Underground Works

Academic year
Subject Area
Geological and Mining Engineering
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of geoscience.

Teaching Methods

Classroom teaching with the following components:
Theatrical: using audiovisual means to facilitate the understanding of concepts, models and methodologies. Students will participate in lectures, through its intervention or, occasionally, by presenting subjects within the discipline syllabus.
Practices and Laboratory: tunneling projects and other educational materials related to the discipline. Use of laboratory equipment and analysis of results. Tutorial support, problems resolution and preparing the report of the study visit and theme presentation.


Learning Outcomes

The course aims to:

A) Provide the students with the capability to project and construct an underground structure (tunnel, shaft or cavern), taking into account the characteristics of the rock mass and the construction techniques that can be applied to the particularly situation.

B) The student must know the methods that allow to use several types of supports, construction techniques, types of support to adopt and geotechnical monitoring systems.

C) The student must analyze with critical sense and execute a project of an underground excavation.Skills to developed:

Instrumental: competence in analysis and synthesis, skills to solve problems.

Personal: competence in critical thinking and competence in working in interdisciplinary teams.

Systemic: competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice, competence in planning and managing, concern for quality, competence in autonomous learning.  

Work Placement(s)



1. Introduction. Geotechnical classification Index. Index Terzaghi, Wickham (RSR), Bieniawski (RMR), Barton (Q-Rock Tunnelling Quality Index) and Manuel Rocha (MR-index)

2. Shaft excavation methods. Traditional methods with drilling and explosives. Raise Boring and Down Boring. Ascendants and descendants methods. Opening shafts in incoherent mass rocks and water. Stress distribution. Types of support and monitoring

3. Caverns opening methods. Stress distribution and support solutions. Control and monitoring shafts

4. Tunneling opening in rock and soil. New Austrian Tunneling Methods (NATM). Method of opening tunnels and stress distribution around the excavations. Equipment and supports used in tunneling excavations. Monitoring tunnels and in the surrounding area to the surface. TBM and EPM used to open tunnels. TAP - Tunneling Advancement Plan. Opening false tunnels and methods used for opening in incoherent mass rock

5. Consult and analysis of several underground excavations projects

Head Lecturer(s)

Fernando Pedro Ortega de Oliveira Figueiredo

Assessment Methods

Report of a seminar or field trip: 10.0%
Research work: 10.0%
Exam: 80.0%


Atlas Copco(1997) Atlas Copco Robbins-The raise boring handook.Washington,USA.
Atlas Copco(2008) Raiseboing in mining constrution.Washington,USA
Rocha, M. (1981)-Mecânica das Rochas. LNEC, Lisboa.
Jaeger e Cooks, (1976) Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics, Ed. Chapman and Hall
Hoek, E.,Kaiser, P.K., Bawden, W.F.(1995) Support of Underground Excavations in Hard Rock, A.A. Balkema
Brady, B.H.G. and Brown, E.T.,1985-Rock Mechanics for Underground Mining, Ed. George Allen
Decreto-Lei n.º349-C/83.Regulamento de Estruturas de Betão Armado e Pré-Esforçado.
Figueiredo, F. O(2014) Power Point slides presentations from de classroom lessons.
Geoconsultant, Ingenieros Consultores, S.A.(2008) Manual de Túneles
JAE (2009) Caderno de Encargos tipo para as Empreitadas de Construção de túneis. Vol.X 09 Túneis. Direcção de Serviços de Apoio Técnico, Edição Própria, Lisboa.
Stacey,T.R.,(1986) Practical Handbook for Underground Rock Mechanics, Ed. Trans, Tech Puplications-Clausthal-Alemanh