Satellite data backs theory of North Korean nuclear site collapse | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News in Brief

Satellite data backs theory of North Korean nuclear site collapse

Whether underground cave-ins have made the facility unusable is unknown

By
2:00pm, May 10, 2018
satellite image of North Korea's nuclear test site

I SPY  Satellite images and seismic data reveal underground cave-ins at North Korea’s nuclear test site, but it’s unclear whether that has put the facility out of action.

A new analysis of satellite images and seismic waves from North Korea’s nuclear test site support theories that the underground facility has at least partially collapsed.

Seismologists across the world have been tracking the clandestine nuclear weapons program for years by analyzing vibrations that emanate from explosions at the test site under Mount Mantap (SN: 8/5/17, p. 18). Now, researchers have paired 3-D satellite images of Mount Mantap with seismic tremor data to simulate how the mountain’s interior might have changed after a hydrogen bomb test on September 3, 2017.

The simulations indicate that the blast — which triggered an earthquake of estimated magnitude 6.3 — caused a cave-in directly above the detonation site, researchers

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content