News & CommentNOVAYA ZEMLYA

The Quake That Roared

Science  26 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5372, pp. 2039
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2039

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Summary

Politics and seismology don't always mix: Currently, seismologists are challenging India's official version of two bomb tests announced in May (see main text), while last summer, they differed with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other agencies over claims that Russia had detonated a nuclear blast at a test site on the Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya. Independent seismic detectors had quickly traced tremors to a spot off the coast and concluded they were caused by an earthquake. In the Russian case, the CIA later retreated, without openly conceding an error. Researchers involved argue that the events illustrate the benefits of open scientific analysis of suspect signals.

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