An Approximate Analytical Model of Shock Waves from Underground Nuclear Explosions
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA DEPT OF PHYSICS
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We discuss an approximate analytical model for the hydrodynamic evolution of the shock front produced by an explosion in a homogeneous medium. The model assumes particular relation between the energy of the explosion, the density of the medium into which the shock wave is expanding, and the particle speed immediately behind the shock front. The assumed relation is exact at early times, when the shock wave is strong and self-similar. Comparison with numerical simulations shows that the relation remains approximately valid even at later times, when the shock wave is neither strong nor self-similar. The model allows one to investigate how the evolution of the shock wave is influenced by the properties of the ambient medium. The shock front radius vs. time curves predicted by the model agree well with numerical simulations of explosions in quartz and wet tuff and with data from four underground nuclear tests conducted in granite, basalt, and wet tuff when the official yields are assumed. Fits of the model to data from the hydrodynamic phase of these tests give yields that are within 8 of the official yields. Threshold Test Ban Treaty, hydrodynamic methods, shock waves, underground nuclear explosions.