Strains Induced in Urban Structures by Ultra-High Frequency Blasting Rock Motions: A Case Study

C. H. Dowding*, E. Hamdi, C. T. Aimone-Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper describes measurement and interpretation of strains induced in two, multiple story, older, urban structures by ultra-high frequency rock blast excitation from contiguous excavation. These strains are obtained from relative displacements found by integrating time correlated velocity time histories from multiple positions on the structures and foundation rock. Observations are based on ten instrumented positions on the structures and in the foundation rock during eight blast events, which provided over 70 time histories for analysis. The case study and measurements allowed the following conclusions: despite particle velocities in the rock that greatly exceed regulatory limits, strains in external walls are similar to or lower than those necessary to crack masonry structures and weak wall covering materials. These strains are also lower than those sustained by single story residential structures when excited by low frequency motions with particle velocities below regulatory limits. Expected relative displacements calculated with pseudo velocity single degree of freedom response spectra of excitation motions measured in the rock are similar to those measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4073-4090
Number of pages18
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Close-in rock blasting
  • Displacements
  • Peak particle velocity
  • Pseudo velocity spectral analysis
  • Shear and tensile strains
  • Ultra-high frequency excitation
  • Urban structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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