Civil excavations and tunnelling – a practical guide

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Civil excavations and tunnelling – a practical guide

Excavation means dislodging the rock or ground from in situ and disposing of it from there and, thereby, creating an opening. This opening,
when exposed to the sun and atmosphere, is known as an open cut or surface opening, and when the same is created beneath the ground and is not exposed to the atmosphere, it is known as an underground or subsurface opening. Civil excavations mean those excavations that are usually under the purview of civil and construction engineering disciplines, in terms of their planning, design, execution and construction.


Excavation activities began with ancient civilizations; naturally, men must have made excavations for their shelter using ancient and primitive tools. During the 19th and 20th centuries civil excavations gained momentum around the world. Many prominent highways, rail routes, building constructions, hydro-electric projects and tunnelling projects have been undertaken, and are still ongoing. This has been made possible with the advancement in the techniques, methods and equipment required to
accomplish this task. Today, civil excavations are no more an art but the tasks of engineering. Tunnelling is opening up the future. It is shortening distances by passing through the most difficult ground and hazardous conditions. Present technology can meet this challenge.

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