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Rock Mech Rock Eng (2014) 47:13071320

DOI 10.1007/s00603-013-0475-7


Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage Between Presplit

and Smooth Blasting of High Rock Slope
Yingguo Hu Wenbo Lu Ming Chen

Peng Yan Jianhua Yang

Received: 2 April 2013 / Accepted: 28 August 2013 / Published online: 14 September 2013
Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Abstract This paper focuses on the comparison of damage control suggestion for two blasting excavation
damage induced by smooth blasting and presplit blasting methods is proposed and verified based on the excavation
based on the excavation of high rock slope. The whole of the temporary shiplock slopes of the Three Gorges
damage process of the smooth blasting and presplit blasting Project in China.
excavation method is studied by using a cumulative
blasting damage numerical simulation technology based on Keywords High rock slope  Blast-induced damage 
the secondary development of the dynamic finite element Smooth blasting  Presplit blasting  Simulation
code LS-DYNA. The results demonstrate that, in the case
of contour blasting with the method of smooth blasting, the
List of Symbols
total damage of rock slope is a result of cumulated damage
k Sensitivity constant
induced by the production hole, buffering hole, and smooth
DC Compressive damage symbol
hole. Among the total damage, the blasting of the pro-
D Damage symbol
duction hole is the main resource, followed by the smooth
q Density
and buffering holes. For the presplit blasting, the final
sij Deviatoric stress tensor
damage of rock slope is mainly induced by presplit blasting
a Average crack radius
itself. The spatial distribution characteristics of the final
k Material constant
damage zone of two methods are compared. Two classes of
b Material constant
damage zone could be found in smooth blasting excava-
l Poissons ratio for damaged material
tion; one of them is the columnar high-degree damage zone
l Poissons ratio for undamaged material
around the slope surface and the other is the low-degree
epij Plastic strain tensor
damage zone located in the middle of the slope. But in the
case of presplit blasting, there is only the columnar high- G Shear modulus for damaged material
degree damage zone around the slope surface. Finally, a rij Stress tensor
Dt Tensile damage symbol
C Longitudinal wave velocity
ev Volumetric tensile strain
K von Mises equivalent stress
Y. Hu  W. Lu  M. Chen  P. Yan  J. Yang ry Yield stress
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Cd Crack density parameter
Engineering Science, WuHan University, WuHan 430072,
Peoples Republic of China
KIC Fracture toughness of the material
m Material constant
Y. Hu  W. Lu (&)  M. Chen  P. Yan  J. Yang Wp Plastic work
Key Laboratory of Rock Mechanics in Hydraulic Structural e_vmax Maximum volumetric tensile strain rate
Engineering, Ministry of Education, WuHan University, WuHan
430072, Peoples Republic of China K Bulk modulus for damaged material
e-mail: K Bulk modulus for undamaged material

1308 Y. Hu et al.

1 Introduction and Bhandari 2007; Li et al. 2011; Netherton and Stewart

2009). The worldwide practice of the excavation of large-
Blasting is a widely adopted technique in the mining and scale rock mass engineering shows that a reasonable
construction industries. The damage process in rock blast- excavation sequence and the contour blasting method has a
ing has received considerable attention over last several direct effect on the excavation quality, construction sche-
decades and its mechanism seems to be well understood dule, and excavation economy (Lu et al. 2011b; Mandal
(Khandelwal and Monjezi 2013; Onederra et al. 2013; et al. 2008; Sheng et al. 2002). The contour excavation and
Hamdi et al. 2011; Malmgren et al. 2007; Saiang and damage control of high rock slope is one of the most sig-
Nordlund 2009; Ambrosini et al. 2002). As demonstrated in nificant problems during the construction of rock mass
field experiments and numerical simulation (Martino and engineering, as illustrated in Fig. 1. To reduce the extent of
Chandler 2004; Park et al. 2009; Garca Bastante et al. BID and guarantee the quality of the slope contour surface,
2012; Wang and Shukla 2010; De 2012), damage in sur- smooth blasting and presplit blasting excavation methods
rounding rock masses is inevitably induced by a combina- are widely used in the contour excavation of high rock
tion of the effects of blasting load and stress redistribution. slope. The excavation sequence of these two methods is
The processes of blast-induced damage and fragmentations illustrated in Fig. 2. (The rows of production blasting
around a bore hole are strongly dependent on the parameters depend on the project circumstances; in the present study,
of the explosive detonation and the dynamic response of two rows was chosen as an example.)
rock (Bohloli and Hoven 2007; Hudson et al. 2009; Tripa- Based on the excavation of several huge hydropower
thy and Gupta 2002; Wang et al. 2007; Zhu et al. 2007). projects in China, such as the temporary shiplock of Three
The capability of predicting blasting-induced damage Gorges, the high rock slope of Xiluodu, the foundation of
(BID) in the surrounding rock mass is important. However, Xiaowan arch dam, and so on, experience demonstrates
the investigation of rock blasting and its effects by scaled that the two methods could both obtain satisfactory effects
or full-size experiments is very expensive and time-con- in most cases, but they have different damage control
suming. With the development of computer technology, mechanisms and the excavation effect is quite different in
numerical methods, derived from sound mechanical prin- some cases. If we want to determine the BID of the two
ciples and validated against experimental data, indicate a excavation methods, two factors must be taken into con-
promising approach to revealing the BID. In consequence, sideration: the first one is the damage induced by contour
extensive research activities in the field of blast damages blasting (smooth blasting or presplit blasting) itself and the
have taken place in recent years (Saharan and Mitri 2008; second is the cumulative effect from other blasting in the
Donze et al. 1997; Ma and An 2008; Mohammadi and excavation zone. However, few attempts have been made
Pooladi 2007; Lu et al. 2011a). Considerable efforts have to investigate the comparison of the BID of the two
been directed towards developing discontinuum, contin- blasting methods. Until recently, there is still some lack of
uum, and continuumdiscontinuum constitutive models of knowledge about the optimization for contour blasting of
the rock materials (Ning et al. 2011; Wang et al. 2007; Hao high rock slope based on the control of the BID.
et al. 2002; Saiang 2010). In the present study, a modified blasting damage model
Damage is required to be minimized even in conven- is implemented into the explicit finite element (FE) code
tional blasting in several situations, such as pit wall LS-DYNA. Then, the whole excavation processes of the
blasting, tunnel and underground chambers excavations, smooth blasting and presplit blasting methods are studied
etc. For the past many years, considerable efforts have been by using a cumulative blasting damage numerical simula-
made to study the effect of blasting on rock damage and tion technology. The distribution characteristics of the BID
also to minimize damage resulting from blasting (Rathore of the two methods are investigated and compared. Finally,

Fig. 1 Excavation design and

final contour of Xiluodu high
rock slope

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1309

(a) In the tensile-compressive damage model, tensile dam-

age is determined following the equations derived by Bu-
Initiation sequence:
Production holes Buffer holes diansky and OConnell (1976) for a random array of
Smooth holes
penny-shaped cracks in an isotropic elastic medium. The
tensile damage scalar Dt is related to the damaged Pois-
sons ratio l and the crack density parameter Cd through:
16 1  l2
Dt Cd 1
9 1  2l
where Dt is the tensile damage scalar, l represents the
degraded Poissons ratio for damaged material, and Cd is
(b) the crack density parameter.
Initiation sequence:
Production holes Buffer holes Following Grady and Kipp (1980), the crack density
Presplit holes
parameter is assumed to be proportional to the number of
cracks per unit volume N and a3, the cube of the average
crack radius in a representative volume element, as follows:
Cd Nxa3 2
where x is the proportionality constant. N is expressed as a
Weibull statistical distribution function activated by the
bulk strain ev = (ex ? ey ? ez)/3, such that:
Fig. 2 Excavation sequence of two blasting excavation methods.
a Smooth blasting excavation method. b Presplit blasting excavation N k ev m 3
where k and m are the material constants.
BID control methods of two kinds of contour blasting of The average crack radius is estimated from the nominal
high rock slope are proposed and verified based on the fragment radius for dynamic fragmentation in a brittle
excavation of the temporary shiplock slopes of the Three material as Eq. (4) (Grady 1983):
Gorges Project in China. p 2=3
1 20KIC
a 4
2 qCe_max

2 Cumulative Damage Simulation Technology where q is the mass density, C is the uniaxial wave speed,
and Finite Element Model KIC is the fracture toughness of the material, and e_vmax is
the maximum volumetric strain rate experienced by the
2.1 Tensile-Compressive Damage Model representative volume element at the fracture.
Substituting Eqs. (3) and (4) into Eq. (2), the crack
Many research works have been conducted to study the density parameter could be determined as shown in Eq. (5):
explosion-induced damage in rock mass by site monitoring  2
and numerical simulations. Continuum damage mechanics Cd k em
v 5
2 qC e_vmax
is one of the methods considered appropriate to describe
the blast damage process (Grady and Kipp 1980; Taylor An expression based on the percolation theory (Englman
et al. 1986; Yang et al. 1996; Liu and Katsabanis 1997). In and Jaeger 1987) is as follows:
the existing blasting damage models, the damage scalar  
D was defined by the extensional strain, but the compres- l l exp  b Cd 6
sive strain-induced damage was neglected. It is known that
a compressive damage zone was inevitably formed by the The value of b controls the unloading and reloading
shock wave near the blast hole (Esen et al. 2003). In our behaviors and relaxes the restriction of elastic unloading in
previous study, we proposed a tensile-compressive damage the original model according to the study of Taylor et al.
model by incorporating the compressive damage into the (1986). In the present study, b is set as 0.5.
existing damage model. The feasibility of the model is On the other hand, when the rock material is in com-
verified by comparing with four different existing blasting pression, based on the coupling principle of the strain-rate
damage models based on the cross-hole sonic test of the effect in the FurlongDavisAlme (RDA) model (Furlong
BID zone of Xiluodu high rock slope (Hu et al. 2012). et al. 1990), the compressive damage DC is expressed as:

1310 Y. Hu et al.

kW_ p numerical simulation of cumulative damage, the damage

D_ C 7 effect of the previous excavation should be cumulated in
1  Dt
the current excavation step. In the present study, the
where k is the sensitivity constant of DC which is taken to damage is recorded with historical variables hsv(i) based
be equal to 1.0 9 10-3 kg/J in this study, while the plastic on the secondary development of the LS-DYNA and
work Wp is computed by: FORTRAN program. The LS-DYNA restart capability
allows analyses to be broken down into stages. The full
Wp rij depij 8 restart technology of LS-DYNA allows the user to restart
the simulation by providing a restart file and, optionally, a
In this way, the tensile damage scalar and compressive restart input defining changes to the model, such as delet-
damage scalar are given in the model simultaneously. ing contacts, materials, elements, switching materials from
Introducing the symbol D into expressing the damage rigid to deformable, deformable to rigid, etc. The stress and
scalar and considering the biggest damage effect, the displacement etc. can be inherited by using the keywords
damage scalar can be obtained as: *STRESS_INITIALIZATION of LS-DYNA, which allows
D max Dt ; DC 9 all parts to be initialized on restart based on the results of
the previous excavation. Figure 3 shows the flow diagram
On the other hand, when the rock material is in
for the numerical simulation of the cumulative blasting
compression, the von Mises yield condition is expressed as:
damage. The circle is implemented repeatedly in every
U K2  r2y 0 10 excavation, which realizes the numerical simulations of
q cumulative damage induced by all excavation steps.
where K 32 sij sij is the von Mises equivalent stress and
ry is the yield stress. 2.3 Finite Element Model
The degraded bulk modulus and shear modulus are
defined as follows: Based on the excavation of the Xiluodu high rock slope,
K K 1  D 11 which is one of the biggest hydropower project slopes in
China, an FEM was constructed as illustrated in Fig. 4. The
3 1  2l
G K 12 excavation zone is in the region marked with the red circle.
2 1 l The height of the blasting excavation layer is 15 m. The
The constitutive relations recording the damage effect diameter of the blast holes is 90 mm. The charge structures
could be defined with Hookes law of increment as follows: of different kinds of blast holes are shown in Fig. 5. To
guarantee that the differences in the damage process is
drij Kdekk dij 2Gdeij 13 induced only by the excavation method, the smooth
where ekk and eij are the volumetric and deviatoric strains, blasting and presplit blasting excavation methods adopt the
respectively, while dij is the Kronecker delta function. same charge structure. The numerical simulation model
LS-DYNA is a well-known general-purpose commercial was finished by employing the dynamic finite element
FE code that has been developed for simulating the non- software ANSYS/LS-DYNA. The excavation region can be
linear dynamic response of structures. It provides the user divided into many identical sections. To make the numer-
with a subroutine interface to implement the user-defined ical simulation feasible and easy to implement, one section
model. Wang et al. (2007) and Ma and An (2008) imple-
mented the user-defined material model into LS-DYNA
and simulated the BID. In the present study, the tensile- Complete restart
compressive damage model is implemented with the user
subroutine interface of LS-DYNA.
Damage Record LS-DYNA

2.2 Cumulative Damage Simulation Technology User-defined

Fortran subroutine

The numerical simulation of the whole excavation process Damage Process Damage Model
is more complex than one excavation step. In every exca-
vation step, the finite element model (FEM) is modified
and the elements of rock mass excavated in the previous Ls971.exe
excavation are deleted, but the stress and displacement etc.
should be inherited. What is most important for the Fig. 3 Calculation scheme used for cumulative damage

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1311

Fig. 4 Geometry for the

numerical simulation model
based on the Xiluodu high rock 3m 1.5 3m


100 m
120 m

c b a a--Presplit/Smooth hole

b--Buffering hole

c--Production hole

Fig. 5 Schematic illustration of the charge structures

is selected to construct the FEM. The whole-model mesh

has 308,904 elements and 324,987 nodes. The symmetry Fig. 6 Finite element model (FEM) mesh of the excavation zone
boundary was employed in the vertical direction of the
plane, as shown in Figs. 4 and 6, while for the other edges
of the FEM, except for the natural surface, the transmitting
P C0 C1 l C2 l2 C3 l3 C4 C5 l C6 l2 e
boundaries were adopted to prevent the effects of reflected
waves at the edge of the region. 15
where e is the internal energy per volume. The compres-
2.4 Material Identification of Explosive and Air sion of the material is defined by the parameter l = (q/
q0) - 1, with q and q0 being the current and initial density
The JonesWilkensLee (JWL) equation of state is used of the material, respectively. As a matter of fact, the air is
here to model the pressure generated by the expansion of often modeled as an ideal gas by setting
the detonation product of the chemical explosive. It has C0 = C1 = C2 = C3 = C4 = 0 and C4 = C5 = 0.401.
been widely used in engineering calculations and can be The air mass density and initial internal energy e0 are
written as: 1.255 kg/m3 and 0.25 J/cm3, respectively.
x x xE The rock mass surrounding the blast hole is modeled
PA 1 eR1 V B 1  eR2 V with the Lagrange mesh, while the explosives and air are
R1 V R2 V V
modeled with the Euler mesh. The Arbitrary Lagrangian
Eulerian (ALE) algorithm is employed to model the fluid
where A, R1, B, R2, and x are material constants, P is the solid coupling characteristic in blasting. The command
pressure, V is the relative volume of detonation product, CONSTRAINED_LAGRANGE_IN_SOLID was used in
and E is the specific energy, with an initial value of E0. the simulation. Initiation points were defined by using the
Table 1 gives the JWL parameters for the explosive used. keywords *INITIAL_DETONATION in LS-DYNA. The
Material type 9 of LS-DYNA (*MAT_NULL) is used to coordinate and detonation time of the initiation points
calculate the pressure P from a specified EOS, which should be determined. The location of the initiation points
defines the relationship between pressure, density, and was set at the bottom of the blast holes. Explosives in these
internal energy. As for the air, the polynomial EOS is boreholes are not continuous, and the detonation time of
usually employed, in which the pressure P is expressed as: different blast holes was determined according to the

1312 Y. Hu et al.

Table 1 JonesWilkensLee (JWL) equation of state parameters of the explosive used

Density (kg/m3) VOD (m/s) PCJ (GPa) A (GPa) B (GPa) R1 R2 x E0 (GPa)

1,000 3,600 3.24 220 0.2 4.5 1.1 0.35 4.2

Table 2 Material constants and damage constants for the modified damage model
Density Elasticity Poissons Dynamic tensile Damage Damage KIC Damage Material
(kg/m3) modulus (GPa) ratio strength (MPa) constant k constant m (MN 9 m-3/2) constant k constant b

2,530 25 0.23 2 2.33 9 1024 7 0.92 0.0001 0.5

Crane beam 100

Peak particle velocity (cm/s)

PPV=59.30(Q1/3 /R) 1.227

6# r 2=0.948

Test points 7#
PPV=51.12(Q1/3 /R) 1.236

10 r 2=0.960

Blasting 4# 5# Test results

excavation numerical results

0.01 0.1 1
3# Scaled distance( kg1/3 /m)

1# 2# Fig. 8 Peak particle velocity (PPV) attenuation against scaled

distance in the rock mass

calculation based on the vibration measurement of Xiluodu

Fig. 7 Arrangement of vibration measuring points in Xiluodu high high rock slope. Figure 7 shows the arrangement of the
rock slope vibration measuring points. The numerical simulation of
blasting vibration was implemented by employing the
excavation sequence as shown in Fig. 2. The delay time of dynamic finite element software LS-DYNA. Figure 8 plots
different rows of blast holes is 30 ms. the simulated and measured attenuation of peak particle
vibration in the rock mass as a function of scaled distance
2.5 Determination of Rock and Damping Parameters from the charge center.
Damping in the model is done through the Rayleigh
In the present study, the numerical simulation was imple- classical approach by making the damping matrix equal to
mented based on the case study of the excavation of a linear combination of the mass and stiffness matrix. The
Xiluodu high rock slope. Assuming to be isotropic and result of the trial calculation demonstrates that, when val-
homogenous material, the damage constants used in the ues of mass and stiffness damping used in our case are 6.0
tensile-compressive damage model for the rock mass of and 0.000035, respectively, the simulated peak particle
basalt are listed in Table 2. The material constants such as velocity (PPV) attenuation is seen to match well with the
elastic modulus, Poissons ratio, etc. are determined test data at all the vibration measuring points. In the next
according to the geological data and field experiments. sections, the damage process of the smooth blasting
Damping determines the attenuation characteristics of excavation and presplit excavation methods are investi-
stress waves in rock mass. Whether the damping selection gated by using the damping parameters selected by cali-
is correct or not would directly affect the accuracy of the bration. The aim of this calibration stage is to achieve a
calculation results to a great extent. Appropriate damping close match between direct measurements and model pre-
parameters can be obtained by trial calculation in support dictions, and have a better understanding of the impact of
of the field measurements. In the present study, the cali- model solution and rock material input parameters on the
bration of damping parameters is implemented by trial final results.

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1313

3 The Damage Process of Smooth Blasting blasting is closer to the remaining rock mass, and after the
detonation of first production blasting, the strength of the
As discussed in the previous section, damage induced by a rock mass has been degraded, so the damage effect of
blasting excavation method should contain the contour second production blasting would be more serious.
blasting itself and other blasting in the excavation zone. Because of differences in the charge structure, the buffer
For the smooth blasting excavation method, because blasting could not induce obvious cumulative damage in
smooth blasting holes detonate after the detonation of other the remaining rock mass, smooth blasting is closest to the
blasting, this method cannot prevent the cumulative dam- remaining rock mass, and the damage effect is between
age effect from other blasting in the excavation zone. But buffer blasting and production blasting. Two classes of
considering the damage induced by contour blasting itself, damage zone could be found in the remaining rock mass;
the result may be different. Given certain rock strength and one of them distributes along the slope surface and the
blasting parameters conditions, the damage in the remain- damage degree is more than 0.8, while the other is located
ing rock mass is closely related to the peak value and in the middle of the slope and the damage degree is less
acting time of the blasting pressure. As illustrated in Fig. 9, than 0.5.
the burden of smooth holes is small, which induces the To further study the cumulative damage characteristic of
required normal stress perpendicular to the crack surface to the smooth blasting excavation method, Fig. 11 shows the
become small in the process of crack formation between damage process at points A and B shown in Fig. 4.
the adjacent holes. In addition, the compressive stress wave Four jumps can be found in the damage process of the
spreads along the radial direction to the slope free surface two points, which indicate that every blasting step induced
after detonation and then returns a tensile stress wave, damage in the remaining rock mass. The biggest damage
which accelerates the cracks formation and chamber increment is found at the step of the smooth blasting for
expansion. The crack and chamber make the detonation gas point A, while for point B, the biggest damage jump was
escape more easily, which reduce the action time of the induced by the production blasting. The results demon-
blasting load. So, by taking the damage induced by contour strate that the main damage impact factor is different in
blasting into consideration, the smooth blasting excavation different positions. The main damage-induced factor
method is very helpful for reducing the damage induced by around smooth holes is smooth blasting itself, while in the
the contour blasting itself. middle of the slope, production blasting is the main
According to the excavation sequence shown in Fig. 2, resource of total damage. Comparing the final damage
the damage process of the smooth blasting excavation degree of points A and B, the degree of damage induced
method is simulated with the cumulative damage simula- directly by smooth blasting itself is higher than that of the
tion technology. Figure 10 plots the damage distribution cumulative damage. Figure 12 plots the extent of the
corresponding to the different excavation steps. damage zone of the top face and at 5 m and 10 m depths of
It can be seen that a columnar damage area is formed the blast hole.
near the current detonation blast hole in every excavation The results reveal that the damage extent increases
step. The extent of the damage zone induced by the pro- mainly at the excavation step of production blasting and
duction blasting is much larger than that of buffer and smooth blasting at three positions. At the orifice of the blast
smooth blasting. The first production blasting has induced hole, the damage was nearly only induced by the smooth
damage in the remaining rock mass and the cumulative blasting, but at depths of 5 and 10 m, the biggest damage
damage induced by the second blasting production blasting extent increments were induced by the production blasting.
is very clear. Although the two times of production blasting The cumulative damage induced by the production and
have the same charge structure, the second production buffer blasting is more than 80 % of the final damage
extent in these positions.
The results of the damage process for the smooth
blasting excavation method prove that cumulative damage
induced by other blasting in the excavation zone could not
be neglected. The production blasting is the main cumu-
Gas escape lative damage-induced factor, the cumulative damage
effect of buffer blasting is the least significant factor, and
smooth blasting is between the two. The final damage zone
contains two different classes of region: one is induced
directly by smooth blasting and distributes along the slope
surface, the damage degree is almost more than 0.8, and the
Fig. 9 Field photograph of conventional smooth blasting extent is small; while the other is caused by the cumulative

1314 Y. Hu et al.

Fig. 10 Damage process of

every excavation step for
smooth blasting

damage and located in the middle of the slope, the damage
0.9 Point A degree is less than 0.5, but the area is large.
Damage variable D

0.8 Point B
4 The Damage Process of Presplit Blasting
0.3 As shown in Fig. 2, the presplit blasting detonates before
0.2 the production holes and buffer holes. Precracks formed by
presplit blasting can prevent the blasting stress waves being
1 2 3 4 5 induced by other blasting holes. So, considering the
Excavation step cumulative effect of other blasting in the excavation zone,
the presplit blasting excavation method has an advantage
Fig. 11 Damage development process of points A and B
compared with the smooth blasting excavation method.
However, in terms of damage in the remaining rock mass
induced by the contour blasting itself, the result would be
different. Comparing the presplit blasting and smooth
blasting holes, they have similar charge structures and
5 orifice depth of 5m depth of 10m
blasting parameters, so the peak value and rise time of the
Damage extent (m)

4 blasting load are almost the same. However, the burden of

presplit blasting is much greater than that of smooth
blasting, as shown in Fig. 13. Rock mass extrusion makes
2 the crack formation difficult and the detonation gases can
only mainly escape from the orifice of the blast hole, which
enlarges the acting time of the blasting load. So, consid-
0 ering the damage induced by the contour blast hole itself,
1 2 3 4 5
Excavation step
the presplit blasting method is not helpful for controlling
the damage in the remaining rock mass. The next section
Fig. 12 Damage process at different positions of the blast hole describes the numerical simulation of the damage process

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1315

of the presplit blasting excavation method using the induced by the contour blasting itself, as shown in Fig. 10,
cumulative damage simulation technology. Figure 14 plots the extent of high degree damage around the blast hole of
the damage distribution corresponding to the different smooth blasting is about 0.83 m, but for the presplit
excavation steps. blasting, it is 1.1 m, which is an increase by 30 % com-
As with the smooth blasting excavation method, a pared to smooth blasting. The results of the presplit
columnar damage zone is formed around the current det- blasting excavation method prove that the presplit blasting
onated blast hole in each excavation step. The BID zone can shield the cumulative damage effect of other blasting
extent of two rounds of production blasting is the largest. in the excavation zone, but the damage zone extent induced
The rock mass around the presplit blast hole is seriously by presplit blasting is bigger than that induced by the
damaged after the presplit blasting detonation and the smooth blasting itself in the smooth blasting excavation
presplit crack was formed, the stress wave induced by method.
production blasting and buffer blasting could not pass
though the presplit crack. The damage zone in the
remaining rock mass of the slope is almost only caused by
5 Comparison of the Two Blasting Excavation Methods
the presplit blasting itself. Comparing the damage zone
In order to make a further comparison between the smooth
blasting excavation and presplit blasting excavation
methods, the distribution characteristics of PPV and final
BID zone in the remaining rock mass are analyzed and
contrasted. Then, the damage control suggestion of the two
Gas escape
methods is proposed respectively.

Presplit row 5.1 Comparison of the Distribution of Blast-Induced


The isograms of the distributions of PPV induced by

Fig. 13 Field photograph of conventional presplit blasting smooth blasting and presplit blasting are plotted in Fig. 15.

Fig. 14 Damage process of

every excavation step for
presplit blasting

1316 Y. Hu et al.

5.2 Damage Characteristics in Remaining Rock

Figure 16 plots the final damage characteristics in the

remaining rock mass of the two excavation methods.
A=120 I
A=100 As can be seen, several obvious differences could be
I B=110
E G C=100
observed between the final damage of the two excavation
methods. Two types of damage could be found in the final
F=50 damage zone for smooth blasting excavation; one of them
H=50 H=30 is the columnar damage zone around the slope surface,
I=40 I=20
(cm/s) MN (cm/s) which is directly induced by smooth blasting itself. The
damage degree is almost greater than 0.8 and the extent is
(a) Smooth blasting (b) Presplit blasting
0.83 m. The other type of damage is induced by the
Fig. 15 Isograms of distributions of PPV induced by different cumulative effect of blasting in the excavation zone. It is
blasting methods located in the middle of the slope. The damage degree is
lower than 0.5 and the extent is much greater than the first
As can be seen, the general rule of PPV distribution for kind of damage. But in the presplit blasting excavation
the two blasting methods is identical overall. The hori- method, there is only a columnar damage zone around the
zontal PPV attenuates quickly with increasing distance. slope surface. The damage degree is almost greater than 0.8
The maximum value is found at the top of slope close to and the extent is 1.1 m. The disadvantage of the smooth
the blast hole and the minimum horizontal PPV occurs at excavation method is that the cumulative effect of blasting
the bottom of slope removed from the slope surface. The in the excavation zone increases to a large extent and only
biggest difference in the magnitude of the contours dis- to a low degree in the damage zone. But for the presplit
tribution for the two excavation methods is that a repeated excavation method, the disadvantage is that the extent of
high peak value zone of vibration velocity in the remaining the columnar and high degree damage zone around the
rock mass is found for the smooth blasting excavation slope surface induced by presplit blasting itself is greater.
method. The repeated high peak value zone is located in
the position of the cumulative damage zone, as marked in 5.3 BID Control of the Two Different Blasting
Fig. 16 with a red line. For the smooth blasting excavation Excavation Methods
method, because of the cumulative dynamic disturbance of
production blasting and buffer blasting, the high degree of The total damage of smooth blasting is a result of cumu-
vibration is induced repeatedly in the remaining rock mass lated damage induced by the production hole, buffering
close to the slope surface. But in terms of the presplit hole, and smooth hole. The most important impact factor of
blasting excavation method, stress waves induced by other cumulated damage in the remaining rock mass is produc-
blasting in the excavation zone could not pass through the tion blasting, so the damage control should focus on the
presplit crack and the vibration in the remaining rock mass restraint of production hole-induced damage. Studies over
is almost only induced by the presplit itself. the years have shown that the blast damage and

Fig. 16 Comparison of the final

damage distributions of the two
excavation zones

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1317

the comparison of damage induced by presplit blasting and

smooth blasting itself, it can be expected that the burden of
contour blasting could seriously impact the formation of
Cautious blasting zone the BID zone in the remaining rock mass. So, the damage
Final Slope Crest Current Crest control of presplit blasting could focus on the reduction of
the burden length of presplit holes. The sequence of pre-
split blasting was changed as follows: a part of production
Extent of Damage
blastingpresplit blastingproduction blastingbuffer
blasting. The new combination of blasting methods could
be named presplit blasting with lateral surface. Figure 18
Smooth Row illustrates the use of the method in high rock slope. The
Buffer Row Final
Production row first detonated production holes could create a new lateral
surface and reduce the length of burden of presplit holes.
Fig. 17 Damage control suggestion of smooth blasting
Then, the rock extrusion of rock mass was weakened and
the crack formation became easy, which reduces the action
underground structures due to blasting can be related to time of the blasting load and reduces the damage extent.
particle velocity. As proposed by Holmberg and Persson In the first phase of the slope excavation, presplit
(1978), comparison to a particle velocity-based damage blasting with lateral surface was used successfully in the
criteria will then yield the extent of damage. The design excavation of temporary shiplock slopes. The diameter of
principle should follow strictly that the particle velocity in the blast holes was 110 or 90 mm. When the excavation
the remaining rock mass induced by each row could not reaches the vicinity of the slopes contour surface, a lateral
exceed the damage critical value. The damage critical protection layer with a width of 58 m was reserved.
distance between each production row and the final contour Presplit blasting was implemented at the contour surface
surface can be determined (Lu and Hustrulid 2001). If the and then the lateral protect layer was fragmented by two or
design distance of each production is greater than the three rows of buffer holes. The distance between adjacent
critical distance, the damage in the remaining rock mass buffer rows was 1.5 or 2 m. The excavation sequence is
induced by production can be controlled. As shown in illustrated in Fig. 19. Because the splitting of rock mass by
Fig. 17, the region between the final production row and presplit blasting with lateral surface is easier than that of
the final contour surface could be named as the cautious presplit blasting in semi-infinite rock mass, the width of the
blasting zone, in which the buffer rows could be increased presplit crack formed was over 20 mm. Reduction of the
and the decoupling coefficient of the charge structure could effects of blast vibration induced by production and buffer
be enlarged in order to control the damage extent. holes were good. Based on the blast vibration measurement
The disadvantage of presplit blasting is that the damage of the blasting excavation of temporary shiplock slopes of
induced by presplit blasting itself is more serious than that the Three Gorges Project, the measured PPV on the slope at
of smooth blasting. The charge structure and blast hole a distance of 15 m away from the blasting contour were
parameters could be changed to reduce the peak value and controlled within 810 cm/s (Lu and Hustrulid 2001).
action time of presplit blasting as well. The air-deck charge During the second phase of the shiplock slope excava-
structure and notch holes etc. have been proved to be tion, smooth blasting technology was adopted in the for-
effective to control the damage of contour blasting (Rat- mation of the shiplocks vertical wall. Details of the
hore and Bhandari 2007; Lu and Hustrulid 2003). Based on blasting excavation design are shown in Fig. 20. The

Fig. 18 Damage control

suggestion of presplit blasting :presplit blasting :buffer blasting

:production blasting squence:

Final Slope Crest Current Crest

Extent of Damage

1318 Y. Hu et al.

Fig. 19 Excavation sequence Original ground contour

of the temporary shiplock slopes
Excavation contour
in the first phase


99 95

lateral protect layer presplit holes



84 79
69 69
Ship lift 5~8 61 Temporary ship lock
13~20 58.4 23~28.5 25

Middle-isolated pier excavation method of high rock slope was simulated by

using the tensile-compressive damage model and a cumu-
Vertical wall
lative damage simulation technology based on the sec-
ondary development of the dynamic finite element code
Buffer holes Smooth holes Production holes LS-DYNA. The results demonstrate that the final damage
Smooth holes in remaining rock mass is induced by the cumulative effect
of all blasting in the excavation zone. The damage induced
by production blasting is the most serious, while that of
Contour surface buffer blasting is the least serious, with smooth blasting in
between the two. But for the presplit blasting excavation
method, the final damage is almost only induced by the
Buffer holes
cautious blasting zone presplit blasting itself.
There are two kinds of damage that could be found in
the remaining rock mass of the smooth excavation method;
Fig. 20 Excavation sequence of the temporary shiplock slopes in the one is the columnar high degree damage zone around the
second phase slope surface, which is directly affected by smooth blast-
ing, and the other is the low degree damage zone located in
distance between each row of production holes and the the middle of the slope, which is induced by the cumulative
slope surface could not exceed the damage critical distance effect of blasting in the excavation zone. For the presplit
determined by a particle velocity-based damage criteria. excavation method, there is only a columnar high degree
The region between the final production row and the final damage zone around the slope surface, which is induced by
contour surface is the cautious blasting zone, as defined presplit blasting itself. The extent of the damage zone
in Fig. 17; three buffer rows and two smooth rows were set induced by presplit blasting itself is greater than that of the
to control the damage extent in the remaining rock mass of columnar high degree damage zone, which was induced by
the shiplocks vertical wall. Based on the above blasting smooth blasting itself.
technology and parameters, the contour surface of the In the case of smooth blasting, the design approach
shiplocks vertical wall was smooth and the half-cast ratio based on the damage criteria of particle velocity was
of smooth blasting is more than 95 %. The results of sonic introduced. For the method of presplit blasting, except for
wave velocity tests demonstrate that the depth of the BID changing the charge structure and parameters of the
zone in the remaining rock mass of the shiplock slope was explosive detonation, the method of presplit blasting with
only about 0.4 m. lateral surface was proposed to reduce the damage induced
by the presplit blasting itself.
It should be pointed out that the emphasis of this paper is
6 Conclusions and Discussions to present the differences in the damage processes of the
smooth and presplit blasting methods. The isotropic and
In the present study, the damage process of the smooth homogeneous damage model for the rock mass is employed
blasting excavation method and the presplit blasting in the numerical simulation for rock damage under blasting,

Comparison of Blast-Induced Damage 1319

while the anisotropic and inhomogeneous damage of the and Blasting Technique, New Orleans, Louisiana, February
rock mass in reality are ignored. Otherwise, the cumulative 1978. ISEE, pp 113127
Hu YG, Lu WB, Jin XH, Chen M, Yan P (2012) Numerical
blasting damage simulation technology proposed in the simulation for excavation blasting dynamic damage of rock high
present study and numerical simulation of the smooth slope. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 31(11):22042213 (in Chinese)
blasting and presplit blasting methods still provide a good Hudson JA, Backstrom A, Rutqvist J, Jing L, Backers T, Chijimatsu
reference for the BID of high rock slope excavation. M, Christiansson R, Feng X-T, Kobayashi A, Koyama T, Lee
H-S, Neretnieks I, Pan P-Z, Rinne M, Shen B-T (2009)
Characterising and modelling the excavation damaged zone in
Acknowledgments This work is supported by the Chinese National crystalline rock in the context of radioactive waste disposal.
Programs for Fundamental Research and Development (973 Program) Environ Geol 57:12751297. doi:10.1007/s00254-008-1554-z
(2011CB013501), Chinese National Science Fund for Distinguished Khandelwal M, Monjezi M (2013) Prediction of backbreak in open-pit
Young Scholars (51125037), Chinese National Natural Science blasting operations using the machine learning method. Rock
Foundation (50909077 and 51179138), and the Fundamental Mech Rock Eng 46(2):389396. doi:10.1007/s00603-012-0269-3
Research Funds for the Central Universities (2012206020205). The Li HB, Xia X, Li JC, Zhao J, Liu B, Liu YQ (2011) Rock damage
authors wish to express their thanks to all the supporters. control in bedrock blasting excavation for a nuclear power plant.
Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 48(2):210218. doi:10.1016/j.ijrmms.
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