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Gorge 2nd Tunnel

Appendix I: G2T Preliminary Design


Inflow Predictions
Date

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PROJECT MEMORANDUM

To:
cc:
From:
Job No:
Date:
Subject:

Beth Peterson, HDR


Gregg Davidson
Mark Havekost, Laura Miles
4087.1
March 4, 2009
Gorge 2nd Tunnel - Groundwater Inflow Predictions

1 Introduction
This memorandum describes the results from a preliminary analysis of the groundwater
inflow predictions for the Gorge 2nd tunnel (G2T). Groundwater inflow into the tunnel will
occur through joints, fractures and shear zones in the rock. Inflows of groundwater into
the new tunnel will flow back to the portal where they will be collected and conveyed to
treatment facilities. Inflow predictions are provided as a basis for planning and design
development.
The reliability of groundwater inflow predictions is strongly influenced by the accuracy of
the input parameters: conductivity, head, and specific yield. The uncertainty of
encountering undefined reaches of higher permeability (e.g. faults, open joints etc.)
must also be considered because inflow predictions are very sensitive to variations at
the high end of the permeability range. Natural variability in the parameters along the
tunnel creates additional uncertainties as to the representative values to use in the
analysis.
On past tunneling projects isolated features such as faults have resulted in local inflows
of several thousand gallons per minute (gpm). The void space surrounding the fractured
and sheared rock present within a fault zone forms a reservoir that stores groundwater
and surface runoff. When the tunnel excavation intersects a fault zone, this stored water
is rapidly conducted downward into the excavation.
2 Modeling Approach
The impact of uncertainty on predicted inflows is addressed explicitly using risk
analysis. This approach allows a rational assessment of the impact that the likely
occurrence rates of all inputs will have on tunnel inflows. A Monte Carlo simulation is
used to evaluate the combined impact of variations on heading inflow and sustained
portal inflow as the tunnel is advanced. The risk analysis program @Risk (Version 5.0)

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was used to perform the Monte Carlo simulation. This approach, used at later stages of
design, together with a more extensive database of packer permeability test data should
provide more accurate and reliable groundwater inflow estimates.
Two types of tunnel inflow are analyzed: (1) maximum instantaneous inflow (heading
inflow) as the tunnel is driven, and (2) the sustained flow (cumulative inflow) out of the
portal as a result of all inflows along the tunnel..
The analysis mimics the anticipated tunnel drive as a single heading from the portal. As
the tunnel is advanced, water inflows fluctuate as water bearing features are
encountered and previous features dry up or become steady state inflows. High yield
features such as faults or fractures are assumed in the model. The tunnel excavation is
divided into 75-ft-long intervals on which inflow calculations are made independently. An
interval is based on preliminary estimates of tunnel boring machine (TBM) daily
advance rates.
At any given time, the heading inflow (Qo) is calculated using Goodmans steady-state
solution (Eq. 1, Cherry and Freeze, 490).

Qo =

2kH o
2H o
2.3 log

r
Qo inflow rate per unit tunnel length

Equation 1

k hydraulic conductivi ty
H o groundwate r head above tunnel centerline
r

tunnel radius

Goodmans transient solution (Eq. 2, ibid., 491) is used to calculate the cumulative
inflow (Q(t)) into all intervals behind the heading with respect to the excavation time

Q(t ) =

C
kH o3 S y t
Equation 2
3
Q(t ) cumulative inflow per unit tunnel length at time t
k hydraulic conductivi ty
H o initial groundwate r head above tunnel centerline
8

C constant equal to 0.75


S y specific yield
t

time since start of inflow into excavation

Heading and cumulative inflows are summed to estimate the total volume of water ot be
handled at the portal at any one time. The process is repeated for each advance of the
heading, which is assumed to occur at a constant upper-bound rate of 75 ft per day.
Stops or slowdowns during construction will result in a reduced portal inflow, as the
cumulative inflows have more time to dissipate. The upper-bound excavation rate
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ensures a conservative inflow prediction. Conservatively, this analysis ignores potential


reductions in inflow from pre-excavation grouting, a method used to reduce conductivity
in the rock formation ahead of the tunnel heading.
For simplicity, faults are modeled as zones with three discrete water bearing features.
These zones are assigned a higher conductivity and specific yield compared to the rest
of the tunnel. Once the initial groundwater head is dissipated through each feature,
inflows at faults are assumed to be driven by the HGL in the existing power tunnel.
3 Faults Assumptions

A preliminary interpretation of potential project area faults that cross the GT2 alignment
was conducted based on a review of project area topographic maps and aerial
photography. Faults commonly form linear depressions such as valleys, canyons, small
depressions or notches along ridgelines, and linear faces on bedrock outcrops that are
visible in maps and photographs. The fractured and sheared rock caused by faulting is
commonly softer and more easily eroded, resulting in the formation of depressions
along the fault trace.
Based on the review of project area topographic features, three northwest-southeast
trending potential faults were identified crossing the G2T alignment. The locations are
shown on Figure 1. Two of these potential faults are located between the surge tank on
the existing tunnel and the Devils Elbow Adit. The third potential fault is located near
the eastern terminus of the proposed G2T alignment. The western-most fault is
associated with the northwestward projection of the broad and linear Ladder Creek
Valley. The other two potential faults are associated with linear depressions that span
both sides of the Skagit River valley.
In addition to these larger linear features, north-south trending lineations appear to
cross the G2T alignment in the vicinity of the Devils Elbow Adit. These features appear
to represent large scale fracturing or faults with relatively little displacement.
4 Formation Properties and Groundwater Levels

The inflow analysis requires three site-specific inputs: groundwater head above the
tunnel; hydraulic conductivity; and specific yield. Available data are typically used to
directly define probability distribution functions for formation conductivity and
groundwater head. Due to a lack of project-specific information for G2T, cumulative and
triangular distribution assumptions were made. Project-specific probability distributions
will be developed using data collection from the field investigations.
4.1

Groundwater Head

Groundwater level data is currently not available. A preliminary estimate of groundwater


level along the tunnel alignment was made based on a review of the site topography
and creek elevations. Figure 1 shows the preliminary estimates of groundwater level.
Fifteen triangular groundwater head probability distributions were used for the tunnel:
these were based on a most likely, a minimum, and a maximum value. As discussed in
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Section 2.0, the groundwater head at faults is assumed to drain down to the HGL level
in the existing tunnel.

Figure 1: Preliminary Estimate of GW Level and Fault Locations

4.2

Hydraulic Conductivity

Conductivity data is currently not available. The review of historic documents and
preliminary mapping of the Devils Elbow Adit suggest hydraulic conductivity is generally
low. Table 1 summarizes the cumulative distribution functions used in the analysis.
Separate conductivity distributions are defined for Gneiss and fault zones. Figure 2
shows the distributions graphically.
Table 1: Hydraulic Conductivity Distributions

Geologic Unit
Gneiss
Fault Zones

Minimum
1.00E-09
1.00E-05

Hydraulic Conductivity
Mean
5.00E-08
1.00E-04

Maximum
1.00E-06
1.00E-03

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800

700

600

500

400

300

200

100

-100

Figure 2: Hydraulic Conductivity Distributions

4.3

Specific Yield

For modeling purposes the rock is assumed to hold water like an unconfined aquifer.
Specific yield is defined as the volume of water that is released from storage per unit
surface area of the aquifer per unit decline in the water table (Cherry and Freeze, 61).
Goodman et al. (1965) define specific yield as the volume of drainable voids divided by
the total volume. For rock, fractures are assumed to be equivalent to drainable voids. A
triangular specific yield probability distribution was used based on a most likely, a
minimum, and a maximum value. Specific yields were also estimated for the fault zones.
Table 2 summarizes the triangular distribution functions used in the analysis. Figure 3
shows the distributions graphically
Table 2: Specific Yield Distributions

Geologic Unit
Gneiss
Fault Zones

Minimum
0.0005
0.05

Specific Yield
Most Likely
0.005
0.1

Maximum
0.009
0.2

Figure 3: Specific Yield Distributions

5 Discussion

Statistical simulations of 10,000 runs were used to develop inflow predictions. The
combined impact of the variation of all input parameters to inflow analysis resulted in
large variations among the mean, 95th percentile, and maximum values of inflow. As
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would be expected, the presence of fault zones has the most significant impact on the
estimated inflows. These features store large volumes of water and have high
conductivities. Therefore they contribute large spikes of groundwater inflow.
5.1

Predicted Heading Inflows

The predicted heading inflow is shown on Figure 4. The horizontal axis corresponds to
tunnel stationing. This figure shows three curves that correspond to the mean, 95th
percentile, and maximum inflow values from the statistical analysis. The left vertical axis
shows the heading inflow, while the right vertical axis shows the mean groundwater
head. Generally, heading inflows are predicted to be less than 200 gpm for the tunnel.
The largest heading inflows are predicted to occur in the fault zones. These inflows
represent what might be encountered as the TBM mines into a specific water producing
feature within the fault zone. It is expected that several similar features could be
encountered sequencially as the TBM traverses through the length of the fault zone.

Figure 4: Heading Inflow Prediction

5.2

Predicted Cumulative Inflow

The predicted portal inflow is shown on Figure 5. This flow represents the total volume
of water to be handled at the portal. The horizontal axis corresponds to tunnel
stationing. This figure shows three curves that correspond to the mean, 95th percentile,
and maximum inflow values from the statistical analysis. The left vertical axis shows the
portal inflow, while the right vertical axis shows the mean groundwater head. The
largest portal inflows predictions occur as the heading passes through the fault zones.
These zones cause the inflow predictions to spike for a short period of time before
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dropping off to a more sustained flow. The spikes and subsequent drop off result in an
overall gradual increase in the portal inflow as the tunnel is advanced. The spikes are
larger than the predicted heading inflows because they capture the effects of the entire
fault zone (e.g. numerous open features) as opposed to a specific feature.

Figure 5: Portal Inflow Prediction

5.3

Summary

Table 3 summarizes the estimated l peak tunnel inflows. The peak flows represent
volumes of water that are anticipated for a short durations. These flows result in an
instantaneous rush of water but are expected to dissipate to lower sustained volumes
over a short period of time. Table 4 summarizes the predicted sustained portal inflows.
These flows are what is expected on a day to day basis during tunnel construction.
Table 3: Predicted Peak Tunnel Inflows

Instantaneous Heading Inflow


(gpm)
95th
Maximum
Percentile
Mean
1400
650
60

Peak Portal Flow


(gpm)
95th
Maximum
Percentile
1600
800

Mean
200

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Table 4: Predicted Sustained Inflow

Maximum
300

Portal Flow
(gpm)
95th
Percentile
150

Mean
80

6 Conclusions

Instantaneous heading inflows and sustained portal inflows have been predicted in
relation to tunnel heading position for the Gorge 2nd Tunnel. The predictions use steadystate and transient solutions developed by Goodman et al. (1965). Uncertainty in
hydraulic conductivity, head, and specific yield along the alignment were characterized
by probability distributions. The impact of the uncertainty in these ground parameters on
heading and portal inflows was evaluated using Monte Carlo simulation. The result of
the analysis is heading and portal inflow probability distributions for each heading
position along the alignment. These predictions are intended to cover the range of likely
occurrences of hydraulic conductivity, groundwater head, and specific yield. These
predictions are based on preliminary assumptions and the model will need to be
updated as more data becomes available.

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7 References

Goodman, R.E., D.G. Moye, A. Van Schalkwyk, and I. Javandel, Groundwater Inflows
During Tunnel Driving, Engineering Geology, 1(1), 3956, 1965.
Heuer, R.E., Estimating Rock Tunnel Water Inflow, RETC Proceedings, Chapter 3, pp.
4160, 1995.
Freeze, R.A.. and J.A. Cherry, Groundwater, Prentice-Hall, 1979.
@Risk Version 5.0, Pallisade Corporation, 31 Decker Road, Newfield, NY.

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