Detecting Seismic Waves Induced by Blast Operations at a Limestone Quarry by Means of Different Transducer Mounting

Detecting Seismic Waves Induced by Blast Operations at a Limestone Quarry by Means of Different Transducer Mounting

G. Coltrinari

Department of Engineering, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy

01 November 2016
| Citation



The use of explosives to fragment the rock is very widespread in quarrying activities. This technology produces significant environmental impacts due to ground vibrations generated by blasting operations. In order to characterize this phenomenon, accurate measurements of seismic waves are required and one of the most critical aspects in field tests is represented by the coupling method between the transducers and the soil. This phenomenon may generate the distortion of the recorded waveform thus affecting the affordability of the sample itself. Moreover, the decoupling assumes a growing importance in those sites where the rock is not outcropping and the transducer is buried. For this purpose, different methods are tested in an opencast limestone quarry in the centre of Italy. Firstly, ground vibrations in terms of peak particle velocity (PPV) were recorded according with the method suggested in UNI 9,916 and consisting in burying the detectors into the soil at a suitable depth. Secondly, the same parameters were recorded by means of transducers fixed to the ground with some sand bags thus maintaining the proper adherence. Finally, the data obtained through these two different methods are compared and discussed.


ground transducer coupling, PPV, quarry blasting operations, seismic waves


[1] Phang, M.K., Simpson, T.R. & Brown, R.C., Investigation of Blast-Induced Underground Vibrations from Surface Mining, University of Alabama, Mineral Resources Institute, 1984.

[2] Singh, P.K. & Roy, M.P., Damage to surface structures due to blasting. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 47(6), pp. 949–961, 2010.

[3] Cardu, M., Giraudi, A., Lovera, E. & Michelotti, E., An example of preliminary seismic survey to evaluate the feasibility of blasting works in proximity of a sensitive monument, Vienna Conference Proceedings, ed. P. Moser et al., European Federation of Explosives Engineers, ISBN 978-0-9550290-1-1, 2007.

[4] Mishra, A.K. & Sinha, M., Environmental impact analysis of heavy blasting in large opencast mines. Journal of Mines, Metals and Fuels, 63(7), pp. 173–181, 2015.

[5] Alfaro Degan, G., Di Bona, G., Lippiello, D. & Pinzari, M., PM10 dispersion model in quarrying activities, a comparison of an ISC3 approach to a mono/multivariate geostatistical estimation. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 86, pp. 111–120, 2006, ISSN 1743-3541.

[6] Călămar, A., Pupăzan, D., Găman, G.A., Kovacs, M. & Simion, S., Study regarding the environmental impact of gases generated by pit blasting operations. Proceedings of International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference Surveying Geology and Mining Ecology Management, SGEM 2015, 1(5), pp. 831–838, 2015.

[7] Siskind, D.E., Stagg, J., Kopp, J.W. & Dowding, C.H., Structure response and damage produced by ground vibrations from surface mine blasting, USBM Report of Investigation 8507, Twin Cities: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1980.

[8] Singh, P.K. & Vogt, W., Ground vibration: prediction for safe and efficient blasting. Zukunft mit Tiefgang, Erzmetal, pp. 677–684, 1998.

[9] AENOR., Control de vibraciones producidas por voladuras, UNE 22-381-93, Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación: Madrid, 1993.

[10] DIN., Deutsches Institut fur Nurmung. DIN 45669-2:2005-6: Measurement of vibration immission Part 2: Measuring method, Berlin, 2005.

[11] Gutowski, T.G. & Dym, C.L., Propagation of ground vibration: a review. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 49(2), pp. 179–193, 1976.

[12] Alfaro Degan, G., Lippiello, D., Lorenzetti, S. & Pinzari, M., Vibration assessing models: comparison between methods. WIT Transactions on Biomedicine and Health, 16, pp. 59–69, 2013, ISSN: 1743-3525.

[13] Cardu, M., Oreste, P., Pettinau, D. & Guidarelli, D., Automatic measurement of drilling parameters to evaluate the mechanical properties of soils. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 10(7), pp. 654–663, 2013.

[14] Kahriman, A., Analysis of parameters of ground vibration produced from bench blasting at a limestone quarry. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 24, pp. 887–892, 2004.

[15] Segarra, P., López, L.M. & Sanchidrián, J.A., Uncertainty in measurements of vibrations from blasting. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 45(6), pp. 1119–1126, 2012.

[16] Kima, D.S. & Lee, J.S., Propagation and attenuation characteristics of various ground vibrations. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 19, pp. 115–126, 2000.

[17] BSI, British Standards Institution, BS 7385-1: Evaluation and measurement for vibration in buildings, Part 1: Guide for measurement of vibrations and evaluation of their effects on buildings, London, 1990.

[18] Segarra, P., Sanchidrián, J.A., Castedo, R., López, L.M. & Castillo, I.D., Performance of some coupling methods for blast vibration monitoring. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 112, pp. 129–135, 2015.

[19] Washburn, H. & Wiley, H., The effect of the placement of a seismometer on its response characteristics. Geophysics, 6, pp. 116–131, 1941.

[20] Krohn, C.E., Geophone ground coupling. Geophysics, 49(6), pp. 722–731, 1984.

[21] Omata, S., Ground couplings and measurement frequency ranges of vibration transducers. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 73(6), pp. 2187–2192, 1983.

[22] Hoover, G.M. & O’Brien, J.T., The influence of the planted geophone on seismic land data. Geophysics, 45, pp. 1239–1253, 1984.

[23] Drijkoningen, G.G., Rademakers, F., Slob, E.C. & Fokkema, J.T., A new elastic model for ground coupling of geophones with spikes. Geophysics, 71(2), pp. Q9–Q17, 2006.

[24] Faber, K., Maxwell, P.W. & Edelmann, H.A.K., Recording reliability in seismic exploration as influenced by geophone-ground coupling. 56th Meeting of the EAEG, Vienna, 1994.

[25] Dowding, C.H., Suggested method for blast vibration monitoring. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences & Geomechanics, 29(2), pp. 145–156, 1992.

[26] Stagg, M.S. & Engler, A.J., Measurement of blast-induced ground vibrations and seismograph calibration, US Bureau of Mines (RI 8506), 1980.

[27] Blair, D.P., Blast vibration in soil and on large resonant structure. Explo’95, Conference,Brisbane, Australia, pp. 317–322, September 1995.

[28] Alfaro Degan, G., Lippiello, D. & Pinzari, M., Monitoring airborne dust in a Italian basalt quarry: comparison between sampling methods. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 174, pp. 75–84, WIT Press, 2013, ISSN 1743-3541.

[29] Alfaro Degan, G., Lippiello, D. & Pinzari, M., Field evaluation of PM10 detectors in a quarry environment. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 10(3), pp. 361–372, 2015.