Blasting near boulders can put you in a rocky situation, so GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech was called to monitor the situation.
Quality Aggregates requested that GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech conduct an evaluation of the potential effects of blasting vibrations on the stability of the Homewood Sandstone geologic formation of McConnells Mill State Park. Slump boulders of the Homewood Sandstone are located in an area popular with hikers and tourists. Since many of these large boulders are on slopes or overhanging, it was thought that the blasting might induce some movement of the rock. An engineering analysis was used to predict the potential for rock slippage in response to ground vibrations induced by blasting. Based on the analysis, a set of recommendations was made, including the establishment of vibration criteria and monitoring locations. Quality Aggregates also commissioned GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech to develop a sound monitoring program to prevent adverse noise effects to recreation and wildlife in the park. Sound data was collected at various monitoring locations and was used to characterize the 24/7 sound environment near the park. As part of the vibration and sound monitoring program, monthly reports were submitted to the quarry operator and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.