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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Seismic and Infrasound Research for Monitoring Nuclear Explosions


Space Vehicles Directorate, RV/Earth and Atmospheric Sciences-Kirtland AFB

RO# Location
13.40.10.B5822 Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 871175776


Name E-mail Phone
Xie, Jiakang 505.846.6051


Underground nuclear explosions generate seismic and infrasound waves. Monitoring underground explosions encompasses a wide range of seismic and acoustic disciplines. The source mechanics must be understood in terms of the amount and type of seismic and infrasound radiation produced-not only by underground nuclear explosions, but also by other sources such as small shallow earthquakes and industrial explosions. The effects of propagation (including attenuation) through the solid Earth or atmospheric medium control the travel time, amplitude, and other characteristics of waves measured at a seismometer or microbarograph. These basic problems control the ability to perform the practical procedures of detection and location of an event, identification of the event as a nuclear explosion or some other type of source, and estimation of the yield if it is an explosion. Methods of tackling the research problem include theoretical investigation of source physics, modeling and simulation of seismograms and microbarograms to better understand both source and propagation processes, and observational studies of seismic and acoustic wave characteristics and Earth/atmosphere models. We are particularly interested in studies of relatively small (magnitude <4) shallow seismic sources and propagation at local (<200 km) and regional (<3,000 km) distances.


Seismic; Seismic sources; Seismic wave propagation; Seismic attenuation; Infrasound; Infrasound sources; Infrasound propagation; Underground nuclear explosions; Nuclear explosion monitoring; Earth models;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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