The construction of metro tunnels in urban areas often encounters existing underground structures, such as the pile foundations of adjacent existing buildings. Under the mutual effects and impacts of pile foundation load and tunnel excavation, the soil around tunnel and pile foundations can experience stress redistribution or even yield prior to support installation, which could adversely affect and even damage the adjacent pile foundations. This paper proposes an effective prediction model consisted of axisymmetric tunnel and pile foundation to investigate the shape and range of potential plastic zones induced by tunnel excavation adjacent to pile foundations. Then the results obtained from the proposed method are compared with the existing approaches and numerical simulations, which shows that the shape of the potential plastic zone develops towards a butterfly shape in a gravity field, similar to those from numerical simulations. Finally, a parametric analysis is performed to investigate the influences of different parameters, such as soil parameters, axisymmetric boundary conditions, and pile parameters on the boundaries of the potential plastic zone. This proposed prediction model might provide a certain basis for making protective measures for existing pile foundations influenced by tunnel excavation, and provide a quick estimate of the boundaries of the potential plastic zone induced by tunnel excavation adjacent to pile foundations in a gravity field, thus resulting in time and cost savings.
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