Fort Riley Noise Impacts

Noise caused by military training at Fort Riley

If you live or conduct business in and around Manhattan, you will occasionally hear and feel the noise impacts caused by military training operations at Fort Riley. Depending upon where you are in Manhattan, you will likely experience the occasional disruption of daily life by the sometimes intrusive noise caused by on-post training.

The 1st Infantry Division and the other units that call Fort Riley and the central Flint Hills region home train hard to be ready at a moment's notice to answer our nation's call. Sometimes this fast-paced training results in loud artillery, low-flying aircraft and weapons or demolition noise.

Is the ground shaking?

No. What you are hearing and feeling is the concussion wave traveling through the atmosphere coming from large arms blast noise at training areas on post. The intensity of what you hear and feel on any particular day or night is highly dependent upon:
  • Your location
  • The specific training operation being conducted
  • And the weather conditions at the time (temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity)

Large arms blast noise

Military training creates noise both day and night. The sound produced is measured in decibels (db).

Average noise level

One widely accepted descriptor of noise created by large caliber weapons and other loud blasts is the Concussion-Weighted Day-Night Level (CDNL) metric. The CDNL metric predicts average noise levels generated by large caliber weapons firing averaged over a year. This is accomplished through computerized noise modeling. A 10 db penalty is added to noise created at night to account for it being generally more annoying to the public.

Peak noise level

The single blast event peak noise metric (PK 15) predicts the peak sound level that is likely to be exceeded only 15% of the time when a single weapon is fired a single time from a particular location and meteorological conditions are conducive for transmission of the sound. PK 15 does not indicate the frequency of weapons fire, only the most frequently expected peak noise level.

Noise levels change

Noise levels change over time as training and firing locations, firing frequency, ammunition and weapons systems change. The Land Use Planning Zone (LUPZ) is an area with an average noise level (CDNL) of 57 db to 62 db. The LUPZ is a planning tool that shows areas around Fort Riley where, during periods of increased military training operations, noise levels can reach higher than 62 db. The LUPZ for Fort Riley has moved east approximately 1 mile from 2005 to 2015 as a result of the changes mentioned above.


If you are in the process of looking for a home to buy or an apartment to rent, you should be aware that the western portions of Manhattan are located within the noise exposure areas associated with military training at Fort Riley. While residential and other noise-sensitive land uses are generally compatible with the typical noise levels present in the LUPZ, the potential for increased annoyance during training operations may warrant utilization of design and structural measures during construction to reduce interior noise levels in buildings used for noise sensitive land uses such as homes, apartments, churches, schools, hospitals and nursing homes.