pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 51–66 | Cite as

Source parameters of some presumed Semipalatinsk underground nuclear explosions

  • Ota Kulhánek


Short-period vertical-componentP-wave spectra of seven presumed Semipalatinsk underground nuclear explosions, recorded by the Swedish seismic station network, are investigated. The events considered have closely spaced foci and cover the magnitude range frommb=5.5 tomb=6.6. Spectra of six of these explosions show pronounced minima, varying from about 1.5 to 1.8 cps, which could be explained as principle minima due toP-pP interference. Supposing a nearsurfaceP-wave velocity at the test area of 4 km/sec, the shot depths are estimated to vary roughly from 750 to 1350 m. In order to obtain an estimate of the yield, the observed spectra are compared withHaskell's theoretical source spectra. For four events, relative yield estimates fit well the predicted values for explosions fired in a granitic medium. The behaviour of the remaining three explosions is discussed in detail.


Station Network Seismic Station Test Area Source Parameter Relative Yield 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ota Kulhánek
    • 1
  1. 1.Seismological InstituteUppsala 1Sweden

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