Tell-tale signs of manmade earthquakes

Nuclear tests, mining activity and deep wastewater disposal all cause seismic activity. To discern between manmade and natural earthquakes, researchers at the U Seismograph Stations compared two measures of an earthquake’s power: The local magnitude, or amplitude of the seismic waves, and the coda duration, a measure of the duration of the shaking. Comparing these two metrics in natural seismicity with those in probable mining-realted events in Utah, the researchers found a clear difference betweent the chracteristics of deep, natural earthquakes and manmade shallow seismicity. The signature could help international observers idenfiy nuclear test activity and could aid in forensic analysis of suspected manmade earthquakes. U seismologist Keith Koper will present on this topic at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting on Dec. 13.
Keith Koper | 801-585-3669 |