Magnetic tape recordings of short-period seismic signals from approximately 200 earthquakes and explosions were time-compressed by a factor of up to 512 to shift seismic frequencies to the audible range. These seismic data include the inhomogeneities introduced by substantial variations in the locations of sources and receivers (world-wide), propagation path length (32 to 7000 km), and source magnitude (M = 0.5 to M = 6.5). Subjects were trained with a representative set of the “seismic sounds.” Auditory experiments were conducted to determine the ability of the human auditory system to distinguish between seismic signals from earthquakes and explosions. The results of the experiments suggest that a trained listener can identify approximately two-thirds of the seismic sounds presented, where one half corresponds to chance performance.

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