Accession Number:



Modeling Collapse Chimney and Spall Zone Settlement as a Source of Post-Shot Subsidence Detected by Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Ground surface subsidence resulting from the March 1992 JUNCTION underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site NTS imaged by satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry InSAR wholly occurred during a period of several months after the shot Vincent et al., 1999 and after the main cavity collapse event. A significant portion of the subsidence associated with the small less than 20 kt GALENA and DIVIDER tests probably also occurred after the shots, although the deformation detected in these cases contains additional contributions from coseismic processes, since the radar scenes used to construct the deformation interferogram bracketed these two later events. The dimensions of the areas of subsidence resulting from all three events are too large to be solely accounted for by processes confined to the damage zone in the vicinity of the shot point or the collapse chimney. Rather, the subsidence closely corresponds to the spall dimensions predicted by Pattons 1990 empirical relationship between spall radius and yield. This suggests that gravitational settlement of damaged rock within the spall zone is an important source of post-shot subsidence, in addition to settlement of the rubble within the collapse chimney. These observations illustrate the potential power of InSAR as a tool for Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty CTBT monitoring and on-site inspection in that the relatively broad approx. 100 m to 1 km subsidence signatures resulting from small shots detonated at normal depths of burial or even significantly overburied are readily detectable within large geographical areas 100 km x 100 km under favorable observing conditions. Furthermore, the present results demonstrate the flexibility of the technique in that the two routinely gathered satellite radar images used to construct the interferogram need not necessarily capture the event itself, but can cover a time period up to several months following the shot.

Subject Categories:

  • Seismology
  • Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment

Distribution Statement: