Abstract

We investigate the regional seismic signature of the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear test. Broadband regional data for the nuclear test and a group of earthquakes close to the test site were obtained between December 2000 and November 2006. Epicentral distances from the stations to the test site are between 371 and 1153 km. We first use these regional events to calibrate the Lg-wave magnitude in the network. Then the network is used to calculate mb(Lg)=3.93 for the North Korean nuclear explosion. Using a modified fully coupled magnitude-yield relation, the yield of the North Korean nuclear test is estimated to be 0.48 kt. Because of large uncertainties in the source depth, the estimate is preliminary. The P/S-type spectral ratios Pg/Lg, Pn/Lg, and Pn/Sn are calculated for the nuclear explosion and a group of earthquakes close to the test site. At frequencies above 2 Hz, the network-averaged P/S spectral ratios clearly separate the 9 October 2006 explosion from the regional earthquakes. Our result indicates that a single-blast explosion in the North Korea region shows different seismic characteristics from an earthquake. Any well-coupled single-blast explosion detonated in this region with yield similar to that for the North Korean nuclear test has a large probability of being identified by a regional seismic network such as the one adopted in this study.

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