Explosion Seismology

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Science  22 Jan 1965:
Vol. 147, Issue 3656, pp. 363-373
DOI: 10.1126/science.147.3656.363


I have tried to describe some current research trends in seismology which are specifically directed toward solving the problem of detecting, locating, and identifying underground nuclear explosions. Attention has been directed specifically toward problems which arise in efforts to obtain information at distances in excess of 2500 kilometers. The main scientific advantage which accrues from working at such distances is that the seismic signals suffer minimal distortion by the geological complexities of the earth. Extrapolation of the data to the question of an international test ban is not within the scope of this article. Suffice it to note that all of the parameters must, in the final resort, be resolved in terms of probabilities. In some cases the seismological probabilities can be estimated with reasonable degrees of accuracy, but the future of the test ban question depends not only on seismology but on such questions as inspection and what probabilities are acceptable.