The underground nuclear test in North Korea earlier this week was detected in Indiana. Indiana University Geological Sciences Professor Michael Hamburger says the nuclear test registered about a 5.1 on the Richter Scale which is close to the detection threshold for the instruments they use in Bloomington.
“The earth is a very efficient pathway for energy to travel from a site a quarter away around the world through the earth‘s interior and to be picked up by sensitive detectors here in Indiana,” Hamburger says.
He says the records they got in Bloomington were very faint, but the array of global stations especially in the western Pacific and Asia are the ones that were relied upon for estimating the exact location, time and magnitude of the event.
Dr. Hamburger says having those arrays of sensors around the globe is a strategic move to detect nuclear testing, particularly in areas of interest such as North Korea and Iran.
He says because of this, even a moderate-sized event can be picked up by those stations.
He says here in Indiana, his sensors pick up 25 to 30 small events every day but those are usually associated with blasting at rock quarries and surface mines around the state and region.