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Published October 1968 | Published
Journal Article Open

Source parameters of earthquakes, and discrimination between earthquakes and nuclear explosions


The first part of this study describes a technique by which the source parameters of an earthquake can be obtained from the spectrum of compressional waves. The source parameters defined are fault length, fracture velocity, and fault plane attitude. Two large, deep earthquakes are examined using this technique. The source parameters determined compare favorably with those obtained previously using different techniques. In the second section a method is proposed for discrimination between underground explosions and earthquakes. The technique utilizes the ratio of the spectrums of the two classes of events where the path of propagation is common to both. On the basis of the analysis of the SHOAL event and a nearby shallow earthquake it appears that the duration as determined from the spectral ratio is almost 10 times smaller for an explosion than it is for a comparable earthquake.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1968, by the Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received December 18, 1967. It is a pleasure to thank Professors Charles Archambeau and James Brune for many helpful suggestions. The use of data from Dr. Ta-Liang Teng and critical review of the manuscript by Dr. Edward Flinn are gratefully acknowledged. This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Aerospace Research, United States Air Force, under AFOSR contract AF-49(638)-1337. During a period of this research, one author (John B. Davies) held an International Business Machines scholarship.

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