HC Deb 05 June 1962 vol 661 cc48-9W
Mr. Mason

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science if he will make a statement giving as much information as possible on the results of Operation Seagull; what other seismological experiments have been carried out since that operation; what were the results; and to what extent, as a result of all these experiments, the detection and identification of nuclear explosions can now be ascertained.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

Operation Seagull involved the dropping of a number of depth charges in the English Channel, thus producing shock waves which could be recorded by seismic detection instruments at various points in the United Kingdom. The operation demonstrated the possibility of measuring the depth at which events occur in the earth's crust.

Two linear arrays of seismic detection instruments were set up by the United Kingdom in Wyoming last year to study the effects of the underground explosions under the United States Government's project Gnome.

A somewhat similiar array of instruments has since been set up by the Atomic Energy Authority in the South of Scotland, at Eskdalemuir, a site which is geologically suitable and free from industrial activity. This station should be in operation next month to study the effects of underground tremors and will be calibrated by methods similiar to those used in Operation Seagull.

It would be premature to regard the results of the experiments so far carried out as more than useful progress in the problems of detecting and identifying underground nuclear explosions.

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