Explosion Phenomenology in Jointed Rocks: New Insights

  1. Steven R. Taylor,
  2. Howard J. Patton and
  3. Paul G. Richards
  1. François E. Heuzé,
  2. Theodore R. Butkovich,
  3. Otis R. Walton and
  4. Denise M. Maddix

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM065p0253

Explosion Source Phenomenology

Explosion Source Phenomenology

How to Cite

Heuzé, F. E., Butkovich, T. R., Walton, O. R. and Maddix, D. M. (1991) Explosion Phenomenology in Jointed Rocks: New Insights, in Explosion Source Phenomenology (eds S. R. Taylor, H. J. Patton and P. G. Richards), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM065p0253

Author Information

  1. Earth Sciences Department, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94551-0808

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900315

Online ISBN: 9781118663820



  • Underground nuclear explosions—Detection—Congresses;
  • Seismology—Congresses


This article deals with the effects of high-explosive and nuclear explosions in rock masses. We first highlight the strong influence of geological discontinuities, such as joints and faults, on ground motion characteristics, using two examples. Then, we briefly introduce the Discrete Element method, as a new technique for numerical simulations. It is shown to be far superior to continuum-based approaches, when dealing with the dynamics of discontinuous media such as jointed rocks. Finally, we present a two-dimensional simulation of the ground effects from a generic contained nuclear explosion, which bears some similarity to the SHOAL event in granite. This calculation is intended to emphasize the influence of the near-source geology on the distribution of energy, and on the motion at various azimuths in the medium. These results are relevant to questions arising in the context of Treaty Verification by seismic means.