Seismic moments for the first four chemical tests making up phase I of the Source Physics Experiments (SPE) are estimated from 6‐Hz Rg waves recorded along a single radial line of geophones under the assumption that the tests are pure explosions. These apparent explosion moments are compared with moments determined from the reduced displacement potential method applied to free‐field data. Light detection and ranging (lidar) observations, strong ground motions on the free surface in the vicinity of ground zero, and moment tensor inversion results are evidence that the fourth test SPE‐4P is a pure explosion, and the moments show good agreement, 8×1010  N·m for free‐field data versus 9×1010  N·m for Rg waves. In stark contrast, apparent moments for the first three tests are smaller than near‐field moments by factors of 3–4. Relative amplitudes for the three tests determined from Rg interferometry using SPE‐4P as an empirical Green’s function indicate that radiation patterns are cylindrically symmetric within a factor of 1.25 (25%). This fact assures that the apparent moments are reliable even though they were measured on just one azimuth. Spallation occurred on the first three tests, and ground‐based lidar detected permanent deformations. As such, the source medium suffered late‐time damage. Destructive interference between Rg waves radiated by explosion and damage sources will reduce amplitudes and explain why apparent moments are smaller than near‐field moments based on compressional energy emitted directly from the source.

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