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The LANL/LLNL/AFTAC Black Thunder Mine Regional Mining Blast Experiment,

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Cast blasting operations associated with near surface coal recovery provide relatively large explosive sources that generate regional seismograms of interest in monitoring a CTBT. This paper describes preliminary results of a series of experiments currently being conducted at the Black Thunder Coal Mine in northeast Wyoming as part of the DOE CTBT Research and Development Program. These experiments are intended to provide an integrated set of near-source and regional seismic data for the purposes of quantifying the coupling and source characterization of the explosions. The focus of this paper is on the types of data being recovered with some preliminary implications. A companion paper Stump, 1995 discusses the mining practices in this mine and the Powder River Basin in general where the mine is located. The Black Thunder experiments are designed to assess three major questions a How many mining explosions produce seismograms at regional distances that will have to be detected, located and ultimately identified by the National Data Center and what are the waveform characteristics of these particular mining explosions b Can discrimination techniques based on empirical studies be placed on a firm physical basis so that they can be applied to other regions where we have little monitoring experience c Can large scale chemical explosions possibly mining explosions be used to calibrate source and propagation path effects to regional stations Can source depth of burial and decoupling effects be studied in such a controlled environment

Subject Categories:

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

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