Subsea Horizontal Directional Coring (HDC)

Tsang, C. K.; Chau, S. F.; Chan, Jimmy
September 2016
Geotechnical Engineering (00465828);Sep2016, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
The Tuen Mun - Chek Lap Kok Link comprises a 9 km long dual 2-lane carriageway between Tuen Mun and North Lantau, with approximately 5 km long sub-sea tunnel between Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities and Tuen Mun. This is a major highway infrastructure constructed to alleviate the increase in cross boundary traffic due to projected developments in the Northwest New Territories and North Lantau in Hong Kong, including the Airport developments and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The proposed subsea tunnel is to be constructed by large diameter Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) which will bore underneath two sets of existing submarine power cables providing power supply to the Hong Kong International Airport. Ground investigation using conventional vertical marine drillholes is not allowed within the cable protection zone with the considerations of the potential risk of damaging the power cables. To provide sufficient ground information for the design of the proposed TBM tunnel, Horizontal Directional Coring (HDC) with a total length of 660m was proposed at the invert level along the tunnel alignment. It was anticipated that the HDC would go through rock, soil or soil/rock interface and terminate at interface of soft / mixed ground. The HDC works has been completed in mid-2013. This paper describes the design considerations and the trajectory planning of the HDC work, with construction of a marine platform (of size 15m x 20m to facilitate the installation of the HDC). The difficulties and problems encountered during the subsea horizontal drilling is also discussed.


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