- Top of page
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Infrasound Arrays in South Korea
- 3. Infrasonic Signal Characteristics
- 4. Infrasonic Source Location and Energy
- 5. Conclusion and Discussion
 On 25 May 2009, a seismic event (mb 4.6) was recorded from a source in northeastern North Korea, close to the location of a previous seismic event on 9 October 2006. Both events have been declared to be nuclear tests by North Korea. For the more recent test, five seismo-acoustic arrays in South Korea recorded epicentral infrasonic signals. The signals are characterized by amplitudes from 0.16 to 0.35 microbar and dominant frequencies between 0.8 and 4.3 Hz. Celerities determined for the arrivals suggest that most of the infrasonic energy travelled as a stratospheric phase. Based on observed stratospheric amplitudes, the epicentral infrasonic energy was estimated to be equivalent to that expected from 3.0 tons of high explosives detonated on the surface. We conclude that this small energy estimate is due to the atmospheric coupling from the strong surface ground motion rather than the direct transfer of explosion energy to the air. This relatively small infrasonic to seismic energy ratio could be used to distinguish the event from a common surface explosion.