Dispersion of Rayleigh waves produced by nuclear explosions. Crustal structure of western Europe

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Most of the nuclear explosion fired near Novaya-Zemlya
island from September 1961 to J a n u a r y 1963 (21 in total) have been recorded
on the seismographs of Toledo Observatory. The study of these records,
mainly concerning the dispersion of Rayleigh waves, has been the purpose
of this paper.
A crust-mantle s t r u c t u r e for t h e Zemlya-Toledo p a t h has been determined
by means of group velocity curves and especially by the phase velocity
ones obtained from Rayleigh waves of explosions. This structure supposes
a crust of about 40 kms thick with an upper sedimentary layer with a
thickness of about 5,5 kms and a shear velocity of 2,3 km/sec.
The average shear velocity in the granitic and basaltic layers jointly,
is about 3,65 km/sec, permitting a small ambiguity at the position of the
Conrad discontinuity between them.
A velocity of 4,5 km/sec has been assigned for the underlying crust
material, but a better agreement with the data recorded is obtained by
taking 0.28 for the Poisson ratio value.
Dispersion of Rayleigh waves of these explosions has been compared
to the Rayleigh dispersion of some earthquakes of Eurasia, three of them
with epicentral distances similar to those of the explosions and other four
with the same azimuth in respect to that of Toledo-Zemlya, but more
The results do not show any notable difference either in dispersion
between explosion and earthquakes or in structure of the path considered.
The phase velocity between Toledo and Malaga Observatories supports
t h e same above structure for this short path.
The velocity of Lg waves, which clearly appears on the record of the
explosions, confirms this admitted structure, which serves to deduce t h e more
probable transmission mechanism for these channel waves.
Also atmospheric pressure waves have been recorded on the three
components with very notable amplitudes.

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How to Cite
PAYO G. Dispersion of Rayleigh waves produced by nuclear explosions. Crustal structure of western Europe. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 1964Nov.25 [cited 2021Oct.20];17(2):265-84. Available from: https://www.annalsofgeophysics.eu/index.php/annals/article/view/5209