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Jun 1966

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'If

CRATERING FROM HIGWN EXPLOSIVEF-'HARGGS,

'ANALYSIS OF CRAT-ER`:DATA-".

TECHNICAL RE-PORT NO. 2-547,


Report 2
Jun* 1961

U. S. Army E-ngineer Waterways Experiment Station


dbRPS OF FN GINEERS
Vidcksurg, Mits issippi
ARMY-MAC7 VICKVBUPGQ, Minis.

PREFACE
-Thl~
~report is

the"!%econd and fina, report on the general spUbject-)

cratering from high explosive charges.

Presented herein is an

~empirical

..nalysis of all the HE cratering data-c ompi led in the firs3t repbrt,
Compendium of.Crater Data.
The study was conducted for the Office, Chief of Engineers,

Depart-

ment of the Army, as'a part of Research 'and Develop ,mentProject 8S12-95-002,

"*"Nuclear Weapons Effects on Structure s, ,Terrain, and.Waterways (U),:"

it'

was accohmplished-during the perio4-July 1959 through.Junie 196O.',by.p~rsonnel


of the-Special .Investigations Section, Hydraulics Division, U.S.' Army Engineer Idatezfways Experiment Station, under the general superlision of
Me~ssrs.':E. P.Fortson, Jr., and F. R. Brown.
Mlr.-J. N..StranLgIe SP-4 C. W. Denzel, and

This report was prepared by

sp-h T.' I. McLane, III, under the

direct.: supervision of Mr. G. L.' Arbuthnot, Jr.


Col. Edmund..H. Lang, CE, was Director of the Waterways Experiment
Statio Induring the reparation of this report, and Mr. J. B. Tif-fany was
*the Technical Director..

%P

CONTENTS
l Page,
PRE-FACE .

vii,

..................

ix

...............................

Slhv!MARY.

..............

PART I:

INTRODUCTION...........................

PART-' II:

..

............................

NOTATIONS.

i..

...

EXPERIENCE FROM EARLIER INVESTIGATIONS............3

British Investigations....................
Uh~T~n.t~ed !Dtates. Investigations....................
VARIABLES TKAT 'AFFECT CRATERING PHENOME~NA.

PART III:

.....................
.Propertieb of..Explosive Charge.
'. .
.
Properties of the Medium Cratered

.................

.............

7
Position of Charge.........................7
..

..

..

..

...

DISCUSSION OF SCALING CONSIDERATIONS...............9


:2
PART V., ANALYSIS OF CRATERING DATA. ............................
PART IV:

...................................

Available Data. .. ..........

Methods of Analysis. ..............


Hesiults of Analysis..........

PART VI:

'CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.......

...............

Recommendations....................
REFEREN4CES.......

.. .. ................
............

TABLES 1-2
PLATES 1-71

',

'V

12

...........................13
.............................. 14
0

........... 20
2

NOTATIONiS

Cs

harge.,shape factor) dimensi onless

dS

et

fcaef

cra~ter, ft
Depth of aprn

d
a

Depth of true crater, ft

DhThiqzPt.Pr of' cawi'

-t

ft

(honrivonta1 'dire~etion)',

Diameter of camouflet (vertical direction),

E-

Elastic properties of medium &i~tere'd, lb/ft's

f't

h, Crater lip height, ft


K

Constant, dimensionless

Exponent of the charge weight, dimensionless

Radius of crater, ft
Radius of apparent crater': ft

*ra.

r Radius of explosive charge,-ft


r

~S

adius of true crater, ft


SJoil resistance function dependent upon soil type, dimensionless'3

V Volume of crater, ft 3
Vd

Petonatiofi velocity of explosive, ft/sec


WWeight of charge -(TXT equivalent), lb
'Position of charge'above
*

jA

()qp' below ()air,,-ground interface, ft


vii1 j

VI

7'

2\

Specific weight of ex- losive, lb/f't

6 Ener'Ay.. density ntl ex-p lo s ive .(Tt-l


X Reduce~d.charge pobition (/

~iPoi~on'L)W

1/3

),ft/lb

3
),
tlb/ft

1/3
_

ratio of' the q~edium cratezred, diznensi~niess

Moisture-content of med~uim cratlered, per cent by weight,


v.

Void, ratio of wedluin

~ratered, dim~ensionless

Lasting or p.acking de~nsity of' the charge,

PC

P Density

dimensionless

lb-sec2/ft4

2
of medium cratered, Ib-sec /rt4

Jrnghpoperties,
2
tcnjilo*), lb/ft

Cl

of' mcdium cratered. (compression,

viii

ff.

shear, and

ItI

eledi

If.

b)

n'qu

rpeitn

Crtratier.-rnesurenialngtr~s
ffor aproimtes fir00

onorindeore than 20nd-

withahrge weightsagn.
frm les-aess thanedre
lbato th
b ~ of30,0
analzed
o:
() gan & ette 'understnined aofnhgo~~* ivlvdi
the liinngb-0the shm~l
ri and iz af
yith
w~aesfre
explosivs;,, (b.
esmtaz,~ therb orer ofvalriatgemiorictatl theractrizes crwtatern
relate;n
* c)aedezelo
nd charoved and/or> more weerll-kned tchiube-otscln
peitin lor
cratenirienlyos
4ccept
alin toreoalnps.
dormshosfired on oruner ahepgreuntlwere
this dearmined wroh lts tp'of'mduben
craterraiu
deph
and
fuchtiono
e
leimh~ntheebystbliin
oit io,

aempiricallyd theasi~
sncalicing las

ht

eati

s3ize 'and,shape for charges up to 1,9000,000 lb of TNT. Also, the influence


of various soil tyes on-crater sLe is shown graphically.

hA

ix

'fit,

d",XI

J'I

FRM*,"O

C15TEIN
ANPlS

"PR

'

i.,

Fo

costucio

ayyas

lweeVdnit

sdA

~jcsb

xvto

Eqully

rs.

yperarsiows.

xlsvshaebe
ag

arh'

in rfamnizigte

Fori malnyn

A I

.NTOUCI'

toacIlls

o""tin

til~

RRTE.'

OF

CAG9

osn

ipranisterxt

Oneyre-enitlyhvexplosives
hv

been" sdi

large 'amotnts to both loosen and remove unwanted or,,waste materials.


Te ue o hu~ed ofthusands and even millions ,of pounds of exp'losives

to excavate

*very

Hlowever,

arevoumeso

materials is'daily becoming more commonplace.

c~mrilbla~sting operations usually employ special techniques

of delayed iritiation and programmed firing of a number of carefully lo-'


*cated

charges pre-positioned at prebcribed d~epths~,,.Because "of,the special,


,.methbds employed, cor~mercial blasting operation's' normally prbvide very little information that is-usable in predicting the size of crater that a

given quantity of hl.h explosive (HE) will produce, and-certainly,' it is


the cii.er formed by the deionation of single charges* that ,is'of major
*

milita\-S

interest.
2~The imp~ortance of-cratering was greatly 'increased when,,' through

*~e use of nuclear weapons,, it became possible tob release enormous amounts
of,energy from essentially, a point source. With the coming o.~tenuclear
wea~poni came also the requirement that' prospective 4sers.,understand fully
its potential and' its limitations'.

Niiturally),"the most certain* way to

realize a complete understanding of each weapon's effects is from repeated',


tests at full scale, in which suffi2~ient measurements are made to define
.each 'effect. Although this method is'-preferable from the poito
iwo
"'accurately establishibgw,eapon efet, 'itis-economically (and perhaps
biolbgia'ly, _becla~se of the radioactive fallout).Infeaasible; therefore,
efforts have beeW-made to establish and define many of the full-scale.

P~effects

by use o! ml-cl
HE ch~rges., Crate&ring Is-oni-of the effects
studied using HE charges.
that
has
been
nuclear
we~poIns
.of
*.3'.Over a jipriod of the last twenty d~ oyaa many HE ciateri~ng
e~eriments have been ..
conducted, in.an effort to determine the ,cratering
*

.-.

a'

'1

0"

**'

'

~
phenomena have
crtrpg

capab~ility of v~ar16us 'explosives Pr'imarily ti

to be afunction, of_(a..) the depth of


been considered -.

al ofi),,chd~rge,

(b):'t'he propertiesp of the. medium in which the charge Is placed, (c) the
ot ramnso
ftecag
xlsv,"ni()tewih
type o
in a specific test
of
data
lb~tained
ve
made
use
cratering
h;
subject
of
the
series.

As a-'4esult, few 'ollations

among Various test "series were at-

teimpted.-' When comparisons were at-tempted andi found tollbe widely diverge~nt,
justifications were soul\ i~o why 'ne test series should be used. in
preference~to another.

iSu 1 practices in some. instances greatly reduced.

scatterr and/or served to b as .tile conclusions reached.

4~.

It .seemed approp*]fiate thdiref ore thaat- a study should bel'initiated

in 'i~hich (a) all, 1knwn era le'ring da'tae woikd be tabulated along with pertinent soil properties,- expljtlve types', and charge weights and dep~ths of
burial; &nUd (b) the. data s8 coirpileI d would be analyzed as thoroughly as
prac-ticable.

The s'tudy undertaken was divided into two ,phases, vizk,

com~pilation 6f7 crater data, and analysis of crater data.

'The report on.

the 'f
irst-phase entitled Compendiumn ofCrater Data, was published as
Report 1 of this series in May

196'o.7

Thie major objectives of this, the

second phase of the"'Istudy,-were to (a) obtain a better understanding of the


craterinly process,"(b

assess the order of variation. (scatter) that charAc-

terizes craterinC phenomena in~ specific and widely divergent materials,

and

(c) devclop, if practicn.ble, improved-'and/or more -generalized methods of


predicting the sizp and shape of explosively gene~r-ted craters for a
variety of soil. conditions'4

5.

Since the mtbasurem~ents of explosively generated craters were very


often reported merely as by-products. of test serie8 plapined for other purposes, riost,,of the data tabulateld in the compendium are grossly inadequate
for a-truly 6cientific approach to a general solution'-of the cratering 7'
problem,,

Consequenltlk,

it

was not possible to realize an "analysis that

*fulfilled all'of the objectives ;t~ated above.' 'Attempts


ysi-s

to include the. effe~ts of additional paramneters were. unsuccessful.

Results are presented in asG.;reat deta~il as the,

Haised.:numbers, ref'er to sitiaynmee

4*
- .-

to refine the anal-'

encs -'at end -of' text.

input" data Ywarrant.

%h erfref

is

tnrs in
,

A
II

PART II:

EXPERIENCE FROM EARLIER INVESTIGATIONS

British Investigations

6.

In 1940 the, British conducted a series .of -tests to determine,

'empirically, equatibns that would provide meahs or predicting the sizei'and


shape of craters' resulting from the detonation of HE charges (bpmbs)
on,
sil

or beneath the aityground interface.

above,

These tests were conducted within

and rock masses slo chosen as to be generally representative of the

land mass .of England

a set of cratering capability

From these teLts,

curves* was produced for predicting crater dimensions in a variety of


earth media.
7.

By the erid

fi41 the British had aoo

lat d s ffioient data

from actual bombings %0 formulate a second Set of cmpirical equations.


These differed somewd t from the first, mainly becauseiof a difference in
the methods of, emplacing the charge.

In the experimental tests much larger

cavities were formed than. in the actual bombings.

In the experimental

tests the backfilling materials used in the bomb emplacement were carefully
tamped and controlled, whereas in the actual bombings the bomb itself was

"open to the atmosphere through the penetration burrow.

Obviously the en-

ergy released by the detonations was partitioned differently between the

Tedia and the air.


1
8. Within the range of charge weJgh1s involved, the data, both from
'actual bombings and from the experimental work, conformed satisfactorily
to Hopkinson's law.

This law states that .if

charges of the same explosive,

differing in weight but not in shape, are detonated,, the explosivre effects
are proportional to the linear dimensions of the two charges.
Thus, a
sphere of-TNT that has a diameter t4ice that of a second sphere will, upon
-detonatior, produce twice .s, big a crater and twice as much damage (i.e...
-the explosive effects will be twice as 9evere)..
%%"

'":7I

*,Any plot, of a reducd crater dimension versus: the reduced charge ,posi-

tion; e.g.,

d/W"1/3 versus

0 3

"X ; etc.
JI'

vw
versus

13
1/3

erus

"3

United States Investigationg


9o.se
Some experimnents were conducted by the United ~States in19.41
to asessthedamage that structures might, re'ceiv Ofrom bombs bursting
nearby. -The tests showed that, even in the case

Ifburie

bombs, it-was

possible to cause considerable damage to bidnisituated near the exploso.From the results it was dete'rmined tha t11a brIo:.ad
,experiImental program
would be requir-ed to assess the'roles of the various best' parameters" in
causing damage.

The tests also revealed that underg,'ound installations

could best be attacked by actual i~rate"ring of the soti-structure mas,4;


ther-efore, the relative Influence of the various test"pd~rameters on the
cratering pr 12ess became important.
A
10.1

These sLudles were among the first which led-to a series of pro-

longed studies of the cratering problem ana..the various factors which


influence crater formation.

nI
0/.

PART III:
siz

an

VARIABLES THAT AFFECTICRATERING PHlC*ENKA6

shapt of an explosively geeatdcater Aedepndent uo.te

quatit
tyeanf' xplsiv'usdthe medi'imin which the cratering
tksplace, and the method'of..emplacement of the charge and its position
nde'pendent varia-"~ are vr
reatveto the medium-Air interfacge. Ths
*

enough to pemta

or' dqaey

'and cannot be de'fined complete,

I'comple'x

study of the cratering problem in minnu1ie\detail..

Ever~y attempt at analysis,

.:is complicated "by other variables,,that ar'~ less obvious and by an interrelation of the variables namned ab~pve.

IA view of these- difficulties, it

is..very likely that, crater-prediction mthdswlf'or some time at least,


contain provig~ional technique's for assessin

certain factors 'wh'~h exert

considerable influence on the cratering process.


12. The following tabulation lists the more obvious variables that
are believqd to hav&"signific'Ant 'influence upon the cratering' problem.

The extent to) which other variables' might' conceivably influence the problem
Because of the quality of the data available, the ef-

is indeterminable.

fects of several of the' more obvious variables on crater formation could


not be determined in .this study.

Properties of Medium Being


____

Weight

Density

Shape

Moisture content,

Air-ground ,interface.

Dynamic load-deformation
charActe'ristic.s:, modulus

Below-ground regime

Packing or casting
density
'

"...Above-ground

of elasticity, ultimate
strength (compression,
and shear).,

Energy density,'
*~.tension,

Detonatioqill velocity,
/

Cratered

Charge Position

Propert ie s of.harge

Poiczsori's ratio, etc.


Void ratio
9ther soil properties which
may' produce third- or higher-;
effects
~rder
a

regime

I.'

'4,

Poetjpof Exp~losive Char&6J

13'. Properties of the" explosive' re of major importance in dete'rmin- J


ing the size cratpr that A given chargwilpoue
The weight of ex hi0
sive,

in 'conjunctio'n with the shape and .5ieo h, large, determinesl.


packring 'eity.
Idalfrpurposps
other~ hn'vlaii
sh~aped-ch'6rge
effects, spherical charges are best suited',to"E~xperiment~al' tes~ts wherein it
is desirable to eliminate the, charer, shape, as,,.a factor in thc cratcrling
process and 'to mdre nearly simulate a point -source of energy,.

Experience

has shown, however, that ch4fr.ges which do not-deviate greatly from'a cubical shape" produce little
or' no charge-shape effect, on' the size or shape o f
th rter
formed.
Tests have been'condvuctd 2 , 3 ta
eedsge
pcf
ically toL evaluate -the effect of charge shape on crater shape an~d size.
However,

these testy were for a particular pth-pose .and are not considered

per'tinent to the g~eneral solution of the cratering,,problem when spherical',,


ch~irges are used.

14.. Since craterizig involves deformation, displacement, an~d throwout


of the.. soil mass that ha~s received, loads sufficient to exceed the elastic
limit of the medium,

it

4-~ obvi~ous -that such effects w:ill increase in mag-

nitude as the charge weight is

increased.

the smaller charges. (vi < 1060 lb),

Experience has shown that for

the explosion effects are fairlyr well,

predicted by-Hopkinson's law (see paragraph

8).

Although all exp] ',osion

effects .do not adhere. to thi law in the absolute sens~e, it may bJL used to
describe the behavior" of the exIplosion effects in.. an appro'ximate hmanner.

15.

From certain test results

where comparison is pogs'iblk,, it

has

been qualitatively determined'that explosioh effectiveness in prod`cing a


crater is "a function of the detonation veplodity. ,,A -"'rule of thumb"' summation~ of test results shows that.the more effectiv,,e crater-producinik explosves are those hiaving the slower. detonat'ion velocities.
3'

For exam~ple,

6o%

armmoniumn dynamite '(detonation velocity approximately 9700 ft/sec') 'isabout

30 to. 50% more, effective than ,C-4'(detonation velocity' abgut 24,000 ft/see')
in producing'a crwter when equal amounts of energy a~re rel~eiised,.1., Furthermore, explosives having detonation velocities slower thhn thatofmonu"
J;:'

dynamite are- ev~en more ef'fective from *the standpoint o. producing -crat~ers.
Since the enrg

density

of, explosive,-, is directlyieae

to

detonation velocity, low en-ergy-dens~ity explosives dre more, efficient


cratering charges.
Properties of the Medium Cratered

16.

Several properties of the medium being ctatered influence to a

pronounced''cdegree tfre size of ciater which-the detonation of a given amount.


of explosive can produce.

Generally, the earth's crust may be described- ab

being a nor.~iniform, nonlinebir, randomly constituted mass that m~ak~es up the


exposed and shIa'low laer otheart' sur ace. One auth oiOdescribeo it

J)

as being "rionlin ar, .pla2ptic, absorptive, disjbersive,,aiorpc

and non-

JI homogeneous." "Wi`th the"'wide variation of mat~iial propertiesifrom one lo-~


calle to another. even when the materials are similarly classified, it is riot
surprising that crater results exhibit considerable scatter.'Ih

eut

of a.set of' carefully controlled cratering -expe:imcnts conducted-at WE9in


materials that were probably as homogeneous as navire provid'es'exhibited.
..devi at ions in the range of

-l,"which 'is believed to be what might be

-regarded as minimal scatter.


ter in the range of +30 to
17.

Most experiments are characterized by scat-

40,1.

The extent to which the various properties of the medium affect

-the-cratering process is somcwil')hat uncertain.

Tests havc never been con-

ducte-d in sufficient number or in. sufficient detail to establish tkke relative influence of -each major'soil parameter orV the total process.

However,

it would seem from an intuiitive point of view that thei-greatest influence


should be attributed to the moi;ture content and strength properties.
Actually, these two variabiles are so closely relate-d that they cannot be
isolated.

The strength properties referred to here are those perta~ining to

conditions of dynamic 'loading. The other properties q~f the medium,, such as
density, void ratio, etc., are believed to produce second- orthird-order,
effects.'and arc thcrefore "of little czuxsequerpce,, in develop1~ng an. empirical
solution of the crrxtering problem.
Positipn of Charge

1.The pooit*qfi of~ the charge,, relative 'to the air-ground interface,i~ also a Pr'ime factor, in' doeterinini~nig the crater' size and shape., since the,
11diOe
ito
relative .to" the interfa P fixes 'the amoun fe~g

F.q'

.paritinedbeteenthetwomedia,, Most-of the energy released by charges~


plac~ed-above the interface goes directly into the air;coeqnty
chargcs in this posiLioriare ineffective as crater-producing explosions.'
Charges placed on or ,belo~w t.he air-ground interface are much m~ore effective
since there is direct coupling 'of the-.energy to, the earth medium.

Hence,7

these charge positions are- of principal interest 8fld are considered in


greater detail-in this study. The-results of above-surface -detonations
are Ireported simply as a matteoi of ac ade mic' inter'est.
19.
-

~~>2:

The gam

of charge -pucsiltons ob-

served ha~s been -di-Vi~e ~&tje


eea
groupsJ,"namIely, 'the.lbove-ground regime, the

S ~

interface, a~d the below-mgr-ound_

*....~air-ground
..

regime (see t~bulati~on in.paragraph 12).


'Charges placed in thee belqw-ground regime
May be further grouped as to crater shaapie
(,fig. 1).; Prom experimental evidence,"it
has been established that in most in-situ
materials, conventional craters are formed
the value of the reduced charge posi-

-when

tion

lies between +0.5 and--2.0

(fig. l!'). Partial cwnouflets (fig. lb)


are forpned when X~ lies between approxiad c
matelyll,-2.0 and~
and in materials exC
~hibiting
appreciable cohesive strength,
full caxnoufiets are formed when X < !-3.-5
Fig, 1. Typical crater
shapes and the range
(i.l)
of charge positions
with which they are.
associated
,

IV

A'

'A

xIimna

20
The pupseoftevrou
g~~~ar%~~~

sos.-othef

purposp

othe

arsbe u

clpglwfr

ofruae

en

a
tauaednteCmedu

drientt
pen

clscn-ffeRp

of' iiclear weapon? by using high explosi'ves 4z a sf~4saen@ergy source._Since this renort)4.doe3s rtht eonsIder craier.Q Lrevft1n Frm 1 'h
de.opt

~zE., the sc&lih~g effects that are discussjed herein 22 y


o 42,4o ,000, 000 lb of ~'T.
The following several
toHEdetons

of ula
a
onl

paragraphs discusis the sgaling aspects bf. the- c'ratering problem in general
and point out redsonq for the failure of the scaling laws to predict results over wide ranged of explosive yields and types of media.
21.

Any dimension of 'a crater, such as radius, depth., volume,. etc.,

in a general sense is a runction of the:

weight of the charge (W

lb);

shape of the charge (C, i,dimenbion~less); casting or packing density of the


explsiv
~
lb.se~/f 4 );.ener6, density of the ex losive (F.
ft -lb/ft3.); detonat~ioni velocity of' the ex'plosive. (Vd
the medium cratered (Pm . lb--sec /ftl
per' cen/:'LV_'egh
(E,

lb/ ftc)

k.
(I

"'

ft/sec"); density of

_Jture 'con-ten-t of. the medium in

Y dimensionless); eaas~tic'"properties of the medium

strength propertieu of the 'medium/1 i.'e. compression, shear,

and tension (a

' lb/ft2 )

void ratio of' the, medium (v,

Pidisson "s ratio of the medium

dimensionless);

dimensionltssj;, and position of the

charge relative to the air-groirnd interface

(Z.

,ft).

Expressed mathemat~ically,

r,

dV,

etc.

(WC

Vd,

E,

ni
*Although

this expression may represent iixnost the absolute solution of the

cratering problem, it-is recognized thtto acq'uire sufficient experimL'ental


*data

wherein each. of, thc 1-nd~ep(nden't.,.-voriables -are fully dsibdbdes


.:,cie

border

10

on the, ridieulols..

In the first place, there'aire n6 method., at th~e present

time for e,(aluuting the varii~uo propcrtico'of .thc soil in situ when the
soil is eX ooecd to t rload

Ij hence:,, the problem,

economic reaoon.,, rnu;;t he


bN. rit's11lY

~limplified.

?2",
diluml

For the `iurpo.se(

the' foirLowinge

cn

unaiys.ing, the dlata preocented in the Compen-

reasonable:

7 d.

WhCrer,

4j'

!!V

(2)

.'etc

I.; thle Crat~


0 iadiviA *d

W thle..chnrt~e wei.,tU

(lb.1

fox, practical and

the crater depth,

ofI TN'P),

V the crater volume,

the charg~e poscition relative to the

aii'-riedliutm interi"tce, "III,


-,oil ruAs;tance function described by, soil
type Only..
'to~ .1L;)proach.., 'prcscnts
wha1t might, be cOnlside d a f irstQrder solutiun o!' the eruturirwg problern and, in-view of' th6 d ata avdilable
PorP' analy 3i:, is;,the onily praictilcdble type of solution.
2.Ifi~,e problem were as si';mple ti ontlined above, a curve 11relatingt thc dimlenLsions of -the crate:', the char~ge, weight, and. the charge p0o.zition relative to the interlk'tiie couOd be developed, for each,, soil typeb
'!"using dimensnionless .,roupingo lof these variables, as developed frowi-,,dimen.uionai anaiy',; i.
euonsidert~d

For example,

ii,

the

Cube rool. of''the ehchrge weight is

linear dimension' (this is-an entirely proper assumption since


/1313
aplto
y~ 4/3 itr3fW/
N , a p o 01 d W / or r/Wl/ .
, from which r c
1/Wl/
s
v~r~
/w3for various SOil types, Provides a graphic so'lution oX' the
pi'oblenm.
However, the problemn i.' 'not tilat simple, and there exist devia-;
tirins fromn the scaling procedurei
ple bth
clsicue-root
lawI1
.a

(Hopkinson's-iaw)
The most important de-viation from the implied pri,,cip~cc01'~inilarit'o'ccurs,-notiAn~thevery early history' of the expl~~n
b ut af~tex-riso

hc

ae

andater the termination of ess~en

Lially hydr'odynamnic behavior,, -'The later stages of crate3P fonrmation are


highily Aependb

on "gravitational f'orcees

-C[or

-xnle, the eff ect of grav-

ity_ cauipes' the shear. resisztance of the soil'to increase wth an increase in
the s;cale of the e)ploL400io.

'3irice gravity is niot readily ,calable, thl,,

phenompenon will. de) i,ite fr om the l1awsL of sirnilarit associjated-,iyth cuberoot

"ItA.,aii,; iscaling

th~at parameters

-uibh a-, the de

arc to be expect-edweiitoralzd
iyo~th~eim

ts-par'ticre, size,

y~d

f h
properties ,cannot be scaled in proportion to the rati
"cute rootsl Pbthe. saled charge~ and prototype charge..
241, -Experimenital results. -show that cube-root scaling is "'approxiit
tent

5ane from about,;1 to .1000'lb. A h


miatelyif valid when ch~arg'e weights
range.,of charge weiglhts is enlarge'd to include charges up tio-,several tens,.
caigbecornes'm.ore
of thuas
opund, te deViation i~ncube- ro
discernible. ,Even at this scale,. -the deviations are not-ob~ectionably
larGe because the physical. siye 'of the charge is ealable and its .size
ten~ds to hold the deviations to a minimum.

As the' energy'density of the

explosive i; increazed to greater and greater amounits, the deviations con-tinue to, increase,, such that for nuclear weapons, scaling from TNT sources
on the basis-of the cube-root law yields completely misleading results.
25. Tn .ounary, the cube-root law is invalid over a wide ranige of
yicids;. particulodrly i* this true when,,h

explosives involved ha~ve wi ~ly

varying energy dendities and detonation velocities. ~Afirst-orde~r approxiination 'of the. cratering problem may botandhruhheue o, cuberoot scaling when TNT, or a nearly.,equivalent type of explosive, is the
on ly enIergy source used. In this report, the data contained in the Compendiuln are analyzed to, reflect any. scale effect due tp a wide'variation in
charge weight by plotting crater dimensions, as, a function'of charge weight.
He~pcQ, a best-fit scaling procedure (based on the least-squares method).is
used to minimize scatter eind-to. increase' the accuracy of prediction
mnethods.

12
PART V:"

ANALYSIS OF CRATERING DATA

Ava~Aable Data
Cratermeasurements
6

suitable for use in analysis are available

from approximately 1000 shots involving the use of TNT or some other explosive

for which conversion factors are available to make possible the

reductionP. of its yield to an equivalent TM yicld.


onated iy:more than, 20 different media and 24
ployed,

as summarized in table 1.

for frozen ground and ice,


recorded,

it

In

The charges were det-

tyes of explosives were em-

order .to establish prediction curves-

was necessary to use the weight of'charge

sinceeconversion factors were not available for the types of- ex.

plosives used in
questionable,

these test programs.

The propriety of doing this may be

but in the absence of proper conversion factors,. no other

procedure seemed realistic.


27.
charge,

The ranges of variables (charge weight, depth of burial of'


and reduced depth of.;burial of charge),are presented:in tabJT 2. -

From this table,

it

would appear that sufficient data are available from

which a rigorous empirical solution of the cratering problem might be made.

'dHowcver,

the fact:-is that the data are not well distributed over the range

-of variables stipulated.

In

some cases,

there is

an overabundance

for certain values whereas for other cases there is


useful data.

of data

a definite scarcity-of

These areas of "famine or feast" result from a lack of

-coordination in past research efforts and the fact that a considerable


portion ,of the dtta as a whole was derived from research projects wherein
crater measurements were by-products onlyoand were inadequately reported.

28.

Certainly,

any future expIlosion-effects research resulting in

crater formation should report such measurements in


data likjted in

the Compendium..

order to. supplement

Any further research that may be directed

.,toward a1irancing the state of the art of piedicting the size of explosively
generated craiters should be carefully plannedto ensure as broad a coverage
Sof the ranges of primary interest as pos~sible. To date, no work
of any
real significance has been done to. ascertain the effectis of energy density

7 and detonation velocity.on thecratering efficienicy 6f,-.various types of


explosives.'

This should be done to assist in

-'

-'

-'

developing a m.re'wor1able

.7?

theory of the cratering problem in general.

It'is further believed that

'work in.this area may weil lead to a more realistic means of scaling HE rei
sults into the nuc lar

range with confidence.

Methods-of Analys..
29." To determine the scaling trends that would best fit
tabulated in the Compendium,

thedata

plots of crater depth and radius as a func-

tion of charge weigh~t for thc various types ol boll and for the. selected
ranges'of charge position were made (see plates l-51).*4'

Plates-1-6 and

30 and 31 present, for various types of soil, crater dimensions plotted as


a function of charge weight for broad ranges of charge position.

These

ranges were made large in an attempt to group together as many individual


crater measurements as possible without assuming similar behavior to exist
over an" absurdly broad yang(.

This procedure permits the plotting q(-hun-

dreds of points over a(Cwide range of, charge weights.

Of course, it 'also

presupposes that there exists a balance in the number of charges positioned


over the range of charge positions and weights involved.

Otherwise,

if

more low-yield shot results from deeply buried charges were available compared to high-yield shot results, most of which were obtained from shallowly placed charges,

the line of best fit

would have a biased and flatter

slope than a balanced set of results would exhibit.

Plots of crater di-

mensions versus charge weight 'for' more specific charge positions (having a
relatively narrow range)and for various types of soil are presented in
plates 7-12 and 32-37.

The

.remaining

plates (plates 13-29 and 38-51) show

the crater radius or depth as a function of the charge weight for a specific soil type and for a -specific charge position.'
'30.

Limit lines are shown in' plates 1-51 (except

40

and 41) 'which

describe an interval within which 95%'of the experiment'&l data fall.

The

limit lines, also provide an indication of the levels of scatter associpated


with the phenomenon.

Particularly is

of bbservatiqnsare involved,.

thi, true where an. appreciable number

The limits also illustrate that'there is

"*The reference' numbers. that appear in all plates of this report refer to
similarly number&.

if

iteuts in the Bibliography contained in the.CompendiumT"

11~

_-

--

"--

---

'

--.

'

-~

.-

14,.

less scatter associated with the measurement of crater radius than, with
crater depth.
The line of best fit and its equAtion>,,as determined by the
method o~f least squares,' is sonalso -inPlates 1-51. -,The form of each

31.

of these equations is:

wherein the value of

n% stablishes the scaling trend of the plotted data.

In arriving at general scaling trnsfor

all of the plots (plates

It was. necessary to'consider-each value of

n .in

1-51),

which the number.,of ob-

jervations, the distributioin of the plotted points, and the~scatter were


Since the true crater data are-the more reproducible, these
.data were worte prowilln-nly considered than portions of' the apparent crater,
.all Tactors,.

'data. Above-ground shots were -not

~considered in establishing the,,scaling,

trends.
32.

The values of the exponent

tabulated with various parameters.

were tabulated and cross-

Th'e end result of the analysis of the"

tabulations a-nd data plo~tf3 presented in plates 1-51 was the decision that
crater depth is more neox1ydescribed.by W0.3 scaling and cr-ater radius
-by W1/3

!;caling. Since the crater depth scaless differently thani the

radius, the shape of the crater will, depend on the yield of the explosion
(scale of the'experiment).

Results of Analysis

Prediction curves

33.

To establish cr'ater prediction curves based on the scaling laws

decidfed upon, it was nacensary .r-rnrdce 9,11 the radits, and depth mca~urement6 by

W~/

and

W0

respectively.

No effort was made to analyze

crater volume or the crater lip height, primarily because. of the lack of
sufficient dbata.

(Normally, the crater vo~umoe

term-4necd by computations made from the crd~te


to the known. radips 'and depth.)
,and,

may -be-.,sat',i'sfid't.orily de-I

prof ile shpaped to,!'conform

The reducedcrate3Z d, Ih and radii (d/W0 3

/3 irespectively) 'w'ere then plotted


r/W"
as a fun tion 6k tile redu.d-

15
carge position. (Z/w'

for those types of media for whicN),,suf fieclent data

The crater prediction curves are presented in pilates 52-711


Tn e~tr'h plate, nouiographs are provided to assist in making estimates, of' crka..

were available.

ter dimensions for a variety of charge weights and~depths of burial.

Appar-

ent crater prediction curves are shown in plates 52-63 for wet clay, moist
clay, dry &lay, wet, sand, 'dry-to-mQist,saild,- loess, silt, frozen ground,
basalt, sbale,

P;eand,,, nOW;L respectively.. True crater curve s are shown

in plates 64-117 for moist clay, dry clay, basalt, chalk, granite, maristone,
sandstt~nc, and shnlc,. respectively..,
Variation of 'data
34. .A study',,of.,the scatter exhibited by the-exp'erinmefltal data shows
that in soils crater radius ,measurements vary approximately 20% and 'crater

dept
mesurem~
charge.

'prxmately

30% regardless,:of the pos tion of the

Although a marked tendency exists which implies 1ss scatter in

the measurement of true craters, the paucity of"'the data precludes a specific conclusion to this effect.

A simbilar study of scatter associated

with measurements in rock indicates a scatter of approximately 40 to 50%


for crater depth, and about 30 tn 40% fonr c'rater radius'.
The maximum crater

35.

The crater prediction curvres (Plates 52-71,) provide a graphic

Victure of Lhe influence of' the charge position on crater size.


plotp, it

Fromjithe

can b6 seen that the msaximumn apparent crater results from a,

charge positioned Such that

:Similarly, the true crater is maximum when the rbduced charge position is
approximately equal to -2.0.
Comparison of ap aren-t and 'true craters

36.. tWherp direct comparisons of app~rernt and true crater dimensions


are possible '('compare yjiate 53 with 64' 54 with 65, `60 with 66, and,61 with
71), -the following relations appear applicable.

First, the true crater ra.-

dius is,roughly 10 to 20% larger than the apparent-crater ra9dius.


this- dif firehce in 'crater .Adii seems "true

.re~gardless,of

Itt

It:

.*

the chare

3eqon&J',
\"

16
On
the other hand, the ratto of the.,

,\Position

and type of medium.

crater depth to the apparent

-- ____true

c~r~tter

SA

depth is highly sensitive to

charge position as can be seen in


fig. 2. Thus,,estimates of the t~rue

.0 15
Fig. 2. Ratio of -true crater depth

crater radjus and depth may..be made


fo~ 1~
a-n
rtrrdu
n

to apparent. craLer depth ror, various charge positions

depth by ,using these factdrs.'

Generalizations of' the

'&vatering capability curves

37'. If the craterin

data shoiin'in plates 52-7

are consi-d red to-

gether ana summarized, the res~lting single plot of each crater dimension
can be used to ptesent an approximate -arid somewhat generalized solution of
the crater prediction problem"

Figs.' 3 and, 4 present plotslof'this 'type

for the ap~arent crater radius and depth.-

A stu~dy of allthe

information contained in the Compendium 7shows that teratio


vari'es as

;this

vazriati-on is

shown in fig. 5 (page 19).

crater lip
of

h/id

The same

study showos also that .the width of the crater lip normally vari,,es from
abu.0.7 to 1 .0 crater radi-os for chai'gu
and is

positioned between 0 > X

> -'1. 0

about one-half the crater radius for 'charges between -1.0 > X

> -20. With these three ptlots (figs;.

3-)and the "'rule of thumb"' asnses-

merit of crater lip width, the profile of any crater can be developed as
long as the charge is HE an d its weight doesqnot sCLignificantly.;ecd

1,000,000 lb. "Ohrrestrictions, which:oannot be ass~essed at present,


should be impoqsed for situations wherein the medium cratered is

s.tratified,'

or is highly sdturated or heteragenous in nature,Formation of campuflets

38. Gconrally, cvaxouiflets, are, for~aed when explosive charges are


onated aL depths of burial equal to or greater than approxipiately
3.5'W X
-35). The stability of the caniouIflets dependstoap-

acdt-

nounced degree on the strength properties of the material, particularly, the


cohesiv~e properties, for they, to,,a large,~degree, detersrRie the arching,.
characteristics of. the_ soil.' !Tus
,k_the maximum size 'cavity that can bc
f'orned ia
A

S'.1

gien

tral',by the" use of explosives cunnot be determined by

DAM

P~~~N

8t-A
AP

otF

.
-L)o-ot

so

L0.O

-.

A10

4-

*4.

7
_-003
2
4S

4b

-0-.

-3-.

I-4

~-7

-100

-i

.113

77--

II-2

'.I~fI~
.

*.
.

.(I

I.

I-3

'It

24
IS3
2

_____3

AND

f SA

tA

, -OCs-

AN

t-3

K4

4-0
5O

3
2

-0 2
cc

IO31

3J

U
I ;

to4

,'

2..

2;.N

-I

5.
*.

.-

.
.

-s

-2.

101

-100
*Z-OEPTH

-'SO

-90

Fig

h.

-_70

-50

-30
-40,
-so .
OF BURIAL OF CHAFWE, FT

-20

-10

'0

Nomnograph Por determining the .apphrent crater depth i n


rme~dta..
.~-vkrio~u-

10

1.9

04

___

----..--.-

,---.---

-WET--

t 0

20

-i

Fig. 5.
atio of crater lip, height to
apparnt cater depth for Variou
charLge positions
extrapolation of experimpntr~1
material r; proportics.

rat~a withonut detailed considerationts Iof the

Fxpoi-tmentnl evidence currentlW

4vailable

indi-'

cates thait for cohesl.ve 8oilD suoh as less

Lind clay (each having moderate


water contents) the camouficut diameter will be close~ly approximated by:

D
W~hcrc

and

or

=(2.3

o.4)wl/

'(4)

D~ arc, the dianieters, of the, C-amouf let in" thc ve~tic al and

horizontail direction~s., resproctively.

The same experiments

all practical. purposes the ,two-- diameters were equal-.


cainoufiets can be formed in granular materials is
*

showed that for

The possibility that

questionable; however,

granular rnaterials do develop some shear strength (friction) with

.since'

dqpth,"it is conceivable that such cavities could be6 formed. if charges


were buried suf fic iently deep.
-

Aforiefed

*it

.3.

For the purpo.se of' predi tang the ~iecamouflet' that' will be
by an explosive "charge propeprly PosItIned in a. cohesive ooil mass,

i~l' re~commrended that equation 4~ be used to


diarnctea.

stimate the carnouflet',s

The soil properties should then bf, carefully considered to de..

termine the ability. of the s~oil to arch over such a cavity withoultappreciat4,e failu-re of t~he highly compy'essed shell.
01.

20
PART oVI:

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENIATIONS

Conclusiod's

ho.
cratering

FrOn

the analysis reported herein, based upon available HE

data, 7

the following conclusions were formed:-

a.
;f

The crater radius Is best described by cube-root scaling,


whereas the crater depth iz best described when scaled as

b.

Cratering in soils is characterized by a +20% scatter for


crater radius and a +30% scatter for crater depth. These
scatter limits increase to +30 to 40% for width and +|40
to 50% for depth when the material being cratered is
rock.

c.

The maximruni upparent.. crater is formed when -1.0 > Xc > -1.5;
the' maximum true crater is formed when the reduced charge
position equals approximately -2.0.

d.

Cainouflets are formed in cohesive soils when the charge is


positioned so that X 1<

Recommendations
4..

The enormous task of compiling all HE cratering data under a

single cover, coupled with the frustrations encountered in trying to develop a more refined analysis of the data than is presented herein, has led
to the following recommendations:
a.

Future cratering expleriments should be carefully controlled.


In pairicular more elaborate information on the Peditim
cratered should be obtained. Several cratering programs at
the WES have shown that the scatter mentioned in paragraph
.40b can be groatly reduced (to +10% for crater radius and
depth) by carefully controlling the moisture content and
density of the artificially emplaced and compacted soils.

b.

It is also desirable that experiments be carefully planned


so as to obtain a broad coverage of the range of charge pdc
sitions that ire of primary interest to the total problem of
cratering.
Where feasible, colored-sand columns should be
used to delineate the true crater. 5

c.

A study of energy dqnsity-deton'ation velocity effects on


crateringA.is needed.
It is kinown that cratering eff.cienrcy
decreases au` lhe energy density of the explosive increases,
but how the eff lclvmcy changes, with energy density on a

12

quantita~ive basis is not known. Such a 'study would ve'ry


probably' indicpate better ways to relate nuclear and. high
explut~ves Crum~ the stundjpoint *of cratering effgctivenes's.
Ai

.22-

HEFERENICES

--

1. -British Ministry of.Home Security, Road Research Laboratory, 'A Compar


ison of'the Crater Dimensions and Permanent Ear~thMovements in Clyia ,
,Sand, Chalk, and Gravel soils Due to the Explosion of Buried Bombs Ui)
4FW-3
SCRTrbr)
March, 1941.
4
2., 'Livingston, C.''W., Excavations in Frozen Ground (Ui). U. S. Army Snow
lcee., and Per-waifrost R~esearch Establishment, SIPRE Report 30 (UNCLASSI:FIED report), July 1956.
3.

:,Fort Churctilil Blast Tests -inFrozen Glaci'hl Till (U).


Vol II (UNCIASSIFIED report), U. S. Army Snow Ice and Permafrost
Research &;.tabli shment, et) mc 1956.1

4.

Sachs, D' C., and Swift, L, N., Small Explosion Tests, Project Mole (U).
Stanford Research lnstitu~e, AFSWT-291 (SECRET report), December 1955.

5.

"U. S. Armiy Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, 'CE, Effects of


StemminF on Underground Explosions (U).
Technical Report No. 2-43d
(UNCWASIFIED, report), Vick -burg, Miss;., January 1957.
Cratering Effects of Surface and Buried HE Charges inLoess
and ClayT(U).
Technical Report No. 2-_W82 (UNCLASSIFfED report),
Vicksburg, Miz's., June 1958.
_____

7.

from High Explosive Charges; Compendium of Crater


Dat. (U)7 Tcchnical Report No. _2_,97,ReporFt1 (NCASSIFIED report),
V~ick:burg, Mi
4,1,M~y,
1960..
___,Cratering

ol

I wo

C-4-

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C-3

1.~n

4~~~l4

i~~'
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-:

G\(

1(:.

1" '1+.4,0

44

*~

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.
(U

1)
I'd41 G)

41

-;:-J.

o)A

____________________

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T"

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b- TRUE C-AAtERDEPTH
NOTE

DEPTH AND RADIUS

DATA PLrjrTED A00VE;WERE1/t


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TRUE CRA~TR IN CHALK

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ASOVE WERE
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NOT

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OBTAIED
47

DAAPOTD4SV

U
FOM REERENE

RT

RI

PLA

71

___

__-2_

.-

INo

Address,

'

of

Copies

;'

-Army.
Chief of Rese~trch & Dee pmen'
~-Wsig
25, D!-1.
ATTV: Atoniic~,',Air".D',ense..&.Missile Division,
Chief of Engi~'eers, DA,: Wahi
AT:ENGTO-
ENfl,',

"tS M 25, D. C.1.


'2

Commanding (;enbral,, U. S. Continental,-Army Commaxnd, Ft. Monroe' Va.

Commanding General, AberdeenProving .Groxind, Aberdeen, Md.


ATTN. Director, pallistics Laboratoi~y

Commanding General)4 The Engineer Center, Ft. Be~voir., Va.


ATTN: Asst. Commandantr,. Erngineer "School

,,2

Commandrinc 'Off'icer., :Engineer Research- &, Deve'lopiiiefit Laboratory'I.


*Ft. Belvoir-, Va.
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and--Engineering
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Address

,C~
opies

Navy -(Continued)..:
Director,, Navy,.Radiological Defense Laborat 9 ,ry
U. 3, Army, 1.ialsor Offier..

*ATTN:

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of Plans., HeadquArtois, .USAF,,Washington 25, D. C.
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*.Director'

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'

Director of. Research & .Dcvelopmenx-t AHeadqtartersb,- USAF,


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ATITN:,,'Library

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-Washington 25, D. C.""
ATTN:
AVCIE-E
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~~Other

DOD--Agencies

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."

~~2,
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of

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Address

dopi&Q-

Others jqontinued)
Mpssdchuse'tts Itiute of Tlec'hnolog}'il Dept' of Civil,& Sanitary
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AN
D.CC-Hi Norris
Dr. R. V. Whitman'

....
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*~

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A'l'32N: 'Dr. A.-B. Aroyns.
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