Vela Uniform

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Vela Uniform was an element of Project Vela conducted jointly by the United States Department of Energy and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Its purpose was to develop seismic methods for detecting underground nuclear testing, and it involved many experts from academia, the sponsoring military agencies and the Atomic Energy Commission.

Vela Uniform incorporated seven underground nuclear tests in the continental United States and Alaska from October 1963 to July 1971. Seismic traces from multiple locations were analyzed for each of these events to develop methods for differentiating underground nuclear tests from other seismic events (such as earthquakes) and locating the test site. The program also involved numerous experiments using conventional high explosives.

Vela Uniform tests[edit]

Vela Uniform test blasts
Test name Date Location Yield Test series
Shoal 1963-10-26 Sand Springs Range 39°12′00″N 118°22′52″W / 39.20012°N 118.38124°W / 39.20012; -118.38124 (Shoal) 12 kt Niblick
Salmon 1964-10-22 Salmon Site 31°08′32″N 89°34′12″W / 31.14229°N 89.57001°W / 31.14229; -89.57001 (Salmon) 5.3 kt Whetstone
Long Shot 1965-10-29 Amchitka Island, Alaska 51°26′14″N 179°10′49″E / 51.43709°N 179.18032°E / 51.43709; 179.18032 (Long Shot) 80 kt Flintlock
Sterling 1966-12-03 Salmon Site 31°08′32″N 89°34′12″W / 31.14229°N 89.57001°W / 31.14229; -89.57001 (Sterling) 380 t Latchkey
Scroll 1968-04-23 Nevada Test Site 37°20′16″N 116°22′35″W / 37.33767°N 116.37647°W / 37.33767; -116.37647 (Scroll) < 20 kt Crosstie
Diamond Dust 1970-05-12 Nevada Test Site 37°00′37″N 116°12′10″W / 37.0104°N 116.20277°W / 37.0104; -116.20277 (Diamond Dust) < 20 kt Mandrel
Diamond Mine 1971-07-01 Nevada Test Site 37°00′41″N 116°12′15″W / 37.01148°N 116.20427°W / 37.01148; -116.20427 (Diamond Mine) < 20 kt Grommet

Reference Sources[edit]

  • "United States Nuclear Tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992" (NWD 94-1), Robert Standish Norris and Thomas B. Cochran, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Working Papers, Natural Resources Defense Council, 1350 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005, 202-783-7800, 1 February 1994.
  • "Nuclear Explosions and Earthquakes: The Parted Veil," Bruce A. Bolt, W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 1976, ISBN 0-7167-0276-2.