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RE: Seismic Charges

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There are methods of calculating and monitoring ground shock due to pulse loads from explosives or other sources.  Among other projects of this type, I provided a peer review for the vulnerability of specific facilities for the New Haven Coliseum implosion project in 2006.  The hand calculation methods and limits are from various publications by the Bureau of Mines. 
The analysis for the Coliseum was performed by Weidlinger Assoc.  They did an excellent job and the ground shock was within limits.  Weidlinger uses a proprietary program called Flex.  Some other excellent resources would be L3 Titan, and Dr. Sam Kiger at University of Missouri - Columbia. 
It is best to do a lot of homework and get your predictions verified with someone with a lot of experience.  Oddly, the standard is to look at velocities as opposed to accelerations. 

A good starting point would be: Report of Investigations 8507, Structure Response and Damage

Produced by Ground Vibration From Surface Mine Blasting.  The best resources are with the DoD. 

Harold Sprague

From: seaint04(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Seismic Charges
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 21:27:50 -0500

I was asked a question today that I haven’t seen addressed before.  A client told us they oil and gas industry around his plant was going to be setting off seismic charges for exploration.  The plant in located in Louisiana.  He wanted to know how it might affect his facilities.  We asked him to find out where the charges will be set and what size charge they will be, the energy released.   I’m not sure how I would evaluate the affect on the building.  Obviously we don’t want to set a charge off near a building.  Are there any specific items we should be considering when responding to their questions?  I thinking this may be more of a geotechnical question then a structural question.   Is there any method of converting explosive underground charges into something like a seismic event on a building?


Thanks for your help.






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