We utilized nuclear explosions from the Degelen Mountain sub-region of the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS), Kazakhstan, to assess seismic location capability directly. Excellent ground truth information for these events was either known or was estimated from maps of the Degelen Mountain adit complex. Origin times were refined for events for which absolute origin time information was unknown using catalog arrival times, our ground truth location estimates, and a time baseline provided by fixing known origin times during a joint hypocenter determination (JHD). Precise arrival time picks were determined using a waveform cross-correlation process applied to the available digital data. These data were used in a JHD analysis. We found that very accurate locations were possible when high precision, waveform cross-correlation arrival times were combined with JHD. Relocation with our full digital data set resulted in a mean mislocation of 2 km and a mean 95% confidence ellipse (CE) area of 6.6 km2 (90% CE: 5.1 km2), however, only 5 of the 18 computed error ellipses actually covered the associated ground truth location estimate. To test a more realistic nuclear test monitoring scenario, we applied our JHD analysis to a set of seven events (one fixed) using data only from seismic stations within 40?? epicentral distance. Relocation with these data resulted in a mean mislocation of 7.4 km, with four of the 95% error ellipses covering less than 570 km2 (90% CE: 438 km2), and the other two covering 1730 and 8869 km2 (90% CE: 1331 and 6822 km2). Location uncertainties calculated using JHD often underestimated the true error, but a circular region with a radius equal to the mislocation covered less than 1000 km2 for all events having more than three observations. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Ground truth seismic events and location capability at Degelen mountain, Kazakhstan