Swelling rocks and hydropower tunnels

Swelling rocks and hydropower tunnels

Swelling rocks and hydropower tunnels

PhD-researcher Lena Selen will investigate alternative methods for laboratory testing of swelling pressure,  specially concerning swelling and stability issues over time.

Some rock has the potential to react with water in a way that allows them to expand or crumble. This is partuculary unfavorable in hydropower tunnels, especially if one believes the rock mass to be stable.

Since these tunnels are usually filled with water, it important to know a lot about how the rock responds to this sudden, in a geological perspective, change in physical conditions.

There are several methods for testing this, but not all of them give the nessiscary answers.
For example, some tests are tailored to different materials than the rock in the tunnel, some standarized tests are difficult to compare due to modifications of lab-equipment or procedures. These issues can cause misunderstandings and uncertainty concerning which method is the «most correct», and it becomes diffucult to build a database of comparable results.

Innovation and organizing

Part of Selen’s work is therefore to organize which metods are best suited to figure out what we need to know to make make our hydropower tunnels safe. She may also herself develop a new and ground-breaking method for testing.

Extensive cooperation

Selen collaborates with Statkraft and uses their projects as real-life laboratories in her research. She has already inspected tunnels that are being constructed in Mogice in Albania and has brought back masses of rock to be tested in the laboratories in Trondheim.

Contact

Contact

Lena Selen

Lena Selen

PhD

E-mail: lena.selen@ntnu.no

Supervisors: 

Krishna Panthi, NTNU
Siri Stokseth, Statkraft
Bjørn Nilsen, NTNU

About the Project

About the Project

About WP 1.1.1

Full project title: Effects of swelling rock mass on stability and support 

Duration: 2017-2021

R&D Partners: NTNU, Statkraft

Assosiated projects:Tunnel Roughness (KPN)