Free-Field Seismic Observations from Underground Nuclear Explosions
- Steven R. Taylor,
- Howard J. Patton and
- Paul G. Richards
Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Explosion Source Phenomenology
How to Cite
Murphy, J. R. (1991) Free-Field Seismic Observations from Underground Nuclear Explosions, in Explosion Source Phenomenology (eds S. R. Taylor, H. J. Patton and P. G. Richards), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM065p0025
- Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1991
Print ISBN: 9780875900315
Online ISBN: 9781118663820
- Underground nuclear explosions—Detection—Congresses;
This paper presents a review of some of the characteristics of the ground motion measurements which have been made in the near-field of U.S. underground nuclear tests dating back to the RAINIER explosion in 1957. In particular, the complications involved in interpreting such data in terms of the seismic source characteristics of underground explosions are addressed and examples are presented which illustrate the confounding effects introduced by nonlinear medium response, source medium heterogeneity and interaction of the primary shock wave with the free surface above the shot point. On the other hand, examples are also presented which demonstrate that, despite these difficulties, the source characteristics which have been inferred from these near-field ground motion data have been shown to correlate remarkably well with the regional and teleseismic observations in some cases. Therefore, it is concluded that, although the available free-field seismic data are often incomplete and difficult to interpret, they can provide a valuable foundation for the development of seismic source models which can account for some important characteristics of the ground motion data observed from underground nuclear explosions.