Case Study of Blast Vibrations Induced Sounds Recorded inside a House near a West Virginia Coal Mine


Blast vibrations induce sounds within neighboring residences. A house wide vibration and sound monitoring system was installed in a West Virginia home which was subjected to blasts at varied distances and direction. Eighty-nine blast events were monitored and analyzed for this case study. Fifteen channels of data were collected including three triaxial geophones, one airblast microphone, one uniaxial geophone mounted to the wall of the house (response channel), and four microphones that recorded CD quality sound waves inside the house. Each of these channels was recorded on the same time reference and scale allowing for direct comparison of the waveforms. The response channel signal was easily separated into ground vibration induced and airblast induced movement due to the differences in their times of arrival. This response channel was then compared to the sounds recorded inside the home to determine which component of blast vibration induced the maximum sound response inside the home. Blasts at distances less than 762 meters (2,500 feet) had maximum sound responses from both ground vibration and airblast. While for blasts beyond 762 meters (2,500 feet), the maximum sound response inside the home was caused by ground vibration without exception. When airblast was identified as the dominant sound generator in the house, the peak amplitude of the sound was directly related to the amplitude of airblast. When ground vibration was identified as the dominant sound generator in the house, the peak amplitude of sound was not related to the amplitude of ground vibration. In these cases, sound amplitude was driven by the conditions present in the house such as loose items, doors, and windows creating sudden peaks from falling or slamming. In the same respect, sound amplitudes varied depending on where the sound was recorded. Different rooms generated very different sounds based on the contents of the room. Findings from frequency analysis showed that the frequency content of sounds inside the house were not related to frequency content of airblast or ground vibration regardless of source suggesting that residents would have difficulty determining the source of blast induced noise in their homes.

Meeting Name

SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit (2010: Phoenix, AZ)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Air-Blast; Blast Vibrations; CD Quality; Channel Signals; Frequency Analysis; Frequency Contents; Ground Vibration; Induced Noise; Peak Amplitude; Sound Monitoring; Sound Waves; Times of Arrivals; Triaxial Geophone; Wave Forms; West Virginia; Acoustic Generators; Coal Mines; Houses; Microphones; Vibration Analysis

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2010 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2010

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