Acta Geophysica

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 344–356 | Cite as

Spectral characteristics of natural and artificial seismic events in the Lop Nor test site, China

  • Ibrahim M. Korrat
  • Ali A. Gharib
  • Kamal A. Abou EleneanEmail author
  • Hesham M. HusseinEmail author
  • Mohamed N. El Gabry
Research Article


Seismic discriminants based on the spectral seismogram and spectral magnitude techniques have been tested to discriminate between three events; a nuclear explosion which took place in Lop Nor, China with m b 6.1 and two earthquakes from the closest area with m b 5.5 and 5.3, respectively. The spectral seismogram of the three events shows that the frequency content of the nuclear explosion differs from that of the earthquakes where the P wave is richier in high frequency content in the nuclear explosion than the corresponding earthquakes. It is also observed that the energy decays more rapidly for the nuclear explosion than for the earthquakes. Furthermore, the spectral magnitudes reveal significant differences in the spectra between the nuclear explosion and the two earthquakes. The observed differences appear to be quite enough to provide a reliable discriminant. The estimated stress drop from the magnitude spectra indicates a higher stress drop of the nuclear explosion relative to the earthquakes of the same tectonic region.

Key words

spectral seismogram spectral magnitude source parameter earthquake-explosion discrimination 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abou Elenean, K., H. Hussein, A. Abu El-Ata, and E. Ibrahim (2000), Seismological aspects of the Cairo earthquake 12th October 1992, Ann. Geofis. 143, 485–503.Google Scholar
  2. Basham, W., and O. Dahlman (1988), International seismological verification. In: J. Goldbaltt and D. Cox (eds.), Nuclear Weapon Testes: Prohibition or limitation, Oxford University Press, New York, 169–189.Google Scholar
  3. Boore, D.M., and J. Boatwright (1984), Average body-wave radiation coefficients, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 94, 1615–1621.Google Scholar
  4. Borman, P., K. Klinge, and S. Wendt (2002), Data analysis and seismogram interpretation. In: P. Borman (ed.), IASPI New Manual of Seismological Observatory Practice (NMSOP), GeoForschungZentrum, Potsdam, vol. 1, ch. 11, 100 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Brune, J. (1970), Tectonic stress and the spectra of seismic shear waves from earthquakes, J. Geophys. Res. 75, 4997–5009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bukchin, B., A. Mostinsky, A. Egorkin, A. Levshin, and M. Ritzwoller (2001), Isotropic and non-isotropic components of the earthquakes and nuclear explosions on the Lop Nor test site, China, Pure and Appl. Geophys. 158, 1497–1515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chernobay, I.P., and I.P. Gabsatarova (1999), Source classification in northern Caucasus, Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 113, 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Denny, M.D., S.R. Taylor, and E.S. Vergino (1987), Investigation of mb and Ms formulas for the Western United States and their impact on the Ms:mb discriminant, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 77, 987–995.Google Scholar
  9. Dreger, D., and B. Woods (2002), Regional distance seismic moment tensor of nuclear explosions, Tectonophysics 356, 139–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duda, S.J., and T.B. Yanovskaya (1994), Calibrating functions for P-wave spectral magnitudes, Acta Geophys. Pol. 42,4, 293–306.Google Scholar
  11. Farnbach, J. (1975), The complex envelope in seismic signal analysis, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 65, 951–962.Google Scholar
  12. Fasthoff, S., and G. Lucan (1996), Introduction to spectral seismograms, Institute of Geophysics, Hamburg University, Hamburg (unpublished paper).Google Scholar
  13. Gabor, D. (1946), Theory of communication, J. Inst. Electr. Eng. III, 93, 429–457.Google Scholar
  14. Huerta-López, C.I., J. Pulliam, K.H. Stokoe, J.M. Roësset, C. Valle-Molina (2003), Spectral characteristics of earthquakes recorded on the Gulf of México seafloor and soft sediment characterization, ASME invited lecture at the Offshore Geotechnics Workshop of the 22nd Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering International Conference 06/2003, Proc. 22nd Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering 2003 Intern. Conf., paper No. 37504, 1–9.Google Scholar
  15. Hussein, H.M., K.M. Abou Elenean, E.M. Ibrahim, S. Ahmed Abou El Atta, and S.J. Duda (1998), Spectral magnitudes and source parameters for some damaging earthquakes in Egypt, Bull. IISEE 32, 1–16.Google Scholar
  16. Kaiser, D., and S.J. Duda (1988), Magnitude spectra and other source parameters for some major 1985 and 1986 earthquakes, Tectonophysics 152, 303–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kaiser, D., S.J. Duda, and D.K. Chowdhury (1996), P-wave magnitude spectra, stress drop, rupture complexities and other source parameters from broadband seismograms of three 1987 Southern California earthquakes, Geofizika 13, 1–29.Google Scholar
  18. Levshin, A.L., V.F. Pisarenko, and G.A. Pogrebinsky (1972), On a frequency-time analysis of oscillations, Ann. Geophys. 28, 211–218.Google Scholar
  19. Lyskova, E.L., T.B. Yanovskaya, and S.J. Duda (1998), Spectral characteristics of earthquakes along plate boundaries, Geofizika 15, 69–81.Google Scholar
  20. Nortmann, R., and S.J. Duda (1982b), Calibration functions for P-and SH-waves tables, Institute of Geophysics, Hamburg University, Hamburg.Google Scholar
  21. Patton, H.J. (1991), Seismic moment estimation and the scaling of the long-period explosion source spectrum. In: S.R. Taylor, H.J. Patton, and P.G. Richards (eds.), Explosion Source Phenomenology, Geophysical Monograph, Am. Geophys. Union, Washington, 65, 171–183.Google Scholar
  22. Roslov, Yu.V. (1994), Program for amplitude spectra treatment and analysis, Acta Geophys. Pol. 42,4, 315–319.Google Scholar
  23. Saul, J. (1995), A computer program (nfilter) for spectral seismogram calculation, Institute of Geophysics, Hamburg University, Hamburg.Google Scholar
  24. Stevens, J.L. (1986), Estimation of scalar moments from explosion-generated surface waves, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 76, 123–151.Google Scholar
  25. Taylor, S.R., M.D. Denny, E.S. Vergino, and R.E. Glaser (1989), Regional discrimination between NTS explosions and western U.S. earthquakes, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 79, 1142–1176.Google Scholar
  26. Wallace, T.C. (1991), Body wave observations of tectonic release. In: S.R. Taylor, H.J. Patton, and P.G. Richards (eds.), Explosion Source Phenomenology, Am. Geophys. Union, Washington 65, 161–170.Google Scholar
  27. Woods, B., S. Kedar, and D. Helmberger (1993), ML:M0 as a regional seismic discriminant, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 83, 1167–1183.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Versita 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibrahim M. Korrat
    • 1
  • Ali A. Gharib
    • 2
  • Kamal A. Abou Elenean
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hesham M. Hussein
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mohamed N. El Gabry
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceMansoura UniversityMansouraEgypt
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Astronomy and GeophysicsNRIAGHelwan, CairoEgypt
  3. 3.International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly

Personalised recommendations