be drafted as soon as investigation data is available
and implemented after each phase of surveying. On this, all the available
factual data are displayed using a detailed scale: topography, core logs,
diagraphy, piezometer readings, test results, geophysical horizons, outcrops,
exploratory galleries, etc. This cross-section interfaces with the borehole
location plan and, where applicable, with the outcrop map. Its purpose is
to show information from a variety of origins together, on a single document,
in order to sketch out the outline of interfaces, correlate data in space in
the light of the geological model, identify wild values, etc.

2.1 - From the geological model to the geological


cross-section
Fundamentally, any geological cross-section is derived from a Geological
Model. This may be defined as the idea established of the configuration of
terrain in space, at a given time and on the basis of available data. This
model is never more than an approximate representation of a little-known
reality, interpreted as well as possible by the geologist on the basis of its
knowledge and observations. Naturally, this interpretation will change and
become more accurate as survey work progresses.
Optimistic

In the mind of the geologist, the geological model is necessarily threedimensional. In order to represent it, a series of cross-sections have been
often used, or sometimes even models. Today, computer technology makes
it possible to create a virtual model and visualise it from any angle. This
also makes it easier to achieve geometrical consistency between investigation data, outcrops and interpretative vertical or horizontal cross-sections.

Realistic
Pessimistic
Optimistic
Realistic
Pessimistic

}
}

Limits of the valanginian marls

Limits tertiary schists / limestones and


sandstones of the Axen formation

Figure 1 - Example of graphic display of several geological hypothesises


(radioactive waste storage project, Wellenberg, Switzerland).

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1 - A relatively unsatisfactory state of the art

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d) An Interpretative Geological Profile: on this document, often established


on a less detailed scale than the documentary cross-section, initial data
may be partially eliminated in favour of interpreted information, representing
the geologists best guess: drawing the most probable interfaces (with,
wherever possible, a graphical representation of the uncertainty), the supposed position of faults, a graphical description of the relations between
units, whether deformation is ductile or brittle, etc.
In order to prevent information loss, documents c and d above may be brought
together into a single document, known as the provisional geological profile.

2.2 - The longitudinal geotechnical profile


Once the preliminary design survey work has been completed, the results
should be shown on a summary sheet known as a Longitudinal Geotechnical Profile (equivalent to the term geotechnical model used in the rail
industry). This document is drawn at a horizontal scale that varies depending
on the complexity of the site and the progress of the project (generally between 1/10,000 1/2,000). It comprises two parts:
at the top, the interpretative geological profile described above. In graphical format, and including notes and boxes, this incorporates all the
relevant information enabling geological uncertainties and heterogeneous features to be clearly shown;
at the bottom, horizontal lines, describing, for each encountered geological formation, its lithological, hydrological and geotechnical characteristics in the form of mean values and comments (for instance, the
percentage of occurrence of each class of terrain, mean strength +/standard deviation, probable discharge per lm, etc.).
The presentation and content that is desirable in this longitudinal geotechnical
profile has been detailed in AFTES 2003 GT1 Recommendation (p.168), but may
vary considerably depending on the site. In practice, this longitudinal profile is
still the major undertaking by the projects geotechnician: this means that it must
be immediately understandable and usable by civil engineers responsible for the
design and construction of the underground structure. Experience shows that it
will become their principal worktool: consequently, particular care must be taken
with the drawing, the related comments and the terms used in the legend.
Furthermore, it is recommended that the following text should feature in a
box: this Longitudinal Profile should not be taken in isolation from the Summary Geotechnical Report of which it is an illustration; similar notes
should be included in the latter.

Geological maps and cross-sections are established by geologists on the


basis of data supplied in varying degrees of reliability and abundance. They
reflect the authors understanding of the geology in question, in line with
available data, the geological environment and regional geographical knowledge (cf. Appendix 2). The abundance and relevance of data will of course
have a primary influence on the reliability of the document. However, this
reliability may be enhanced by feedback from neighbouring geological
contexts that are also used to draw up the document.
With regard to geological cross-sections destined for civil engineering,
unlike more conceptual academic cross-sections, it is particularly important to be meticulous and accurate regarding the geometry of layers (thickness, incline, folds, etc), the location of contacts and faults, and the
uncertainty of these locations. Indeed, the consequences of these uncertainties may be highly significant when it comes to design of the structure,
its mode of construction, and so on.
GT32 has therefore formulated a number of recommendations on the way
to represent geology and the related uncertainties on documents used for
civil engineering. The aim is that ultimately, a graphical representation
should be achieved that makes it possible to see the extent of both knowledge and lack of knowledge regarding the terrain that may be crossed by
an underground structure. In general, GT32 recommends the following:
Drawing a clear distinction between the factual data that enabled the
geologist to draw a map or cross-section and the interpretations (and
keeping these separate). Indeed, it may be important for other stakeholders (such as other geologists that may take on the project subsequently)
to know what data has been used to draw up the map or cross-section.
The best way of showing the degree of uncertainty of a map or crosssection is to feature both the certain factual data that has been used to
draw it and the extrapolations made by the geologist;
Ensuring that maps and cross-sections feature only unambiguous figures
and symbols. It should not be possible for these to be considered as properly located and geometrically constrained elements of the geological
structure of the formation. In particular, this applies to symbols relating
to karst cavities, folds, seams and other non-uniform features that cannot
be represented with accurate geometry and location;
Representing the uncertainty with regard to the existence and/or geometry of the geological object shown as well as possible on cross-sections,
particularly adjacent to the projected structure.

4 - Graphical representation of geological data


4.1 - Data to be shown on the geological map

3 - General recommendations
Maps and geological cross-sections are designed to provide a continuous
representation of the geological nature of underground space on the basis
of discontinuous observation and data available in varying degrees of abundance and density. They are therefore interpreted documents or models
providing a two-dimensional representation of the most likely geology. 3D
models are constructed on the same basis; they will be dealt with subsequently, due to the fact that they are more complex.

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The geological map constitutes the foundation document for any geological
study. It is vital in order to establish geological profiles and 3D models.
For underground works, the geological map is an intermediate document
that will be little used by the civil engineer. However, it is worth observing
a number of rules when drawing up these maps, particularly in order to
avoid any information loss in the event of a change in the geologist responsible for the project.

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The outcrop map should also show superficial loose soil that may have an
impact on the project (alluvial deposits, landslips, active soil movements,
alteration facies, etc.); many urban tunnels are excavated entirely in socalled superficial formations (loose or cohesive) that should be dealt with
like any other geological formation. For deep structures, representing
outcrops for superficial formations is important when these are thick enough
to completely conceal the bedrock (in this case, representing them indicates
that no direct observation of the bedrock has been possible from the
surface).

At depth, direct observations may be made using boreholes (particularly


cored boreholes), and in some cases existing underground works (quarry
workings, mineshafts, hydraulic shafts, etc.) or exploratory adits . These
can be very reliable with respect to lithological information (except for
positioning errors), but are less accurate with regard to structural data
(measuring these in the actual position in a borehole or core sample
is always a cumbersome and delicate task).
Moreover, observations made in boreholes or exploratory adits are not
always exactly located on the cross-section. The further away the borehole
is, the greater the degree of uncertainty of the projection on the cross-sectional plane. Furthermore, the best projection direction must be chosen in
line with the direction of the layers; this requires these must be known.
Potential projection errors therefore introduce an additional degree of uncertainty in how the layers are represented. Consequently, it is recommended
that boreholes should be indicated on cross-sections (along with their projected trajectory) by distinguishing (using an unbroken line) those that are
close to the profile plane (with a distance to be determined on the basis
of context) from those (using a dotted line) that are farther away (either in
front or behind) with respect to the profile plane.
Where possible, it is worth adding an excerpt from the outcrop map along
the tunnel alignment above the geological cross-section, in such a way as
to present the location of the factual data used (the position of outcrops,
boreholes, etc) on a single document.

Figure 2 - Part of an interpreted geological map with indication of outcrops.

Geophysics (seismic elements, magnetism, gravimetry, etc.) may supply


indirect information about the nature and structure of the soil and the location of interfaces, if there are significant litho-structural contrasts. However,
the results of geophysics may only be used if they can be pegged to core
samples and if the geological structure is not too complex: if both these
conditions are fulfilled, they may supply highly valuable information as to
the continuity of layers between boreholes (or lack thereof).

4.3 - Representing interpreted geology


In addition to outcrop zones, all the numbered geo-referenced observation
points (GPS) should be indicated on the final geological map (or at least on
the documentary map). Particular information relating to these observation
points can be indicated directly on the map (for instance, structural measurements). The presence of these observation points on the outcrop map
indicates that they have been directly observed. These points and their geolocation should also be recorded in a database or Excel spreadsheet and
supplied with the cartographic documents.

4.2 - Data to be shown on geological profiles


Geological profiles are established using both surface and below-ground
data:
On the surface, the geological map makes it possible to locate contact
points, faults and other specific data (faults, families of discontinuities,
sinkholes, etc.) with the related degree of uncertainty (see below);

4.3.1 - Representation
Care must be taken when choosing representations on a map or geological
cross-section:
anisotropic representation may be used to represent the anisotropy of
rocks (alternating sedimentary beds, the principal schistosity, etc.), but this
is only worthwhile if there is a clear idea of the actual orientation of this
anisotropy. Indicating a potentially erroneous orientation on a cross-section
may lead the engineers that will be using the cross-section into error;
representing multiple folds of the terrain by a representation of folds probably has fewer implications, but clarification is required as to whether
this is a symbolic representation showing the repeated existence of
folding, or if it concerns actual folds that have been observed on site;
in the event of a non-uniform formation, heterogeneous aspects such
as enclaves of varying sizes, major beds, lateral variations in facies, karst
cavities and so on should only be shown if their presence is proven or

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Ideally, any geological map should be accompanied by an outcrop map,


either in the form of a separate document (a documentary map), or
on the geological map itself, with outcrop zones distinguished by darker
or closer shading, for instance, or with a specific outline, as shown
figure 2.

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highly likely at the location at which they are indicated. If this is not the
case, the presence of these heterogeneous aspects should be indicated
in the legend, and perhaps by an unambiguous, symbolic representation
(and, locally, by a warning signal, see below).
More generally, rather than using potentially ambiguous representations,
geological formations should be differentiated by plain colours (or shades
of grey), with representations being reserved for highly specific cases. An
alternative solution involves representing the detailed tectonic style in
close-ups, surrounded by circles, as if a magnifying glass was being placed over a particular area.

4.3.2 - Legends
Legends are extremely important on maps and geological cross-sections.
They must be complete, sufficiently detailed, meticulous, and above all
consistent with the text of the report. Explanatory notes and comments may
also be of use.

4.3.3 - Additional graphical elements


On geological cross-sections (and in some cases on maps), it may be worth
drawing attention to the rock characteristics using a warning sign similar
to that shown below (in this case, highly folded rock with poorly determined
geometry).

Figure 3 - Example of a warning sign

On geological cross-sections (and in some cases on maps), it may be worth drawing attention to the rock characteristics using a warning sign similar to that
shown above (in this case, highly folded rock with poorly determined geometry).
This type of warning sign may be used to indicate the local presence of a
highly fractured or extremely karstic zone (in addition to the information
supplied in the legend). This data must also feature on the horizontal lines
located beneath the longitudinal geotechnical profile, with large dots or red
stars to alert readers.
It may also be worth introducing additional graphical representations on
the geological cross-sections (or on a separate document), for instance in
the form of miniatures (close-up windows centred on key sectors) or perpendicular cross-sections. References to other written or graphical documents are also encouraged.

5 - Representing uncertainty relating to geological


interfaces
5.1 - Line thicknesses
For both maps and geological cross-sections, representing uncertainty is
usually achieved by differentiating the type of line used to mark geological

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contours and faults. We recommend three levels of representation for each


of these linear elements (although it should be noted that these levels have
slightly different meanings depending on whether they refer to contours or
faults):
a) For geological contours, the uncertainty represented relates mainly to
the cartographic line of the contour (and not, generally speaking, to its existence):
Unbroken line: reserved for contact points that can be directly observed on site (shown by the outcrops indicated or by an observation
point): there is little or no uncertainty as to their location at the scale
of the representation in question;
Broken line: the contour has been drawn with average accuracy (with
a numerical degree of uncertainty that depends on the scale of the
representation, to be specified in each case);
A dotted line with, if appropriate, interspersed question marks: the
contour has been drawn very approximately, and its existence in the
zone under consideration is in doubt.
In some cases, the geologist may draw a number of different scenarios in broken dotted lines, on a number of different sheets or in separate boxes (fig. 1).
If there is doubt as to the presence of a formation, a question mark at the
location of the represented formation (and not simply at the contact point)
is desirable. In the event of major doubt as to the geological nature of the
soil, it is preferable not to draw anything at all (a white area with question
marks) rather than suggesting geology which is in all likelihood erroneous.
However, the option of leaving empty areas on cross-sections should be
reserved for cross-sections drawn in the preliminary stages or, in extreme
cases, when there is an outstanding, major unknown. Minor gaps in knowledge may be brought together within a heterogeneous formation and detailed in the description of the latter. Another alternative is to suggest a number
of different possible lithologies, marking various rock grades on a white
background (on the map) or by drawing a number of different cross-sections
(on the geological profile).
For a gradual shift from one formation to another, a dotted representation
may be used: this does not supply information as to the accuracy of the
location (which is less important in this case) but only on the gradual nature
of the contact.
b) Concerning faults, uncertainty relates both to their existence and to
their cartographic route:
Unbroken line: the fault has been seen (on-site or using aerial/satellite imagery) or clearly deduced (from observed displacement of )
at least locally, and has been drawn quite accurately;
Broken line: the fault probably exists, and its path is relatively accurate;
Dotted line with interspersed question marks: the existence and path
of the fault is hypothetical.
At present, for both contours and faults, representation using these different
types of line is very often practised only partially, using only two types of
line. Furthermore, it is generally over-optimistic, making too much use of
unbroken lines.

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5.2 - Representing fault thicknesses

Representing fault thicknesses by a line whose thickness is proportional to


the actual thickness is only an option on extremely detailed cross-sections.
Showing a 5 m fault (by using a line with a minimum visible thickness of 2
mm) requires a scale of at least 1/2500. Otherwise, the type of representation used may make it possible to distinguish major and minor faults
and even give numerical values (on the cross-section) for the full thickness.
However, care should be taken when it comes to the distinctions made between major and minor faults on some maps and cross-sections. From an
engineering perspective, the distinction should be based principally on
faults geotechnical characteristics, whereas cartographic geologists tend
to look more at their geodynamic role. For tunnel projects, it is therefore
important to be clear as to the nature and significance of the faults indicated
on geological cross-sections.

5.3 - Representation using extreme contact point positions

It is true that representing extreme scenarios does not allow the varying
degrees of uncertainty along the profile to be catered for, and means that the
geologist has made a restricted choice. However, making such a choice has
the major advantage of being simple, very easy to understand, and immediately attracting attention. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to represent
the plethora of potential scenarios on a single geological cross-section.
It is highly difficult, and probably illusory, to imagine that probability can be
quantified any better than as falling between two extremes, except if a simple geological context and an abundance of data make it possible to carry
out a geo-statistical estimation based on meticulous calculations. In this
case, the extreme scenarios are equivalent to the bounds of the confidence
interval comprised between (m + ) and (m - ), where m is the estimated
mean and the standard error. The probability that reality will lie in this
interval is equal to 68% for a standard deviation distribution; if the bounds
are (m 2), this probability rises to 96%. This approach was used to automatically calculate and design the most probable longitudinal geological
profile along the axis of the Channel Tunnel (cf. figure 4).

To show the degree of uncertainty concerning


contours and faults clearly, another solution involves
showing the possible extreme positions (in other
words, what is commonly referred to as the uncertainty range). In most cases, it will be the geologists
who estimate this range on the basis of locally available data, their regional knowledge and their experience. Any such estimate is therefore interpretative,
but the geologists doubts should be clearly expressed
in the form of representation adopted. Geologists are
required to show the remaining level of doubt or
ignorance with regard to their comprehension of
underground geology in the properly understood
interest of the project owner.

5.3.1 - Representing extreme scenarios


Uncertainties and questions may be shown by presenting multiple (generally two), relatively contrasting
interpretations, as is the practice in Switzerland (fig. 1).

Figure 4 - Geological longitudinal profile of the Channel


Tunnel calculated between kilometre points PK 7 and
10.5; the median line in the middle of the red area
represents the most probable elevation of the top of the
Gault Clay; the half-width of the red uncertainty area is
equal to the standard error.

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The thickness of the damage zones associated with faults crossed by a tunnel project is a variable which is of considerable interest to engineers. Hatching is commonly used and indeed appropriate to represent these damage
zones, if they have actually been observed (and if the hatching is appropriate
to the scale of the document). However, in most cases these fractured zones
are not observable from the surface, since they are covered by shallow deposits. In this case, they are best characterised by means of cored boreholes.

These various interpretations may be presented as extreme hypotheses,


within the bounds of realism, or as optimistic and pessimistic scenarios
that can be defined as being unlikely to be exceeded at either end (in other
words, reality is highly likely to lie somewhere between the optimistic and
pessimistic scenarios). It should be noted that this concept of optimistic
and pessimistic geological configurations already assumes some idea of
the consequences in terms of civil engineering.

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5.1.2 - Other types of uncertainty representation

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The degree of uncertainty relating to the location of each geological object


(contact between two layers, fault, etc.) should be represented in detail along
the entire length of a cross-section. To achieve this, the extreme positions of
the contact point should be imagined, as defined above. It should be noted
that a gradual transition between two formations may be represented in the
same way. Four possible ways of representing these extreme positions are
described below.

Representation 1: The uncertainty range is shown on the whole of the longitudinal profile for each contact or fault (fig. 5). The resulting uncertainty range
may be shown as a line, both on the surface (outcrops) and at depth (for instance, at a borehole which has passed through a clear contact point between
formations A and B).

Representation 3: Here, the extreme locations of the contact points are not
shown by their actual geometry on the vertical longitudinal profile, but by standard symbols indicated on a strip located beneath the principal cross-section.
Two types of symbol may be used (fig. 7):
Type 3a: the uncertainty bar. The strip features a bar centred on the most
probable location of the contact point. This method allows uncertainty to be
shown even in the event of close contact points, by slightly offsetting the
various bars so that they do not overlap (enlarging the strip if necessary).
This form of representation may be simplified if the thickness of successive
layers is well known and the uncertainty relates only to their location. In this
case, only one uncertainty bar is shown for the entire stratigraphic series.

This type of representation is appropriate if it only concerns a few contact


points, but can quickly become illegible in the event of multiple contact points,
with overlapping uncertainty ranges.
Tunnel axis

Uncertainty bars on the contacts


Tunnel axis

Contact A/B : most probable estimated position and range


of possible positions (uncertainty bar).
Figure 5 - Representation 1: geological longitudinal profile with
uncertainty range for a contact location.

Representation 2: Representing the uncertain position of contact points or faults


should be done only at the tunnel depth, on a mini profile located beneath
the principal cross-section and confined to a narrow vertical area along the tunnel axis (fig. 6). The uncertainty is expressed by a strip of variable width, corresponding to the zone where formations in contact may be encountered.
The advantage of this type of representation is that it only shows uncertainties
at the project depth, which is precisely where they need to be ascertained.
However, it also has the drawback mentioned above in the event of close and/or
multiple contact points, with overlapping uncertainty ranges.

Tunnel axis

Contact A/B : most probable estimated position and uncertainty bar.


Figure 6 - Representation 2: vertical geological cross-section and
mini-profile at the elevation of the project with an uncertainty range.

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Uncertainty range represented with a line +/- inclined


joinings the possible extreme positions of the contact.
Figure 7 - Representations 3a and 3b: geological longitudinal profile and
strips showing the location of contact points for the elevation of the project,
with an uncertainty bar (3a) or oblique line (3b).

Type 3b: oblique line. At the top and bottom of the strip, the extreme positions
of the contact point are shown for the project, connected by an oblique line:
the steeper its gradient, the lower the degree of uncertainty. The advantage of
this method is that it clearly visualises the contrasting uncertainty along the
cross-section, and it can be applied to successive geological contact points
even when these are very close together (cf. fig. 8).
3b type representations must however be clearly explained in the legend,
because they are less intuitive than 3a. Experience has shown that the uninitiated often confuse the uncertainty range with a horizontal geological crosssection at the tunnel depth, which is not the case. For instance, the following
diagram (fig. 8) shows part of a provisional geological cross-section that indicates uncertainties using oblique lines.

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Together, compared to a single longitudinal profile, these crosssections constitute a more complete representation of the projects
geological model. However, these cross-sections cannot be anything more than a discontinuous representation of 3D geology. In
such a model, uncertainties relating to contacts may be represented on each of the geological cross-sections, following the procedures set out above.

Figure 8 - Example of provisional geological longitudinal profile


showing uncertainty using oblique lines.

5.1.3 - Contacts which are tangent to the alignment


of a linear project
The preceding representations are appropriate for contact points that are at
a considerable angle to the vertical plane of the alignment; these will crosscut by the tunnel axis. For contacts which are tangent to the alignment, uncertainty about a contact may relate to whether it will be cross cut by the tunnel
axis. This uncertainty may be shown in one of two ways:
by attaching a horizontal section (which may take the form of a narrow strip)
to the vertical profile, on which the tangent nature of the contact (with an
uncertainty range as appropriate) is clearly shown;
and/or by showing other formations that may be encountered if the contact
is not cross-cut by the project. Figure 8 bis shows this possibility, combined
with an oblique line type representation.

Uncertainty about the position of contact


PK 9
maximum Pk
jmCM
minimum Pk
Other possible formations

There have always been attempts to represent 3D geology in an


approximately continuous way, with the manual completion of
block diagrams. However, the arrival of digital technology has
really made it possible to tend towards continuous 3D geological modelling
and representation. Since the end of the 20th century, 3D modelling software
has appeared and is frequently being developed further. Use of such software
will certainly increase as its potential and ease of use progresses.
However, 3D modelling will always be a complex operation. For linear structures, it is probable that 3D modelling will remain confined to specific sectors,
due to either of complex geology or the variable complexity of civil engineering
structures. 3D digital modelling is first and foremost a tool that enables the
coherence of data and interpretations to be checked and new interpretations
to be suggested. For projects that relate to underground volumes rather than
linear structures (underground storage sites, hydroelectric caverns, underground stations, etc), 3D modelling and representation of the zone in question
will be increasingly called for.
Graphical representation of uncertainties relating to contacts within a zone
modelled in 3D cannot take the form of uncertainty ranges, which by nature
are two-dimensional. This means that a representation in the form of a 3D
uncertainty area around contacts, bounded by the estimated extreme positions
of these contact points, must be devised. To make the model clearer, this representation must be confined to contacts that are considered to be major in
terms of geotechnical incidence. Here again, the plausible extreme positions
of the major contacts may be represented on separate models.

jmC, I, tsD, tGsb


Degree of reliability about
occurrence of formations:
1-high, 2-medium, 3-low

Figure 8 bis - Diagram showing a formation that may or may not be crossed
(oblique line style).

5.4 - Representing uncertainties in 3D space


For projects involving linear structures, representing 3D geology is often based
on a number of intersecting 2D cross-sections. This enables the geology in

Other forms of representing uncertainty in three dimensions are also possible


if stochastic modelling methods are used. In this case, the modelling software
will automatically construct n geological models, all compatible with the data,
and constituting n possible variations on reality. If these models are expressed
in terms of voxels, the probability of each 3D cell lying within a given formation
may be calculated. This opens the way for a 3D representation of uncertainty.
For instance, all 3D cells with a probability of lying within a formation F in
excess of 80% may be shown: they will form the boundary of a 3D object which
has a highly complex shape.

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the project area to be clearly displayed, and the geometric consistency of the setting to be ensured. Ideally, each project should be
illustrated by the longitudinal geological profile, one or more transverse cross-sections and a horizontal cross-section at the elevation
of the project.

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Appendix 4 - Hydrogeological risks and uncertainties

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Fundamentally speaking, hydrogeology (the study of underground water) forms


an integral part of engineering geology in its broadest sense, and is even one
of its most important aspects.
In terms of underground works, the principal hydrogeological aspects to be
taken into account as potential sources of uncertainty or risk concern the following:
The hydrogeological characteristics of the rock formations, particularly
their permeability;
The characteristics of underground water (chemical composition, temperature, etc);
The hydraulic load at the depth of the structure;
The foreseen inflow rate, with the impact of water ingress on excavation
works and dealing with discharge water;
The environmental aspects (the impact of structures on springs and superficial hydrographic networks, the drown-dawn risk of the latter, the risks of
downstream pollution, etc.).

1 - Hydrogeological characteristics of formations


The overall permeability of a formation and more particularly, the permeability
of the various lithological types interested by the underground structure, may
be a major source of risk and uncertainty, since it has a direct influence on the
foreseen water inflow rate during excavation.
Consequently, it is important to distinguish and characterise the various hydrogeological units in terms of permeability. The methods used to measure this
permeability have been described in the recommendation by GT1 Caractrisation des massifs rocheux utile ltude et la ralisation des ouvrages souterrains (Characterising rock formations for designing and building
underground works) [1].
The most significant sources of uncertainty and risk relate to insufficient knowledge of permeability values and/or variations in these values within the rock
mass. Uncertainty regarding permeability and its variations within a single
lithological type must be properly indicated and represented in geotechnical
profiles and in the Summary Geotechnical Report. One way of representing
Hydrogeological Unit
Low - Very low

Unit 1
Unit 2
Unit 3
Unit 4

the various permeability values of hydrogeological units is shown in figure 9.


For appropriate risk analysis, effects relating to poor evaluation of permeability
must be assessed, and measures defined to reduce these effects (additional
permeability investigations and tests, specific tunnel installations, prior treatment of soil, etc.).

2 - Chemical and physical characteristics of


underground water
The main chemical and physical characteristics of underground water include
the following:
The chemical composition of water, which dictates its behaviour with regard
to materials;
Temperature values, particularly in the case of hydrothermal water or high
thermal gradients, for instance in deep tunnels.
The related uncertainties and risks relate mostly to determining the values of
these characteristics, since in general, few tests are carried out to ascertain
these parameters for logistic reasons (the need for deep boreholes, sampling
difficulties, etc.).
The main risks are as follows:
With regard to the chemical composition of water:
- Aggressivity with regard to concrete, with for instance, the presence
of sulphates, magnesium, ammonia ions, free CO2 and hardness;
- Aggressivity with regard to steel (O2 saturation, HCO3/Ca ratio, pH value,
Larson index value);
- The scaling tendency (the CaCO3 saturation index value), particularly
important when designing the tunnel drainage system.
With regard to temperature values, particularly high-temperature water:
- The impact of discharge water on the environment;
- Difficulties relating to the need to drain the hot water separately.

To become more aware of these risks, a detailed study of the water resource
should be planned from the design stage (including a water sampling campaign
for chemical analysis, monthly monitoring of physical characteristics such as
flow rate, temperature and conductivity at water
Permeability (AFTS classes)
Occurrence of dissolution phenomena and karst
points) as well as systematic control of water chaLow - Medium Medium - High High - Very high Low Medium High Low Medium High
racteristics during the construction phase. It should
be possible to adjust construction methods in due
time and plan preventive measures to be implemented to minimise impacts; in some cases, compensatory measures need to have been studied
beforehand so that they can be implemented as
quickly as possible in the event of proven disruption
of the water resource.

Unit 5
Variation of permeability

Lateral variations of permeability due to variation of fracture degree (rock mass) or of granulometry (deposits).

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Figure 9 - One way of representing permeability


values within hydrogeological units.

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Various methods are available to estimate values of flow rate. These depend
mostly on the permeability of the formation, the hydraulic head and to a lesser
degree the cross-section of the excavation.
This information must be clearly indicated on the horizontal lines of the
longitudinal geotechnical profile ( Appendix 3). The following information is
also worth supplying:
estimated momentary inflow rates at the cutting face;
estimated specific, stabilised flow rates to the rear of the cutting face (expressed, for instance, in l/s/100 m of tunnel or l/min/10 m of tunnel);
clearly indicating critical points (zones with very high flow rates and high
gradient or hydraulic charge);
estimating aquifer recharging conditions (perennial water ingress or progressively draining the rock mass).

Fig 9 bis - Statistical distribution of permeability values measured in boreholes


in the Cenomanian blue chalk (Channel tunnel).

3 - Hydraulic head
Hydraulic head values at the elevation of the structure may be one of the most
important data with regard to the design of the structure itself.
In the event of shallow tunnels (defined as tunnels with an overburden, and
thus a hydraulic head, of less than 20 m), the impact of uncertainty relating to
the water head may be considered as minor. However, for deep tunnels, this
aspect is of major importance. Determining the hydraulic head may be one of
the main scopes of survey work.
Uncertainties with regard to the hydraulic head are mainly linked to the following factors:
Uncertainty relating to defining structural characteristics of the rock mass,
particularly the hydraulic characteristics of discontinuities and the degree
to which these are interconnected;
Variations in permeability within the rock mass, particularly due to occurrence
of fault and/or fracture zones.
To reduce the degree of uncertainty, a specific survey campaign must be planned in order to determine the hydrogeological characteristics of the rock mass
and terrains, particularly as regards the following:
- Setting up a network to monitor the surface water resource, including
tracing tests to model the underground water flows;
- Quantifying permeability and hydraulic head values for the rock formation
using Lugeon tests or slug testing between packers;
- Installing piezometric cells at various depths to measure the water head
in the formation at different levels and establish whether there are
different aquifers.

In terms of risk analysis, water is rarely a crucial problem in and of itself. Its
impacts are confined to disruption to works, payment of compensation if water
sources dry up, the installation of additional conduits, pumping, dealing with
discharge water, and so on. These impacts are more significant if a major karst
conduit is intercepted and/or in the event of downward excavation.
Lastly, the adverse effects of water may be considerably magnified in the event
of unfavourable geotechnical conditions, such as loose soil that may be
washed away, highly permeable formation beneath a thin overburden, etc...

5 - Environmental aspects
There are many risks to the environment relating to the management of discharge water during the excavation of tunnels. However, the purpose of this
Recommendation is not to describe or analyse these in detail. Nonetheless, it
should be emphasised that these risks must be clearly analysed and taken
into account during the various stages of the project, specifically as regards
the following:
the impact of works and final structures on springs and other water
points used to supply the area with water (the risk draw-down of
sources) ;
the impact of structures on superficial watercourses (risk of pollution).

4 - Flow rates
Given the impact of water ingress at a high rate and/or pressure on excavation
works, as well as on the management of discharge water (momentary, temporary and permanent rates) uncertainties relating to this factor may be at the
origin of significant risks.

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Appendix 5 - Uncertainties and risks relating to geotechnical parameters

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Geotechnical uncertainties in underground works projects may be classified


into two broad categories:
Geotechnical uncertainties arising from uncertainties in the geological model;
Uncertainties relating to the indeterminate nature or variability of the geotechnical parameters of identified geotechnical units.

1 - How to express geological uncertainty on


geotechnical profiles
Since the longitudinal geotechnical profile is itself based on the interpretative
longitudinal geological profile and geological cross-sections (cf. Appendix 3),
it should feature a number of geological uncertainties:
the location of contacts between the different lithological types and thus between different geotechnical units;
the presence or absence of fault zones and other critical points;
the presence of any lithological types (or geotechnical units) that differ from
those expected.
Uncertainty as to the presence of a fault may be shown on the longitudinal
geotechnical profile in the same way as on the longitudinal geological profile,
by using various specific types of broken line.
The possible existence of lithological types that differ from those expected
may be represented on horizontal lines beneath the geotechnical profile by
expanding the geotechnical characteristics to include alternative lithologies
that may be encountered in the zone in question.
As to the position of geological contacts, the boundary between two sections
with highly different geotechnical qualities is generally located with precision,
but does not take into account the uncertainty of the contacts denoting the
geotechnical contrasts, which may feature on the longitudinal geological profile
(representation 1 in figure 10).

As for geological cross-sections, geological uncertainties may also be transposed onto the longitudinal geotechnical profile by showing a number of alternative profiles incorporating different scenarios that are favourable or
unfavourable in geotechnical terms. This type of approach is of interest because
it makes it possible to develop the subsequent analysis stages (risk analysis,
analysis of the costs of the project using probabilistic analysis such as the DAT
system, etc.) for each of the identified scenarios. This means the technical and
economic impacts of the various hypotheses can be compared. However, as
has already been seen, the drawback of this type of representation is that it
cannot take into account the multiple combinations of interpretative scenarios
concerning the geology.

2 - Representing uncertainties relating


to variable geotechnical parameters
This type of uncertainty is directly related to the definition of the fundamental
geotechnical parameters used to characterise the formation and homogeneous
sub-sections in geotechnical terms (geotechnical units) and parameters that
may influence the behaviour of the formation.

2.1 - Consequences of uncertainty on parameters

Tunnel axis
Uncertainty bar about the
position of A/B contact

Geotechnical
characteristics :
Representation 1
Representation 2

Figure 10 - Representing uncertainty relating to the contact between


two geotechnical units with differing characteristics.

350

One way of remedying this omission is to include a transitional zone that is


equivalent to the zone of uncertainty as to the position of the geological contact
as part of the horizontal lines (representation 2 in figure 10). The geotechnical characteristics QAB (Q for quality) of this transitional zone will be
equivalent to either one (QA) or the other (QB) of the formations in contact (both
scenarios must be taken into account). This type of representation will be valid
for all types of soil properties (such as hydrogeology and geo-mechanics)
and may also be applied to faults whose position is uncertain (in this case the
transitional zone would show the possible area within which the fault may be
located). An alternative solution involves including the uncertainty bar for the
contact point between the different geotechnical units in the lines of geotechnical characteristics.

M TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

The parameters in question have been described in detail in Recommendations


by GT1 Caractrisation des massifs rocheux utile ltude et la ralisation
des ouvrages souterrains (Characterising rock formations for the purposes
of designing and building underground works) [1] and GT7 Le choix des
paramtres et essais gotechniques utiles la conception, au dimensionnement et lexcution des ouvrages creuss en souterrain (Choosing geotechnical parameters and tests to design, dimension and construct structures
excavated underground). For each category of parameter, uncertainties may
have the following consequences:
identification parameters (unit weight, water content, porosity, Atterberg limits, granulometry, state of alteration, etc.): sources of risk relating to the indeterminacy/variability of these parameters include
behaviour of the formation during excavation, the choice of TBM type

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1


(EPB, slurry shield, hydroshield), the strategy for confining the face,
mucking process, soil, treatment type, and so on;

discontinuity parameters (orientation, spacing, extension,


roughness/ripple, alteration of wall rock, openings, type of filling, presence of water). These parameters play a key role in assessments of
the overall strength of the formation on the basis of values for intact
rock. Consequently, indeterminacy with regard to discontinuity parameters entails a high degree of uncertainty when defining the strength
of the rock mass and its behaviour during excavation;
excavation parameters (hardness, drillability, abrasiveness, fragmentability, degradability, and so on): these parameters have a direct
influence on the conditions for excavating and crushing techniques to
break the rock. Risks relating to these parameters include equipping
a cutterhead with inadequate tools, the need to change tools more frequently than planned, insufficient power for the machine, different use
of excavated materials compared to forecasts, and so on.

Firstly, it should be noted that geotechnical parameters (or at least the principal
ones) should be represented by mean values and values that are representative
of their dispersion, and also by a characteristic value that must be determined
for each geotechnical unit (cf. GT1, GT7 and GT32.1). Consequently, there is
a variety of ways in which uncertainty relating to geotechnical parameter values
may be illustrated on longitudinal profile horizontal lines:
Indication of the characteristic value
Possible upward or downward variations compared to the characteristic value: such variations may be expressed in absolute terms (for
instance, 25 5 MPa) or as a percentage (25 MPa 20%);
By a range of values, if it is not possible to estimate the characteristic
value or if this is not considered as being sufficiently reliable;
By supplementary indications in the summary report, particularly
concerning the number and statistical distribution of the values measured, the dispersion from the mean value, and so on.

Appendix 6 - Summary of risk sources

After due consideration, AFTES has decided that it would be illusory and
even dangerous to seek to establish a virtually exhaustive list of all possible
risks relating to underground space and liable to affect projects of underground structures. Indeed, the danger is that any such list might be used
mechanically as a checklist, thereby dispensing project designers from
fully considering the geotechnical conditions of the project and obscuring
the fact that each underground structure is in some sense a prototype.
However, in the following table, which is of course not comprehensive, we
have listed the most frequent sources of geotechnical risk for tunnels. This
table is based on the description of rock formations recommended by AFTES

GT1. In the examples column, it supplies a non-comprehensive list of


geological configurations that often lead to the appearance of risks due to
the fact that the geotechnical parameters in question are variable, many
and/or difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy.
Attention is particularly drawn to the sources of risk of anthropic origin.
These are frequent sources of risk that are often poorly known because the
elements required for proper forecasting are not easily accessible, documentary records are more often than not non-existent or inaccessible, and
their distribution is sometimes more random than that of natural geological
phenomena.

TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

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mechanical parameters: strength parameters (uniaxial compressive


strength, tensile strength, cohesion, friction angle), deformation parameters (modulus of elasticity, Poissons ratio). Risks may relate to forecasting the behaviour of the formation during excavation, the choice
and distribution of support sections and so on;

2.2 - Representing uncertainties on longitudinal


geotechnical profiles

351

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

Table of risk sources


(classified according to the AFTES GT1 Recommendation)

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Field of
investigation

Risk sources

Parameters

Examples of events

Strength

Alternating marls/limestone, volcanic or volcanic/sedimentary soil, unexpected alteration


(meteoric or hydrothermal), etc.

Cohesion

Cohesionless facies in a coherent formation (sandy lens in sandstone), karst void filled with clay,
ash/tuff within indurate volcanic soil, etc.

Hardness

Chert nodules in chalk, seams of quartz in metamorphic shale, etc.

Abrasiveness

Extreme rock abrasiveness: Quartzite, very hard sandstone, quartz-rich granitoid, isolated seams, etc.

Changes

Changeable material

Swelling or spalling of materials after excavation (swelling clay), minerals of hydrothermal origin, etc.

Miscellaneous

...

...

Orientation class (OR)

Change in geometry of discontinuities, of tectonic or sedimentary origin (tilted block, slip, folds, etc)
(changes in stratification, etc.)

Density of
discontinuities (ID)

Fractured zone, shear strip or zone, etc.

...

...

Permeability

Major water ingress up to and including flooding, hydraulic clearing, springs drying up

Hydraulic head

Higher hydraulic head than forecast

Grading

Block of rock within a loose formation, erratic block in fluvioglacial landforms, etc.

Stress

Variation classes CN1 - CN3, stress anisotropy in the rock formation, decompression, convergence, etc.

Contact point geometry

Variation in layer thickness, fossil valley, empty or filled karst cavity, deeper level of meteoric alteration,
up-swelling of bedrock beneath loose surface formations, etc.

Contrast

Matrix

Discontinuities

Changes across the whole


of the face

Miscellaneous

Contrast

Formation
(Soil or Rock)

Variation

Physical and chemical Aggressivity of groundwater, chemical clogging phenomena, bacterial development,
characteristics of water surface water pollution, etc.
Miscellaneous

...

...

Gas

Emission of harmful gases (H2S, CO2) and/or consumption of oxygen (pyrites) liable to cause asphyxia,
presence of explosive gases (CH4), etc.

Contrast
Cohesion/
Surface settlement, damage to built structures on the surface
permeability/granularity

Safety
and environmental
considerations

Miscellaneous

352

Changes

Specific materials
subject to change
(dealing with muck)

Asbestos, radioactivity (presence of radon), presence of chert particles, production of sulphuric


acid due to alteration of pyrite, etc.

Miscellaneous

Anthropic origin

Archaeological remains, ancient foundations, sheet piling, anchors, abandoned underground


quarry-workings, filled-in pits and moats, bombs, polluted soil, fragile surface structures, etc.

...

...

...

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

1 - Quantifying consequences

3 - Determining the level of risk

As recommended in paragraph 3.2.3b, Role of the designer and project


owner, it is the responsibility of the project owner to define the criteria used
to evaluate acceptability of a risk.

For a quantitative approach, one solution involves multiplying the likelihood V


(expressed in the form of a numerical value between 0 and 1) by the estimated
cost C of treating the consequences. The level of risk R = V x C related to an
event may incorporate various types of consequence, which can be weighted,
including the following:
C = C1 (lead time) + C2 (costs) + C3 (other objective)

It is recommended that for each of the objectives of the project owner, the
impact of the consequences should be ranked on a scale of 1 to 4, as shown
in the table below:

Delay (1-2),
Cost (2), expressed
Image (2),
Risk matrix
Scale of
expressed in terms in terms of the
expressed in terms of
score
consequences
of the overrun
overrun
media impact
4

Very high

t > 3 months

C > 50%

Worldwide

High

1 month < t < 3 months

10% < C < 50%

Continental

Medium

1 week < t < 4 weeks

5% < C < 10%

Countrywide

Low

t < 1 week

C < 5%

Local

(1) deadline overruns are indicated for a project lasting approximately one year
(2) indicative values: to be adjusted depending on the project

Each of these scores (1 to 4) corresponds to a description and to a range of


values, in order to quantify the seriousness of the consequences with regard
to the objectives. Clearly, for a given event, the degree of seriousness may
differ depending on the objective under consideration.

For a qualitative approach, a matrix can be


used, showing likelihood and consequences
expressed qualitatively:
possible, unlikely, highly unlikely and
improbable for likelihood
slight, medium, significant and highly significant for consequences.

Other

Each of these descriptions corresponds to a numerical value of between 1 and


4 for both likelihood and consequences. The combination of these values therefore results in a square matrix like that shown below, in which the level of
risk may be expressed qualitatively by multiplying the two scores (this matrix
is used to illustrate paragraph 3.2.3 in the main body of the text).

For instance, if a fault is encountered, a number of characteristics need to be


envisaged: strength, orientation, type of infill materials, amount of related water
ingress, etc. A number of scenarios may be envisaged with regard to these
characteristics.
On the basis of this new data, the project designer can establish the treatment
to be applied subsequently (cf. 3.3 Risk treatment). Nevertheless, on the
basis of this new data and depending on the planned construction arrangements, the project designer must determine the various consequences in terms
of costs and delay and rank these in order to be able to evaluate the impact
of the risk under consideration.

2 - Quantifying likelihood
In practice, as for the consequences, and as shown in the table below, likelihood
may be ranked into 4 classes, ranked from 1 to 4 and corresponding to 4
ranges of probability.
Matrix
score

Likelihood scale

Indicative probability, to be
adjusted according to the project
being studied

Possible

1/5 = 20 %

Unlikely

1/20 = 5 %

Highly unlikely

1/50 = 2 %

Improbable

1/200 = 0,5 %

Likelihood

Risk matrix
Possible

12

16

Unlikely

12

Highly unlikely

Improbable

Slight

Medium

Significant

Highly significant

Consequences

An example of a calculation of the level of risk established on the basis of


the value tables supplied to quantify consequences ( 1) and likelihood
( 2) is shown below. Take a given event A, with a likelihood of 1/20 and
consequences of 18 million, corresponding to approximately 15% of the
total construction cost and four months time overrun;
the correspondence tables above return a likelihood value of 3 and a
consequence value of 3 (significant) for the cost and 4 (catastrophic) for
the lead time;
Determination of the level of risk (NR) returns a value of 9 for cost and
12 for delay. These results should be compared with the acceptability criteria selected by the project owner (cf. 3.2.3 in the main body of the
text, Risk evaluation).
It should be noted that the Likelihood*Consequences multiple (18 million
x 0.15 or 4 months x 0.15) could also have been established directly, and
this result compared to an acceptability chart drawn up in absolute values.

TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

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Appendix 7 - Methods used to quantify risks

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1

4 - Other representations of the level of risk

In addition to the risk matrix and its coloured boxes to represent the level
of risk, this may also be represented in graphic form on a summary diagram
showing the statistical distribution of possible costs and delays for completion of the structure. This representation is one of the most explicit results
provided by the DAT (Decision Aid for Tunnelling) method, a system originally
developed by MIT and EPFL, and subsequently by Geodata in Turin. This
gives the project owner a visual representation of a range of costs/delays
for completion of its structure, on the basis of the determined variability for
each of the geotechnical parameters selected.

measurement of the complexity of the geological context, as well as the


relevance and reliability of the sources of information used to draw up the
geological model. This approach was inspired by the R-index method.
Analysis of the geological model makes it possible to assign a score to each
tunnel section, characterising its geological complexity (Cx). The greater
the complexity of the geological model, the lower the score. Reliability of
the information obtained from all types of survey used to draw up the geological model is indicated in the form of a score (Fi) that depends on the
nature and proximity of the sources of knowledge. The more unreliable the
information, the lower the score,. The extent of knowledge is established
on the basis of the relationship between the reliability of these sources of
knowledge and the complexity of the geological context (NC = Fi/Cx).
By establishing the extent of knowledge in this way,
supporting grounds can be provided for every point of
the tunnel and easily modified as new data are incorporated into the model following subsequent survey
work.

Laboratoire de Mcanique des Roches, Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne.

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4.1 - A probabilistic method: DAT (Decision Aid


for Tunnelling)

Next, after listing possible events and their location


along the longitudinal profile on the basis of the analysis step, the likelihood of each event is estimated
qualitatively. This method relies on the degree of
expertise of the designer and is also linked to the
degree of knowledge of the site. The extent of knowledge (NC) is incorporated with likelihood when calculating the level of risk.
Figure 11 - Example of diagrams simulating the cost and lead times for
construction of a tunnel, produced using the DAT method.

4.2. - Cost estimation of geotechnical risks


This method, developed by CETU, is designed to estimate costs of geotechnical risks and represent them in graphic form on the longitudinal geotechnical profile [16], [18]. The methods involves discretization of the geological
model, and presents the results of risk management, namely the extent of
knowledge (NC) and the provision of the risks (PR) on the basis of a stepby-step analysis.
Firstly, an extent of knowledge (NC) index is defined. This represents a

Then, for each possible event that has been identified, a realistic estimation
of its financial consequences is made, based on a detailed description of
the event itself. The level of risk for each analysis step is determined by
summing the multiples (likelihood x consequence) of all the events.
The suggested mode of representation makes it easy to highlight the most
striking results. For instance, on figure 12, it is immediately obvious where
in the tunnel the extent of knowledge NC (represented by a curve) is poor and
where the provision for risks PR (shown as a histogram) is high. These summary charts offer a good representation of the risk management approach,
and should be read taking into account both parameters, NC and PR. This
makes it easy to locate the principal risks on the scale of the project.

Provision for risks

Figure 12 - Example of a longitudinal profile with synthetical representation of geotechnical risks.

354

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Extent of knowledge

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AFTES RECOMMENDATION NGT32.R2A1


5- Register of Risks

However, it is vital to preserve successive versions of the table in order to


ensure traceability of the process of risk identification and treatment.

Design phases
Date:
Risk

Identification

Preliminary Studies
Preliminary Design
Risk source

Likelihood

When the Risk Management Plan is drawn up, the table must be completed
by additional columns (not shown here) relating to the assignment of risks to
the contracting parties, as well as to the mode of remuneration chosen for
their treatment and their consequences.

Project Studies
DCE
Level of
Preventive
Consequences
risk
treatment

Finalisation of the Tender


Level of residual
risk

Method of
detection

Compensation
treatment

Risk 1
Risk 2

The design phase is specified by ticking the appropriate box. The contents of the table, to be completed during each risk analysis, are detailed below with explanations of the title of each column.
Identification: Free text that should provide the best possible description of the identified risk after the specific context of the structure and consideration
has been analysed: geology, hydrogeology, geotechnics, environment, surroundings, etc.
Risk source: Reference to one or more types of event including those defined in the table in Appendix 6
Likelihood: Qualitative expression using 4 levels.
Consequences: Detailed description of the possible consequences if the event in question occurs, in the form of several scenarios relating to the construction
conditions that may be encountered, with the possible inclusion of an index of seriousness for each scenario, expressed qualitatively with 4 levels.
Level of risk: The result of combining the likelihood and the seriousness of the consequences with the possible addition of a significance index expressed
quantitatively (a score of between 1 and 16).
Preventive treatment: Measures planned to reduce or eliminate the risk: abandonment of the solution, altering the location, changing the alignment and/or
longitudinal profile, survey and study programme to clarify the likelihood and/or consequences - selection of methods minimising the consequences if the
event in question occurs, etc.
During construction: Surveys as works progress, inspections, etc.
Level of residual risk: the level of risk after preventive treatment, accepted by the project owner or the contractor if there has been an express transfer of the risk
Curative treatment: Appropriate construction measures and/or adjustment of initial methods with a view to reducing the seriousness of the consequences
if the event in question occurs.

Appendix 8 - Acronyms and abbreviations


ACT: Phase covering assistance with awarding contracts of works (Assistance
la passation du Contrat de Travaux)
AITES: International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA)
AMO: Engineers Assistant (Assistant au Matre dOuvrage)
AVP: Preliminary Design phase (Avant-Projet)
CCAG: French Ecology Ministrys General Terms of Contract (Cahier des Clauses
Administratives Gnrales)
CCTG: French Ecology Ministrys General Technical Specifications (Cahier des
Clauses Techniques Gnrales)
CGEDD: French Council for Ecology and Sustainable Development (Conseil
Gnral de lcologie et du Dveloppement Durable)
CFGI: French Committee of Engineering Geology and the Environmental
(Comit Franais de Gologie de lIngnieur et de lenvironnement)
CFMR: French Committee for Rock Mechanics (Comit Franais de Mcanique
des Roches)
CFMS: French Committee for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
(Comit Franais de Mcanique des Sols et de Gotechnique)

DCE: Tender Documents (Dossier de Consultation des Entreprises)


EP: Preliminary Studies phase (Etudes Prliminaires)
GBR: Geotechnical Baseline Report
GT: AFTES Working Group (Groupe deTravail)
ISRM: International Society of Rock Mechanics
ITA: International Tunneling Association
ITIG: International Tunneling Insurance Group
MOP: Project mission as per French Public Works Procurement Law (Matrise
dOuvrage Publique)
MSG: Summary Geotechnical Report (Mmoire de Synthse Gotechnique)
PPP: Private-public partnership
PRO: Project phase
RFF: French Rail Network (Rseau Ferr de France)
TOS: Tunnels & Ouvrages souterrains (AFTES journal)
WG: Working Group (ITA)
ZIG: Zone of Geotechnical Influence (Zone dInfluence Gotechnique)

TUNNELS ET ESPACE SOUTERRAIN - n232 - Juillet/Aot 2012

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One possible presentation of the summary table of the risk management process is shown below. For each individual risk (represented by a line), the various
columns representing the successive tasks in the process should be completed. Such a table is by nature subject to change. A given risk may be eliminated
during the project due to construction measures being adopted to manage it.

355

Notes :

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