North Korean Nuclear Test: Seismic Discrimination at Low Yield

LDEO Publication: 
Publication Type: 
Year of Publication: 
Journal Title: 
EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union
April 3
157 and 161
Short Title: 
North Korean Nuclear Test
LDEO Publication Number: 

The nuclear test carried out by North Korea on 9 October 2006, and the way in which objective data emerged that enabled it to be characterized, provided the first practical test for the CTBT monitoring regime that began operations in early 2000 in Vienna, Austria. The fact that a seismogram archive of both earthquakes and small explosions was available for a very high quality station in the region enabled identification of the event as an explosion of some kind with very high confidence based upon three-component P/S spectral ratios. Identification of explosions in this region can be done even down to a very small fraction of a kiloton provided there is access to seismic data of the type that was available in October 2006.