Atmospheric and Hydrogeological Effects of Underground Nuclear Explosions: Theory, Experiment, and Monitoring

V. P. Busygin and A. S. Ginzburg

In the 1980s–1990s possible climatic consequences of the nuclear war were assessed in the papers by academician G.S. Golitsyn and other scientists. The assessment was based on the data of mod- eling of radiation and circulation processes in the atmosphere under different scenarios of ground-based and air nuclear exchange. Perhaps, underground nuclear explosions do not result in considerable climate effects associated with the emission of the large amount of aerosol to the atmosphere. However, they may cause changes in the rock structure at the big depth, in the composition of underground water as well as of liquid and gas hydrocarbons; the migration of radioactive products from the explosion melt cavity to the water and hydrocarbon layers. The incompleteness of nuclear reactions and heat emission in the melt cavity can be indirectly judged by the results of a thermal survey of the Earth surface in the epicentral zone of the explosion. It is demonstrated that a thermal anomaly is formed here, the temperature exceeds the background temperature of the Earth surface by 8–10C. The possibility of the space monitoring of thermal anomalies using low-orbiting satellites is considered. It is shown that at cloudless weather for the typical size and temperature of thermal anomalies the flux density is about 9 10–10–2 10–9 W/cm2 at the space vehicle orbit in the spectral band of 8–14 m; so, these objects can be registered.

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