Yield estimation of the 2020 Beirut explosion using open access waveform and remote sensing data

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Authors

Christoph Pilger, Patrick Hupe, Peter Gaebler, Andre Kalia, Felix Schneider, Andreas Steinberg , Sudhaus Henriette, Lars Ceranna

Abstract

We report on a multi-technique analysis using publicly available data for investigating the huge, accidental explosion that
struck the city of Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2020. Its devastating shock wave led to thousands of injured with more than
two hundred fatalities and caused immense damage to buildings and infrastructure. Our combined analysis of seismological,
hydroacoustic, infrasonic and radar remote sensing data allows us to characterize the source as well as to estimate the
explosive yield. The latter ranges between 0.8 and 1.1 kt TNT (kilotons of trinitrotoluene) equivalent and is plausible given
the reported 2.75 kt of ammonium nitrate as explosive source. As there are strict limitations for an on-site analysis of this
catastrophic explosion, our presented approach based on data from open accessible global station networks and satellite
missions is of high scientific and social relevance that furthermore is transferable to other explosions.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5W027

Subjects

Applied Statistics, Earth Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Probability

Keywords

Seismology, InSAR, Explosion, CTBTO, Damage mapping, Wavefom propagation, Yield

Dates

Published: 2020-12-22 03:10

License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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