Monitoring Vibration

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor in Chief; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 1, Pg. 66-69


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Vibration monitoring for construction projects is increasing rapidly. Instrumentation for measuring structural response to blasting began in the mining industry with research by the U.S. Bureau of Mines in the 1940s. The technology has improved and portable seismographs linked to computers can collect data and interpret it according to software packages developed by different manufacturers. Newer equipment can provide data 24 hours a day at remote sites and the data can be analyzed by an expert when this is necessary. Vibration monitoring has spread to the construction industry, driven mostly by fear of liability. Blasting, mostly for excavations, pile-driving and demolition are the activities that cause the most vibrations. People are much more sensitive to noise and vibration than most structures, according to many experts in the field. However, as infrastructure repair projects proliferate, modifications to existing structures such as dams, tunnels and water lines could result in damage. Instrumentation helps contractors document actual damage, or the lack thereof, and can let site personnel know when to change construction procedures when necessary. channelization—converting a natural stream to a uniform channel cross section. But this single objective approach is coming under increasing scrutiny. Engineers are concerned that traditional designs may not work as intended and fail during floods. What is needed is a multiobjective approach that considers varying flows, changing channel configurations, sediment loads and riprarian characteristics.

Subject Headings: Vibration | Monitoring | Structural response | Mining | Construction industry

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