Mine seismicity and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

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Description

Surface and underground mining operations generate seismic ground motions which are created by chemical explosions and ground failures. It may come as a surprise to some that the ground failures (coal bumps, first caves, pillar collapses, rockbursts, etc.) can send signals whose magnitudes are as strong or stronger than those from any mining blast. A verification system that includes seismic, infrasound, hydroacoustic and radionuclide sensors is being completed as part of the CTBT. The largest mine blasts and ground failures will be detected by this system and must be identified as distinct from signals generated by small nuclear explosions. Seismologists ... continued below

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[75] p.

Creation Information

Chiappetta, F.; Heuze, F.; Walter, W.; Hopler, R.; Hsu, V.; Martin, B. et al. December 9, 1998.

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  • Chiappetta, F. Blasting Analysis International, Allentown, PA (United States)
  • Heuze, F.
  • Walter, W. Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
  • Hopler, R. Powderman Consulting Inc., Oxford, MD (United States)
  • Hsu, V. Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, FL (United States)
  • Martin, B. Thunder Basin Coal Co., Wright, WY (United States)
  • Pearson, C. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
  • Stump, B. Southern Methodist Univ., Dallas, TX (United States)
  • Zipf, K. Univ. of New South Wales (Australia)

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Description

Surface and underground mining operations generate seismic ground motions which are created by chemical explosions and ground failures. It may come as a surprise to some that the ground failures (coal bumps, first caves, pillar collapses, rockbursts, etc.) can send signals whose magnitudes are as strong or stronger than those from any mining blast. A verification system that includes seismic, infrasound, hydroacoustic and radionuclide sensors is being completed as part of the CTBT. The largest mine blasts and ground failures will be detected by this system and must be identified as distinct from signals generated by small nuclear explosions. Seismologists will analyze the seismic records and presumably should be able to separate them into earthquake-like and non earthquake-like categories, using a variety of so-called seismic discriminants. Non-earthquake essentially means explosion- or implosion-like. Such signals can be generated not only by mine blasts but also by a variety of ground failures. Because it is known that single-fired chemical explosions and nuclear explosion signals of the same yield give very similar seismic records, the non-earthquake signals will be of concern to the Treaty verification community. The magnitude of the mine-related events is in the range of seismicity created by smaller nuclear explosions or decoupled tests, which are of particular concern under the Treaty. It is conceivable that legitimate mining blasts or some mine-induced ground failures could occasionally be questioned. Information such as shot time, location and design parameters may be all that is necessary to resolve the event identity. In rare instances where the legitimate origin of the event could not be resolved by a consultation and clarification procedure, it might trigger on On-Site Inspection (OSI). Because there is uncertainty in the precise location of seismic event as determined by the International Monitoring System (IMS), the OSI can cover an area of up to 1,000 squared kilometers. In active mining districts this area could include several different mining operations. So, an OSI could be disruptive both to the mining community and to the US Government which must host the foreign inspection team. Accordingly, it is in the best interest of all US parties to try and eliminate the possible occurrence of false alarms. This can be achieved primarily by reducing the ambiguity of mine-induced seismic signals, so that even if these remain visible to the IMS they are clearly consistent with recognizable mining patterns.

Physical Description

[75] p.

Notes

OSTI as DE99002054

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  • Other Information: PBD: 9 Dec 1998

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  • Other: DE99002054
  • Report No.: LA-UR--99-384
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/329501 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 329501
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc676811

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  • December 9, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Feb. 25, 2016, 8:59 p.m.

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Chiappetta, F.; Heuze, F.; Walter, W.; Hopler, R.; Hsu, V.; Martin, B. et al. Mine seismicity and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, report, December 9, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676811/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.