How to Monitor Vibration?

Vibration monitoring is a requirement for many construction and demolition projects and in industries such as quarrying and mining, where blasting rock is a frequent occurrence.

Instantel (2001)
Instantel (2001)

Vibration can impact sensitive structures such as mechanical switches in aging railway structures or historic buildings. Vibration can also cause annoyance in the community and laws exist to limit vibration impacts beyond the boundary of a site.

Primary Sources of Vibration Include:

  • Heavy machinery (pile drivers and jackhammers)
  • Mobile plant (bulldozers and trucks)
  • Blasting operations

Vibration is transmitted from a source into the ground in waves of different frequencies and and directions.

Vibration Monitoring 101

To monitor for ground vibration, a seismograph (monitor) and geophone (sensor) are used to measure the Peak Particle Velocity (PPV),  which is defined as the maximum rate of change of ground displacement with time (inches per second).The seismograph records the PPV measured by a geo-phone at a particular monitoring location.

A geophone converts ground movement (vibrations) into a voltage that can be measured by the seismograph. Modern geophones will measure ground movement in three axes (triaxial)

Vibration Monitors Should Have the Following Features:

  • A triaxial geophone that can be mounted to a wall or floor
  • A seismograph with specifications equivalent to a Instantel Micromate
  • Histogram recording for vibration events (as determined by the project)
  • Automated data collection and reporting using cloud based software

Having these features will help comply with all types of vibration regulations.


Instantel micromate