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Title: A Physical Basis for M s-Yield Scaling in Hard Rock and Implications for Late-Time Damage of the Source Medium

Surface wave magnitude M s for a compilation of 72 nuclear tests detonated in hard rock media for which yields and burial depths have been reported in the literature is shown to scale with yield W as a + b × log[W], where a = 2.50 ± 0.08 and b = 0.80 ± 0.05. While the exponent b is consistent with an M s scaling model for fully coupled, normal containment-depth explosions, the intercept a is offset 0.45 magnitude units lower than the model. The cause of offset is important to understand in terms of the explosion source. Hard rock explosions conducted in extensional and compressional stress regimes show similar offsets, an indication that the tectonic setting in which an explosion occurs plays no role causing the offset. The scaling model accounts for the effects of source medium material properties on the generation of 20-s period Rayleigh wave amplitudes. Aided by thorough characterizations of the explosion and tectonic release sources, an extensive analysis of the 1963 October 26 Shoal nuclear test detonated in granite 27 miles southeast of Fallon NV shows that the offset is consistent with the predictions of a material damage source model related to non-linear stress wavemore » interactions with the free surface. This source emits Rayleigh waves with polarity opposite to waves emitted by the explosion. The Shoal results were extended to analyse surface waves from the 1962 February 15 Hardhat nuclear test, the 1988 September 14 Soviet Joint Verification Experiment, and the anomalous 1979 August 18 northeast Balapan explosion which exhibits opposite polarity, azimuth-independent source component U1 compared to an explosion. Modelling these tests shows that Rayleigh wave amplitudes generated by the damage source are nearly as large as or larger than amplitudes from the explosion. As such, destructive interference can be drastic, introducing metastable conditions due to the sensitivity of reduced amplitudes to Rayleigh wave initial phase angles of the explosion and damage sources. This meta-stability is a likely source of scatter in M s-yield scaling observations. The agreement of observed scaling exponent b with the model suggests that the damage source strength does not vary much with yield, in contrast to explosions conducted in weak media where Ms scaling rates are greater than the model predicts, and the yield dependence of the damage source strength is significant. This difference in scaling behaviour is a consequence of source medium material properties.« less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0956-540X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Journal International
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 206; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0956-540X
Oxford University Press
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; Computational seismology; surface waves and free oscillations; seismic monitoring and test-ban treaty verification
OSTI Identifier: