Field monitoring of the ground vibrations adjacent to an onshore wind turbine foundation

Pengpeng He, Jesús González-Hurtado, Tim Newson, Hanping Hong, Melanie Postman, Sheri Molnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigations of the soil–foundation interaction behaviour of wind turbine foundations and transfer of energy from the wind to the ground have not been reported in Canada. Indeed, very few vibration monitoring studies have been conducted globally around wind farms. It has been found that turbines predominantly produce vibrations related to structural resonances and blade-passing frequencies. Energy is found to be modified with distance and is dominated by surface waves. This paper describes a study of the effect of wind–structure interaction on the behaviour of a turbine foundation and the generation of ground-based vibrations around a working commercial wind turbine in Ontario. The field monitoring system and meteorological instrumentation are described in this paper and the responses of the structure and surrounding ground due to the fluctuating wind-field are discussed. The spectral analysis shows that the higher frequency vibrations attenuate more rapidly than the lower frequency vibrations. The tilted elliptical particle motions are found to be non-Gaussian because of the non-Gaussian wind conditions. The response attenuation with distance indicates that both geometric and material attenuation may dominate the vibration attenuation in the near field and only geometric attenuation occurs in the far field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number4
Early online date2 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Foundation vibration
  • Ground vibration
  • Soil–foundation interaction
  • Wind
  • Wind turbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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