One application of forensic seismology is to help verify compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. One of the challenges facing the forensic seismologist is to discriminate between the many thousands of earthquakes of potential interest each year and potential Treaty violations (underground explosions). There are four main methods: () ratio of body- to surface-wave magnitudes, () ratio of high-frequency to energy, () model-based methods, and () source depth. Methods () and () have an empirical basis. The weakness of methods ()–() is the lack of an equivalent elastic source for an underground explosion fired in the range of geological media found around the world. Reliable routine source-depth determination has proved difficult. However, experience gained in the past decade at identifying suspicious seismic sources suggests that although no single method works all of the time, intelligent and original application of complementary methods is usually sufficient to satisfactorily identify the source in question.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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