On Triggering Large Earthquakes by Underground Nuclear Explosions - Statistical Methods of Detection, Possible Mechanism and Application

  • Alec Prozorov
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASEN, volume 4)


Energy of strongest nuclear explosions is comparable to that of large earthquakes. Consequently, if we claim the possibility of triggering earthquakes by explosions we are to demonstrate such possibility for large earthquakes first. The hypothesis of interdependence of major normal earthquakes with magnitude M ≥ 8 for the first time was formulated by Benioff (1951) while he studied seismic energy release for the period of 1904–1950. Gutenberg found that annual rate of seismic energy in 1896-1906 was about three times as high as in the later period of 1907–1955. Keilis-Borok and Malinovskaya (1964) discovered, before the largest earthquakes in a region, the anomalous rise of the functional of the total area ruptured at the sources of background seismicity estimated by energy of earthquakes at 2/3 power summarized in a sliding time window. The size of the area responsible for the anomaly was several times larger than the rupture zone of the main event. The authors related the process of preparation of large earthquakes to “very large scale features of the development of the whole earth’s crust and sometimes of the uppermost mantle as well”. This approach was used later on for the development of complex algorithms of earthquake prediction by including into them such statistics of seismic regime as activity, deficit of activity, variation of seismicity, deviation from long term trend, concentration of sources and swarming (Keilis-Borok and Kossobokov, 1990, Keilis-Borok and Rotwain, 1990).


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Copyright information

© Springer-VerlagBerlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alec Prozorov
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical GeophysicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussian Federation

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