1998 Pakistan underground nuclear tests

Interactive Google map showing the locations of the 1998 India and Pakistan nuclear tests, the KNET seismic network station locations and the Mw 6.9 Afghanistan earthquake epicenter. Click the red star to see the event parameters for the Mw 6.9 Afghanistan earthquake that occurred around the same time as the nuclear tests. Click the yellow triangles to see the station name in the KNET seismic network. Click the nuclear test icon (mushroom cloud) to see the test event parameters. Double-click the map to zoom in.

Introduction

Pakistan conducted 2-5 underground nuclear tests during the morning hours of 28 May, 1998. The Kyrgyzstan Seismic Network  (KNET) recorded one test with an estimated magnitude of 4.8. Reports on the yield of the blast vary. This Wikipedia page describes how kiloton yields can be measured. Filtered (0.8 – 3.0 Band Pass, BP) vertical components for the first Pakistani test can be viewed here.

An additional test was carried out on the morning of 30 May, 1998. Estimates of the yield of this test are also variable. The second Pakistan test was obscured by aftershocks from the Ms 6.9 earthquake which occured about 30 minutes before the second test. Examination of the KNET waveform data, based on the QED location, shows no observable body waves at the predicted arrival times. Using the first Pakistani explosion for calibration, the amplitude of the second Pakistani explosion is at least a factor of four smaller (0.6 magnitude units) for it not to be observed in the aftershock data.

Three stations (AAK, CHM, TKM2) recorded the first Pakistani test.  6-8 stations recorded the Afghanistan earthquake-aftershock-predicted arrivals for 2nd Pakistani nuclear test sequence.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: Did the Pakistani nuclear test cause the Ms 6.9 Afghanistan earthquake on May 30, 1998?

A: No. The Afghanistan earthquake occured 32 minutes BEFORE the Pakistan nuclear test on the same day. The earthquake is located over 700 km away from the Indian and Pakistani nuclear test sites, in a region known for earthquakes. The same region suffered an Ms 6.1 earthquake on February 4, 1998.

Figures

Please view the page illustrating the Afghanistan earthquake-aftershock-2nd Pakistani nuclear test sequence and the page comparing the two nuclear tests and the Afghanistan earthquake.

Data Availability

KNET was operational for all 4 events: the Indian nuclear test, the first Pakistani test, the Afghanistan earthquake, and the predicted arrivals for the second Pakistani test. However, due to problems with telemetry, we do not have complete records from all stations for all events.

FTP access to data and figures

Please visit our page detailing the nuclear tests conducted by India.

Catalog information

Lists of seismic events and event parameters are maintained by theComprehensive Test Ban Treaty Prototype International Data Centre and the USGS National Earthquake Information Center. The following is a brief description of their catalogs taken from their web sites:

The AEL is an event list generated by an automated processing of data returned from the IMS Primary seismic stations. An event is added to the list approximately one hour after it has been recorded. It has not been reviewed and should be taken as a first (not final!) estimate of location and magnitude.

The DEL is an event list generated by an automated processing of data returned from the IMS Primary and Auxiliary seismic stations. An event is added to the list approximately ten hours after it has been recorded. Again, it has not been reviewed and should be taken as a first (slightly better but not final!) estimate of location and magnitude.

The REB is an event list obtained after an analyst has reviewed and possibly revised the automated processing results.

The QED is a preliminary event list obtained by USGS.

The following table contains locations determined by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Prototype International Data Centre and the USGS National Earthquake Information Center. The times given are UTC (Greenwich Mean Time).

Latitude Longitude Depth Origin Time mb Author
28.70 64.04 0.0 1998/05/30 06:54:56 4.3 QED
28.4948 63.7814 0.0 1998/05/30 06:54:57.1 4.6 REB
28.493 63.731 0.0 1998/05/30 06:54:54.9 4.6 PDE
28.960 64.730 0.0 1998/05/28 10:16:15.0 4.8 QED
28.9032 64.8933 0.0 1998/05/28 10:16:17.6 4.9 REB
28.902 64.789 0.0 1998/05/28 10:16:15.2 4.8 PDE
Station Channel Arrival Time Phase SNR Delta Azimuth mb
AAK BHZ 5/28/1998 10:20:01.026 P 47.74 15.776 213.08 5.37
CHM BHZ 5/28/1998 10:20:05.688 P 21.83 16.184 213.11 5.33
TKM2 BHZ 5/28/1998 10:20:09.431 P 54.23 16.469 215.58 5.18

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URL: http://eqinfo.ucsd.edu/special_events/nuclear_tests/pakistan/index.php [Last updated: 2010-11-23 (327) 23:01:47 UTC]