The paper deals on tunnelling and swelling in anhydritic-gypsiferous claystones. The geology of the Gipskeuper in Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and the phenomenology of expansions in Wagenburg North tunnel are described. Consistent swelling triggering events, mechanisms and exhaustion causes were identified using a thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical theoretical analysis. It is suggested that long-term swelling in tunnels excavated through anhydritic-gypsiferous claystones is a result of solvent-way gypsum crystal growth due to ventilation induced groundwater evaporation and rock drying; an opposite concept to the usual consequences of drying in argillaceous materials, which causes shrinkage strains.

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Published on 01/01/2009

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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