Seismic Instruments

, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 691–694 | Cite as

Temporal Variations of the S-Wave Attenuation Field in the Area of the Lop Nor Nuclear Test Site

  • Yu. F. KopnichevEmail author
  • I. N. Sokolova


The characteristics of the shear wave attenuation field in the area of the Lop Nor nuclear test site, China, are considered. Methods are used that analyze the relative level of Sn and Pn waves (parameter Sn/Pn) and the slope of P-coda envelopes. An Sn wave is formed by shear waves reflected from multiple boundaries in the upper mantle, while P-coda is formed by SP type conversion in the lithosphere of the source region. Twenty-six records of underground nuclear explosions (UNEs) and earthquakes obtained by station BRVK at epicentral distances of ∼1800–2000 km have been processed. It is found that from the late 1960s until the mid-1990s, the mean Sn/Pn values in the records of UNEs have substantially decreased and the slope of the P-coda envelope has increased in the area of the test site. These effects indicate an increase in S-wave attenuation in the lithosphere of the source region. A decrease in Sn/Pn with time in earthquake records for the test site region has also been observed after the termination of UNE series. Similar results were obtained earlier for the areas of the Semipalatinsk and Nevada nuclear test sites. The revealed effects are supposedly caused by deep fluid migration as a result of intensive long-term anthropogenic impact.


Lop Nor nuclear test site Sn group Р-coda S-wave attenuation deep-seated fluids 



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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Geophysical Research, Ministry of Energy of the Republic of KazakhstanAlmatyKazakhstan

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