Acoustic waves are widely used to characterize explosive sources such as volcanoes, meteorites, and controlled explosions. This study examines the potential role of ground coupled airwaves (GCA), which effectively propagate at acoustic speeds (∼0.34 km/s) before coupling to the ground near seismometers, in aiding local discrimination between low‐yield explosions in shallow boreholes and earthquakes. GCA generated by shallow borehole explosions from the 2014 imaging magma under St. Helens experiment (ML 0.9–2.3) and earthquakes (ML 2–3.4) from 2014 to 2016, were recorded by various seismometers at <150 km source–receiver distance. Potential GCA are analyzed using arrays of broadband seismometers (number of seismometers, n = 85), nodal seismometers with 10‐Hz geophones atop the surface (n = 904), and Texan dataloggers with shallowly buried 4.5‐Hz geophones (n = 2535). Array‐based detections are defined using the distributions of short‐time average over long‐time average functions in time windows during and adjacent to the predicted GCA arrival for direct source–receiver transmission. GCA are detected for 14 of 23 borehole explosions and 0 of 34 earthquakes. All detections occurred during times of low‐mean wind speed (<0.5 m/s) at ground‐based weather stations. GCA amplitudes exhibit strong spatial variability, and the number of spatially distributed receivers appears more important for GCA detection than the type of seismometer installation. GCA detections were compared with seismic P/S amplitude ratios, which are a common source discriminant, and field logs of whether the borehole explosions ejected any mass or deformed the surface. No clear correlation was found with either type of source information, suggesting that heterogeneous propagation and near‐receiver effects like wind noise are more influential than variations in source processes among the 23 explosions. Our results indicate that local seismic detection of GCA may valuably complement discrimination metrics like P/S ratios, with a low tendency for false‐positive indications of explosions but a high tendency for false negatives.

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