Abstract

One challenging task in explosion seismology is the development of physical models for explaining the generation of S waves during underground explosions. Recent analysis of ground motion from chemical explosions during the Source Physics Experiment (Pitarka et al., 2015) suggests that, although a large component of shear motion was generated directly at the source, additional scattering from heterogeneous velocity structure and topography is necessary to better match the recorded data. In our study, we used a stochastic representation of small‐scale velocity variability to produce high‐frequency scattering and to analyze its implication on shear‐motion generation during underground explosions. In our stochastic velocity model, the key parameters that affect scattering are the correlation length and the relative amplitude of velocity perturbations. Based on finite‐difference simulations of elastic wave propagation from an isotropic explosion source, we find that higher velocity perturbations result in larger shear motion, whereas the correlation length, which controls the scatterers size, affects the frequency range at which relative transverse motion is larger.

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