Monitoring the environmental impact of ground vibration

May, 31 2021

Anyone who has spent time in an earthquake-prone area knows that ground vibrations can significantly damage structures. However, less commonly known is how ground vibrations from construction projects can damage nearby structures and how important it is to monitor these vibrations while they are occurring.


Causes and effects of construction ground vibrations

Construction involves a lot of heavy equipment, and that translates into significant ground vibrations. These vibrations are caused by everything from pile driving to blasting to operating heavy equipment on-site.


Every time these vibrations travel through soil, they do so in elastic waves that make soil looser and less compact, potentially causing nearby foundations to shift errantly. Working in a densely populated area with multiple buildings in the area is particularly challenging due to these often intense vibrations.


Importantly, the degree to which ground vibrations will travel depends on the type of soil where the construction project is built. Enlisting the knowledge and experience of a team of expert soil consultants such as G3SoilWorks makes it much easier to accurately anticipate how significant the impact of construction ground vibration will be – and what steps can be taken to mitigate it.


Understanding ground vibration monitoring


For construction project managers, knowledge is everything. Testing the soil at a site and analyzing the results gives an idea of whether nearby or distant structures may be affected by construction vibration, along with what degree of vibration these adjacent or distant buildings can comfortably withstand. Without this knowledge, a project could be permanently grounded before ever being fully started due to the potentially severe impact vibrations can have.


Beyond the initial construction planning, it is crucial to measure the vibrations caused during the entire construction project fully. This will also safeguard the project from potential issues with nearby property managers and contribute to the overall understanding of how constant or elevated construction vibrations at the site may impact structures.


Utilizing ground vibration monitoring and setting it to the ideal settings for your particular project site is an excellent way to dynamically address the risks of ground vibration and ensure that your project stays within compliance standards. Given soil composition variability, tapping into soil experts’ knowledge will help establish what those ranges should be.


Contact our team of expert consultants at G3SoilWorks and maximize the productivity and profitability of your projects in Southern California by supporting them with our geotechnical and geological experience.



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