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Predicting and

Controlling
Blast Vibrations
__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

Ground and Air Vibration


I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

A. Ground Vibrations

1. When an explosive charge is detonated a large amount of


energy is released
a. immediately around the charge the explosive energy
fragments and permanently displaces the rock this
region is called the crater or inelastic zone
b. outside of the crater zone the explosive energy
creates elastic or non-permanent movement of the
rockmass

Figure 1. crater and elastic zones

c. correctly designed blasts use the majority of the


energy to fragment and displace the rockmass
d. improperly designed blasts waste some of the
available explosive energy and produce excessive
ground or air vibrations

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

A. Ground Vibrations (cont.)

2. Elastic waves
a. the blast energy beyond the crater zone takes the
form of elastic ground vibrations
b. body waves are compressional and shear waves
that travel through the body of the rockmass

the fastest body wave is the compressional or


P wave which travels between 1,800 and
6,500 metres per second

the next wave to arrive is the shear or S wave


which has about 3/5 the velocity of the P wave
and typically has lower frequencies and larger
displacements

the slowest waves and last to arrive are the


surface waves (typically Rayleigh or R waves)
which typically have the lowest frequency and
greatest displacement

c. as the waves move away from the blasthole the


energy is reduced or attenuated and the different
waves spread out which increases the duration of
the vibration increases
d. the speed that the vibration waves travel through the
ground is known as the wave propagation velocity or
the seismic wave velocity and depends on the
geological characteristics of the site
e. a good analogy for surface particle motion would be
the bobbing of a cork on the surface of the water as
a wave passes below it

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

A. Ground Vibrations (cont.)

Ground Vibrations Caused By Blasting


Charge Detonation

when the charge detonates stress


waves spread out in all directions
through the rockmass

Wave Reflection
surface wave formed

as the waves hit joints, bedding


planes and free faces they are
reflected

Surface Wave Modification

soft

when reflected waves reach hard


the surface they modify the
surface wave

Figure 2. wave propagation

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

B. Components of Ground Vibrations

Peak amplitude

1 cycle

Time

Figure 3. vibration time history

1. Amplitude
a. can represent velocity (V), acceleration (A) or
displacement (D) depending on the recording
equipment used typically represents velocity for
blasting measurement

2. Velocity (V)
a. the speed the particles are moving back and forth
b. the maximum rate that the particles are moving is
known as peak particle velocity (PPV) and is used in
determining the possibility of damage
c. maximum particle velocity is usually recorded in
millimeters per second (mm/s)
d. over-confined charges can increase particle velocity

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

B. Components of Ground Vibration

3. Frequency (f)
a. the number of times a particle moves back and forth
in one second
b. motion back and forth is called an oscillation or
cycle
c. the number of oscillations a particle undergoes
when subjected to a vibration wave - measured in
cycles per second or Hertz (Hz)

4. The relationships between velocity, frequency,


acceleration and displacement are:

V = 2 f D, A = 2 f V, D = V/(2 f)
Where: V = velocity (mmps)
A= acceleration (mmps^2)
D= displacement (mm)
f= frequency
= 3.1415

4. Relative particle motion


a. typically measured in three mutually perpendicular
directions

Figure 4. relative ground motion

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

C. Ground Vibration Frequency Considerations

1. Resonant or natural frequency


a. any structure will vibrate at a fundamental or natural
frequency and respond when excited by energy at
that frequency (similar to a tuning fork)
b. this resonant frequency is directly related to the
physical characteristics and dimensions of the
structure (Mass, Stiffness, Height)
c. The resonant frequency range of typical residential
structures (one story, one and one half story, two
story) is 3-18 Hz
d. if a structure is influenced by a vibration wave with
the same frequency as the resonant frequency of
that structure, the effect of the vibration waves on
the structure are amplified, similar to a crystal glass
shattering when a singers voice reaches the natural
frequency of the glass
e. the maximum response of a house to ground
vibrations occurs when the frequency of the ground
motion matches the natural frequency of the house
f. very little energy is transferred into the structure
when there is a mismatch between the ground
vibration
frequency and the natural frequency of the house.
g. due to the complexity of structures , there are
usually several modes of motion and frequency
harmonics.
h. to simplify the study of the frequency response of
residential structures the Single-Degree-of-Freedom
model is often used
i. the single degree of freedom model relates the
mass and stiffness of the structure (masonry or
wood frame) to the height of the structure resulting
in the fundamental resonant frequency of that
structure

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

C. Ground Vibration Frequency Considerations (cont.)

2. Geological modification of vibration frequency


a. the composition of the earth between the blast area
and nearby structures greatly influences the
frequency and size of the vibration waves
b. a major factor controlling the frequency and
displacement of the vibration wave is the depth of
the overburden between the shot area and the
nearby structures
c. sites with a thick layer of soil have been known to
produce ground vibrations 10 times as great as
locations with only a thin layer of soil over the rock
d. if the layer of the overburden and the stress waves
produced by a particular blast are just right, the
reflected stress wave catches up to the surface
wave at just the right moment so that the surface
wave created by the reflected stress wave is added
to the original wave, creating a surface wave with a
higher magnitude
e. as the distance from the blast site increases, higher
frequencies typically diminish and low frequencies
are predominant

3. Blast induced modification of vibration frequency


a. just as the overburden can cause ground vibration
to be amplified by adding up the reflected stress
waves, the delay interval between holes in a shot
can cause certain frequencies to be amplified
b. the stress wave from the detonation of each hole
can reach the surface at just the right time to amplify
the surface wave (this is known as constructive
interference)
c. the detonation sequence of a blast can also cause
certain frequencies to be eliminated through
destructive interference.
d. by designing blasts to promote destructive
interference of low frequencies, ground vibration can
be controlled

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

C. Ground Vibration Frequency Considerations (cont.)

4. Adverse geological or blast design frequency modification


a. can result in blast vibrations that contain significant
amounts of low frequency energy (315 Hz)
b. vibration frequencies within this range (315 Hz)
can cause threshold damage at relatively low ppv
levels
c. as frequencies increase the effect of vibration on
residential structures is not as significant because
the frequency of the vibration wave is not likely to
match the resonant frequency of the structure

D. Damage From Blast Related Ground Vibration

1. Damage classification
a. threshold damage - minor cosmetic cracking,
loosening of paint, lengthening of old cracks
b. minor damage - loosening of plaster, cracks in
masonry around bricks or block, hairline to 3 mm
cracks
c. major damage - falling masonry, opening of minor
cracks, structural damage and weakening

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

E. Damage from blast related ground vibration

2. Vibration damage potential

Blast Damage
Peak Particle Damage Potential
Velocity (mm/s)
13 Lower limit for threshold
damage to plaster walls (3-15 Hz)

19 Limit for threshold damage


to drywall structures (3-15 Hz)

70 Threshold of minor damage

140 Greater than 50% chance of


minor damage to structures

190 50% chance of major damage

Blasting Complaints
Peak Particle Percentage
Velocity (mm/s) of complaints

<2 1.0%
5 5.0%
10 10%
15 15%
25 20%
40 40%
50 50%
100 70%

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula:

B
R
V=K 0.5
Q
where:
V = ground vibration as peak particle velocity (mm/s)

K = constant related to the site and rock properties

R = distance between the charge and the point of concern (m)

Q = maximum instantaneous charge weight (kg)

B = constant related to the site and rock properties (usually -1.6)

The K factor will typically vary with confinement as


follows:

Under confined, K = 500


Normal confinement, K = 1140
Over confined, K = 5000

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula (cont.)


a. light confinement

Figure 5. Light confinement vibration prediction

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula


a. light confinement (cont.)

Vibration Prediction 5 mm/s


Light Confinement 10 mm/s
1000
25 mm/s
500 50 mm/s

100

50

10

1
1 5 10 50 100 500 1000 5000 10000
Effective Charge Weight (kg)

graph based on this equation -1.6


Distance Away
Vibration (mm/s) = 500 x
0.5
Charge Weight

Figure 6. Light confinement vibration estimation

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula (cont.)


b. average confinement

Figure 7. Average confinement vibration prediction

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula


b. average confinement (cont.)

5 m m /s
V i b r a t io n P r e d ic t i o n 1 0 m m /s

A v e r a g e C o n f in e m e n t 2 5 m m /s
1000
5 0 m m /s

500

100

50

10

1
1 5 10 50 100 500 1000 5000 10000
E ffe c tiv e C h a r g e W e ig h t ( k g )
- 1 .6
D is ta n c e A w a y
g r a p h b a s e d o n th i s e q u a ti o n : V i b r a t i o n ( m m / s ) = 1 1 4 0 x
0 .5
C h a rg e W e ig h t

Figure 8. Average confinement vibration estimation

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula (cont.)


c. heavy confinement

Figure 9. Heavy confinement vibration prediction

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Monitoring and control of ground vibration

1. Peak particle velocity prediction formula


c. heavy confinement (cont.)

Vibration Prediction
Overconfined Conditions
10000
5 mm/s

5000 10 mm/s

25 mm/s
50 mm/s

1000

500

100

50

10
1 5 10 50 100 500 1000 5000 10000
Effective Charge Weight (kg)

graph based on this equation -1.6


Distance Away
Vibration (mm/s) = 5000 x
0.5
Charge Weight

Figure 10. Heavy confinement vibration estimation

Use this chart where no free face exists (sinking cut,


presplit blasting) or in saturated ground conditions

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Ground Vibration Prediction (cont.)

2. Vibration control with the use of a seismic monitor


a. the best way to determine the appropriate charge
weight and protect against damage claims
b. blast designs can be adjusted to allow for maximum
production while maintaining vibration levels that
minimize complaints
c. data from the seismic monitor can provide
information as to the efficiency of the blast
d. seismic monitors are the best defense against
possible damage claims
e. the scaled distance and vibration levels resulting
from blasting can be used to perform a linear
regression of the vibration attenuation
characteristics of the site

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

F. Ground Vibration Prediction

2. Vibration control with the use of a seismic monitor (cont.)


f. typical linear regression of blast vibrations

Figure 11. Typical vibration regression analysis

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Blast Induced Air Overpressure

1. Air overpressure causes


a. air overpressure is a compression wave similar to
the 'P' wave observed in ground elastic waves
b. air overpressure can be the result of the detonation
of unconfined explosives
c. rapid movement of the free faces during a blast can
also result in air blast
d. mud seams, insufficient stemming, and inadequate
burden (usually associated with poor drilling
practices) can result in air blast problems
e. air overpressure is measured in decibels (dB) or psi

Figure 12. db vs psi

2. Air overpressure focusing


a. under certain conditions the air overpressure can be
focused in certain directions
b. temperature inversions - if the air temperature
increases as the distance from the ground
increases, the air overpressure can bounce back
towards the ground
c. wind focusing - air overpressure effects are stronger
down wind

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Blast Induced Air Overpressure (cont.)

2. Air overpressure focusing (cont.)

normal conditions -
temperature decreasing
with altitude

wavefront

sound rays

surface
Blast Site

temperature inversion -
temperature increasing
with altitude
wavefront

sound rays

surface
Blast Site

Figure 13. Air overpressure focusing

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Blast Induced Air Overpressure (cont.)

2. Air overpressure focusing (cont.)

wind focusing -
sound rays deflected
by wind
wind direction

sound rays

sound
focusing

surface
Blast Site
Figure 14. Air overpressure focusing

3. Air overpressure monitoring


a. peak only recorders will meet standards for
recording airblast for compliance purposes but will
not help determine the cause of the overpressure
b. full waveform recording instruments can help
determine the source of the airblast in relation to the
first charge detonation
c. non-blast related peaks can be identified with full
waveform recording instruments

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

G. Blast Induced Air Overpressure (cont.)

3. Air overpressure monitoring (cont.)


d. maximum air overpressure levels

MaximumAllowable Air Overpressure With Monitors


Having Various Frequency Response Capabilities

0 .1Hz or lower flat response 134 dB peak

2 Hz or lower flat response 133 dB peak

6 Hz or lower flat response 129 dB peak

C weighted slow response 10 5 dB peak

Figure 15. Allowable airblast levels

e. 134 db is equivalent to approximately a 20 mph


wind gust

4. Airblast reduction
a. confine explosives properly (sufficient burden and
spacing, accurate drilling, proper stemming material
and height)
b. avoid using detonating cord on surface for initiation
c. load holes according to existing geology (avoid
overcharging of voids or weak seams)
d. orientate free face away from point of concern
e. avoid collar priming
f. avoid blasting during the periods most likely to
produce temperature inversions (early morning, late
evening, and at night)
g. use longer delay periods between rows and
between holes in a row
h. avoid blasting when the prevailing winds are
directed toward the point of concern

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

H. Vibration and airblast factors

Factors Controlling Ground Vibration and Airblast Levels

GROUND VIBRATION AIRBLAST

Variables within the control S ignificant Moderate Little S ignificant Moderate Little
of the operation Influence Influence Influence Influence Influence Influence

Charge weight per delay X X

Delay Interval X X

Burden and spacing X X

S temming (amount) X X

S temming (type) X X

Charge length and diameter X X

Angle of the borehole X X

Direction of initation X X

Charge weight per blast X X

Charge depth X X

Bare vs covered primacord X X

Charge confinement X X

Variables not within the control


of the operation

General surface terrain X X

Type and depth of overburden X X

Wind and weather conditions X X

Figure 16. Ground vibration and airblast factors

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

I. Developing a vibration monitoring and control program

1. Pre blast surveys


a. survey conducted to establish the condition of a
dwelling or structure prior to blasting
b. in coal mining a preblast survey is typically offered
to all residences within 1,600 m of the permit area
c. conflict of interest problems can be avoided if the
survey is conducted by an independent third party
d. a written report of survey should be retained for
future use and given to the owner of the structure (if
applicable)

2. Blast vibration monitoring


a. the best protection is to begin monitoring prior to
complaints
b. every blast should be monitored for legal protection
c. monitors can be deployed at several locations to
provide vibration information for entire area
d. receiving permission from neighbors to monitor on
their property can help establish good public
relations
e. keep careful records of shot data as well as
vibration information
f. seismic records should be stored in an organized
manner and in a safe place - during litigation it is not
unusual for an explosive user to be asked to
produce records that are 57 years old

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I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

I. Developing a vibration monitoring and control program

3. Seismograph placement
a. the geophone should be buried level in the ground
to achieve total coupling, with the arrow pointing
toward the blast
b. if burying is not possible, then the geophone should
be spiked and planted firmly on the ground and
sandbagged
c. if the geophone cannot be spiked it is important for it
to be sandbagged to prevent rocking and false
readings
d. the microphone should be attached to the mount
supplied with the instrument
e. the microphone should be above the ground and
positioned at least 1 metre from reflecting walls
f. place geophone in the ground at the corner of the
structure closest to the blast
g. avoid recording inside structures, on footpaths or
driveways, since these locations may affect the
actual ground vibrations
h. to distinguish between air and ground vibration
problems two sensors linked together (one inside
and the other outside of the structure) can be used

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

Disclaimer: These field practice recommendations are intended


to serve as general guidelines, and cannot describe all types of
field conditions. It is incumbent on the operator to evaluate these
conditions and to obtain good coupling between monitoring
instrument and the surface to be monitored. In all cases, the
operator should describe the field conditions and setup procedures
in the permanent record of each blast.

Preface: Seismographs are used to establish compliance with


regulations and evaluate explosive performance. Laws and
regulations have been established to prevent damage to property
and injury to people. The disposition of the rules is strongly
dependant on the reliability and accuracy of ground vibration and
airblast data. In terms of explosive performance the same holds
true. One goal of the ISEE Blast Vibrations and Seismograph
Section is to ensure reliable and consistent recording of ground
vibrations and air blasts between all blasting seismographs.

PART I. GENERAL GUIDELINES

Seismographs are deployed in the field to record the levels of


blast-induced ground vibration and airblast. Accuracy of the
recordings is essential. These guidelines define the users
responsibilities when deploying seismographs in the field.

1. Read the instruction manual. Every seismograph comes


with an instruction manual. Users are responsible for
reading the appropriate sections before monitoring a
blast.

2. Seismograph calibration. Annual calibration of the


seismograph is recommended.

3. Keep proper records. A seismograph users log should


note: the users name, date, time, place and other
pertinent data.

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ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999
PART I. GENERAL GUIDELINES (CONT.)

4. Record the blast. When seismographs are deployed in


the field, the time spent deploying the unit justifies
recording an event. As practical, set the trigger levels
low enough to record each blast.

5. Record the full waveform. It is not recommended that


the continuous recording option available on many
seismographs be used for monitoring blast-generated
vibrations.

6. Document the location of the seismograph. This


includes the name of the structure and where the
seismograph was placed on the property relative to the
structure. Any person should be able to locate and
identify the exact monitoring location at a future date.

7. Know and record the distance to the blast. The


horizontal distance from the seismograph to the blast
should be known to at least two significant digits. For
example, a blast within 1000 feet would be measured to
the nearest tens of feet and a blast within 10,000 feet
would be measured to the nearest hundreds of feet.
Where elevation changes exceed 2.5h:1v, slant
distances or true distance should be used.

8. Know the data processing time of the seismograph.


Some units take up to 5 minutes to process and print
data. If another blast occurs within this time the second
blast may be missed.

9. Know the memory or record capacity of the


seismograph. Enough memory must be available to
store the event. The full waveform should be saved for
future reference in either digital or analog form.

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

PART I. GENERAL GUIDELINES (CONT.)

10. Know the nature of the report that is required. For


example, provide a hard copy in the field, keep digital
data as a permanent record or both. If an event is to be
printed in the field, a printer with paper is needed.

11. Allow ample time for proper setup of the seismograph.


Many errors occur when seismographs are hurriedly set-
up. Generally, more than 15 minutes for set-up should
be allowed from the time the user arrives at the
monitoring location until the blast.

12. Know the temperature. Seismograph have varying


manufacturer specified operating temperatures.

13. Secure cables. Suspended or freely moving cables from


the wind or other extraneous sources, can produce false
triggers due to microphonics.

PART II. GROUND VIBRATION MONITORING

Placement and coupling of the vibration sensor are the two most
important factors to ensure accurate ground vibration recordings.

A. Sensor Placement - The sensor should be placed on or in the


ground on the side of the structure towards the blast. A
structure can be a house, pipeline, telephone pole, etc.
Measurements on driveways, walkways, and slabs are to be
avoided where possible.

1. Location relative to the structure. Sensor placement


should ensure that the data obtained adequately
represents the vibration levels received at the structure
being protected. The sensor should be placed within 10
feet of the structure or less than 10% of the distance
from the blast, whichever is less.

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ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

PART II. GROUND VIBRATION MONITORING (CONT.)

2. Soil density evaluation. The soil density should be


greater than or equal to the sensor density. Fill material,
sand, unconsolidated soils, flower-bed mulch or other
unusual mediums may have an influence on the
recording accuracy if not properly dealt with during
geophone installation.

3. The sensor must be nearly level.

4. The longitudinal channel should be pointing directly at


the blast and the bearing should be recorded.

5. Where access to the structure and/or property is not


available, the sensor should be placed closer to the blast
in undisturbed soil.

B. Sensor coupling - If the acceleration exceeds 0.2 g, slippage of


the sensor may be a problem. Depending on the anticipated
acceleration levels spiking, burial, or sandbagging of the
geophone to the ground may be appropriate.

1. If the acceleration is expected to be:

a. less than 0.2 g, no burial or attachment is necessary

b. between 0.2 and 1.0 g, burial or attachment is


preferred. Spiking may be acceptable.

c. greater than 1.0 g, burial or firm attachment is


required (USBM RI 8506).

Blast Dynamics Inc. 2006 Page 29


Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999
PART II. GROUND VIBRATION MONITORING (CONT.)

The following table exemplifies the particle velocities and


frequencies where accelerations are 0.2 g and 1.0 g.

Frequency, Hz 4 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 100 200

Particle Velocity
- in/s at 0.2 g 3.07 1.23 0.82 0.61 0.49 0.41 0.31 0.25 0.12 0.06

Particle Velocity
- in/s at 1.0 g 15.4 6.15 4.10 3.05 2.45 2.05 1.55 1.25 0.60 0.30

2. Burial or attachment methods


a. the preferred burial method is excavating a hole that
is no less than three times the height of the sensor
(ANSI S2.47-1990, R1997), spiking the sensor to
the bottom of the hole, and firmly compacting soil
around and over the sensor.

b. attachment to bedrock is achieved by bolting,


clamping or gluing the sensor to the rock surface.

c. the sensor may be attached to the foundation of the


structure if it is located within +/- 1-foot of ground
level (USBM RI 8969). This should only be used if
burial, spiking or sandbagging is not practical.

3. Other sensor placement methods


a. shallow burial is anything less than described at 2a
above.

b. spiking entails removing the sod, with minimal


disturbance of the soil and firmly pressing the
sensor with the attached spike(s) into the ground.

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ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

PART II. GROUND VIBRATION MONITORING (CONT.)

c. sand bagging requires removing the sod with


minimal disturbance to the soil and placing the
sensor on the bare spot with a sand bag over top.
Sand bags should be large and loosely filled with
about 10 pounds of sand. When placed over the
sensor the sandbag profile should be as low and
wide as possible with a maximum amount of firm
contact with the ground.

d. a combination of both spiking and sandbagging


gives even greater assurance that good coupling is
obtained.

C. Programming considerations - Site conditions dictate certain


actions when programming the seismograph.

1. Ground vibration trigger level. The trigger level should


be programmed low enough to trigger the unit from blast
vibrations and high enough to minimize the occurrence
of false events. The level should be slightly above the
expected background vibrations for the area. A good
starting level is 0.05 in/s.

2. Dynamic range and resolution. If the seismograph is not


equipped with an auto-range function, the user should
estimate the expected vibration level and set the
appropriate range. The resolution of the printed
waveform should allow verification of whether or not the
event was a blast.

3. Recording duration - Set the record time for 2 seconds


longer than the blast duration plus 1 second for each
1100 feet from the blast.

Blast Dynamics Inc. 2006 Page 31


Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

PART III. AIRBLAST MONITORING

Placement of the microphone relative to the structure is the most


important factor.

A. Microphone placement - The microphone should be placed


along the side of the structure nearest the blast.

1. The microphone should be mounted near the geophone


with the manufacturers wind screen attached.

2. The preferred microphone height is 3 feet above the


ground or within 1.2 inches of the ground. Other heights
may be acceptable for practical reasons. (ANSI S12.18-
1994, ANSI S12.9-1992/Part2) (USBM RI 8508 )

3. If practical, the microphone should not be shielded from


the blast by nearby buildings, vehicles or other large
barriers. If such shielding cannot be avoided, the
horizontal distance between the microphone and
shielding object should be greater than the height of the
shielding object above the microphone.

4. If placed too close to a structure, the airblast may reflect


from the house surface and record higher amplitudes.
Structure response noise may also be recorded.
Reflection can be minimized by placing the microphone
near a corner of the structure. (RI 8508)

B. Programming considerations - Site conditions dictate certain


actions when programming the seismograph to record airblast.

1. Trigger level. When only an airblast measurement is


desired, the trigger level should be low enough to trigger
the unit from the airblast and high enough to minimize
the occurrence of false events. The level should be
slightly above the expected background noise for the
area. A good starting level is 120 dB.

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

ISEE FIELD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR BLASTING


SEISMOGRAPHS APPROVED DECEMBER 1999

PART III. AIRBLAST MONITORING

2. Recording duration. When only recording airblast, set


the recording time for at least 2 seconds more than the
blast duration. When ground vibrations and airblast
measurements are desired on the same record, follow
the guidelines for ground vibration programming (Part II
C.3).

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

I. Developing a vibration monitoring and control program

4. Data analysis
a. data analysis can be done in field or by an
independent third party
b. third party analysis can benefit the user by adding
credibility to the recording, identifying trouble with
instrumentation, calibration, or recording procedures
before they become a serious problem, also
potential blast design problems can be identified
and corrective measures suggested

5. Types of seismic monitors


a. paper printout units - vibration data and provide a
printout of the vibration waveform, peak particle
velocity and air blast immediately after the shot -
provide only basic regulatory information
b. data recording units - full event recording at various
sampling rates - store the vibration data on
magnetic disk or other medium
c. analysis of full waveform data permits the
identification of potential problem areas - data can
be very useful for legal cases

J. Control of blast vibration amplitudes and frequencies

1. Using blast design to control vibrations


a. relief is the key to controlling ground and air
vibrations
b. reducing the charge weight can cause over-
confinement and produce excessive vibration
c. detonator accuracy plays an important role in
controlling and modifying blast vibrations
d. vibration control is effective with caps that have
firing time standard deviations less than 5 ms
e. standard deviations greater than 10 ms render both
prediction and control methods almost useless

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

J. Control of blast vibration amplitudes and frequencies

1. Using blast design to control vibrations (cont.)


f. accurate detonators should be used along with an
understanding of the filtering effect of the local
geology in order to control the vibrations produced
by a blast
g. this knowledge of the geology can be provided by
single charge vibration tests and careful analysis of
vibration waveforms

2. It is possible to predict and adjust the low frequency


vibration from blasts
a. if the stress waves from the detonation of the
explosive charges interfere with the surface waves,
the vibration wave can be reduced at some
frequencies
b. computer analysis can determine the optimum delay
interval that will minimize the production of low
frequency vibration produced by a blast
c. this analysis requires a single charge to be
detonated in the blast area and the resulting
waveform to be recorded at points of concern - this
data is then used to determine the optimum delay
intervals to maximize destructive interference of the
low frequency energy

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70 Threshold of minor damage

Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________


140 Greater than 50% chance of
minor damage to structures
I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING
190 50% chance of major damage
K. Blasting complaints

Blasting Complaints
Peak Particle Percentage
Velocity (mm/s) of complaints

<2 1.0%
5 5.0%
10 10%
15 15%
25 20%
40 40%
50 50%
100 70%
Figure 17. Vibration complaints

1. Blasting complaints should always be taken seriously

2. A complaint response form should be developed and used


on a consistent basis

L. The Five Cs of blasting complaints

1. Concerned By far the largest group


a. basically honest
b. want to protect their home
c. looking for reassurance they won't be damaged
d. willing to listen
e. answer their questions correctly or dont answer
f. be understanding They have no idea what can or
can't damage their home
g. talk to them get to know them when you're not
blasting
h. keep a record of your conversations involving
blasting or complaints

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

L. The Five Cs of blasting complaints

1. Concerned By far the largest group (cont.)


i. consider independent third party verification of
safety of your blasting operation

2. Cynical Second largest group (aka NIMBYS Not In


My Back Yard)
a. no matter what you say you can't win - you are
assumed to be either lying or you are wrong.
b. "Your seismograph is rigged!"
c. "Any vibration is harmful!"
d. "You load more in the hole when you don't monitor!"
e. "The regulatory agency is in your pocket!"
f. "You are out to rape the land and leave it!"
g. may try to unite the community against you
h. require the most work not easily convinced
i. don't get angry, be friendly
j. monitor all blasts make sure your are doing it
correctly
k. keep your seismograph in calibration
l. avoid the "Town Meeting" scenario visit one on
one
m. keep a record of your conversations have an
impartial third party present if possible

3. Crazies
a. generally antisocial neighbors admit they're
strange
b. may not come to the door when you knock
c. possibly paranoid everybody's out to get them
d. generally harmless
e. stay on friendly terms
f. humor them
g. keep a record of your conversation with them

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

I. VIBRATIONS CAUSED BY BLASTING

L. The Five Cs of blasting complaints (cont.)

4. Cranky
a. usually elderly or living alone
b. sometimes they just want somebody to talk to
c. blasting vibrations may not be their only complaint -
dust, noise, trucks, etc.
d. give them some attention - let them know you care -
try to make friends with them
e. they can be the most trying and may try to take
advantage of you - be patient with them - as long as
you keep the lines of communication open to them
all it will cost you is time

5. Crooks
a. see an opportunity to get some quick cash
b. doesn't really care whether you are hurting him or
not
c. likely to initiate a lawsuit if he can find a lawyer
willing to take the case on a contingency basis
d. he may not have the stomach for a long fight he
doesnt think he can win
e. make sure your records are complete and accurate
f. make a record of all conversations
g. monitor all shots
h. obtain assistance of Vibration Consultant to review
your operation and determine your vulnerabilities,
short comings
i. correct all deficiencies
j. let him know right from the start he will have to work
hard to get anything from you.
k. make him prove his allegations
l. let him know from the start there will be no out of
court settlement
m. try to isolate him from the neighbors to discourage
the bandwagon effect. If no one joins him he is not
likely to go it alone

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

Vibration Control Summary


1. Identify if the problem is created by airblast or ground
vibrations
a. split geophone monitoring

2. Ground vibration control


a. provide relief
b. accurately lay out and drill blasthole pattern
c. reduce the weight of explosive per delay by
reducing hole diameter, bench height, or decking the
powder column but maintain relief
d. decrease explosive coupling
e. reduce subdrilling
f. increase delay periods in back rows
g. direct propagation away from nearby structure
h. use accurate delays

3. Airblast control
a. confine charges (flyrock and airblast go hand in
hand)
b. proper stemming length
c. accurate drilling
d. proper face confinement
e. dont load weak seams
f. avoid using detonating cord
g. avoid blasting in adverse weather conditions (wind
blowing toward point of concern, temperature
inversions, etc.)
h. slow delay interval down face to more than 1 ms /ft
of burden

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Efficient Blasting Techniques __________________________________________

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__________________________________________________ Vibration Control

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