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PEPP 2002 Project

Collaborative Study: Clay County Mine Blasts
Detected in Floyd County

Robert Rollings (Floyd Central HS) and Jeff Sayers (Northview HS)

Scientific Objective

Local subsurface geological structural irregularities might influence transmission speed and attenuation characteristics of shock waves transmitted through southern Indiana; and, conversely, characteristic wave propagation behavior might help better define subsurface structural details of southern Indiana. To explore these phenomena, a study of Clay County quarry blasts and associated shock waves detected in Floyd County is proposed.

Educational Objective

This project involves high school students in a collaborative, continuing, scientific research activity which, while falling within the constraints of student time and expertise, permits students to experience firsthand the process of scientific research. This project addresses the Indiana Academic Standards covering the two supporting themes of The Nature of Science and Technology and Scientific Thinking. Although Indiana Standards anticipate only the modeling of scientific processes, this project specifically engages students firsthand in “scientific investigation through inquiries, fieldwork, and lab work.” Additionally, this project provides a realistic framework for scientific collaboration because it necessitates the interaction of students at remotely located schools in Clay county and Floyd County (Northview and Floyd Central).

Project Description


Floyd Central High School in Floyd County is located somewhat remotely from local quarry activity. The daily seismic record at Floyd Central is thus not generally ornamented with quarry blast disturbances which are nearly as noticeable as seismic events. Northview High School by contrast is located considerably closer to working quarries and thus receives numerous shock records of local mine blasts. Floyd Central has an advantageously quiet background signature from its seismometer, which allows it when alerted to identify otherwise obscure shocks from large quarry blasts in counties northward including Lawrence, Monroe, Owen, and Clay. Smaller quarry blasts can also often be detected if Floyd Central is alerted to an event time and appropriately filters its raw data archived in hourly seismic files. Selected high school students will be chosen for this volunteer project by sponsor teachers Bob Rollings (Floyd Central) and Jeff Sayers (Northview).

Data Collection:



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