The Source Phenomenology Experiment (spe) was conducted during the summer of 2003 in Arizona. Single-fired chemical shots were detonated and recorded at two locations, including a coal mine in the Black Mesa district of northern Arizona. This article reports on research into the effects of confinement on the generation of short-period, fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves (Rg), using a subset of the spe data.

Results show important differences between the Rg amplitudes of confined and unconfined explosions which must be understood to develop discriminants for mining explosions, which are an important aspect of nuclear test monitoring. Rg energy and frequency content depend on explosive weight and confinement, and unconfined explosions generate up to eight times less energy than equivalent confined explosions. For this reason, unconfined mining explosions cannot be simulated using a Mueller and Murphy (1971) source without including an empirical chemical decoupling factor. Rg chemical decoupling factors for unconfined shots vary from 0.5 to 8.2 at frequencies between 0.5 and 11 Hz.

The effects of the bench free face are evident in radiation patterns. Explosions on the topographic bench show increased spectral energies for Rg (by a factor of 1.5) at azimuths behind the bench. This suggests that a discriminant based on the relative azimuthal spectral energies of Rg may be a possibility.

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