Identifying Vibration Complaints

Camera helps identify sources of vibration complaints in city of Edmonton, Canada.


The city of Edmonton has seen significant growth in recent years. In fact the 2011-2016 records show that the census metropolitan area of Edmonton overtook the national growth rate 5 years in a row with a 13.9% population growth. As the booming construction industry created new residential and commercial facilities, Edmonton’s total number of registered complaints filed with the city also grew.

Construction site in Edmonton, Canada

Situation Analysis

From 2013-2015, a total of 131,907 complaints were filed covering a wide range of nuisances, everything from pets and garbage, potholes, construction and noise to name a few. 

Directly correlated to Edmonton’s growth, was the increase in the number of active construction sites and general traffic, both being sources of vibration and complaints.

The Solution

The city’s responsibility to investigate such complaints led them in search for a suitable solution with the ability to detect and record any unwelcomed seismic activity.

Instantel’s Minimate Pro6 seismic monitor was chosen in combination with Campbell Scientific Canada’s CC5MPXFE digital camera equipped with a fisheye lens.

The Minimate Pro6 with its advanced monitoring technology, and rugged design was able to detect excessive vibrations that surpassed a pre-determined threshold level for hundreds of ground vibration occurrences. Once triggered the CC5MPXFE camera took a snapshot to pinpoint the vibration disturbance.

Industrial backhoe with bucketful of dirt

The Method

A typical ground vibration analysis consisted of two Minimate Pro geophone sensors placed in the test area; one near the road or house (depending on the complaint), and the other near the property line. The readings from each sensor were compared and if their readings were above the ‘acceptable’ threshold limit, an alarm triggered the CC5MPXFE to take a visual snapshot of the area.

The Results

The success of these installations has led the city of Edmonton to use this combined solution as part of their ongoing fleet of citywide construction surveillance. 

Now, the city of Edmonton can better address resident complaints with remedial measures that directly relate to the source of the vibration disturbances.

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Media Coverage

The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
Campbell Scientific