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Problems encountered during the construction of power house cavern and access tunnel excavations in Deccan Trap at Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Project, District Bharuch, Gujarat


, : Problems encountered during the construction of power house cavern and access tunnel excavations in Deccan Trap at Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Project, District Bharuch, Gujarat. Journal of Engineering Geology 21(1-2): 99-106

The 210 m long, 23 m wide and 57 m high underground power house cavern at the right bank toe of the 138 m high Navagam dam under construction across Narmada river forms a part of the Sardar Sarovar project. Besides other components it also includes a 860 m long access tunnel of 8.5 (w)X9.0 m (II) of D-shaped cross section providing an approach to the power house cavern. The project area exposes various lava flows of Deccan trap. Subhorizontally disposed basalts are hard, however, their association with discontinuities such as shears, sheared contract of intrusive bodies, chlorite coatings along joint planes and agglomerate layers make them weak which posed problems during the excavation of the underground openings. Excavation of the access tunnel was best with roof falls due to the presence of sub-horizontal shears. Roof collapse also occurred in the region of the Akkalbar fault which cuts the alignment obliquely. Presence of chlorite coatings reduces the shear parameters of rock in certain reaches of the alignments. In the power house cavern rock falls were attributed to the presence of agglomerate, vertical and inclined shears. It is inferred that the nature and intensity of these adversely oriented features caused varying magnitudes of overbreaks and rock loads. Remedial measures to control these by providing additional thickness of shotcrete layers, rockbolts as well as steel supports in wider fault sections have been evolved on the basis of analysis of these adversely oriented discontinuties.

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