Road and railway tunnels in cold regions are often affected by problems related to water leakage and freezing temperatures. Water leakage in a tunnel leads to ice growth when the temperature goes below freezing and creates favourable environment for fallouts of shotcrete and rock. This paper presents results and observations from laboratory freezing – thawing experiments on rock blocks covered with shotcrete and focuses on the degradation of the shotcrete-rock interface due to ice growth.. The initiation and the development of freeze-induced micro cracks in shotcreterock interface were studied by continuously monitoring acoustic emissions (AE) and temperature. The clustering of the AE events during freezing and thawing indicates that micro cracks appeared in the shotcrete-rock interface and caused adhesion failure. The larger number of AE events in the panels, with access to water during freezing, confirmed that water contributes to material deterioration and also reduces the adhesive strength.