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Magnitude bias in the Great Basin and its implications for explosion magnitude versus yield estimates



Magnitude bias in the Great Basin and its implications for explosion magnitude versus yield estimates



Geophysical Research Letters 12(9): 573-576



Comparison of teleseismic P-wave delays in the vicinity of the Central Nevada Test Site in Hot Creek valley, Nevada, with P-delay data over a wider region in the Great Basin, shows that upper mantle speeds under Hot Creek valley stations are higher than the average for the Great Basin as a whole, but lower than those beneath Pahute Mesa. These observations indicate that the caldera complex in Hot Creek valley may have a high speed root similar to that proposed to exit beneath the Silent Canyon Caldera at Pahute Mesa, however the Hot Creek valley anomaly is not as strong as the Pahute Mesa anomaly. These high-speed upper mantle structures cause defocusing for outgoing rays resulting in a shadow zone at the distance range corresponding to many European stations. The shadow zone caused by the Pahute Mesa structure is much more pronounced and consequently magnitudes of Pahute Mesa explosions can be underestimated relative to the magnitude of Hot Creek valley explosions of similar yield. When magnitude versus yield relationships developed using Pahute Mesa data are applied to other areas, such as Hot Creek valley, they can result in a biased estimate of yield.--Journal abstract.

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Accession: 019361433

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DOI: 10.1029/gl012i009p00573


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