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Ground Motion Emissions from Wind Turbines: State of the Art and Implications

Wind turbines are massive tall buildings which swing considerably above the ground, especially when they are in operation. These oscillations are composed of the eigenmodes of the whole building and the interaction of the passing blades with the tower. The oscillations are transferred into the ground by interaction of the moving foundation with the ground (soil / rock). The radiated wavefield is composed of elastic waves, conformable to seismic waves. Mainly surface waves are excited whose amplitudes decay with distance due to the geometric amplitude decay, the anelastic damping and the wave scattering, depending on the elastic properties of the rock along the propagation path. The related ground shaking is hardly felt by humans, however, sensitive high-tech instruments (electron microprobes, seismometers etc.) can be disturbed even at long distances. Thus, the knowledge about the source and propagation properties is vital to predict ground motion emissions and plan counter measurements. To enhance to development of wind energy as contribution to the exit from nuclear and fossil-fuel energy, expertise is needed to cope with the ground motion emissions of wind turbines.


Joachim Ritter, Laura Gassner
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
GeoKarlsruhe 2021