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Technical Innovation of the year

An Innovative Automated Geological Forward-prospecting Technique Mounted on Hard-rock TBM

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An increasing number of hard-rock Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) have been utilized for tunneling in the fields of transportation, water conservancy, and mining, etc. However, hard-rock TBM has poor adaptability of adverse geology, such as faults, karst caves and fractured zones. Without identification of unknown geology in advance, TBM tunneling may suffer geo-hazards like water in rush, collapse and large deformation.

For adverse geology like faults, this system was developed as an active-source seismic prospecting system mounted on TBM coupled with a real-time forward-prospecting technique using TBM drilling noise to realize accurate 3D imaging of faults and fractured zones within 120 m ahead, which also fills the international gap of real-time detection while tunneling.

Specifically, the detection system of the proposed IP and seismic methods are all mounted on TBM. Through remote control, automatic data acquisition can be realized within 10 minutes and construction activities of TBM will not be influenced. This prospecting technique has been applied in21 engineering projects for 1365 times (67.42 km in total) without missing any major disaster sources, which played an important role in TBM tunneling efficiency optimization and safety assurance.