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Near Field and Regional Modeling of Explosions at the Degelen Test Site

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Conference paper

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Fundamental to the ability to monitor a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is a good understanding of the nuclear explosion source. Considerable research has been done on the nuclear explosion source over the past 30 years, with mixed success. Although empirical and numerical models of explosion sources do a fairly good job of matching observed seismic signals, a good explanation of the physical basis for the explosion source has been elusive. In particular, numerical models of explosion sources developed using laboratory measurements of rock properties fail to predict observed near field ground motion in hardrock. The basic problem is that the strength of the rock measured in the laboratory is much larger than the apparent strength of the rock as determined from the near field ground motion. Furthermore, additional investigation shows that 1 The strength of the rock is not initially low, but rather decreases dynamically as the shock wave passes and 2 the strength of the rock is reduced to a level well below that predicted for rubbleized rock under hydrostatic dynamic friction. Maxwell Technologies and the Institute for the Dynamics of the Geospheres IDG are in the early stages of a research program directed towards improving the capability to predict the seismic source characteristics of underground explosions in rock. This will be accomplished by development of improved dynamic failure models, constrained by a much better data set than has been available in the past. Near field waveforms are only available from a small number of U.S. nuclear tests, and until recently none have been available from the testing program of the former Soviet Union. IDG now has near field records from at least 10 nuclear explosions at the Degelen test site that will be made available for the project. IDG will also provide near source material properties measurements for all of these events.

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  • Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
  • Seismology
  • Seismic Detection and Detectors
  • Mechanics

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