Engineering geology and tunnelling in the Limmo Peninsula, East London

Emilio Linde-Arias, David Harris, Richard Ghail

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Limmo Peninsula site has some of the most complex geology of London's Crossrail project and was the launching point for four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to allow construction of Crossrail's eastern running tunnels. It is located in East London, c. 2 km east of the Canary Wharf business district, adjacent to the River Lea. It consists of a ventilation shaft, an auxiliary shaft, two sprayed concrete lining (SCL) tunnels interconnecting the shafts and four SCL adits for assisting in the launching of the TBMs. As part of the design requirements, some geological formations had to be depressurized from surface wells. The site is geologically complex: it is in the vicinity of a drift-filled hollow and it is located within the area of influence of several tectonic features. A geological ground model developed from important new information obtained during the design stage ground investigations and from direct observations conducted during construction stages reveals an inverted transtensional flower structure (i.e. it is now a transpressional restraining bend). Of special interest are the unusually low values of undrained shear strength of the London Clay associated with the tectonic setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Issue number1
Early online date13 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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