Mark Trimble, P. G.

Area Manager

Mark’s geographic area of responsibility includes most of West Virginia, large parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia, and occasionally Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He specializes in blasting seismology and industrial seismology, has experience in forensic geology and investigation of the effects of geologic hazards and natural occurrences on man-made structures and landforms/features, and has researched the effects of vibration on buildings, groundwater and man-made structures.

In thousands of cases, Mark has inspected and documented conditions and defects in man-made structures and landforms, prior to and after vibration episodes from events such as blasting, pile driving, demolition and other vibration-producing operations. He has investigated hundreds of claims of damage to structures and landforms alleged to have resulted from vibration due to blasting, pile driving, compaction, equipment and/or machinery operation, and also from earth movement and other naturally occurring environmental forces. He has also conducted groundwater monitoring and investigations before, during and after vibration events.

Mark’s expertise includes operating seismographs and recording and interpreting seismic events, as well as operating and interpreting results from octave band analyzers and other precision sound measurement. He also identifies and expands applications for remote environmental monitoring (vibration, water, dust, sound, etc.) installations that use earth-orbiting satellites for operation and data transfer. Additionally, he does occasional field geology and hydrology.

Mark provides vibration consulting to mines, quarries, construction, and operations that use explosives and produce vibration, as well as to property/structure owners subjected to vibration.

Mark also has nearly 30 years of experience in expert legal testimony and has been involved in many cases resulting in a verdict for the defendant. His experience in construction, quarrying, and mining cases includes testimony on claimed damage to structures, water supplies, and other personal property, as well as the likelihood of the effects of environmental events on property.

As an Operation Engineer with Geophysical Service, Inc. (GSI) of Dallas, Texas, Mark operated seismographic equipment and conducted the collection, analysis and interpretation of seismic records used in prospecting for oil and gas.


Education:

  • BS, Geology, California University of Pennsylvania, 1979, with additional coursework in Management of Non-Renewable Resources
  • Many courses and seminars offered by professional societies, state and federal agencies, in physics, seismology, geology, blasting, etc., as well as classes at Permian Basin Graduate Center in Midland, Texas, West Virginia State College, and West Virginia University

Professional Registration:

  • Certified Professional Geologist #7609, American Institute of Professional Geologists
  • Licensed Professional Geologist #PG-002450-G (Pennsylvania)
  • Licensed Blaster, 1987 – 2004, and Certified Blaster, 1987 – 2002 (West Virginia)
  • Certified by the WVDEP as an instructor in the Blaster Certification Program and was an instructor in the first training session that led to the first class of certified blasters
  • Approved as a pre-blast inspector by WVDEP/Office of Explosives and Blasting

Professional Memberships:

  • Member, American Institute of Professional Geologists
  • Member, International Society of Explosives Engineers; elected director of the newly formed Mountaineer Chapter, 1995

Professional Experience:

Mark is currently Area Manager for the West Virginia office of Vibra-Tech Engineers, Inc. His past experience has involved being a major contributor in developing the first blaster training program and training course for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), used for examination and licensing of blasters in West Virginia. He also participated with WVDEP in the legislative rule-making and policy-writing process for blasting and effects of blasting during creation of the Office of Explosives and Blasting within the Department of Environmental Protection in 1999. His further experience has involved him in blaster training for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. During the early 1990s he conducted vibration monitoring as part of the U.S. government’s nuclear test ban treaty verification project. Additional past work experience led him to be chosen to act as chaperone and consultant to a large delegation from the Petroleum Corporation of the People’s Republic of China (PCPRC), including the PCPRC’s vice president, offering instruction and advice during their six-week observation of geophysical exploration methods conducted by GSI in locations in Texas and New Mexico. Mark is a Cub Scout leader and BSA-certified instructor in shooting sports. He coached little league basketball and YMCA basketball for many years, and is a leader in a church youth organization involved in feeding the needy and repairing the homes of the low-income, handicapped, and otherwise disadvantaged.


Publications:

  • Authored “Basic Seismology for the Blaster”, which was used in a workshop as part of the Mine Blasting Safety and Application Seminar held in January 1989 at the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Mine Health and Safety academy in Beckley, West Virginia and presented at other gatherings across the nation
  • Authored many trade magazine articles, including regularly providing the guest editorial for Coal People Magazine’s annual special editions on blasting in the coal industry
  • Conducted a six-month research project in 2002 on the effects of close-in blasting (higher than typical vibration levels) on a residential structure and associated domestic water supply; presented results at various meetings, including blaster training classes, the Pennsylvania Drilling and Blasting Conference, and the Kentucky Blasting Conference