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Title: The Prospect of using Three-Dimensional Earth Models To Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Ground Motion Hazard Assessment

Abstract

The last ten years have brought rapid growth in the development and use of three-dimensional (3D) seismic models of Earth structure at crustal, regional and global scales. In order to explore the potential for 3D seismic models to contribute to important societal applications, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) hosted a 'Workshop on Multi-Resolution 3D Earth Models to Predict Key Observables in Seismic Monitoring and Related Fields' on June 6 and 7, 2007 in Berkeley, California. The workshop brought together academic, government and industry leaders in the research programs developing 3D seismic models and methods for the nuclear explosion monitoring and seismic ground motion hazard communities. The workshop was designed to assess the current state of work in 3D seismology and to discuss a path forward for determining if and how 3D Earth models and techniques can be used to achieve measurable increases in our capabilities for monitoring underground nuclear explosions and characterizing seismic ground motion hazards. This paper highlights some of the presentations, issues, and discussions at the workshop and proposes two specific paths by which to begin quantifying the potential contribution of progressively refined 3D seismic models in critical applied arenas. Seismic monitoring agencies are tasked with detection, location,more » and characterization of seismic activity in near real time. In the case of nuclear explosion monitoring or seismic hazard, decisions to further investigate a suspect event or to launch disaster relief efforts may rely heavily on real-time analysis and results. Because these are weighty decisions, monitoring agencies are regularly called upon to meticulously document and justify every aspect of their monitoring system. In order to meet this level of scrutiny and maintain operational robustness requirements, only mature technologies are considered for operational monitoring systems, and operational technology necessarily lags contemporary research. Current monitoring practice is to use relatively simple Earth models that generally afford analytical prediction of seismic observables (see Examples of Current Monitoring Practice below). Empirical relationships or corrections to predictions are often used to account for unmodeled phenomena, such as the generation of S-waves from explosions or the effect of 3-dimensional Earth structure on wave propagation. This approach produces fast and accurate predictions in areas where empirical observations are available. However, accuracy may diminish away from empirical data. Further, much of the physics is wrapped into an empirical relationship or correction, which limits the ability to fully understand the physical processes underlying the seismic observation. Every generation of seismology researchers works toward quantitative results, with leaders who are active at or near the forefront of what has been computationally possible. While recognizing that only a 3-dimensional model can capture the full physics of seismic wave generation and propagation in the Earth, computational seismology has, until recently, been limited to simplifying model parameterizations (e.g. 1D Earth models) that lead to efficient algorithms. What is different today is the fact that the largest and fastest machines are at last capable of evaluating the effects of generalized 3D Earth structure, at levels of detail that improve significantly over past efforts, with potentially wide application. Advances in numerical methods to compute travel times and complete seismograms for 3D models are enabling new ways to interpret available data. This includes algorithms such as the Fast Marching Method (Rawlison and Sambridge, 2004) for travel time calculations and full waveform methods such as the spectral element method (SEM; Komatitsch et al., 2002, Tromp et al., 2005), higher order Galerkin methods (Kaser and Dumbser, 2006; Dumbser and Kaser, 2006) and advances in more traditional Cartesian finite difference methods (e.g. Pitarka, 1999; Nilsson et al., 2007). The ability to compute seismic observables using a 3D model is only half of the challenge; models must be developed that accurately represent true Earth structure. Indeed, advances in seismic imaging have followed improvements in 3D computing capability (e.g. Tromp et al., 2005; Rawlinson and Urvoy, 2006). Advances in seismic imaging methods have been fueled in part by theoretical developments and the introduction of novel approaches for combining different seismological observables, both of which can increase the sensitivity of observations to Earth structure. Examples of such developments are finite-frequency sensitivity kernels for body-wave tomography (e.g. Marquering et al., 1998; Montelli et al., 2004) and joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave group velocities (e.g. Julia et al., 2000).« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
950637
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-408914
TRN: US200910%%282
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Seismological Research Letters, vol. 80, N/A, January 30, 2009, pp. 31-39; Journal Volume: 80
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; ACCURACY; ALGORITHMS; DETECTION; EXPLOSIONS; FINITE DIFFERENCE METHOD; GROUND MOTION; KERNELS; MONITORING; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; PHYSICS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; S WAVES; SEISMIC WAVES; SEISMOLOGY; SENSITIVITY; TOMOGRAPHY; WAVE FORMS; WAVE PROPAGATION

Citation Formats

Zucca, J J, Walter, W R, Rodgers, A J, Richards, P, Pasyanos, M E, Myers, S C, Lay, T, Harris, D, and Antoun, T. The Prospect of using Three-Dimensional Earth Models To Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Ground Motion Hazard Assessment. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Zucca, J J, Walter, W R, Rodgers, A J, Richards, P, Pasyanos, M E, Myers, S C, Lay, T, Harris, D, & Antoun, T. The Prospect of using Three-Dimensional Earth Models To Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Ground Motion Hazard Assessment. United States.
Zucca, J J, Walter, W R, Rodgers, A J, Richards, P, Pasyanos, M E, Myers, S C, Lay, T, Harris, D, and Antoun, T. 2008. "The Prospect of using Three-Dimensional Earth Models To Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Ground Motion Hazard Assessment". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/950637.
@article{osti_950637,
title = {The Prospect of using Three-Dimensional Earth Models To Improve Nuclear Explosion Monitoring and Ground Motion Hazard Assessment},
author = {Zucca, J J and Walter, W R and Rodgers, A J and Richards, P and Pasyanos, M E and Myers, S C and Lay, T and Harris, D and Antoun, T},
abstractNote = {The last ten years have brought rapid growth in the development and use of three-dimensional (3D) seismic models of Earth structure at crustal, regional and global scales. In order to explore the potential for 3D seismic models to contribute to important societal applications, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) hosted a 'Workshop on Multi-Resolution 3D Earth Models to Predict Key Observables in Seismic Monitoring and Related Fields' on June 6 and 7, 2007 in Berkeley, California. The workshop brought together academic, government and industry leaders in the research programs developing 3D seismic models and methods for the nuclear explosion monitoring and seismic ground motion hazard communities. The workshop was designed to assess the current state of work in 3D seismology and to discuss a path forward for determining if and how 3D Earth models and techniques can be used to achieve measurable increases in our capabilities for monitoring underground nuclear explosions and characterizing seismic ground motion hazards. This paper highlights some of the presentations, issues, and discussions at the workshop and proposes two specific paths by which to begin quantifying the potential contribution of progressively refined 3D seismic models in critical applied arenas. Seismic monitoring agencies are tasked with detection, location, and characterization of seismic activity in near real time. In the case of nuclear explosion monitoring or seismic hazard, decisions to further investigate a suspect event or to launch disaster relief efforts may rely heavily on real-time analysis and results. Because these are weighty decisions, monitoring agencies are regularly called upon to meticulously document and justify every aspect of their monitoring system. In order to meet this level of scrutiny and maintain operational robustness requirements, only mature technologies are considered for operational monitoring systems, and operational technology necessarily lags contemporary research. Current monitoring practice is to use relatively simple Earth models that generally afford analytical prediction of seismic observables (see Examples of Current Monitoring Practice below). Empirical relationships or corrections to predictions are often used to account for unmodeled phenomena, such as the generation of S-waves from explosions or the effect of 3-dimensional Earth structure on wave propagation. This approach produces fast and accurate predictions in areas where empirical observations are available. However, accuracy may diminish away from empirical data. Further, much of the physics is wrapped into an empirical relationship or correction, which limits the ability to fully understand the physical processes underlying the seismic observation. Every generation of seismology researchers works toward quantitative results, with leaders who are active at or near the forefront of what has been computationally possible. While recognizing that only a 3-dimensional model can capture the full physics of seismic wave generation and propagation in the Earth, computational seismology has, until recently, been limited to simplifying model parameterizations (e.g. 1D Earth models) that lead to efficient algorithms. What is different today is the fact that the largest and fastest machines are at last capable of evaluating the effects of generalized 3D Earth structure, at levels of detail that improve significantly over past efforts, with potentially wide application. Advances in numerical methods to compute travel times and complete seismograms for 3D models are enabling new ways to interpret available data. This includes algorithms such as the Fast Marching Method (Rawlison and Sambridge, 2004) for travel time calculations and full waveform methods such as the spectral element method (SEM; Komatitsch et al., 2002, Tromp et al., 2005), higher order Galerkin methods (Kaser and Dumbser, 2006; Dumbser and Kaser, 2006) and advances in more traditional Cartesian finite difference methods (e.g. Pitarka, 1999; Nilsson et al., 2007). The ability to compute seismic observables using a 3D model is only half of the challenge; models must be developed that accurately represent true Earth structure. Indeed, advances in seismic imaging have followed improvements in 3D computing capability (e.g. Tromp et al., 2005; Rawlinson and Urvoy, 2006). Advances in seismic imaging methods have been fueled in part by theoretical developments and the introduction of novel approaches for combining different seismological observables, both of which can increase the sensitivity of observations to Earth structure. Examples of such developments are finite-frequency sensitivity kernels for body-wave tomography (e.g. Marquering et al., 1998; Montelli et al., 2004) and joint inversion of receiver functions and surface wave group velocities (e.g. Julia et al., 2000).},
doi = {},
journal = {Seismological Research Letters, vol. 80, N/A, January 30, 2009, pp. 31-39},
number = ,
volume = 80,
place = {United States},
year = 2008,
month =
}
  • The last ten years have brought rapid growth in the development and use of three-dimensional (3D) seismic models of earth structure at crustal, regional and global scales. In order to explore the potential for 3D seismic models to contribute to important societal applications, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) hosted a 'Workshop on Multi-Resolution 3D Earth Models to Predict Key Observables in Seismic Monitoring and Related Fields' on June 6 and 7, 2007 in Berkeley, California. The workshop brought together academic, government and industry leaders in the research programs developing 3D seismic models and methods for the nuclear explosion monitoring andmore » seismic ground motion hazard communities. The workshop was designed to assess the current state of work in 3D seismology and to discuss a path forward for determining if and how 3D earth models and techniques can be used to achieve measurable increases in our capabilities for monitoring underground nuclear explosions and characterizing seismic ground motion hazards. This paper highlights some of the presentations, issues, and discussions at the workshop and proposes a path by which to begin quantifying the potential contribution of progressively refined 3D seismic models in critical applied arenas.« less
  • The development of accurate numerical methods to simulate wave propagation in three-dimensional (3D) earth models and advances in computational power offer exciting possibilities for modeling the motions excited by underground nuclear explosions. This presentation will describe recent work to use new numerical techniques and parallel computing to model earthquakes and underground explosions to improve understanding of the wave excitation at the source and path-propagation effects. Firstly, we are using the spectral element method (SEM, SPECFEM3D code of Komatitsch and Tromp, 2002) to model earthquakes and explosions at regional distances using available 3D models. SPECFEM3D simulates anelastic wave propagation in fullymore » 3D earth models in spherical geometry with the ability to account for free surface topography, anisotropy, ellipticity, rotation and gravity. Results show in many cases that 3D models are able to reproduce features of the observed seismograms that arise from path-propagation effects (e.g. enhanced surface wave dispersion, refraction, amplitude variations from focusing and defocusing, tangential component energy from isotropic sources). We are currently investigating the ability of different 3D models to predict path-specific seismograms as a function of frequency. A number of models developed using a variety of methodologies are available for testing. These include the WENA/Unified model of Eurasia (e.g. Pasyanos et al 2004), the global CUB 2.0 model (Shapiro and Ritzwoller, 2002), the partitioned waveform model for the Mediterranean (van der Lee et al., 2007) and stochastic models of the Yellow Sea Korean Peninsula region (Pasyanos et al., 2006). Secondly, we are extending our Cartesian anelastic finite difference code (WPP of Nilsson et al., 2007) to model the effects of free-surface topography. WPP models anelastic wave propagation in fully 3D earth models using mesh refinement to increase computational speed and improve memory efficiency. Thirdly, we are modeling non-linear near-source shock wave propagation with GEODYN, an Eulerian Godunov finite-difference code (Antoun et al., 2001). This code accounts for shock wave propagation and a variety of effects including cavity formation, rock fracture and plastic deformation. We are exploring the coupling of GEODYN to WPP to propagate motions from the near-source (non-linear) region to the (linear anelastic) region where seismic observations are made at local, regional and teleseismic distances. This effort has just begun and we show preliminary results in this paper (with more to follow in our poster). These simulation tools are supported by massively parallel computers operated by Livermore Computing.« less
  • This paper describes new research being performed to improve understanding of seismic waves generated by underground nuclear explosions (UNE) by using full waveform simulation, high-performance computing and three-dimensional (3D) earth models. The goal of this effort is to develop an end-to-end modeling capability to cover the range of wave propagation required for nuclear explosion monitoring (NEM) from the buried nuclear device to the seismic sensor. The goal of this work is to improve understanding of the physical basis and prediction capabilities of seismic observables for NEM including source and path-propagation effects. We are pursuing research along three main thrusts. Firstly,more » we are modeling the non-linear hydrodynamic response of geologic materials to underground explosions in order to better understand how source emplacement conditions impact the seismic waves that emerge from the source region and are ultimately observed hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Empirical evidence shows that the amplitudes and frequency content of seismic waves at all distances are strongly impacted by the physical properties of the source region (e.g. density, strength, porosity). To model the near-source shock-wave motions of an UNE, we use GEODYN, an Eulerian Godunov (finite volume) code incorporating thermodynamically consistent non-linear constitutive relations, including cavity formation, yielding, porous compaction, tensile failure, bulking and damage. In order to propagate motions to seismic distances we are developing a one-way coupling method to pass motions to WPP (a Cartesian anelastic finite difference code). Preliminary investigations of UNE's in canonical materials (granite, tuff and alluvium) confirm that emplacement conditions have a strong effect on seismic amplitudes and the generation of shear waves. Specifically, we find that motions from an explosion in high-strength, low-porosity granite have high compressional wave amplitudes and weak shear waves, while an explosion in low strength, high-porosity alluvium results in much weaker compressional waves and low-frequency compressional and shear waves of nearly equal amplitude. Further work will attempt to model available near-field seismic data from explosions conducted at NTS, where we have accurate characterization of the sub-surface from the wealth of geological and geophysical data from the former nuclear test program. Secondly, we are modeling seismic wave propagation with free-surface topography in WPP. We have model the October 9, 2006 and May 25, 2009 North Korean nuclear tests to investigate the impact of rugged topography on seismic waves. Preliminary results indicate that the topographic relief causes complexity in the direct P-waves that leads to azimuthally dependent behavior and the topographic gradient to the northeast, east and southeast of the presumed test locations generate stronger shear-waves, although each test gives a different pattern. Thirdly, we are modeling intermediate period motions (10-50 seconds) from earthquakes and explosions at regional distances. For these simulations we run SPECFEM3D{_}GLOBE (a spherical geometry spectral element code). We modeled broadband waveforms from well-characterized and well-observed events in the Middle East and central Asia, as well as the North Korean nuclear tests. For the recent North Korean test we found that the one-dimensional iasp91 model predicts the observed waveforms quite well in the band 20-50 seconds, while waveform fits for available 3D earth models are generally poor, with some exceptions. Interestingly 3D models can predict energy on the transverse component for an isotropic source presumably due to surface wave mode conversion and/or multipathing.« less
  • Efforts to update current wave speed models of the Middle East require a thoroughly tested database of sources and recordings. Recordings of seismic waves traversing the region from Tibet to the Red Sea will be the principal metric in guiding improvements to the current wave speed model. Precise characterizations of the earthquakes, specifically depths and faulting mechanisms, are essential to avoid mapping source errors into the refined wave speed model. Errors associated with the source are manifested in amplitude and phase changes. Source depths and paths near nodal planes are particularly error prone as small changes may severely affect themore » resulting wavefield. Once sources are quantified, regions requiring refinement will be highlighted using adjoint tomography methods based on spectral element simulations [Komatitsch and Tromp (1999)]. An initial database of 250 regional Middle Eastern events from 1990-2007, was inverted for depth and focal mechanism using teleseismic arrivals [Kikuchi and Kanamori (1982)] and regional surface and body waves [Zhao and Helmberger (1994)]. From this initial database, we reinterpreted a large, well recorded subset of 201 events through a direct comparison between data and synthetics based upon a centroid moment tensor inversion [Liu et al. (2004)]. Evaluation was done using both a 1D reference model [Dziewonski and Anderson (1981)] at periods greater than 80 seconds and a 3D model [Kustowski et al. (2008)] at periods of 25 seconds and longer. The final source reinterpretations will be within the 3D model, as this is the initial starting point for the adjoint tomography. Transitioning from a 1D to 3D wave speed model shows dramatic improvements when comparisons are done at shorter periods, (25 s). Synthetics from the 1D model were created through mode summations while those from the 3D simulations were created using the spectral element method. To further assess errors in source depth and focal mechanism, comparisons between the three methods were made. These comparisons help to identify problematic stations and sources which may bias the final solution. Estimates of standard errors were generated for each event's source depth and focal mechanism to identify poorly constrained events. A final, well characterized set of sources and stations will be then used to iteratively improve the wave speed model of the Middle East. After a few iterations during the adjoint inversion process, the sources will be reexamined and relocated to further reduce mapping of source errors into structural features. Finally, efforts continue in developing the infrastructure required to 'quickly' generate event kernels at the n-th iteration and invert for a new, (n+1)-th, wave speed model of the Middle East. While development of the infrastructure proceeds, initial tests using a limited number of events shows the 3D model, while showing vast improvement compared to the 1D model, still requires substantial modifications. Employing our new, full source set and iterating the adjoint inversions at successively shorter periods will lead to significant changes and refined wave speed structures of the Middle East.« less