Source Depth of Burial Experiment at Balapan


The Los Alamos National Laboratory GNEM R&E Seismic Field Experimentation Team collaborated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA), and the National Nuclear Center (NNC) of the Republic of Kazakhstan to conduct the Source Depth of Burial Experiment during the summer of 1997. A series of three 25 ton explosions at depths of 50,300, and 550 meters along with associated 50 to 100 kg Green's function test explosions and a 5 ton proof of concept explosion were instrumented at near source (0.1 to 20 km) and regional distances (100 to 1100 km) using portable seismic data acquisition equipment. These near source data represent the first US recordings of seismic data at the former Soviet Union's Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.

The newly formed Republic of Kazakhstan has declared itself to be a non-nuclear state. Therefore, the US is providing technical and financial support to aid in the decommissioning of the test facilities (tunnels and boreholes) by DSWA.


Surface Effects of a 25 Ton Blast on Test Hole 1349 (550 m)

Before (left) and After (right)

Introduction | Motivation | Settings and Objective | Observations | Results | Future Work