Advanced Search



ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Zhi Wei, LianFeng Zhao, XiaoBi Xie, JinLai Hao, ZhenXing Yao, 2018: Seismic characteristics of the 15 February 2013 bolide explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 420-429. doi: 10.26464/epp2018039

2018, 2(5): 420-429. doi: 10.26464/epp2018039


Seismic characteristics of the 15 February 2013 bolide explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia


Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China


Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California at Santa Cruz, California, USA

Corresponding author: LianFeng Zhao,

Received Date: 2018-07-10
Web Publishing Date: 2018-09-01

The seismological characteristics of the 15 February 2013 Chelyabinsk bolide explosion are investigated based on seismograms recorded at 50 stations with epicentral distances ranging from 229 to 4324 km. By using 8–25 s vertical-component Rayleigh waveforms, we obtain a surface-wave magnitude of 4.17±0.31 for this event. According to the relationship among the Rayleigh-wave magnitude, burst height and explosive yield, the explosion yield is estimated to be 686 kt. Using a single-force source to fit the observed Rayleigh waveforms, we obtain a single force of 1.03×1012 N, which is equivalent to the impact from the shock wave generated by the bolide explosion.

Key words: Rayleigh-wave magnitude, yield estimation, focal mechanism, the 15 February 2013 Chelyabinsk bolide

Antolik, M., Ichinose, G., Creasey, J., and Clauter, D. (2014). Seismic and infrasonic analysis of the major bolide event of 15 February 2013. Seism. Res. Lett., 85(2), 334–343.

Avramenko, M. I., Glazyrin, I. V., Ionov, G. V., and Karpeev, A. V. (2014). Simulation of the airwave caused by the Chelyabinsk superbolide. J. Geophys. Res.:Atmos., 119(12), 7035–7050.

Ben-Menahem, A. (1975). Source parameters of the Siberian explosion of June 30, 1908, from analysis and synthesis of seismic signals at four stations. Phys. Earth. Planet. Inter., 11(1), 1–35.

Ben-Menahem, A., and Harkrider, D. G. (1964). Radiation patterns of seismic surface waves from buried dipolar point sources in a flat stratified earth. J. Geophys. Res., 69(12), 2605–2620.

Bonner, J., Herrmann, R. B., Harkrider, D., and Pasyanos, M. (2008). The surface wave magnitude for the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear explosion. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 98(5), 2498–2506.

Bonner, J. L., Harkrider, D. G., Herrin, E. T., Shumway, R. H., Russell, S. A., and Tibuleac, I. M. (2003). Evaluation of short-period, near-regional Ms scales for the Nevada test site. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 93(4), 1773–1791.

Bonner, J. L., Russell, D. R., Harkrider D. G., and Herrmann, R. R. B. (2006). Development of a time-domain, variable-period surface-wave magnitude measurement procedure for application at regional and teleseismic distances, part Ⅱ: Application and Ms–mb performance. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 96(2), 678–696.

Ceplecha, Z., and Revelle, D. O. (2005). Fragmentation model of meteoroid motion, mass loss, and radiation in the atmosphere. Meteor. Planet. Sci., 40(1), 35–54.

Chernogor, L., and Rozumenko, V. (2013). The physical effects associated with Chelyabinsk meteorite’s passage. Probl. Atom. Sci. Technol., 86(4), 136–139

Chyba, C. F., Thomas, P. J., and Zahnle, K. J. (1993). The 1908 Tunguska explosion: atmospheric disruption of a stony asteroid. Nature, 361(6407), 40–44.

Edwards, W. N., Eaton, D. W., and Brown, P. G. (2008). Seismic observations of meteors: Coupling theory and observations. Rev. Geophys., 46(4), RG4007.

Emel’yanenko, V. V., Popova, O. P., Chugai, N. N., Shelyakov, M. A., Pakhomov, Y. V., Shustov, B. M., Shuvalov, V. V., Biryukov, E. E., Rybnov, Y. S., …Trubetskaya, I. A. (2013). Astronomical and physical aspects of the Chelyabinsk event (February 15, 2013). Solar Sys. Res., 47(4), 240–254.

Fan, N., Zhao, L. F., Xie, X. B., and Yao, Z. X. (2013). Measurement of Rayleigh-wave magnitudes for North Korean nuclear tests. Chinese J. Geophys.(in Chinese) , 56(3), 906–915.

Gutenberg, B. (1945). Amplitudes of surface waves and magnitudes of shallow earthquakes. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 35(1), 3–12

Harkrider, D. G., Newton, C. A., and Flinn, E. A. (1974). Theoretical effect of yield and burst height of atmospheric explosions on Rayleigh wave amplitudes. Geophys. J. Int., 36(1), 191–225.

Haskell, N. (1964). Radiation pattern of surface waves from point sources in a multi-layered medium. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 54(1), 377–393

Heimann, S., Gonzalez, A., Wang, R., Cesca, S., and Dahm, T. (2013). Seismic characterization of the Chelyabinsk meteor's terminal explosion. Seism. Res. Lett., 84(6), 1021–1025.

Krasnov, V. M., Drobzheva, Y. V., Salikhov, N. M., Zhumabaev, B. T., and Lazurkina, V. B. (2014). Estimation of the power of the Chelyabinsk meteoroid blast from optical, seismic, and infrasonic observation data. Acoust. Phys., 60(2), 155–162.

Laske, G., Masters., G., Ma, Z. T., and Pasyanos, M. (2013). Update on CRUST1.0 - A 1-degree global model of earth's crust. Geophys. Res. Abstracts, 15, EGU2013–2658

Langston, C. A. (2004). Seismic ground motions from a bolide shock wave. J. Geophys. Res., 109(B12), B12309.

Le Pichon, A., Ceranna, L., Pilger, C., Mialle, P., Brown, D., Herry, P., and Brachet, N. (2013). The 2013 Russian fireball largest ever detected by CTBTO infrasound sensors. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(14), 3732–3737.

Lobanovsky, Y. I. (2014). Refined parameters of Chelyabinsk and Tunguska meteoroids and their explosion modes. arXiv preprint arXiv: 1403.7282.222

Murphy, J. R., Barker, B. W., and Marshall, M. E. (1997). Event screening at the IDC using the Ms/mb discriminant, final report. Maxwell Technologies, pp 23.222

Nuttli, O. W. (1986). Yield estimates of nevada test site explosions obtained from seismic Lg waves. J. Geophys. Res., 91(B2), 2137.

Popova, O. P., Jenniskens, P., Emel’yanenko, V., Kartashova, A., Biryukov, E., Khaibrakhmanov, S., Shuvalov, V., Rybnov, Y., Dudorov, A., … Mikouchi, T. (2013). Chelyabinsk airburst, damage assessment, meteorite recovery, and characterization. Science, 342(6162), 1069–1073.

Russell, D. R. (2006). Development of a time-domain, variable-period surface-wave magnitude measurement procedure for application at regional and teleseismic distances, Part I: theory. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 96(2), 665–677.

Seleznev, V. S., Liseikin, A. V., Emanov, A. A., and Belinskaya, A. Y. (2013). The Chelyabinsk meteoroid: A seismologist’s view. Doklady Earth Sci., 452(1), 976–978.

Stevens, J. L., and Murphy, J. R. (2001). Yield estimation from surface-wave amplitudes. Pure App. Geophys., 158, 2227–2251.

Tauzin, B., Debayle, E., Quantin, C., and Coltice, N. (2013). Seismoacoustic coupling induced by the breakup of the 15 February 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(14), 3522–3526.

Taylor , S. R., Yang, X. D., Phillips, W. S., Patton, H. J., Maceira, M., Hartse, H. E., and Randall, G. E. (2003). Regional event identification research in Eastern Asia. In Proceedings of the 25th Seismic Research Review-Nuclear Explosion Monitoring: Building the Knowledge Base, 23–25 September 2003, Tucson, Arizona, pp 476–485.222

Wares, G. W., Champion, K. W., Pond, H. L., and Cole, A. E. (1960). Model Atmosphere in Handbook of Geophysics. New York: The MacMillan Co, pp 1–37.222

Wang, C. Y., and Herrmann, R. B. (1980). A numerical study of P-, SV-, and SH-wave generation in a plane layered medium. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 70(4), 1015–1036

Zhao, L. F., Xie, X. B., Wang, W. M., and Yao, Z. X. (2008). Regional seismic characteristics of the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear test. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 98(6), 2571–2589.

Zhao, L. F., Xiao X. B., Wang W. M., and Yao Z. X. (2014). The 12 February 2013 North Korean underground nuclear test. Seism. Res. Lett., 85(1), 130–134.

Zhu, L. P., and Rivera, L. A. (2002). A note on the dynamic and static displacements from a point source in multilayered media. Geophys. J. Int., 148(3), 619–627.


XueMei Zhang, GuangBao Du, Jie Liu, ZhiGao Yang, LiYe Zou, XiYan Wu, 2018: An M6.9 earthquake at Mainling, Tibet on Nov.18, 2017, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 84-85. doi: 10.26464/epp2018009


YiJian Zhou, ShiYong Zhou, JianCang Zhuang, 2018: A test on methods for MC estimation based on earthquake catalog, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 150-162. doi: 10.26464/epp2018015


YuLan Li, BaoShan Wang, RiZheng He, HongWei Zheng, JiangYong Yan, Yao Li, 2018: Fine relocation, mechanism, and tectonic indications of middle-small earthquakes in the Central Tibetan Plateau, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 406-419. doi: 10.26464/epp2018038


Quan-Zhi Ye, 2018: A preliminary analysis of the Shangri-La Bolide on 2017 Oct 4, Earth and Planetary Physics, , 170-172. doi: 10.26464/epp2018017


Qing Wang, XiaoDong Song, JianYe Ren, 2017: Ambient noise surface wave tomography of marginal seas in east Asia, Earth and Planetary Physics, 1, 13-25. doi: 10.26464/epp2017003


ZhongLei Gao, ZhenPeng Su, FuLiang Xiao, HuiNan Zheng, YuMing Wang, Shui Wang, H. E. Spence, G. D. Reeves, D. N. Baker, J. B. Blake, H. O. Funsten, 2018: Exohiss wave enhancement following substorm electron injection in the dayside magnetosphere, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 359-370. doi: 10.26464/epp2018033


BinBin Ni, Jing Huang, YaSong Ge, Jun Cui, Yong Wei, XuDong Gu, Song Fu, Zheng Xiang, ZhengYu Zhao, 2018: Radiation belt electron scattering by whistler-mode chorus in the Jovian magnetosphere: Importance of ambient and wave parameters, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 1-14. doi: 10.26464/epp2018001


Jing Huang, XuDong Gu, BinBin Ni, Qiong Luo, Song Fu, Zheng Xiang, WenXun Zhang, 2018: Importance of electron distribution profiles to chorus wave driven evolution of Jovian radiation belt electrons, Earth and Planetary Physics, 2, 371-383. doi: 10.26464/epp2018035

Article Metrics
  • PDF Downloads()
  • Abstract views()
  • HTML views()
  • Cited by(0)

Figures And Tables

Seismic characteristics of the 15 February 2013 bolide explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia

Zhi Wei, LianFeng Zhao, XiaoBi Xie, JinLai Hao, ZhenXing Yao