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EJGE Paper 199907
Groundshock Enhancement due to Reflections
Safety Engineer, Hochtief AG
New Athens International Airport Construction Site, 5 ^{t}^{h} km. SpataLoutsa Ave. GR19004, Spata, Greece Email the author
ABSTRACT
An analytical model was developed for the prediction of the enhancement of ground shock waves produced by a buried or surface detonation, due to reflections from lower soil layer interfaces. It is based on the generally accepted cube root scaling model for the attenuation of soil particle velocities, basic principles of physics, and well stated assumptions which ensure the conservative character of the results. By the aid of suitable charts and logic diagrams prepared, the proposed model can be easily applied to analyses dealing with protective design of structures and estimation of safe distances from explosive sources.
KEYWORDS:
detonation,
ground shock waves,
reflections from soil layer interfaces
soil particle
velocities,
INTRODUCTION
The ground shock waves produced by the detonation of an explosive charge is of great importance as regards vibration control and prevention of damages of nearby either above ground or buried structures. It has, therefore, been the subject of many experimental research programs, and technical and scientific reports (Henrych, 1979, Ambraseys et al, 1968, Dowding 1996, TM58551, 1986, Siskind and Stagg, 1994, Siskind et al, 1994, Hinman, 1989, Bulson,
1997).
Since it is possible to correlate the imposed deformation of structures directly to the ground particle velocity or pressure (Dowding 1996, TM58551, 1986, Hinman, 1989) a prediction model of these quantities is very useful in either the establishment of structural protective design requirements or the determination of explosive quantity  distance limits for blasting in the vicinity of structures, (e.g. mines, quarries) by combining it with proposed ground motion failure criteria. Such criteria are the surface motion failure criterion of 50 mm/s for above ground structures (Esparza, 1986) and the failure criterion of 127 mm/s for steel pipelines (Siskind and Stagg, 1994, Siskind et al, 1994).
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The model for the attenuation of soil particle velocity resulting from a ground shock wave that is mainly used by many authors is the scaling of distance as regards the quantity of explosive charge (Ambraseys et al, 1968, Dowding 1996, TM58551, 1986, Siskind et al, 1994, Drake and Little, 1983). The peak particle velocity is correlated to the cube or square root scaling distance
(R/W ^{1}^{/}^{3} and R/W ^{1}^{/}^{2} respectively) through an uniparametric equation as regards the soil type. This approach provides the flexibility of calculating the peak particle velocity when both distance and charge weight vary.
However, only the directly transmitted ground shock waves are considered by the aforesaid approaches. Shock reflections from the ground surface or lower layers (such as a water table or bedrock) can combine with the incident wave to cause a significant change to the induced loading on a structure.
In this article an analytical model is developed for the estimation of the enhancement of ground
particle velocities, due to reflections of shock waves from a lower soil layer. It is based on the cube root scaling of distance model and fundamental principles of physics.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ANALYTICAL MODEL
Directly Transmitted Waves
The peak particle velocity (ppv) of soil as a result of a detonation of a charge below the ground surface is influenced by the distance of the point under consideration from the center of explosion (R), the TNT equivalent of the explosive charge (W), the characteristics of the soil and the depth of burial of the charge (D) (TM58551, 1986):
where
(1)
a takes on the value 160 when ppv is given in ft/s, R in ft and W in lb. If ppv is given in m/s, R in
m and W in tons, then a is 48.8´ 0.252 ^{}^{n} .
n is the attenuation coefficient of the soil type which can be directly estimated from the seismic velocity as given in Table 1 (Bulson, 1997). Values of n for typical soils are given in Table 2 along with the respective acoustic impedance (r c) and seismic velocity c (TM58551, 1986).
f is the ground shock coupling factor, which express the ratio of the ground shock magnitude at shallow depths of burial to the magnitude at deep covers. Values for f can be obtained from Figure 1 (Bulson, 1997)
W is the TNT equivalent of explosive charge. It is obtained by multiplying the explosive quantity by a conversion energy factor E. Typical values of E can be found in publications by many authors (TM58551, 1986, Bulson, 1997, Kinney and Graham, 1985).
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Figure 1. Ground shock coupling factor as a function of scaled depth of burst (Bulson, 1997)
Table 1. Estimation of attenuation coefficient from seismic velocity (Bulson, 1997)
Seismic velocity (c) in m/s 
150200 
250300 
300400 
400550 
>1500 
Attenuation coefficient (n) 
33.5 
3 
2.75 
2.5 
1.52.25 
Table 2. Soil characteristics and attenuation coefficients (TM58551, 1986)
Seismic
Velocity
Acoustic
Impedance
Attenuation
Coefficient,
Soil
(c) 
(rc) 
(n) 

(m/s) 
(kg/m ^{3} )(m/s) 

Loose, dry poorly graded sand. 
200 
26.2 
33.5 
Sandy loam, loess, dry sands, and backfill. 
300 
50 
2.75 
Dense sand with high relative density. 
500 
100 
2.5 
Wet sandy clay with air voids (greater than 4 percent). 
550 
110 
2.5 
Saturated sandy clays and sands with small amount of air voids (less than 1 percent). 
1500 
290 
2.252.5 
Heavy saturated clays and clay shales. 
>1500 
340410 
1.5 
The peak particle velocity decays exponentially with time:
(2)
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t _{¥} = R/c
(3)
is the arrival time of ground wave, R the path traveled and c the seismic velocity of soil.
The propagating stress (pressure) is related to the particle velocity through the equation (Hinman,
1989):
(4)
By combining equations (1)(4) useful formulas can be derived, expressing either the instant of arrival of propagating waves or the peak stress.
It should be stated that the cube root scaling model has been adopted and used in this article, since the square root model has been proved to have no basis in dimensional analysis by the use of Buckingham’s pi theorem (Ambraseys et al, 1968).
Reflection from Interfaces
Ground shock waves produced by a detonation of an explosive charge may reflect either on the ground surface or on interfaces with other soil layers with different impedance (e.g. bedrock, water table). Such reflections can combine with directly transmitted waves and alter the induced load on the structure in question.
Reflections from the ground surface produce tensile waves, which combining with the incident wave reduce the load the structure is subjected. By considering the need to be conservative for blast protective design and for simplicity reasons, we do not take into account the reflections from ground surface in the analysis followed.
However, reflections from soil layers with different impedance produce secondary compression waves, which can enhance the incident waves and significantly increase the amplitude of the induced wave.
The schematic representation of the problem in question is shown in Figure 2. A buried structure is located at a depth z, while at a horizontal distance r an explosive source is encountered at a depth D from ground surface. A second horizontal layer is located at a depth H from the trace of explosive source projected to the ground surface. The elevation difference between the structure and explosive source projected traces to the ground surface is rtanj. The paths traveled by propagating waves are also drawn in Figure 2 by dash lines.
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Figure 2. The geometry of the problem used for the development of the analytical model
The length of path traveled by the incident wave is calculated by the help of Figure 2,
(5)
Likewise the path length of a ground wave reflected from a lower layer is:
(6)
In equations (5) and (6) rtanj takes the "+" sign when detonation source is located at a higher elevation than the buried structure, while the "" in the opposite case.
By combining equations (1)(3) and substituting the path lengths derived from (5) and (6) we result:
(7)
(8)
where K is the reflection coefficient which expresses the fraction of the incident wave reflected (Pain, 1983):
(r c) is the impedance, q is the angle of incidence,
(9)
the angle of transmission to the lower layer
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and the subscripts 1 and 2 refer to the top and lower soil layer, respectively.
From Snell’s law:
K is obtained from equation (11) when the subroot quantity is positive. Otherwise K equals 1.
From Figure 2 the angle of incidence is easily defined:
^{a}^{n}^{d}
(12)
The function of total particle velocity of ground with time is obtained by adding equations (7) and
(8):
(13)
This equation is possible to reach its maximum value (peak) at two time instants: either at the arrival time (t _{d} ) of the directly transmitted wave to the structure or the arrival time (t _{r} ) of the reflected wave. Arrival times can be derived from equation (3):
i = d and r.
(14)
Thus, the particle velocity at time t _{r} is given by:
(15)
By substituting equations (1) and (14) in (15) and by dividing pv _{t} (t _{r} ) by ppv _{d} the following formula is obtained:
(16)
where f _{E} = pv _{t} (t _{r} )/ppv _{d} is the enhancement factor of incident ground wave due to reflections from lower soil layer interfaces.
Consequently, the peak particle velocity of the ground in contact to a buried structure is
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calculated by:
(17)
StepbyStep Method
The use of the analytical model presented will be facilitated by following the simplified stepby step method demonstrated in this section. The input data for this methodology are:
The geometry of the problem in question, i.e. the horizontal distance between the structure and the detonation source, r, the structure depth of burial, z, the burst depth, D, the elevation difference between structure and source projected traces to ground surface, rtanf (all quantities in m).
The parameters of explosive source: the TNT equivalent of it, W (tons), the ground shock coupling factor, f.
The soil parameter which is expressed just from the attenuation factor, n.
The reflection factor K is considered to be 1 because (1) a conservative solution is preferable and (2) this is dictated by common practice where the lower layer is either bedrock or water table. Equation (16) is plotted in Figure 3 for various values of n. Then from Figure 3, we can easily obtain the enhancement factor by which the particle velocities of direct waves should be multiplied, so that the total particle velocities are estimated.
Figure 3. Enhancement factor as a function of the ratio of R _{r} /R _{d}
Thus, the steps of the methodology for the estimation of peak particle velocity of ground due to a surface or buried explosion are the following:
Step 1. Determine f from Figure 1.
Step 2. Select a value for n from Table 2.
Step 3. Calculate R _{r} and R _{d} by using equations (5) & (6).
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Step 4. Calculate ppv _{d} by using equation (1) with R = R _{d} .
Step 5. Obtain f _{E} from Figure 3.
Step 6. Calculate ppvt by using equation (17).
As already stated this methodology can be used for the determination of explosive quantity  distance limits for blasting near structures, given that it is combined with proposed ground motion failure criteria (see Introduction). So, the maximum explosive charge that is permitted to be detonated in the vicinity of a buried or above ground structure as regards ground vibration or the safety distance from a possible source of explosion can be determined through the algorithms demonstrated in Figure 4.
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Figure 4(a). Algorithm "a" for the determination of explosive quantity  distance limits for blasting near structures
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Figure 4(b). Algorithm "b" for the determination of explosive quantity  distance limits for blasting near structures
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CASE STUDY / EXAMPLE
A quarry, where many blasts are carried out daily, is located near civil buildings and a buried
natural gas pipeline. The blast area is located at a distance of 200 m from the nearest building and 150 m from the buried pipeline. The depth of burial of the pipeline is 1.5 m. The geometric characteristics of this problem, adopting the terminology of Figure 2, are: z = 0 and 1.5 m for the
nearest building and the pipeline respectively, r = 200 and 150 m, rtanj = 5 m, D = 3 m, H = 10 m. The attenuation factor of the ground is assumed to be 1.5. The maximum allowable TNT equivalent charge weight per delay is going to be determined.
By adopting the ground motion failure criterion of 50 mm/s used for above ground structures and using the algorithm a of Figure 4 the maximum allowable blast weight per delay is estimated to
be 34 kg TNT equivalent.
For the case of the buried pipeline the failure criterion of 127 mm/s is considered. By following algorithm b of Figure 4 a safety distance of 110 m is calculated for the blast explosive charge weight calculated. Thus, the pipeline is located in a safe position (150 m).
CONCLUSIONS  REMARKS
Based on a ground particle velocity prediction model (the validity of which has been proven by many experimental results), basic principles of physics and assumptions that ensure the conservative character of the results, an analytical model for the enhancement of ground shock waves resulting from a buried or surface explosion, due to reflections from a lower soil layer, has been developed. A simple stepbystep methodology along with two algorithms are also given, which can be used in structural protective design and estimation of explosive quantity  distance limits for blasting in the vicinity of structures (civil buildings, pipelines, etc). Furthermore, the simplicity of the presented model sets itself valuable for large scale problems (e.g. in case of natural gas or oil pipelines) where the use of numerical methods (finite elements or difference methods) or the conducting of field tests are impractical.
REFERENCES
1. Henrych, J., The dynamics of explosion. Elsevier Science Publishers BV (NorthHolland), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1979.
2. Ambraseys, N.R. and Hendron, A.J., Dynamic behavior of rock masses. Rock mechanics in engineering practice, Stagg, K.G. and Zienkiewicz O.C. eds., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., London, U.K., 1968, pp. 203236.
3. Dowding, H. Charles, Construction Vibrations, PrenticeHall, USA, 1996.
4. Fundamentals of Protective Design for Conventional Weapons, Technical Manual, TM5 8551, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington D.C., 1986.
5. Siskind, D.E. and Stagg, M.S., Surface Mine Blasting near Transmission Pipelines. Mining Engineering, 1994, 13571360.
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6. 
Siskind, D.E., Stagg, M.S., Wiegand, J.E., and Schulz, D.L., Surface mine blasting near pressurized transmission pipelines, USBM Report of Investigations 9523, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C., 1994. 
7. 
Hinman, E.E., Shock Response of Buried Structures Subject to Blast. Proc., ASCE 
Specialty Conf. on Struct. for Enhanced Safety and Physical Security, Arlington, VA, 

1989. 

8. 
Buslon, P.S., Explosive loading of engineering structures, E & FN SPON (imprint of Chapman & Hall, London, 1997. 
9. 
Esparza, E.D., Measurement of transient pipeline strains from underground detonations. Poc., 1986 SEM Spring Conf. On Experimental Mech., 588596. 
10. 
Drake, J.L., and Little, C.D., Ground shock from penetrating conventional weapons. Proc. Symp. on interaction of nonnuclear munitions with structures, Colorado, USA, 1983. 
11. 
Kinney, G.F., and Graham, K.J., Explosive shocks in air, SpringerVerlag, New York, 
1985. 

12. 
Pain, H.J., The Physics of Vibrations and Waves, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 1983. 
NOTATION
The following symbols are used in this paper:
Latin
c: seismic velocity D: explosive charge depth of burial f: ground shock coupling factor H: depth of top layer K: reflection coefficient n: attenuation factor P: pressure pv particle velocity ppv peak particle velocity r: horizontal distances R: path traveled by a wave rtanf: elevation difference between the structure and explosive source projected traces to the ground surface t: time v _{o}_{,}_{d} : peak particle velocity due to direct wave propagation W: quantity of equivalent TNT z: structure depth of burial
Greek
q: angle of incidence
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r: density
r c: 
impedance 
j: 
angle of the ground surface slope 
f: 
angle of transmission to the lower layer 
Subscripts
i: 
index 
t: 
total 
d: 
direct 
r: 
reflective 
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