Geophysics - Earthquakes and Vibration monitoring

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Earthquakes and Vibration monitoring
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An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the perceptible shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can be violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.
Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers. The moment magnitude is the most common scale on which earthquakes larger than approximately 5 are reported for the entire globe. The more numerous earthquakes smaller than magnitude 5 reported by national seismological observatories are measured mostly on the local magnitude scale, also referred to as the Richter magnitude scale. These two scales are numerically similar over their range of validity. Magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes are mostly almost imperceptible or weak and magnitude 7 and over potentially cause serious damage over larger areas, depending on their depth. The largest earthquakes in historic times have been of magnitude slightly over 9, although there is no limit to the possible magnitude. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale. The shallower an earthquake, the more damage to structures it causes, all else being equal.[1]
At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity.
In its most general sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event — whether natural or caused by humans — that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.
 
 The vibration is a mechanical phenomenon whereby oscillations occur about an equilibrium point. The word comes from Latin vibrationem ("shaking, brandishing") The oscillations may be periodic, such as the motion of a pendulum—orrandom, such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road.
Vibration can be desirable: for example, the motion of a tuning fork, the reed in a woodwind instrument or harmonica, amobile phone, or the cone of a loudspeaker.
In many cases, however, vibration is undesirable, wasting energy and creating unwanted sound. For example, the vibrational motions of engines, electric motors, or any mechanical device in operation are typically unwanted. Such vibrations could be caused by imbalances in the rotating parts, uneven friction, or the meshing of gear teeth. Careful designs usually minimize unwanted vibrations.
The studies of sound and vibration are closely related. Sound, or pressure waves, are generated by vibrating structures (e.g. vocal cords); these pressure waves can also induce the vibration of structures (e.g. ear drum). Hence, attempts to reduce noise are often related to issues of vibration.
Vibration Analysis (VA), applied in an industrial or maintenance environment aims to reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime by detecting equipment faults.[3][4] VA is a key component of a Condition Monitoring (CM) program, and is often referred to as Predictive Maintenance (PdM).[5] Most commonly VA is used to detect faults in rotating equipment (Fans, Motors, Pumps, and Gearboxes etc.) such as Unbalance, Misalignment, rolling element bearing faults and resonance conditions.
VA can use the units of Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration displayed as a Time Waveform (TWF), but most commonly the spectrum is used, derived from a Fast Fourier Transform of the TWF. The vibration spectrum provides important frequency information that can pinpoint the faulty component.
The fundamentals of vibration analysis can be understood by studying the simple mass–spring–damper model. 
 



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