Abstract

A large number of seismograph records from nuclear explosions in the Nevada and Pacific Island proving grounds have been collected and analyzed. The Nevada explosions were well recorded to distances of 6°.5 (450 mi.) and weakly recorded as far as 17°.5, and under favorable circumstances as far as 34°. The Pacific explosions had world-wide recording except that regional data were necessarily meager.

The Nevada data confirm that the crustal thickness in the area is about 35 km., with associations of 6.1 km/sec. speeds in the crust and 8.0 to 8.2 km/sec. speeds beneath it. They indicate that there is no uniform layering in the crust, and that if higher-speed media do exist, they are not consistent; also, that the crust between the proving grounds and central California shows a thickening probably as high as 70 or 75 km., and that this thickened portion may extend beneath the Owens Valley. The data also point to a discontinuity at postulated depths of 160 to 185 km.

Pacific travel times out to 14° are from 4 to 8 sec. earlier than similar continental data partly because of a thinner crust, 17 km. or less, under the atolls and partly because speeds in the top of the mantle are more nearly 8.15 km/sec. than 8.0 km/sec. More distant points, at 17°.5 and 18°.5, indicate slower travel times—about 8.1 km/sec. A fairly sharp discontinuity at 19° in the travel-time data is indicated. Travel times from Pacific sources to North America follow closely Jeffreys-Bullen 1948 and Gutenberg 1953 travel-time curves for surface foci except they are about 2 sec. earlier on the continent, and Arctic and Pacific basin data are about 2 sec. still earlier. The core reflection PcP shows a strong variation in amplitude with slight changes in distance at two points where sufficient data were available.

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