Why is Monitoring Ground Vibration Important?

Looking for an effective way to identify potential vibration damage problems pre-construction? Or perhaps you need to address this issue post-construction? Vibration monitoring is the most commonly used approach to deal with these problems. In fact, most Federally-funded construction projects mandate the completion of a pre-construction vibration assessment, prior to starting the job.

When done right, vibration monitoring has the ability to help you understand the nature of the damage incurred and whether it could have been caused by construction. This information is crucial when determining who is at fault for vibrations that caused damage to structures.

Equipment Needed to Monitor Ground Vibration

A number of different instruments can be used to monitor ground vibrations, including:

  • Ground vibration monitoring seismographs
  • Accelerometers
  • Displacement gauges
  • Strain gauges

While each instrument can be used to detect and measure ground vibration and its subsequent impact on structures, the seismograph is typically the only one used to monitor mine blasting and construction vibration monitoring. However, the other three types of instruments do provide a great deal of valuable information and are often used in scientific studies.

It is important to note that blasting seismographs are capable of providing an accurate reading of the ground movement, but most do not have enough internal memory to handle construction vibration. If the instrument doesn’t have significant memory, only a limited amount of data can be recorded, which greatly limits the ability to draw meaningful conclusions.

Reviewing Vibration Data

Analyzing vibration data is a necessary — yet labor intensive — process. In order to draw conclusive results, they must be properly acquired, evaluated and interpreted. A great deal of data is produced and it all must be carefully analyzed to produce valid results. If you don’t feel like you’re properly equipped to read them, it’s best to get a qualified professional to do it for you, to ensure you don’t inadvertently misinterpret them.

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