Response of cracks to construction vibrations and environmental effects

Charles H. Dowding*, Mickey L. Snider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper summarizes micro-inch response of cosmetic cracks in a typical slab-on-grade ranch style house to both construction equipment-induced vibration and environmental (weather) effects. This structure was instrumented, and its response studied as part of the development of an Autonomous Crack Measurement (ACM) system. ACM systems are intended to record - with a single sensor - micro-inch crack displacements from both long-term environmental changes and transient construction vibrations for comparison in an understandable fashion. Ground motions were measured with velocity transducers, and micro-inch crack displacements were measured with LVDT displacement sensors. Construction within 14 m (45 ft) of the house involved trackhoe excavation for a 10×12 ft. reinforced concrete box culvert, chain trencher excavation for an 8-inch water service line, and vibratory compaction of trench backfill and granular sub-grade. As with many other studies of this nature, it was found that the weather induced crack response far exceeded that produced by construction vibrations even when produced by vibratory rolling within 3 m (10 ft) of the structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1776
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number126 II
StatePublished - 2004
EventGeotechnical Engineering for Transportation Projects: Proceedings of Geo-Trans 2004 - Los Angeles, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 27 2004Jul 31 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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