The ground vibration generated from pile driving, could cause disturbances to adjacent structures and also disrupt the operation of nearby sensitive equipment. Raleigh waves that propagate in a zone close to the ground surface carries most of the vibration energy affecting near by structures. Trenches open or filled (wave barriers) are often used in engineering practice to reduce the ground vibrations caused by propagating surface (Rayleigh) waves of relatively small wavelengths. The measurement of ground vibrations during prototype pile driving at a site in Chennai was carried out. The analysis was carried using a finite element code, PLAXIS, to study the ground vibration with and without trenches during driving of steel casing with bottom shoe. This paper presents the Peak Particle Acceleration (PPA) of ground measured from prototype pile driving were compared with analytical results. This paper present the results of Finite Element (FE) analysis of concrete trench for effectiveness of screening of vertically polarized Rayleigh waves. Finite element analysis was also carried out to study the effect of parameters such as trench dimension, location of trench from the piling and strength of concrete trenches on ground vibration. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008.