Overview of the 2009 and 2011 Sayarim Infrasound Calibration Experiments
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume 118, Issue 12, pages 6122–6143, 27 June 2013
How to Cite
2013), Overview of the 2009 and 2011 Sayarim Infrasound Calibration Experiments, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 6122–6143, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50398., et al. (
- Issue published online: 23 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 11 APR 2013 01:02PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 5 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 13 DEC 2012
- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Grant Number: W9113M-06-C-0029
- acoustic propagation;
 Three large-scale infrasound calibration experiments were conducted in 2009 and 2011 to test the International Monitoring System (IMS) infrasound network and provide ground truth data for infrasound propagation studies. Here we provide an overview of the deployment, detonation, atmospheric specifications, infrasound array observations, and propagation modeling for the experiments. The experiments at the Sayarim Military Range, Israel, had equivalent TNT yields of 96.0, 7.4, and 76.8 t of explosives on 26 August 2009, 24 January 2011, and 26 January 2011, respectively. Successful international collaboration resulted in the deployment of numerous portable infrasound arrays in the region to supplement the IMS network and increase station density. Infrasound from the detonations is detected out to ~3500 km to the northwest in 2009 and ~6300 km to the northeast in 2011, reflecting the highly anisotropic nature of long-range infrasound propagation. For 2009, the moderately strong stratospheric wind jet results in a well-predicted set of arrivals at numerous arrays to the west-northwest. A second set of arrivals is also apparent, with low celerities and high frequencies. These arrivals are not predicted by the propagation modeling and result from unresolved atmospheric features. Strong eastward tropospheric winds (up to ~70 m/s) in 2011 produce high-amplitude tropospheric arrivals recorded out to >1000 km to the east. Significant eastward stratospheric winds (up to ~80 m/s) in 2011 generate numerous stratospheric arrivals and permit the long-range detection (i.e., >1000 km). No detections are made in directions opposite the tropospheric and stratospheric wind jets for any of the explosions. Comparison of predicted transmission loss and observed infrasound arrivals gives qualitative agreement. Propagation modeling for the 2011 experiments predicts lower transmission loss in the direction of the downwind propagation compared to the 2009 experiment, consistent with the greater detection distance. Observations also suggest a more northerly component to the stratospheric winds for the 2009 experiment and less upper atmosphere attenuation. The Sayarim infrasound calibration experiments clearly demonstrate the complexity and variability of the atmosphere, and underscore the utility of large-scale calibration experiments with dense networks for better understanding infrasound propagation and detection. Additionally, they provide a rich data set for future scientific research.