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Geotechnical and Geological Engineering 22: 477–496, 2004. # 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.


Development of rational models for tunnel blast prediction based on a parametric study
Central Mining Research Institute, Regional Centre, 3rd Floor MECL Complex, Seminary Hills, Nagpur-440 006, India. e-mail: (Received 25 February 2003; revised and accepted 25 June 2003) Abstract. The empirical models available for prediction of the tunnel blast results like pull ratio, specific charge, specific drilling and overbreak have some inherent shortcoming in absence of any parametric study at the backdrop. Hence, the models use different constituting parameters and provide values which differ widely. After a thorough review of literature and field investigations in the drivages of mines and tunnels some parameters were identified. Those parameters were subjected to Multiple Linear Regression analyses to filter out the most influencing ones which represent the rockmass properties, the tunnel configurations and the blast designs. A parameter called Tunnel Blasting Index (TBI) was conceptualized and was expressed in terms of those most influencing parameters. All the blast results observed during the filed investigations could be well related to a single index TBI. Some adjustments on account of shape of the tunnel and joint orientations, which were not addressed in the available models, are suggested in the developed models. Key words. joint orientation adjustments, most influencing parameters, predictive models, Tunnel Blasting, Tunnel Blasting Index (TBI).

1. Introduction
The tunnel blast performance is generally measured in terms of one or more than one of the following blast parameters: (1) Pull (face advance/depth of round), expressed in percent, (2) Specific charge (kg of explosive/m3 or t of yield), (3) Specific drilling (m of drilling/m3 or t of yield), or Detonator or hole factor (number of holes/m3 or t of yield), and (4) Blast induced rock mass damage and overbreak or underbreak. The underbreak is usually expressed in the field in terms of negative overbreak. The blast induced overbreak or underbreak is measured radially and expressed in metre. Those are also occasionally estimated volumetrically in m3 of in situ rock mass over or under-broken and expressed in percent of the designed volume. However, in most of the projects in India, the permissible limit of overbreak has been defined in terms of width and height of tunnel. The Swiss Society



p of Engineers and Architects defines the permissible overbreak limit as 0:07 A, where A is the tunnel area or 0.4 m whichever is less (Innaurato et al., 1998). All the above results jointly contribute to the safety, rate of progress and economy of the tunnel. Hence, it would be misleading to measure the tunnel blast efficiency in terms of one or two of the above parameters. The degree of fragmentation and the muck profile are also important indicators of blast performance and may need to be addressed in several cases, particularly in open pit mining operations. However, as these two results affect the mucking operation and generally do not pose severe problems to the practising engineers in their day-to-day tunnel blasting activities, these are not dealt in details in the present paper. The above results, are dependent on the rock mass properties which may be termed as the non-controllable parameters (N), the tunnel configurations which may be called as the semi-controllable parameters (S) and the blast design parameters which are known as the controllable parameters (C). All the parameters used for development of available models leading to blast design or predictions can be classified in these three categories as is evident in Table 1. The following aspects are prominently noted in Table 1. (1) The non-controllable parameters have been adequately considered in most of the available predictive models, but the semi-controllable or the controllable parameters are not amply represented. (2) The degrees of influence of the parameters considered in those predictive models are not known. It is also known if those models considered the most important parameters. Further, the interrelations among the influencing parameters are also not revealed. (3) No index is available to relate all the blast results. Hence, it is difficult to assess the overall change in tunnel blast results if one of the parameters constituting any model is varied. For example, it may be possible to assess the change in specific drilling or specific charge if blast hole diameter is changed but its effect on pull or overbreak can not be estimated as the predictive models for those do not consider the blast hole diameter, though the linear charge density increases with the increase in hole diameter. It, therefore, appears imperative to conduct a parametric study to define the most influencing parameters and subsequently develop the predictive models for all the blast results with the help of those influencing parameters. This also enables to define and weight all the blast results on the same platform. The present paper describes the predictive models developed by the authors to fulfil the objective, from concept to the actual development through parametric studies.

2. Development concept
In line with the Blast Damage Index ðDib Þ developed by Yu and Vongpaisal (1996), the tunnel blast can be defined as a function of blast induced stress and tunnel rock

DEVELOPMENT OF RATIONAL MODELS Table 1 Parameters considered for prediction of tunnel blast results Parameters considered in predictive models


Sl. no. 1

Blast result

Model developed by Langefors & Kihlstrom (1973) Olofsson (1988) Pokrovsky (1980)

Specific charge Tunnel area (S) and specific drilling Drilling error (S) Tunnel area (S) Tunnel area (S) Protodyakonov Index (N) Rock structure (N) Relative weight strength of explosive (C) Explosive (charge) diameter (C) Tunnel area (S) Blast hole diameter (C) Density of rock (N) Protodyakonov Index (N) Joint spacing (N) Joint orientation (N) Rock Mass Description (N) Joint spacing (N) Joint orientation (N) Specific gravity of rock (N) Hardness (N) Rock Mass Quality (Q)(N) Strength Rating (N) Number of contact surfaces (N) Hole length (C)

Hagan (1992) and Du Pont (1977) Ghose (1988)

Lilly (1986)

Chakraborty (1996, 1998)



Sonic velocity in rock (N) Specific gravity of rock (N) Number of joints in a round (N) Uniaxial tensile strength (N) Joint orientation (N)

Bergh-Christensen and Selmer-Olsen (1970)

Johansen (1998) Langefers & Kihlstrom (1973) and Holmberg & Persson (1978, 80) Yu & Vongsaipal (1996)


Rock mass damage and overbreak

Peak particle velocity (N+C)

Vector sum of peak particle velocities in three orthogonal (N+C) directions Rock density (N) P-wave velocity (N) Dynamic tensile strength of rock (N) Site Quality Constant (S) Young’s Modulus (N) Uniaxial tensile strength (N) P-wave velocity (N) Joint orientation (N) Rock Mass Strength (N)

Mckenzie (1994)

Johansen (1998) Innaurato et al. (1998)

(N-Non-controllable parameter, S-Semi-controllable parameter, and C-Controllable parameter).



mass resistance to fragmentation, which jointly indicate the tunnel blast environment. Hence, tunnel blast results can be expressed as a function of rock mass resistance to fragmentation and blast induced stress as shown in Equation 1. Tunnel blast results ¼ f (tunnel rock mass resistance to fragmentation, blast induced stress) ð1Þ As tunnel blasting is done under confined conditions, the tunnel rock mass resistance is controlled by not only the rock mass properties but also by confinement. It was seen that DuPont (1977), Pokrovsky (1980), Langefors and Kihlstrom (1973) and Olofsson (1988) considered the inverse of the tunnel area to account for the tunnel confinement while predicting the specific charge and the specific drilling (Table 1). Thus, Equation 1 can be modified as: Tunnel blast results ¼ f f(rock mass resistance to fragmentation, tunnel confinement), blast induced stressg ð2Þ An index called Tunnel Blast Index (TBI) is conceived to represent the tunnel blast environment comprising blast induced stress, rock mass resistance to fragmentation and tunnel confinement. Hence, the tunnel blast results can be expressed as function of TBI as shown in Equation 3. Tunnel blast results ¼ f (TBI) ð3Þ If the blast induced stress, the rock mass resistance and the tunnel confinement can be expressed in terms of factors defined by the respective influencing parameters, TBI can be defined by Rock Mass Factor (RF) which is a function of the rock mass properties providing resistance against fragmentation, Tunnel Configuration Factor (TF) which is a function of tunnel configuration parameters contributing to the confinement and Blast Design Factor (BF) which is a function of blast design parameters responsible for blast induced stress. As discussed earlier, it would be essential to identify the most influencing parameters to define RF, TF and BF. This needs collection of detailed information during tunnel blasting under different environments. Field investigations were carried out in tunnels of different configurations under various rock mass conditions. This was followed by an analytical process to filter the parameters which have the maximum influence on the observed blast results. TBI has been defined in terms of RF, TF and BF which includes those most influencing parameters.

3. Field investigations
In accordance with the above scheme, field investigations were conducted by the authors in inclined drifts of a coal mine, development galleries of two metal mines and a tunnel of a hydro-electric project. The sites are listed in Table 2 and the locations of the sites are shown in Figure 1.

DEVELOPMENT OF RATIONAL MODELS Table 2 Names of the investigated sites Sl. no. A. Mining sector 1 2 Coal Metal (Manganese) Tandsi Chikla Type of mine/project Name of mine/project Nature of excavation


Inclined drifts in rock Development roadways, raises and winzes in host rock and drivages in manganese ore body

Gumgaon B. Civil sector 3 Hydro-electric project Koyna Hydroelectric Project (KHEP), Stage IV Link tunnel in rock



The following broad methodologies were adopted by the authors during the field investigations: 1. All the investigated tunnel lengths were thoroughly inspected. 2. Initial tunnel lengths, which mostly consisted of weathered rock masses, were excluded.

Figure 1 Locations of the sites selected for field investigations



The blasting operation was not standardised in the initial portion of the tunnels. The locations where the rock masses were found abnormally different from those in the rest of the tunnel were not considered for further analysis. The locations, which were ignored in this manner at different sites, vary from 5 to 20 percent of the total population. 3. Rock Mass Quality (Q) was determined for all types of formations available in the investigated tunnel lengths using the following reaction: Q ¼ ðRQD=Jn Þ Â ðJr =Jn Þ Â ðJw =SRFÞ where, RQD ¼ Rock Quality Designation, Jn ¼ joint set number, Jr ¼ joint roughness number, Jn ¼ joint alteration number, Jw ¼ joint water reduction factor, and SRF ¼ Stress Reduction Factor. RQD values used for obtaining Q were determined from volumetric joint count using the following relation provided by Palmstrom (1975): RQD ¼ 115 À 3:3 Jv where, Jv ¼ volumetric joint count. The Jv values were determined by adding the number of visible joints per metre length of the exposed surfaces in all three directions. The walls and the roof of an excavation were scanned for this purpose. 4. The investigated tunnel length was categorised into various zones based on the Q value. The joint set which appeared most frequently and consistently was considered as the major joint set in that zone. The orientation of that joint was determined using a Brunton compass. The procedures followed for joint orientation and spacing measurements during field investigations are in conformation with the guidelines provided by International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) (Brown, 1981). 5. Rock samples representing all zones were collected by the authors. The samples were tested in the laboratories of Central Mining Research Institute, Regional Centre, Nagpur and Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur for evaluation of various physico-mechanical properties which were found to be influencing the blast results as detailed in Table 1. 6. Detailed information on on-going blasting practice and four blast results like the pull, the specific charge, the specific drilling and the overbreak in various rounds were collected by the authors. ð5Þ ð4Þ



Face advance in a round was measured at the face centre and the two sides of the face. The average of these values was considered as the average advance per round. The roof and the side overbreak after each round of blasting were measured at 5 to 7 locations both side-wise and height-wise. These values were averaged to obtain the average overbreak. The exacavated in situ volume was calculated by multiplying the post-blast cross-section and average face advance. This was verified from the number of trips of loaded muck or the stock pile or crusher data. The specific charge or the specific drilling were estimated from the ratio of total explosive quantity or total drilling length in a round and the exacavated in situ volume of rock. 7. The blast results of different rounds in a particular zone were averaged to determine the average blast results in that zone. 8. Trial blasts were conducted in these sites with modified blast design and the results were monitored by the authors. The various geo-mining variations covered during field investigations are listed in Table 3 to provide an overall picture at a glance. During the field investigations many parameters listed in Table 1 were found to influence the blast results significantly. However, some other parameters were also found to affect the results as described below. The directional blast results like the pull and the overbreak or the underbreak at the roof or the walls are substantially influenced by joint plane orientation. The pull was affected most adversely if the joints were steep with strike parallel to the tunnel axis. Further, such joint sets striking across to the tunnel axis proved to be the most favourable condition to improve the pull. An opposite trend was found in case of roof overbreak. The roof overbreak was less when joints were steep but the strike was parallel to the tunnel axis and was more when such joints had strike across the tunnel axis. Further, the tunnel shape and the application of contour blasting influenced the overbreak. Also the unevenness at the tunnel periphery was fount to be largely dependent on the spacing to burden ratio. Holmberg (1982) recommended different spacing to burden ratio for different parts of the tunnel specially for the contour holes to minimize the overbreak. Additionally, the specific drilling was also considerably increased in case of contour blasting as the spacing to burden ratio of drill holes along the contour ðmdc Þ is maintained less than one in contrast to those maintained as one or more in the rest of the tunnel section.

4. Identification of the most influencing parameters
Based on the field investigations and the literature review, a list of influencing parameters has been prepared by the authors in Table 4. The degree of influence of the above parameters on the blast observed in the field investigations is determined by multiple linear regression analysis.


Table 3 Geo-mining conditions observed during field investigations C. Site Link Chikla Tandsi Gumgaon

Sl. no.


A. Rock mass properties Mn-ore and footwall containing manganiferous quartz and muscovite schist Sandstone Mn-ore body and footwall rock mass containing quartz muscovite schist 0.21–1.85 60–162 2.82–3.97 23–47.4 4.582–7.694


Type of rock

2 3 4 5 6

Q UCS, MPa Density, 1/m3 RQD P-wave velocity, km/s 60–90 0–30 60–90 60–90

Basaltie flow of compact & amygdoloidal basalt and volcanic breccin 5.378–64.48 21.02–91.136 2.37–2.93 35.45–87.27 2.487–5.816 0.75–32.05 18–180 2.5–3.9 40.75–91.4 2.913–8.117 0.31–18.66 18.9–32.4 1.9–2.35 36–82 1.9–2.9


Major joint set orientation Dip ( ) Strike angle with repect to tunnel axis ( ) Brecciaþ Amygdoloidal basaltþ Compact basalt Nil

0–30 60–90

30–60 30–60 and 60–90



Mixed face



B. Tunnel configuration 36 5.04 5.04


Size, m2

10 11

Shape Inclination

Arch Nearly horizontal

Rectangular Nearly horizontal

15 (with shotcrete support) and 17.66 with steel support D-shaped Inclination 1:4.66 Rectangular Nearly horizontal

C. Operating tool Manual jack hammer Convergent Convergent Manual jack hammer Hydraulic jumbo Manual jack hammer


Drilling machine

D. Blast design Convergent



Type of cut


Method of perimeter blasting



Parallel in shotcrete supported zone and convergent in steel supported zone Conventional later on switched to smooth blasting



Table 4 List of influencing parameters Properties Sl. no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Rock mass properties (N)


Density of rock mass Rock strength–represented by Strength Rating (SR) P-wave velocity Barton’s Rock Mass Quality (Q) Number of contact surfaces in multiple geological mixed rock face condition Orientation of major joint set with respect to tunnel face Tunnel configuration (S)

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Area Shape factor – the ratio between tunnel width to diameter of the curvature at roof Tunnel inclination with respect to upward vertical direction Blast design (C) Type of cut The deviation factor defined in terms of the ratio between drill hole length and diameter Number of additional or baby cut holes blasted before the main cut holes Charge per hole Coupling ratio of explosive to blast hole diameter Conventional or contour blast design expressed in terms of spacing to burden ratio and coupling ratio in the contour holes

Multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) is performed to determine the combined effect of a group of independent variables upon a dependent variable. The method may be used to assign relative importance to the independent and may be interrelated variables by sequentially including or excluding the one having largest partial correlation (Gupta and Kapoor, 1999 and SPSS Inc., 1993). The parameters considered for MLR are having different units and their ranges vary widely. It is therefore considered that all these parameters should be normalised using the following relation: Xn ¼ X Xmax À Xmin ð6Þ

where, Xn is the normalised value, X is the original value and Xmax and Xmin are the maximum and minimum values of that particular parameter in the population. By normalising the variables and recasting them in dimensionless units, the arbitrary effects of similarities between the objects are removed (Flood and Kartam, 1994; Sayed and Abdewahab, 1998; Leu et al., 1998). The gradual improvement in correlation between the specific charge and the specific drilling with the twelve input parameters obtained through MLR are presented in Figures 2 and 3 respectively. The indices include the independent variables representing the X-axis in Figures 2 and 3. It can be seen in the Figures 2 and 3 that, the index of correlation ðR2 Þ improves with the addition of independent variables. But the improvement is not all significant



Figure 2 Results of multiple linear regression analysis for specific charge

Figure 3 Results of multiple linear regression analysis for specific drilling

beyond the first six parameters, when the improvement occurs up to 1 percent. In view of this fact the following seven parameters, which include all these first six parameters, are finally considered as most influencing. Those seven parameters are classified in three groups like, (i) rock mass parameters, (ii) tunnel configuration parameters and (iii) blast design parameters as shown below: 4.1.

1) P-wave velocity (cp , expressed in km/s) 2) Number of contact surfaces in multiple geological mixed face condition (n) 3) RQD (RQD) 4.2.

4) Area (A, m2) 5) Inclination ðbi Þ with respect to vertical upward direction (expressed in radian, r)

488 4.3.


6) Cut hole angle i.e., the angle made by cut holes with the face, expressed in cotangent ðCa Þ 7) Coupling ratio between explosive and blast hole diameter ðRc Þ The Rock Mass Factor (RF), the Tunnel Configuration Factor (TF) and the Blast Design Factor (BF) are worked out from the above selected parameters, as per the concept of the Tunnel Blasting Index discussed earlier. Accordingly, the Tunnel Blasting Index (TBI) is defined as: TBI ¼ where, RF ¼ cp þ n þ ðRQD=10Þ; TF ¼ A À r; and BF ¼ Ca þ Rc : ð7AÞ ð7BÞ ð7CÞ Rock Mass factor (RF) Tunnel Configuration Factor (TF) Â Blast Design Factor (BF) ð7Þ

The P-wave velocity (cp) varied between 1000 to 8000 m/s. Its range is exceptionally wide in comparison to other parameters in TBI. Therefore, it is converted to km/s unit to keep it in harmony with the other six parameters and to restrict the values of TBI within reasonable limit. Among others, the range of RQD is also quite broad. One tenth of RQD values are therefore considered in RF for the similar reason.

5. Development of models
In accordance of Equation 3, different blast results observed by the authors during field investigations have been correlated below with TBI determined for the respective zones of the tunnels. Consequently new models for blast results prediction are developed. The relations between the observed specific charge (q, kg/m3) and the specific drilling (bs, m/m3) with TBI are shown in Figures 4 and 5 respectively. Both the relations have index of determination (R2) more than 0.9. The specific charge predictive model (Equation 8) is developed on the basis of the relation shown in Figure 4. q ¼ 1.1+0.24 TBI, kg=m3 ð8Þ

As discussed earlier, a huge amount of additional drilling is essential in contour blasting where the required explosive quantity is distributed in the closely spaced holes along the perimeter. The spacing to burden ratio in the contour holes (mdc ) is included in specific drilling prediction to account for the additional drilling



Figure 4 Specific charge vs. TBI

Figure 5 Adjusted specific drilling vs. TBI

required in contour blasting, if any. Further, the shape factor (sh ) has also been considered in view of the fact that additional drilling required at the perimeter in an arch shaped roof than in a flat roof. Shape factor is defined as the ratio of the tunnel width to the diameter of roof curvature. The ratio is 1 for a perfect D-shaped



tunnel and 0 in a rectangular tunnel. The ratio should lie between 0 and 1 in a tunnel where the roof is arch shaped. The specific drilling, adjusted after the spacing to burden ratio of the periphery holes and shape factor, has been related in Figure 5. Consequently, the specific drilling predictive model is derived in Equation 9. bs ¼ 4:79 5.1. TBI0:6 þ sh ; m=m3 m0:5 dc ð9Þ


During field investigations, the joint orientation was found to influence the overbreak/underbreak and face advance which is equal to the product of the pull and the depth of a round (Ad ) divided by 100. To consider the effect of joint plane orientation, the following adjustments are proposed for the major joint sets observed during field investigations. The gentle, moderate and steeply dipping joint planes signify the dip angles as 0 –30 , 30 –60 and 60 –90 respectively. Similarly, strikes with respect to tunnel axis are mentioned as parallel, oblique and across to indicate that the joint strike intersection angle with the tunnel axis as 0 –30 , 30 –60 and 60 –90 respectively. the adjustments due to joint orientations have been suggested separately for pull and overbreak, which are measured in particular directions. Further, adjustments for the angle of cut (a) is also provided as a ratio of depth to cut hole length, which is also equal to sin of a ( ). The relation between pull, adjusted after joint orientation effect and cut angle, with TBI is displayed in Figure 6. The model for prediction of pull, developed on the basis of the relation shown in Figure 6, is shown in Equation 10. Ar ¼ ½f1:063ðTBIÞ0:55 gðsin aÞ2 þ JOAa Š  100; percent Ad ð10Þ

In case of roof overbreak/underbreak, where the height was increased due to local fall, specially near the junctions or where the height was abnormally low due to underbreak caused by misfires, the observations are rejected. The number of values rejected in this manner are 20 percent of the total population.
Table 5 Joint orientation adjustments Joint orientation Face advance adjustment (JOAa), m À0.6 0.45 0.1 0.05

Dip Steep Steep Gentle Moderate

Strike with respect to tunnel axis Parallel Across Across Across/oblique

Roof overbreak/underbreak adjustment (JOAr), m 0.6 0.03 0.05 0.2



Figure 6 Adjusted pull vs. TBI

The relation between the adjusted roof overbreak/underbreak (Ior ), taking into account the adjustments due not only to joint orientation (JOAr ) but also to the tunnel shape factor (sh ) and contour blasting practice defined by the spacing to burden ratio of the contour holes (mdc ), with TBI is shown in Figure 7. Generally the coupling ratio in the contour holes (Rcc ) is kept different than that in production holes to reduce the stress. In such cases the TBI along the tunnel contour (TBIc) becomes

Figure 7 Adjusted roof overbreak or underbreak vs. TBI



different that that in the rest of the tunnel section. The roof overbreak/underbreak predictive model evolved from Figure 7 is given in Equation 11. Ior ¼ 0:57 À 0:52 lnðTBIc Þ À 0:5sh À JOAr ; m mdc ð11Þ

6. Application of the developed models
A D-shaped approach tunnel was excavated by heading and benching method through basaltic formations under aPumped Storage Scheme. The heading area is 29.74 m2. The tunnel passed through different varieties of Deccan Traps like compact basalts, amygdolidal basalts and volcanic breccia. The roof overbreak in the tunnel due to blasting varied from 0.091 m to 0.5 m in a length of 385 m. The developed models were used to assess whether the geological features or the drilling error was responsible for such large variations in the overbreak. The results in a the length between 300–370 m chainage in the tunnel was undertaken for this purpose (CMRI Report, 2002). The geological conditions in the length under consideration were studied carefully. Three numbers of joint sets were observed in most of the reviewed length of the tunnel. An additional joint set was observed in some locations near 370 m chainage. The joints were found tight and undulating with generally rough to very rough surfaces. Random joints were found inconsistent. Mixed face multiple geological condition was not observed in the tunnel. The rock mass properties and the blast results were monitored over a length of 20 m strip (covering both right and left sides of the locations) at 300 m, 325 m and 370 m chainage of the tunnel. These three locations represented the tunnel section between 300 and 370 m. The basic properties to estimate TBI in those three locations are listed in Table 6. The observed blast results (Obs) in those three locations and the predicted results (Pred) using the developed models are shown in Figure 8. It can be seen in Figure 8 that the deviation between the observed and predicted specific charge and overbreak are not large in between 300 and 326 m despite variations in the formations. However, the predicted overbreak is much in 370 m in comparison to the observed one. This may be due the presence of an additional joint set in this region. It appears that not only the joint spacing, which as been taken into account for RQD estimation, but also the number of joint sets may need to be considered for more precise prediction of overbreak. However, it was concluded that the overbreak was caused mostly due to the geological features and blast design and not because of drilling error. But, the need of controlled blasting including decoupling between the explosive and blast hole (Rc) and proper spacing to burden ratio at the periphery holes (mdc) was stressed to control overbreak.

Table 6

Basic properties for estimating TBI in the approach tunnel

A) Rock properties (RF) cp (km/s) n Nil 5.7 3.1 4.4 Joint orientation with respect to tunnel axis

Locations (m)




326 370

60 88.6

Dip moderate and strike at oblique to the tunnel axis Dip steep and strike parallel to tunnel axis Dip steep and strike parallel to tunnel axis


B) Tunnel heading configurations (TF) Heading area (m2) Width (m) 7 3.5 Radius of curvature (m) 1.5 29.74 Vertical wall height (m) Tunnel direction Nearly horizontal Peripheral blasting sh 1

Tunnel shape


C) Blast design configurations (BF) mdc Blast hole dia. (mm) Explosive dia (mm) Rc

Type of cut Ca ,





Production holes 0.76

Contour holes 0.76

Contour blasting





Figure 8 Observed vs. predicted blast results at various locations in approach tunnel

6. Conclusions and discussions
As the available models for prediction of blast results do not have a holistic approach, an index called Tunnel Blasting Index (TBI) has been developed by the authors to represent tunnel blast environment. TBI includes the most important parameters influencing the blast results. The blast results like specific charge, specific drilling, pull ratio and roof overbreak observed during various rounds in four tunnels could be well related with TBI. The effects due to tunnel shape and joint orientations, which were not considered in the models developed by others, have been taken into account in the newly developed relations by the authors. The predictive models developed in the present paper by the authors are based on limited site investigations and do not cover many of the possible combinations of the non-controllable (specially joint orientations), the semi-controllable and the controllable parameters. Further, the said models are not dimensionally balanced and are obtained from near optimised case studies having low to medium advance upto 3 m. Hence, the applicability of the models are limited to medium pull only. The detailed explosive properties and the charge concentration parameters have been overlooked during field investigations (Section 3) due to lack of variations in the explosive type and size, and the blast hole diameter in the fields where the investigations were conducted. The variation in delay timing has not been addressed in the presently developed models as long delays of more than 100 ms were used in most of the monitored blasting rounds to account for tunnel confinement and wall damage reduction. Hence, there is a scope to add the variation effects of long delay time in the models. Though the wall overbreak is not as seriously considered by the field engineers as the roof overbreak, an effort was made to develop a model for wall overbreak prediction. However, no acceptable correlation could be established probably because the overbreak data on both the sides were not collected separately. The developed models were used in a tunnel to indicate the overbreak possibly occurred due to geological features and conventional blast design. Further, the control of the number of joint sets on overbreak was observed.



The authors are thankful to Director, Central Mining Research Institute for permission to publish the paper. Thanks are due to the authorities of the mines and tunnels where the field investigations were conducted.

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