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Statistics on Mine Blasting and Blasting Signals in Different Regions: Preliminary Results from Russia and Kazakhstan,

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We have recently begun a project to document the numbers of mine blasts that will be detected teleseismically, and at regional distances, by seismograph networks used to monitor compliance with a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We plan to study blasting in the United States, in countries of the former Soviet Union, and in Australia, Canada, China, and Korea. Knowledge of mine blast statistics is needed in order to plan efforts in discrimination, recognizing that in general it is more difficult to tell the difference, from seismic data, between underground nuclear and chemical explosions, than between underground nuclear explosions and earthquakes. If the number of large mine blast signals is large, the effort to analyse such signals could swamp discrimination programs. So far we have acquired and analysed mine blast data from eight different areas of the former Soviet Union. We have established as a total for all these regions that only on the order of 30 blasting events per year have K energy class value of 9 or greater - corresponding to mb around 3.35 or greater. Also, the slope of the frequency-magnitude relation is much steeper for mine blasting signals, than for earthquakes the b-value is greater than 2 for blasting, and around unity for earthquakes. This latter result is good from the perspective of concern over very large blasts - because it implies there are very few such events. It also indicates that the number of blast signals rises very rapidly as one considers events with magnitude below about mb 3.25.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Mining Engineering
  • Seismology
  • Seismic Detection and Detectors
  • Nuclear Weapons

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