Department of Geoscience, Stony Brook University

North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test site (in high precision)



by Lianxing Wen, Professor of Geophysics, Stony Brook University

On February 12, 2013, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) announced that it conducted its third nuclear test. We have determined North Korea’s 2013 test site to be at (41°17'26.88"N, 129°4'34.68"E), about 345 meters south and 453 meters west of its 2009 nuclear test site. The geographic precision of the determination is 120 meters (in comparison, the horizontal uncertainties of the event location reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization are +/- 13.6 km and +/- 16.2 km, respectively).

North Korea's nuclear test sites (red star), seismic stations (triangles), and seismic waveforms plotted color-coded with the associated station and labeled with the year of the test.

Determined location of North Korea's 2013 test site, along with the previous determined test sites plotted on a Google Earth map. The sizes of the circles are proportional to the relative yield.

The study utilized the seismic data recorded during North Korea’s 2013 and 2009 nuclear tests. The picture on the left shows the seismic stations and seismic data used to relocate the nuclear tests. The seismic data come from a seismic station in China (MDJ) of the Global Seismographic Network, jointly operated by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and China Earthquake Administration and some seismic stations in Japan. The picture on the righ are the determined locations of North Korea's 2013 nuclear test site, along with its previous determined test sites in 2009 and 2006.

  • For general introduction of the study and our previous study related to North Korea's 2009 nuclear test, click here.
  • For the scientific publication of the study of North Korea's 2009 nuclear test, click here.
  • For the event information at USGS .
  • For more information about North Korea's 2013 nuclear test reported by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization: click here
  • For more information about Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization:
  • For more information about Professor Lianxing Wen:

    Copyright Stony Brook University, 2013.