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TitlePrompt world-wide geomagnetic effects of high altitude nuclear explosions
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorCaner, B
SourcePublications of the Dominion Observatory, Ottawa vol. 31, no. 1, 1964, 15 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherDominion Observatory (Ottawa, Canada)
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Publications of the Dominion Observatory, Ottawa, volume XXXI
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Subjectsgeophysics; earthquake mechanisms; magnetic disturbances; nuclear explosions
Released1964 01 01; 2019 11 19
AbstractA brief summary of observational data is presented, covering the disturbances recorded within seconds of high-altitude nuclear explosions, with particular emphasis on the "phase B" signal recorded at H + 2 seconds following the "Starfish" test of July 9th, 1962. The salient characteristics of this signal are specified: global synchronism at 2 seconds after the explosion ( ± 0.1 - 0.2 secs), large initial amplitudes (up to 30 - 50 Y) with an extremely sharp rise, initial frequency 0.25 - 0.28 cps, and altitude dependence, occurring only if the source is above the E layer. Ten possible mechanisms are discussed and tested against the observational data. It is concluded that the only mechanisms which would satisfy all the observed characteristics are those involving hydromagnetic-electromagnetic conversions. Although no conclusive decision can be reached on the basis of presently available data, the most likely one of these mechanisms appears to be hydromagnetic waves along the field line through the detonation point, with energy conversion into electromagnetic modes at the mirror points.

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