Lithos software by RockMass Technologies
Available Resources

RockMass Tool for Digital Underground Mapping

Mapping rock mass structure is a key part of hard rock tunneling and underground mining. There have been a plethora of technological advances in 3D mapping and rock mass data extraction, but few are more […]

Prof. Paul Marinos of the University of Athens
In Memoriam

Losing a Rock Mechanics Legend – Paul Marinos

The international rock mechanics and engineering geology community has lost a great figure in Prof. Paul Marinos of the University of Athens. Prof. Marinos passed away last Sunday according to the International Association for Engineering […]

Professor Charles Fairhurst
Available Resources

ISRM Online Lectures on Rock Mechanics Topics

The International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) has some great lectures posted online. The latest one posted in April is ‘Why Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering?’ by Professor Emeritus Charles Fairhurst of the University of […]

Roof drills on the TBM installing 20-ft long rock bolts in the ceiling of the Niagara Tunnel
Project Related

A Novel Approach at Niagara: Robbins TBM Stands Up to Challenging Ground with Custom Lining and Ground Support

This article describes the challenges faced by the World’s largest hard rock TBM (47.2-ft in diameter) as it tunnels through some very difficult geology while constructing a massive tunnel under Niagara Falls for hydroelectric power […]

Project Related

Niagara Tunnel – Crappy rock, Horizontal stress, SLOOOOOW progress

image[Updated November 17, 2009] A few new posts from Ontario-geofish [/Updated]

Those with interest in rock mechanics and tunneling might be interested in this project. The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) company is the owner of a $600M (Canadian) construction project to create a third hydro power tunnel under Niagara Falls.  Apparently the project is having all kinds of problems with overbreak in some very difficult tunneling conditions which means very slow progress and big $$ overruns. (Photo from

I’ve been meaning to post something on this project for some time. I admit that my perspective is biased by the viewpoint you can find on the Ontario-geofish blog. I’ve mentioned Harold Asmis before, he’s the owner of the OG blog, and a former OPG employee if I understand correctly. He left OPG for a career doing geophysics and earthquake engineering for the Nuclear Power industry in Canada.  I highly recommend his blog, he has great insight into tunneling, earthquakes, siting of nuclear power plants not to mention opinions on all kinds of other things.  His writing style is very colorful and entertaining as well.

So, Harold has written a whole series of blog posts on the Niagra Tunnel project, including a 5-part series entitled "The Disaster of the Niagara Tunnel" and a 4-part series called "Niagara Tunnel: doing it Right".  He is not directly involved with the project, but his long career with OPG and related disciplines gives him some great insights.  I’ve collected a list of some of his blog posts on the Niagara Tunnel project as well as a few other links about the project. Click through for the good stuff.