Mars’s seismic activity and noise have been monitored since January 2019 by the seismometer of the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander. At night, Mars is extremely quiet; seismic noise is about 500 times lower than Earth’s microseismic noise at periods between 4 s and 30 s. The recorded seismic noise increases during the day due to ground deformations induced by convective atmospheric vortices and ground-transferred wind-generated lander noise. Here we constrain properties of the crust beneath InSight, using signals from atmospheric vortices and from the hammering of InSight’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties (HP3) instrument, as well as the three largest Marsquakes detected as of September 2019. From receiver function analysis, we infer that the uppermost 8–11 km of the crust is highly altered and/or fractured. We measure the crustal diffusivity and intrinsic attenuation using multiscattering analysis and find that seismic attenuation is about three times larger than on the Moon, which suggests that the crust contains small amounts of volatiles.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $15.58 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
All InSight SEIS data63 used in this paper are available from the IPGP Data Center, IRIS-DMC and NASA PDS; all InSight APSS data are available from NASA PDS (https://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/missions/insight/index.htm). The data used for Fig. 2 have been obtained from IRIS/DMC for Black Forest Observatory64 and from IPGP Data Center for lunar data (Code XA, http://datacenter.ipgp.fr/data.php). The data displayed in Fig. 5 correspond to the following events. A is a broadband (1–10-Hz) shallow Moonquake waveform recorded on 13 March 1973, at Apollo Station 15; the inferred hypocentre is latitude −84°, longitude −134° (ref. 65). B are S0128 and S0173 events described in the main text. C is a broadband (1–10-Hz) regional crustal earthquake waveform recorded on 28 April 2016, at the broadband station ATE (https://doi.org/10.15778/RESIF.FR); the hypocentre is latitude 46.04°, longitude −1.04°, depth 15 km (BCSF bulletin, http://renass.unistra.fr). D is a broadband (1–10-Hz) waveform recorded on 22 February 2000, at Mount St. Helens station ESD66 (now EDM); the hypocentre is latitude 46.1472°, longitude −122.1457°, depth = 10.4 km (event 10495398, PNSN bulletin, https://pnsn.org). P and S arrival times for S0128a, S0173a and S0235b are from the MQS47 catalogue27. The S–P travel-time difference used in the scattering analysis is 75 s, compatible with the reported27 value of 84 ± 28 s. Subsets for the models proposed for the subsurface and a summary for the upper crust are available (Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 for subsurface, Supplementary Table 3 for upper crust). See Supplementary Discussions 2 and 4 respectively for more details.
Banerdt, B. et al. Initial results from the InSight mission on Mars. Nat. Geosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0544-y (2020).
Golombek, M. et al. Geology of the InSight landing site on Mars. Nat. Commun. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14679-1 (2020).
Anderson, D. L. et al. Seismology on Mars. J. Geophys. Res. 82, 4524–4546 (1977).
Giardini, D. et al. The seismicity of Mars. Nat. Geosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0539-8 (2020).
Lognonné, P. et al. SEIS: InSight’s Seismic Experiment for Internal Structure of Mars. Space Sci. Rev. 215, 12 (2019).
Banfield, D. et al. InSight Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite (APSS). Space Sci. Rev. 215, 4 (2019).
Banfield, D. et al. The atmosphere of Mars as observed by InSight. Nat. Geosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0534-0 (2020).
Trebi-Ollennu, A. et al. InSight Mars lander robotics instrument deployment system. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 93 (2018).
Maki, J. N. et al. The color cameras on the InSight lander. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 105 (2018).
Peterson J. Observations and Modelling of Background Seismic Noise Open-File Report 93-322 (US Geological Survey, 1993).
Lognonné, P. & Johnson, C. L. in Treatise on Geophysics 2nd edn, Vol. 10 (ed. Schubert, G.) 65–120 (Elsevier, 2015).
Spiga, A. et al. Atmospheric science with InSight. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 109 (2018).
Lognonné, P. & Mosser, B. Planetary seismology. Surv. Geophys. 14, 239–302 (1993).
Murdoch, N. et al. Evaluating the wind-induced mechanical noise on the InSight seismometers. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 429–455 (2017).
Kenda, B. et al. Modeling of ground deformation and shallow surface waves generated by Martian dust devils and perspectives for near-surface structure inversion. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 501–524 (2017).
Murdoch, N. et al. Estimations of the seismic pressure noise on Mars determined from Large Eddy Simulations and demonstration of pressure decorrelation techniques for the InSight mission. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 457–483 (2017).
Murdoch, N. et al. Flexible mode modelling of the InSight lander and consequences for the SEIS instrument. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 117 (2019).
Mimoun, D. et al. The noise model of the SEIS seismometer of the InSight mission to Mars. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 383–428 (2017).
Fayon, L. et al. A numerical model of the SEIS leveling system transfer matrix and resonances: application to SEIS rotational seismology and dynamic ground Interaction. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 119 (2018).
Spohn, T. et al. The heat flow and physical properties package (HP3) for the InSight mission. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 96 (2018).
Kedar, S. et al. Analysis of regolith properties using seismic signals generated by InSight’s HP3 penetrator. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 315 (2017).
Brinkman, N. et al. The first active seismic experiment on Mars to characterize the shallow subsurface structure at the InSight landing site. SEG Tech. Prog. Expand. Abstr. 4756–4760 (2019).
Sorrells, G. G. A preliminary investigation into the relationship between long-period seismic noise and local fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure field. Geophys. J. Int. 26, 71–82 (1971).
Lorenz, R. D. et al. Seismometer detection of dust devil vortices by ground tilt. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 105, 3015–3023 (2015).
Morgan, P. et al. A pre-landing assessment of regolith properties at the InSight landing site. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 104 (2018).
Delage, P. et al. An investigation of the mechanical properties of some Martian regolith simulants with respect to the surface properties at the InSight mission landing site. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 191–213 (2017).
InSight Marsquake Service Mars Seismic Catalogue: InSight Mission V1 2/1/2020 (ETHZ, IPGP, JPL, ICL, ISAE-Supaero, MPS, Univ. Bristol, 2020).
Dainty, A. M. et al. Seismic scattering and shallow structure of the moon in oceanus procellarum. Moon 9, 11–29 (1974).
Margerin, L., Campillo, M., Van Tiggelen, B. & Hennino, R. Energy partition of seismic coda waves in layered media: theory and application to Pinyon Flats observatory. Geophys. J. Int. 177, 571–585 (2009).
Margerin, L., Campillo, M., Shapiro, N. & van Tiggelen, B. A. Residence time of diffuse waves in the crust as a physical interpretation of coda Q: application to seismograms recorded in Mexico. Geophys. J. Int. 138, 343–352 (1999).
Romanowicz, B. A. & Mitchell, B. J. in Treatise on Geophysics 2nd edn, Vol. 1 (ed. Schubert, G.) 789–827 (Elsevier, 2015).
Gillet, K., Margerin, L., Calvet, M. & Monnereau, M. Scattering attenuation profile of the moon: implications for shallow moonquakes and the structure of the megaregolith. Phys. Earth Planet. Int. 262, 28–40 (2017).
Langston, C. A. Structure under Mount Rainier, Washington, inferred from teleseismic body waves. J. Geophys. Res. 84, 4749–4762 (1979).
Abt, D. L. et al. North American lithospheric discontinuity structure imaged by Ps and Sp receiver functions. J. Geophys. Res. 115, B09301 (2010).
Vinnik, L., Chenet, H., Gagnepain-Beyneix, J. & Lognonné, P. First seismic receiver functions on the Moon. Geophys. Res. Lett. 28, 3031–3034 (2001).
Lognonné, P., Gagnepain-Beyneix, J. & Chenet, H. A new seismic model of the Moon: implication in terms of structure, formation and evolution. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 112, 27–44 (2003).
Knapmeyer-Endrun, B., Ceylan, S. & van Driel, M. Crustal S-wave velocity from apparent incidence angles: a case study in preparation of InSight. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 83 (2018).
Kolb, J. & Lekic, V. Receiver function deconvolution using transdimensional hierarchical Bayesian inference. Geophys. J. Int. 197, 1719–1735 (2014).
Panning, M. P. et al. Planned products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight mission, Mars. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 611–650 (2017).
Panning, M. P. et al. Verifying single-station seismic approaches using Earth-based data: preparation for data return from the InSight mission to Mars. Icarus 248, 230–242 (2015).
Khan, A. M. et al. Single-station and single-event marsquake location and inversion for structure using synthetic Martian waveforms. Phys. Earth Planet. Inter. 258, 28–42 (2016).
Daubar, I. et al. Impact-seismic investigations of the InSight mission. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 132 (2018).
Baratoux, D., Toplis, M. J., Monnereau, M. & Gasnault, O. Thermal history of Mars inferred from orbital geochemistry of volcanic provinces. Nature 472, 338–341 (2011).
Golombek, M. et al. Selection of the InSight landing site. Space Sci. Rev. 211, 5–95 (2017).
Smrekar, S. E. et al. Pre-mission InSights on the interior of Mars. Space Sci. Rev. 215, 3 (2019).
Tittmann, B. R., Clark, V. A., Richardson, J. M. & Spencer, T. W. Possible mechanism for seismic attenuation in rocks containing small amounts of volatiles. J. Geophys. Res. 85, 5199–5208 (1980).
Clinton, J. et al. The Marsquake Service: securing daily analysis of SEIS data and building the Martian seismicity catalogue for InSight. Space Sci. Rev. 214, 133 (2018).
Knapmeyer, M. TTBox: a MatLab toolbox for the computation of 1D teleseismic travel times. Seismol. Res. Lett. 75, 726–733 (2004).
Smith, D. E. et al. Mars Orbiter laser altimeter: experiment summary after the first year of global mapping of Mars. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 23689–23722 (2001).
Drilleau, M. et al. A Bayesian approach to infer radial models of temperature and anisotropy in the transition zone from surface wave dispersion curves. Geophys. J. Int. 195, 1165–1183 (2013).
Mosegaard, K. & Tarantola, A. Monte Carlo sampling of solutions to inverse problems. J. Geophys. Res. 1001, 12431–12448 (1995).
Metropolis, N., Rosenbluth, A. W., Rosenbluth, M. N., Teller, A. H. & Teller, E. Equation of state calculations by fast computing machines. J. Chem. Phys. 21, 1087–1091 (1953).
Hastings, W. K. Monte Carlo sampling methods using Markov chains and their applications. Biometrika 57, 97–109 (1970).
Sorrells, G. G., McDonald, J. A., Der, Z. A. & Herrin, E. Earth motion caused by local atmospheric pressure changes. Geophys. J. Int. 26, 83–98 (1971).
Kennett, B. L. N. The removal of free surface interactions from three-component seismograms. Geophys. J. Int. 104, 53–163 (1991).
Ligorria, J. P. & Ammon, C. J. Iterative deconvolution and receiver-function estimation. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 89, 1395–1400 (1999).
Tauzin, B., Phạm, T. S. & Tkalčić, H. Receiver functions from seismic interferometry: a practical guide. Geophys. J. Int. 217, 1–24 (2019).
Kind, R., Kosarev, G. L. & Petersen, N. V. Receiver functions at the stations of the German Regional Seismic Network (GRSN). Geophys. J. Int. 121, 191–202 (1995).
Hannemann, K., Krüger, F., Dahm, T. & Lange, D. Structure of the oceanic lithosphere and upper mantle north of the Gloria Fault in the eastern mid-Atlantic by receiver function analysis. J. Geophys. Res. 122, 7927–7950 (2017).
Wathelet, M. An improved Neighborhood Algorithm: parameter conditions and dynamic scaling. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L09301 (2008).
Shibutani, T., Sambridge, M. & Kennett, B. Genetic algorithm inversion for receiver functions with application to crust and uppermost mantle structure beneath eastern Australia. Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 1829–1832 (1996).
Sambridge, M. Geophysical inversion with a neighbourhood algorithm—I. Searching a parameter space. Geophys. J. Int. 138, 479–494 (1999).
SEIS Raw Data: InSight Mission (InSight Mars SEIS Data Service, IPGP, JPL, CNES, ETHZ, ICL, MPS, ISAE-Supaero, LPG, MSFC, 2019); https://doi.org/10.18715/SEIS.INSIGHT.XB_2016
Black Forest Observatory Data (GFZ Data Services, Black Forest Observatory, 1971); https://doi.org/10.5880/BFO
Nakamura, Y. et al. Shallow moonquakes: Depth, distribution and implications as to the present state of the lunar interior. In Proc. Lunar Sci. Conf. 10th Vol. 3, 2299–2309 (Pergamon Press, 1979).
Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks, Univ. Washington, 1963). https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/UW
We acknowledge NASA, CNES, their partner agencies and institutions (UKSA, SSO, DLR, JPL, IPGP-CNRS, ETHZ, IC, MPS-MPG) and the flight operations team at JPL, SISMOC, MSDS, IRIS-DMC and PDS for providing SEED SEIS data. The French team acknowledge the French Space Agency CNES, which has supported and funded all SEIS-related contracts and CNES employees, as well as CNRS and the French team universities for personal and infrastructure support. SEIS VBB testing and development have also been supported by SESAME (Ile de France, Université Paris Diderot, IPGP, CNES) in the frameworks Centre de simulation Martien I-07–603 and Pole Terre Planètes 11015893. Additional support was provided by ANR (ANR-14-CE36-0012-02, ANR-19-CE31-0008-08 for SEIS science support and ANR-11-EQPX-0040 for RESIF data access) and for the IPGP team by the UnivEarthS Labex program (ANR-10-LABX-0023) and IDEX Sorbonne Paris Cité (ANR-11-IDEX-0005-0). Regolith stratigraphy inversion used HPC resources of CINES under allocation A0050407341 attributed by GENCI (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif). Research described in this paper was partially carried out by the InSight Project, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Additional work was supported by NASA’s InSight Participating Scientist Program and LPI (LPI is operated by USRA under a cooperative agreement with the Science Mission Directorate of the NASA). The Swiss coauthors were jointly funded by (1) the Swiss National Science Foundation and French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (SNF-ANR project 15713, Seismology on Mars), (2) the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SEFRI project MarsQuake Service—Preparatory Phase) and (3) ETH Research grant ETH-06 17-02. Additional support came from the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) under project s992. The Swiss contribution in implementation of the SEIS electronics was made possible through funding from the federal Swiss Space Office (SSO), the contractual and technical support of the ESA-PRODEX office. SEIS-SP development and delivery were funded by UKSA. The SEIS levelling system development and operation support at MPS was funded by the DLR German Space Agency. B.T. and L. Pan acknowledge funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreements 793824 and 751164. This paper is InSight Contribution 101, LPI contribution 2249 and IPGP Contribution 4099.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Primary Handling Editor: Stefan Lachowycz.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Lognonné, P., Banerdt, W.B., Pike, W.T. et al. Constraints on the shallow elastic and anelastic structure of Mars from InSight seismic data. Nat. Geosci. 13, 213–220 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0536-y
Nature Geoscience (2020)
Nature Geoscience (2020)
Nature Geoscience (2020)
Nature Geoscience (2020)