Abstract

The Source Physics Experiment (SPE) is a series of chemical explosions at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) with the goal of understanding seismic‐wave generation and propagation of underground explosions. To understand explosion source physics, accurate geophysical models of the SPE site are needed. Here, we utilize a large‐N seismic array deployed at the SPE phase II site to generate a shallow subsurface model of shear‐wave velocity. The deployment consists of 500 geophones and covers an area of, approximately, 2.5×2  km. The array is located in the Yucca Flat in the northeast corner of the NNSS, Nye County, Nevada. Using ambient‐noise recordings throughout the large‐N seismic array, we calculate horizontal‐to‐vertical spectral ratios (HVSRs) across the array. We obtain 2D seismic images of shear‐wave velocities across the SPE phase II site for the shallow structure of the basin. The results clearly image two significant seismic impedance interfaces at 150500 and 350600  m depth. The shallower interface relates to the contrast between Quaternary alluvium and Tertiary volcanic rocks. The deeper interface relates to the contrast between Tertiary volcanic rocks and the Paleozoic bedrock. The 2D subsurface models support and extend previous understanding of the structure of the SPE phase II site. This study shows that the HVSR method in conjunction with a large‐N seismic array is a quick and effective method for investigating shallow structures.

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