Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Gullett, M. Philip

Committee Member

Cargile, Donald

Committee Member

Horstemeyer, F. Mark

Committee Member

Woodson, Stanley

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Detonation of an explosive charge, such as a mine or an improvised explosive device (IED) at the ground surface or buried at shallow depth in soil, can produce high airblast pressures and significant dynamic soil debris loads on an overlying or nearby structure, such as a vehicle passing over the explosive. The blast loading environment is a function of many factors including the explosive type, configuration, mass, and depth of burial, soil characteristics, and the distance between the ground surface and the structure or object. During the past several years, the US Army has focused considerable attention on developing improved methods for predicting this environment, particularly for use by vehicle/armor analysts, thereby, improving the survivability of these platforms. Research is needed to better understand the aboveground environment created by the detonation of a shallow-buried explosive in order to design adequate protective measures for an aboveground structure. Unfortunately, there is no accurate methodology for predicting these airblast and soil debris loads to support the designs. Development of the required prediction tools is hampered by lack of well controlled and documented experimental results for these complex loads. Without detailed experimental data, the numerical simulations of these loads cannot be adequately validated for the large deformation, stress, and motion gradients and the resulting interactions with structures. The focus of this research is to quantify the influence of soil properties on the aboveground environment from the detonation of a bare explosive charge resting on the soil surface or shallow-buried. In order to fully quantify the influence of soil parameters, well-controlled experiments were designed to directly measure soil debris and airblast loadings on an aboveground reaction structure due to the detonation of explosives at the surface of and shallow buried in three very different soils. The experiments were performed using specifications and strict quality controls that limited the influence of outside variables and ensured the experiments were repeatable. The experiments provided blast pressure, soil stress, and impulse data for each soil type. These data were analyzed to investigate the influence of the properties of the different soil types on the aboveground environment.



Airblast and Soil Debrie||Blast Loading||Shallow Buried Charge