The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the convergence measurements in a drift excavated in the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone. The drift axis is in the direction of the major principal horizontal stress whereas the stress state is quasi-isotropic in the drift's section. The initial geometry of the drift being circular, the anisotropic character of the deformation is taken into account by assuming that the drift shape evolves in an elliptical shape. The convergence measurement data on six different points around the drift are analyzed to identify the main axes of the deformation ellipse, following the methodology proposed by Vu et al. (2013, Rock Mech Rock Eng, 46, 231–246). Then, using the semi-empirical law proposed by Sulem et al. (1987, Int J Rock Mech Min Sci, 24, 145–154), the convergence evolution is fitted independently for each axis of the ellipse. This method permits to distinguish two effects: the face advance effect and the time-dependent behavior of the ground. The results for the two directions of the ellipse axes show very close values for the parameters describing the time-dependent properties of the ground, the distance of influence of the face, and the extension of the decompressed zone around the gallery. Such model can provide valuable insights for predictions of the convergence evolution in the long-term.


Deep disposal of radioactive waste has been studied in France for more than two decades. The French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra) began in 2000 the construction of an Underground Research Laboratory (URL) with the main goal of demonstrating the feasibility of a geological repository in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone. Several research programs have taken place to improve the knowledge of the rock properties and its response to the excavation progress. The optimization of supports design for long-term behavior is an important point to develop. A network of experimental drifts has been constructed with variations on: excavation method, structure geometry, supports system and orientations with respect to in-situ principal stresses' directions. In each drift different sections have been instrumented to monitor the convergence evolution and the rock deformation. Continuous monitoring of the excavated zone around the drifts revealed the development of a fractured zone (extensional and shear fractures) induced by the excavation. The extent of this fractured zone depends on both the drift orientation and the in-situ stress field (Armand et al., 2014). Indeed, the fractures distribution has an important influence on the convergence of the drifts.

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