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Combustion, Explosion, and Shock Waves, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 674–678, 2004

Craters of Large-Scale Surface Explosions

V. V. Adushkin

1 and B. D. Khristoforov 1

UDC 550.348+5512

Translated from Fizika Goreniya i Vzryva, Vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 71–75, November–December, 2004. Original article submitted May 28, 2004.

Results of experimental studies of craters of chemical and nuclear surface explosions with commensurable heights of the center of mass and TNT equivalents on soils of different types are presented. Available databases were used, which are generally utilized for predicting ecological consequences of natural and man-induced explosive catastrophes, development of new methods of monitoring and identification of phe- nomena under consideration, and their experimental and mathematical modeling. Key words: explosion, explosion crater, databases, ecology.

INTRODUCTION

The year 2004 is the 100th anniversary of M. A. Sadovskii, an outstanding specialist in the field of explosion physics, who was the academic leader of many programs with the use of large-scale explosions [1]. The results of those studies are still important because of the natural and man-induced catastrophes, which have become more frequent [2]. Some results of investigat- ing parameters of craters formed by large-scale surface explosions performed at different test sites, which were based on available databases [3, 4], are described below.

CRATERS OF CHEMICAL AND NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS

The data on conditions of explosions of high explo- sives (HE) and crater sizes are summarized in Table 1. The database [3] contains geological sections under ex- plosion epicenters, obtained on the basis of geological research and seismic logging. Soil Nos. 1 and 2 are soft soils with shallow and deep bedding of rocks and ground water, respectively; soil No. 3 is weathered frac- tured rock with a density of 2800 kg/m 3 and with a velocity of longitudinal seismic waves of 3 km/sec; the velocity of sound in individual blocks being equal to 5.5 km/sec. In soil Nos. 2 and 3, the craters are normally formed within the indicated layer of rocks. Craters of large-scale explosions in soil No. 1 usually include the bottom rock as well.

The geological sections under the epicenters of ex- plosion No. 4 with a mass of 1000 tons under permafrost conditions in soft soil No. 1 and explosion No. 6 with a mass of 1152 tons in soft soil No. 2 with deep bedding of rocks and ground waters are described in Tables 2 and 3. For conditions of explosion No. 6, the geologi- cal section to a depth of 350–400 m is a mixed bed of sediments followed by rocks. The sediments are alter- native strata of dense hardened clay, sand, sandstone, siltstone, and cretaceous mudstone. Figures 1 and 2 show the photograph and the typi- cal profile of the crater formed by a surface HE explosion with a TNT equivalent q = 5000 tons. Figure 3 shows the crater dimensions (volume V [m 3 ], radius R [m], and depth H [m]) as functions of the parameter q in the range 1 q 5000 tons for HE explosions on soft (Nos. 1 and 2) and firm (No. 3) soils (see Table 1). The values of H and V of explosion No. 3, which took place in the crater of the previous explosion, are ignored. Statisti- cal processing of power lines of the trend yielded the following empirical dependences of the crater volume, radius, and depth as functions of the TNT equivalent for different soils.

— Soil Nos. 1 and 2:

V = 26.72q 0.999 ,

r 2 = 0.963;

R

=

3.36q 0.336

,

r 2 = 0.979;

H

= 1.78q 0.316 ,

r 2 = 0.907;

1 Institute of Geosphere Dynamics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119334; khrist@idg.chph.ras.ru.

674

0010-5082/04/4006-0674 c

2004 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.

Craters of Large-Scale Surface Explosions

TABLE 1

Parameters of Craters of Surface HE Explosions

675

No.

TS

q, ton

S

R, m

H, m

V , m 3

No.

TS

q, ton

S

R, m

H, m

V , m 3

5

2

5000

1

55

21.4

120,000

52

2

50

3

10.8

3.4

600

6

7

1152

2

34.2

12

23,500

56

2

20

1

7.5

4.5

380

7

2

1013

2

34.4

14

25,900

55

2

15

3

6.6

2.28

140

4

1

1000

1

26.7

16.5

16

3

12

1

8

1

3

901

1

35

12

11,600

17

2

10

1

6.75

3.25

209

3

2

501

3

21

14.1

7791

18

2

10

1

7.53

3.5

308

2

2

500

3

20.9

7.9

5,540

19

2

10

1

7

4.75

304

27

2

500

3

22.5

7.5

6000

20

2

10

1

8.28

5.1

394

31

2

330

1

22.2

9.4

33

2

10

2

7.3

4

223

24

2

300

3

25.8

9.6

4470

34

2

10

2

8.8

4.4

12

2

280

2

26.7

14.1

13,100

35

2

10

2

7.35

4.53

22

2

250

1

19.3

8.5

5020

36

2

10

2

7.28

3.9

278

28

2

200

3

13.5

3.5

1250

37

2

10

2

7.02

3.03

218

30

2

155

1

17.2

8.9

38

2

10

2

7.3

3.2

203

29

2

150

2

21.3

10

6170

42

2

10

2

7

3.95

10

2

100

2

16.5

11

3150

43

2

10

3

6.85

3.25

190

11

2

100

2

17.5

10

3200

45

2

10

3

5.1

1.9

85.5

13

2

100

2

16.2

9

3565

46

7

10

2

6.8

2.5

173

14

2

100

2

17

10.8

4325

47

2

10

2

7

3.2

15

2

100

2

17.4

10.7

4430

51

2

10

3

4.9

21

2

100

1

15.2

7.2

2140

58

2

10

1

7.25

4.28

23

2

100

1

18.2

7.6

4200

49

2

5

3

5

2.5

25

7

100

2

14.2

6.62

1820

40

2

1

2

3.4

1.55

26

2

100

2

15.2

7

2600

41

2

1

2

2.75

1.3

32

2

100

1

18

6.6

3 440

44

2

1

3

3

1.3

20.7

57

2

80

1

16

7.4

48

2

1

2

3.5

1.5

39

2

50

1

11.9

5.5

940

53

2

1

3

3.65

0.86

12

50

2

50

3

10

3.85

54

2

1

3

3

0.96

12.5

Notes. R, H, and V are the crater radius, depth, and volume, counted from the free surface; No. is the number of the explosion in the database [3], q is the TNT equivalent of the explosion, TS is the code of the test site (2 and 7 refer to the Semipalatinsk test site), and S is the code of soil.

— Soil No. 3:

Here r 2 is a statistical function determining the reliabil-

(1)

V

= 16.40q 0.937 ,

r 2 = 0.973;

ity of approximation of experimental data by empirical formulas (if they coincide, r 2 = 1). The data on crater

R

=

2.76q 0.335

,

r 2 = 0.958;

depth are in worst agreement with the trend lines. The

H

=

1.25q 0.305

r 2 = 0.821;

— Soil Nos. 1, 2, and 3:

,

form of the formulas also depends on the range of q. In soft soil Nos. 1 and 2, for 1 q 100 tons, we have

V

= 19.37q 1.021 ,

r 2 = 0, 946;

V

=

18.86q 1.104 ,

r 2 = 0.95;

R

=

3.21q 0.336

,

r 2 = 0.961;

R

=

3.20q 0.355

,

r 2 = 0.973;

H

= 1.49q 0.332 ,

r 2 = 0.845.

H

= 1.55q 0.355 ,

r 2 = 0.893.

676

TABLE 2

Adushkin and Khristoforov

Geological Section under the Epicenter of Explosion No. 4 (see Table 1)

Depth, m

Material

Density, tons/m 3

c, km/sec

0–2

Crumbly crushed stone

1.75

2–6

Pebbles with gravel

1.62

2.92

6–7

Pebbles with gravel

1.85

1.0–1.1

7–9

Clay sand with pebbles and gravel

1.9

3.27

9–13

Sand

Below 13

Clay sand with pebbles and gravel

Note. c is the velocity of longitudinal seismic waves.

TABLE 3

Geological Section under the Epicenter of Explosion No. 6 (see Table 1)

Depth, m

Material

Density, tons/m 3

c, km/sec

0–3

Sand; clay sand

1.6

0.2–0.4

3–20

Sandstone

1.7–1.8

0.7

20–50

Loamy soil; clay with sand inclusions

1.8–1.9

1.0–1.1

50–400

Clay; sandstone

1.9–2.0

2.0–2.1

Below 400

Slate

4.5

. 0 2 . 0–2 . 1 Below 400 Slate — 4.5 Fig. 1. Photograph of

Fig. 1. Photograph of the surface HE explosion with a TNT equivalent of 5000 tons.

Craters of Large-Scale Surface Explosions

Craters of Large-Scale Surface Explosions Fig. 2. Typical profile of the crater produced by the surface

Fig. 2. Typical profile of the crater produced by the surface HE explosion with a TNT equivalent of 5000 tons:

the crater radius on the free surface is 55 m, the crater radius over the ejection is 70 m, the radius of soil ejection is 360 m, the radius of scattering of rock fragments is 1500 m, the crater depth from the free surface is 21.4 m, and the crater volume over the free surface is 120,000 m 3 ; the charge is shown by the dashed curve.

The data of American researchers on contact ex- plosions (q = 1–18 tons) in soft soil of the Nevada test site are described by the dependences [5]

V = 26q, R = 3.6q 1/3 , H = 1.6q 1/3 , (2)

which are similar to formulas (1). The empirical dependences of crater parameters as functions of the TNT equivalent for 11 nuclear explo- sions and 53 chemical explosions performed at differ- ent sites of the Semipalatinsk test site are given be- low. Based on the data of [3, 4], nuclear explosions (Fig. 4) commensurable in terms of the height of the center of mass and TNT equivalents with HE explo- sions were chosen (a total of 32 surface explosions were performed). For nuclear explosions with a TNT equivalent q = 300–14,300 tons at heights of 0.5–2.1 m (H/q 1/3 = 0.02–0.2 m/tons 1/3 ), we have

V

=

0.449q 1.084 ,

r 2 =

0.808;

R

=

0.707q 0.389 ,

r 2 =

0.855;

(3)

H

= 0.563q 0.327 ,

r 2 = 0.754;

 

for HE explosions = 1–5000 tons, we have

with

a

TNT

equivalent

q

V

= 18.57q 1.038 ,

r 2 = 0.946;

 

R

=

3.17q 0.340 ,

r 2 =

0.961;

(4)

H

= 1.49q 0.331 ,

r 2 = 0.828.

 

677

q 0 . 3 3 1 , r 2 = 0 . 828 .   677

Fig. 3. Crater volume, radius, and depth versus the TNT equivalent of surface explosions: on soft soil of type Nos. 1 and 2 (a) and on firm soil of type No. 3.

functions is much less reliable in the case of nuclear ex- plosions than in chemical explosions. The coefficients in expressions for the volume, radius, and depth for nuclear explosions are smaller than the coefficients for chemical explosions by a factor of 41, 4.5, and 2.7, re- spectively. As the normalized height of nuclear explo- sions H/q 1/3 decreases, the crater size increases and approaches, with increasing charge depth, values typ- ical of HE explosions, yet remaining significantly lower. The dependence of the normalized volume of craters of the nuclear explosions on the TNT equivalent in the range 0.1 < H/q 1/3 < 2 (with q varied from 500 to 1200 tons and with the values of H varied from the height of 1.067 m to a depth of 20.4 m), which were ob- tained in tests at the Nevada test site, has the following form [5]:

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

/q = 5.53(H/q 1/3 ) 2 + 39.83H/q 1/3 + 5.26.

V

(5)

We have V /q

=

5.26 m 3 /ton for H

=

0

and

V /q

The approximation (r 2 ) of the dependences of crater parameters on the TNT equivalent by power

= 30.8 m 3 /ton for the half-embedded charge of cast TNT [5].

678

678 Fig. 4. Crater volume, radius, and depth versus the TNT equivalent of nuclear surface explosions.

Fig. 4. Crater volume, radius, and depth versus the TNT equivalent of nuclear surface explosions.

For the explosions considered, the dependences of crater parameters on the TNT equivalent obey the prin- ciple of geometric and energy similarity within the mea- surement error. The influence of the force of gravity, which can reduce the crater diameter because of the fallout of the ejected soil back and for which R q 1/3.4 according to [5] and R q 1/3.5 according to [6], was not observed here. The data obtained allow one to determine the in- fluence of the volume concentration of energy in the source on the mechanical action and ecological conse- quences of the explosion and can be used in operations associated with safety of population and various objects with allowance for the risk of natural and man-induced catastrophes, including determination of criteria, meth- ods, and systems of protection of potentially hazardous objects.

CONCLUSIONS

1. A statistical analysis of experimental data on the size of craters of chemical and nuclear surface explo- sions with commensurable heights of the center of mass and TNT equivalents q = 1–5000 and 300–14,300 tons, respectively, has been performed.

Adushkin and Khristoforov

2. It is shown that the coefficients in the depen-

dences of the crater volume, radius, and depth on the TNT equivalent for nuclear explosions are smaller than those for chemical explosions by a factor of 41, 4.5, and 2.7, respectively. The difference in the mechanical ac-

tion of nuclear and chemical explosions decreases with increasing depth of explosion.

3. The dependences of crater parameters on the

TNT equivalent in large-scale surface explosions agree with the principles of energy similarity and, within the measurement error, are independent of the force of grav-

ity.

This work was supported by the Russian Founda- tion for Basic Research (Grant No. 02-05-64134).

REFERENCES

1. M. A. Sadovskii, Geophysics and Physics of Explosion [in Russian], Nauka, Moscow (1999).

2. V. V. Adushkin, V. V. Garnov, and B. D. Khristoforov, “Estimation of parameters of an emergency explosion by comparisons with test explosions,” Bezopas. Trud. Prom., No. 4, 28–32 (2001).

3. V. V. Adushkin and B. D. Khristoforov, “Database on nuclear and large-scale chemical explosions with ejection into the atmosphere,” Registered Certificate No. 2863 dated December 12, 1997 (Registered as No. 0229703124 in the State Register); Database “Natural and man- induced catastrophic phenomena such as explosions with ejection of products into the atmosphere,” Reg- istered Certificate No. 7568 dated December 29, 2001 (Registered as No. 0220108099 in the State Register).

4. V. N. Mikhailov, V. V. Adushkin, I. A. Andryushin, et al. (eds.), Nuclear Tests in the USSR [in Russian], Vol. 2, IzdAT, Moscow (1997), p. 320.

5. L. J. Vortman, “Craters from surface explosions and scaling laws,” J. Geophys. Res., 73, No. 14, 4621–4631

(1968).

6. B. A. Ivanov, “The effect of gravity on crater formation:

thickness of ejecta and concentric basins,” in: Proc. Lu- nar Sci. Conf. 7th (1976), pp. 2947–2965.