Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 51, Issue 8, pp 2415–2425 | Cite as

Experimental Study on the Seismic Efficiency of Rock Blasting and Its Influencing Factors

  • Xiang Xia
  • Chong Yu
  • Bo Liu
  • Yaqun Liu
  • Haibo Li
Original Paper


The seismic efficiency of a blast is the percentage of seismic energy in the total energy delivered by the explosives. It is a key indicator of the blast effects in civil engineering and seismic exploration. A method to determine seismic efficiency has been proposed based on the assumption of spherical wave radiation in an indefinite elastic medium and has been used in a series of blast tests performed at the construction site of a nuclear power plant. Analysis of the influencing factors of seismic efficiency shows that seismic efficiency increases with an increasing explosive charge and stemming length of the blastholes, while it decreases with an increasing decoupling coefficient. Generally, seismic efficiency is markedly lower in bench blasts than in paddock blasts due to free surface effects. Under any circumstances, the seismic energy only accounts for a few percent of the explosive energy. A comparison with theoretical solutions proves that the errors in the present method are low and acceptable in engineering. Therefore, some practical measures have been proposed to improve or lower the seismic efficiency according to the specific requirements of the blast operations.


Seismic efficiency Seismic energy Explosive energy Blast Rock 

List of symbols


Detonation pressure


Peak particle velocity


Velocity of detonation


Pressure decay parameter


Position angle of the monitoring point


Energy flux


Seismic efficiency


Rock density


Dimensionless P-wave travel time difference of the monitoring point


Dimensionless S-wave travel time difference of the monitoring point


Borehole radius


Charge length


Depth of the blasthole


Radial distance of the monitoring point to charge center


Radius of the explosive charge


Explosive energy


Total seismic energy


Seismic energy component relating to longitudinal waves


Seismic energy component relating to transverse waves


Longitudinal wave speed


Transverse wave speed


Radius of the spherical control surface


Area of an enclosed control surface

\( \vec{t} \)

Stress tensor

\( \vec{v} \)

Particle velocity vector



The research work has been partially funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Authorizing No. 41572307, 51779248 and 51439008). We would like to thank our colleagues for their measurement work in the field. All the support and assistance are gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Adushkin VV, Budkov AM, Kocharyan GG (2007) Features of forming an explosive fracture zone in a hard rock mass. J Min Sci 43:273–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aki K, Richards PG (1980) Quantitative seismology, vol I. Freeman Co., San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  3. Aleksandrova NI, Sher YN (1999) Effect of stemming on rock breaking with explosion of a cylindrical charge. J Min Sci 35:483–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alvarez-Vigil AE, Gonzalez-Nicieza C, Gayarre FL, Alvarez-Fernandez MI (2012) Predicting blasting propagation velocity and vibration frequency using artificial neural networks. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 55:108–116Google Scholar
  5. Bastante FG, Alejano L, Gonzalez-Cao J (2012) Predicting the extent of blast-induced damage in rock masses. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 56:44–53Google Scholar
  6. Blair DP (2007) A comparison of Heelan and exact solutions for seismic radiation from a short cylindrical charge. Geophysics 72:E33–E41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blair DP (2010) Seismic radiation from an explosive column. Geophysics 75:E55–E65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blair DP (2014) Blast vibration dependence on charge length, velocity of detonation and layered media. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 65:29–39Google Scholar
  9. Blair DP (2015) The free surface influence on blast vibration. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 77:182–191Google Scholar
  10. Blair DP, Armstrong LW (2005) The influence of burden on blast vibration. Int J Blast Fragment 5:108–129Google Scholar
  11. Blair DP, Jiang JJ (1995) Surface vibrations due to a vertical column of explosive. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 32:149–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brocher TM (2003) Detonation charge size versus coda magnitude relations in California and Nevada. Bull Seismol Soc Am 93:2089–2105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cevizci H, Ozkahraman HT (2012) The effect of blast hole stemming length to rockpile fragmentation at limestone quarries. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 53:32–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Esen S, Onederra I, Bilgin HA (2003) Modelling the size of the crushed zone around a blasthole. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 40:485–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Esen S, Souers PC, Vitello P (2005) Prediction of the non-ideal detonation performance of commercial explosives using the DeNE and JWL plus plus codes. Int J Numer Meth Eng 64:1889–1914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fogelson DE, Atchinson TC, Duvall WI (1959) Propagation of peak strain and strain energy for explosion-generated strain pulses in rock. In: Proceedings of the third US symposium on rock mechanics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, pp 271–284Google Scholar
  17. Heelan PA (1953) Radiation from a cylindrical source of finite length. Geophysics 18:685–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hinzen KG (1998) Comparison of seismic and explosive energy in five smooth blasting test rounds. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 35:957–967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Howell BF, Budenstein D (1955) Energy distribution in explosion-generated seismic pulses. Geophysics 20:33–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huerta M, Vigil MG (2006) Design, analyses, and field test of a 0.7 m conical shaped charge. Int J Impact Eng 32:1201–1213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jensen RP, Preece DS (2000) Modelling explosive/rock interaction during presplitting using ALE computational methods. J S Afr Inst Min Metall 100:23–26Google Scholar
  22. Kahriman A (2001) Prediction of practice velocity caused by blasting for an infrastructure excavation covering granite bedrock. Miner Resour Eng 10:205–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Leidig M, Bonner JL, Rath T, Murray D (2010) Quantification of ground vibration differences from well-confined single-hole explosions with variable velocity of detonation. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 47:42–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li H, Xia X, Li J, Zhao J, Liu B, Liu Y (2011) Rock damage control in bedrock blasting excavation for a nuclear power plant. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 48:210–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mikhalyuk AV, Parshukov PA (1998) Effectiveness of charges of various designs in rock blasting by a contact explosion. Combust Explos Shock Waves 34:598–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nicholls HR (1962) Coupling explosive energy to rock. Geophysics 27:305–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rai R, Singh TN (2004) A new predictor for ground vibration prediction and its comparison with other predictors. Indian J Eng Mater Sci 11:178–184Google Scholar
  28. Reamer SK, Hinzen KG, Stump BW (1992) Near source characterisation of the seismic wave field radiated from quarry blasts. Geophys J Int 110:435–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sanchidrian JA, Ouchterlony F (2017) A distribution-free description of fragmentation by blasting based on dimensional analysis. Rock Mech Rock Eng 50:781–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sanchidrian JA, Segarra P, Lopez LM (2007) Energy components in rock blasting. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 44:130–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sher EN, Aleksandrova NI (2007) Effect of borehole charge structure on the parameters of a failure zone in rocks under blasting. J Min Sci 43:409–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Spathis AT (1999) On the energy efficiency of blasting. In: Proceedings of the sixth international symposium on rock fragmentation by blasting, Johannesburg, pp 81–90Google Scholar
  33. Trivino LF, Mohanty B, Milkereit B (2012) Seismic waveforms from explosive sources located in boreholes and initiated in different directions. J Appl Geophys 87:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wei XY, Zhao ZY, Gu J (2009) Numerical simulations of rock mass damage induced by underground explosion. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 46:1206–1213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Xia X, Li HB, Li JC, Liu B, Yu C (2013) A case study on rock damage prediction and control method for underground tunnels subjected to adjacent excavation blasting. Tunnel Undergr Space Technol 35:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xia X, Li H, Niu J, Li J (2014) Experimental study on amplitude change of blast vibrations through steps and ditches. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 71:77–82Google Scholar
  37. Zhu ZM, Xie HP, Mohanty B (2008) Numerical investigation of blasting-induced damage in cylindrical rocks. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 45:111–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations