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Lessons Learned During Excavation of the Incredibly Challenging Yin Han Ji Wei Water Diversion Tunnel

The 2022 breakthrough of an 8 m diameter Main Beam TBM at China’s Yin Han Ji Wei project was a triumph of technology and perseverance – crews at the 17.5 km long tunnel encountered over 14,000 rock bursts, some with energy as high as 4,080 kJ. The rock, consisting of mainly quartzite and granite, was estimated to have a rock hardness of between 107 and 309 MPa UCS, with high abrasivity and a maximum quartz content of 92.6%. The incredibly challenging tunnel also experienced at times severe water inflows, with one particular event exceeding 20,000 m3 of water in one day from a single point. In-tunnel ambient temperatures peaked at 40 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity. Throughout the challenges, the crew and support teams found ways to persevere – whether through unique ground support, or increased monitoring and analysis. In this paper, we will examine the successes and lessons learned in the incredibly challenging ground conditions, determining what worked best to confront each condition as it came up. Recommendations will be made towards what could be used successfully on future projects that en-counter these geological features.


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