A new seismic discriminant for earthquakes and explosions



With the spread of nuclear weapons technology, more regions of the world need to be monitored in order to verify nuclear nonproliferation and limited test-ban treaties. Seismic monitoring is the primary means to remotely sense contained underground explosions “Bolt, 1976; Dahlman and Israelson, 1977”. Both underground explosions and earthquakes generate seismic energy, which propagates through the Earth as elastic waves. The crux of the verification problem is to differentiate between the seismic signatures of explosions and earthquakes. Such identification is most difficult in countries with seismically active areas, where bombs might be detonated to blend in with the region's natural seismicity.