Simulating the Propagation of Infrasonic Waves and Estimating the Energy of the Chelyabinsk Meteoroid Explosion Observed on February 15, 2013

S. N. Kulichkov, O. Ye. Popov, K. V. Avilov, I. P. Chunchuzov, O. G. Chkhetiani, A. A. Smirnov, V. I. Dubrovin, A. A. Mishenin

Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
May 2018, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 293–303


Original Russian Text © S.N. Kulichkov, O.Ye. Popov, K.V. Avilov, I.P. Chunchuzov, O.G. Chkhetiani, A.A. Smirnov, V.I. Dubrovin, A.A. Mishenin, 2018, published in Izvestiya Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk, Fizika Atmosfery i Okeana, 2018, Vol. 54, No. 3.

“Results obtained from simulating the propagation of infrasonic waves from the Chelyabinsk meteoroid explosion observed on February 15, 2013, are given. The pseudodifferential parabolic equation (PDPE) method has been used for calculations. Data on infrasonic waves recorded at the IS31 station (Aktyubinsk, Kazakhstan), located 542.7 km from the likely location of the explosion, have been analyzed. Six infrasonic arrivals (isolated clearly defined pulse signals) were recorded. It is shown that the first “fast” arrival (F) corresponds to the propagation of infrasound in a surface acoustic waveguide. The rest of the arrivals (T1–T5) are thermospheric. The agreement between the results of calculations based on the PDPE method and experimental data is satisfactory. The energy E of the explosion has been estimated using two methods. One of these methods is based on the law of conservation of the acoustic pulse I, which is a product of the wave profile area S/2 of the signal under analysis and the distance to its source E I [kt] = 1.38 × 10–10 (I [kg/s])1.482. The other method is based on the relation between the energy of explosion and the dominant period T of recorded signal E T [kt] = 1.02 × (T [s]2/σ)3/2, where σ is the dimensionless distance determining the degree of nonlinear effects during the propagation of sound along ray trajectories. According to the data, the explosion energy E I,T ranges from 1.87 to 32 kt TNT.”