On the Transportability of Ms Versus Yield Relationships

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Howard John Patton and George E Randall, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States
A physical basis for transporting magnitude (M) versus yield (W) relationships between test sites is essential for improved yield estimation. A case in point is an Ms relationship transported from the Nevada Test Site, which gives W estimates of North Korean tests roughly a factor of two larger than mb-based estimates. In order to test the performance of this relation, we transport it to Semipalatinsk (STS) where W and source media information are available. The transported Ms – W relation was developed for water-saturated tuff/rhyolite, and Rayleigh-wave generation was corrected for the effects of source medium compaction due to spall slapdown. Coupling variations with burial depth and the effects of compaction, both functions of W in tuff/rhyolite, are mitigated for shots in hard rock. As such, it is satisfying that Ms for STS shots are seen to scale similarly as the transported relation, ~0.8log[W]. However, they are offset downward by 0.4 - 0.5 magnitude units. A negative offset is consistent with the effects of tectonic release, but research has shown the inadequacy of double-couple (DC) mechanisms to improve correlations of moment magnitude Mw – W relations. Source medium properties are not a factor because larger amplitude Green’s functions in weak rock trade off with reduced source strength relative to explosions in hard rock. In this paper, the role of late-time damage due to non-linear, free-surface interactions, modeled with an Mzz source, is explored. Combining this source with DC mechanisms, we show the non-uniqueness of models to satisfy long-period surface-wave observations, and investigate overcoming this difficulty with full waveform modeling of Borovoye seismograms.