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Measured and Modelled Response of a Multistory, Urban Structure to High-frequency Blasting Excitation


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Author C Dowding, C Aimone-Martin and P Abeel


This paper presents measurement and analysis of the dynamic response of a five-storey building to very high frequency excitation (>100 Hz) from blasting vibrations originating from a contiguous excavation of rock. Velocity response measurements in the rock and on the structure were employed to calculate the time-correlated dynamic displacement response of the building to blasting. Time-correlated structure response measurements are needed to advance the understanding of the response of urban structures to high-frequency excitation. Current regulations and understanding are based upon measurements of the response of one- to two-storey residential structures by 10 to 40 Hz excitation. The extension of these observations to taller structures when excited by high-frequency excitation needs to be investigated further.

Measurements show that the amplification patterns at the ground level and top of the structure match or are lower than that observed by the US Bureau of Mines (Siskind et al, 1980) for the shorter residential structures. They decrease with increasing peak particle velocity. From the measurements, the global transverse shear strains found by differentiating ground floor and top displacements were calculated to be 12 µstrains. Time-correlated bottom and top of structure displacements show that building response may be more reflective of wave propagation up the structure than whole-structure inter-storey drift.

In addition, a 3D model was used to compare computed displacements and strains to measured results. Modelled responses varied considerably, both in magnitude and location of the maximum strain. No conclusion can be made regarding the best 3D model to employ to simulate building response. More data such as motions measured at many points in the structure are needed. Maximum inter-storey transverse shear strains calculated with the model were found through the acceleration excitation and were less than 12 µstrains for 37 mm/s rock motion excitation. The inter-storey transverse shear strains calculated with rock displacement input were less than that found with the acceleration excitation.


Dowding, C, Aimone-Martin, C and Abeel, P, 2015. Measured and modelled response of a multistory, urban structure to high-frequency blasting excitation, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 211–220 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).