A field test was carried out in Koralmtunnel in order to enhance process understanding and to optimize the drainage system in a tunnel section that is complex in terms of hydrochemistry, water inflow and mineral (calcareous scale, iron ochre) and biological (microbial mats) deposits. The field test comprised three test fields with different system components and flow characteristics. The development of critical waters and deposits was recorded by continuous measurements of relevant water and air parameters by means of autonomous sensors/data loggers. Furthermore, the components were ”forensically“ examined with respect to scale formation. The experiments show the crucial importance of gas exchange (CO2, oxygen ingress), filling level (flow geometry/regime), residence time of waters and water-air interaction in the drainage system. The type, material consistency, and amount of scale and biofilms depend significantly on specific gradients. Floating scale crusts formed in stagnant sections, biofilms and iron ochre deposits of soft consistency formed at higher flow rates. Seepage packs and siphons turned out to be potential sediment traps with decreasing flow-through with no access. Drainage hoses and dimpled membranes tend to be beneficial because they can prevent air exchange at relatively high flow rates. High CO2 partial pressure within these components (measured and modeled) inhibits carbonate precipitation. The drainage system is locally designed as a series of direct cross-drains with simple flow paths, restricted air exchange, precautionary cleaning access, and optional water hardness stabilization (liquid conditioning).
|Translated title of the contribution||Reduction of scale formation by optimized drainage conditions – Insights from field testing|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Geomechanics and Tunnelling|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology