Constraints on burial depth and yield of the 25 May 2009 North Korean test from hydrodynamic simulations in a granite medium
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 16, August 2011
How to Cite
2011), Constraints on burial depth and yield of the 25 May 2009 North Korean test from hydrodynamic simulations in a granite medium, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L16316, doi:10.1029/2011GL048269., , , and (
- Issue published online: 30 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 21 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Received: 25 MAY 2011
- hydrodynamic modeling;
- source scaling laws;
- yield estimation
 Yield : depth of burial (DoB) tradeoff curves (TOCs) based on seismic magnitudes of the 25 May 2009 North Korean test depend strongly on the choice of empirical cavity radius (Rc) scaling model. Ambiguities over Rc scaling, particularly at large scaled DoB (SDoB), translate into unacceptably large systematic errors on yield estimates for this test. Hydrodynamic calculations involving realistic material response models offer a viable alternative to characterize Rc scaling for a range of SDoB where limited data from past nuclear tests exist. Results of such calculations are presented for a granite medium with a material response validated by modeling four phenomenological criteria for past nuclear tests in granite (free field velocity, energy partitioning into the seismic wavefield, velocity attenuation, and measured Rc). These results unambiguously favor the Rc scaling model of Denny and Johnson (DJ91) and the TOC based on that model. Lower bounds on yield and DoB of the North Korean test are constrained by predictions of an SDoB threshold for free surface damage from 2-D simulations since no such reported damage was observed for this test. Constrained by the hydrodynamic simulations, the DJ91 model indicates the minimum yield and DoB for the 25 May 2009 North Korean test is 5.7 kilotons and 375 m.