Large-N Over the Source Physics Experiment (SPE) Phase I and Phase II Test Beds

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Catherine Mary Snelson1, Joshua D Carmichael1, Robert J Mellors2 and Robert E Abbott3, (1)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, NM, United States, (2)LLNL L-046, Livermore, CA, United States, (3)Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States
One of the current challenges in the field of monitoring and verification is source discrimination of low-yield nuclear explosions from background seismicity, both natural and anthropogenic. Work is underway at the Nevada National Security Site to conduct a series of chemical explosion experiments using a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary approach. The goal of this series of experiments, called the Source Physics Experiments (SPE), is to refine the understanding of the effect of earth structures on source phenomenology and energy partitioning in the source region, the transition of seismic energy from the near field to the far field, and the development of S waves observed in the far field. To fully explore these problems, the SPE series includes tests in both hard and soft rock geologic environments. The project comprises a number of activities, which range from characterizing the shallow subsurface to acquiring new explosion data from both the near field (<100 m) and the far field (>100 m). SPE includes a series of planned explosions (with different yields and depths of burials), which are conducted in the same hole and monitored by a diverse set of sensors recording characteristics of the explosions, ground-shock, seismo-acoustic energy propagation. This presentation focuses on imaging the full 3D wavefield over hard rock and soft rock test beds using a large number of seismic sensors. This overview presents statistical analyses of optimal sensor layout required to estimate wavefield discriminants and the planned deployment for the upcoming experiments. This work was conducted under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25946 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.