ABSTRACT

The 12 February 2013 nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea stands out among other nuclear tests because it produced unusually large transversal motions. Previous studies found various percentages of isotropic components of the seismic moment tensor (MT), which opens up an important question about the reliability of the methods and assumptions we routinely use to recover the seismic MT in the point source approximation. Of particular interest is the data noise model that can be utilized to represent the uncertainty associated with the recorded data. If the noise is not accounted for, this may result in a range of unwanted effects such as overfitting waveform data, and, in turn, it may lead to erroneous conclusions. We thus scrutinize the analyses of the seismic MT of this explosion by performing a thorough analysis of the source depth and time utilizing newly developed Earth structure models to invert seismograms at regional distances at different frequency bands. In addition, we estimate the solution uncertainty within a hierarchical Bayesian framework that allows accounting for noise in the data. Our results show that the resulting MT of this event contains an expectedly large isotropic component (about 70%) and a dip‐slip faulting.

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