One of the main goals of the ground investigation for the Koralm Tunnel project was the detailed investigation of the Lavanttal fault systemwhich lies in the contact between the Koralm crystalline
and the neogenic formations of the Lavanttal. The above-ground investigation programme (mapping, core drilling, geophysics) was able to deliver the first estimation of the geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical rock conditions of the fault zone many hundreds of metres thick. The Paierdorf investigation tunnel, which has now been constructed, clarified the thickness and the internal structure of the fault zone as well as the hydraulic and mechanical rock properties along the tunnel. Equally important was the practical experience gained by tunnelling through the fault zone. The knowledge gained from the Paierdorf investigation tunnel will be used in further design work for the mechanical driving of this very heterogeneous region of rock.
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By Peter Schubert