Earthquake Activity Associated with Underground Nuclear Explosions

  • Paul G. Richards
  • Göran Ekström
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASEN, volume 4)


Underground nuclear explosions often cause a release of tectonic stress in the vicinity of the shot itself, and within a few seconds of the time of the shot. The evidence for the release is found in field studies of the static deformation of the ground in the vicinity of the shot point. It sometimes appears that the shot has triggered slip on nearby fault surfaces. Evidence for tectonic release is also found in studies of the seismic waves caused by the explosion and recorded at distances up to several thousands of kilometers. It often appears as if the waveforms and their amplitudes are caused not by the explosion alone (which would be expected to radiate signals roughly equally in different directions), but by some type of earthquake faulting source superimposed on the explosion itself.


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Copyright information

© Springer-VerlagBerlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul G. Richards
    • 1
  • Göran Ekström
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesHarvard UniversityUSA

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