Abstract

On 10 October 2006, a mortar attack on U.S. Forward Operating Base Falcon, south of the Iraqi Capital Baghdad ammunition supply point, resulted in an ammunition “cook‐off” accompanied by numerous explosions. The explosions shook the base and damaged surrounding structures, and they were both felt by Baghdadi residents and seismically recorded at the single broadband seismometer at the Baghdad seismic observatory BHD. The mortar activity, ensuing explosions, and accompanying military activities provided a wealth of information on the nature of seismic and acoustic wave generation and propagation resulting from nearby battlefield sources. Seismic records from the observatory show a variety of waveforms that can be qualified as different types of battlefield‐related sources, including weapon rounds, mortars, rockets, mines, improvised explosive devices, vehicle‐borne improvised explosive devices, and airborne vehicles. These different kinds of military operations in urban terrain are characterized and quantified by correlating their recorded military activity with observed seismic records and various aspects of the signals’ wave propagation.

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