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Constraints on the shallow elastic and anelastic structure of Mars from InSight seismic data

Abstract

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.

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Fig. 1: Spectrograms of the vertical, north and east components of acceleration from 0.02 to 50 Hz versus lmst for typical sol 194–195.
Fig. 2: Statistical comparison of Martian, terrestrial and lunar seismic noise.
Fig. 3: Pressure and seismic signature of two convective vortices compared with models.
Fig. 4: Inversion results of the regolith thickness and VP of the underlying bedrock.
Fig. 5: Comparison of seismic scattering, attenuation and seismograms on Earth, Moon and Mars.
Fig. 6: RF analysis for the Martian upper crust.

Data availability

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.

Code availability

See Methods for publicly available codes and for associated algorithms. The multiple-scattering simulation codes used in Supplementary Discussion 3 are available on request from L.M. (ludovic.margerin@irap.omp.eu).

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Acknowledgements

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.

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Contributions

P. Lognonné leads the SEIS experiment and the VBB sensors. He designed the higher-level requirements of the experiment together with D. Mimoun. He led the manuscript team effort, contributed to several Supplementary Discussions and integrated all contributions. W.B.B. leads the InSight mission and the US contribution to SEIS. W.T.P., D.G. and U.C. lead the SP, Ebox and LVL respectively. W.T.P. contributed to several Supplementary Discussions. D.B., J.M. and C.T.R. lead the APSS, TWINS and IFG instruments. E. Barrett contributes to the SEIS operation at JPL, together with C.Y. at CNES. M. Bierwirth for the LVL, S. Calcutt for the SP, D. Mance and P.Z. for the Ebox, K.H. for the tether-shielding and S. de R., T.N., O.R. and S. Tillier for the VBB contributed to the SEIS subsystems and the SEIS Mars deployment and commissioning. L.K., G.P., P. Laudet and A.S.-B. contributed to the SEIS overall management and SEIS Mars deployment and commissioning. J.C., M. Böse, C.C., S. Ceylan, M. van D., A.H., A.K., T.K., G.M., J.-R.S. and S. Stähler contribute to the MQS frontline activity, and D.G., W.B.B., P. Lognonné, D.B., R.F.G., D.G., S.K., M.P., W.T.P., S. Smrekar, A. Spiga and R.W. to the MQS review. E. Beucler, F.E., C.P. and S. Stähler contribute to the MQS and ERP operations. N.C. and C.J. contributed to the SEIS analysis and Mars deployment. C.B., E. Bozdag, I.D., M. Golombek, J.I., A.-C.P., R.L. and J.T. reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and commented on the manuscript. W.T.P. and P. Lognonné led the analysis of Supplementary Discussion 1. C.C., R.F.G., A. Stott, J.McC., C.P., S.B. and L. Pou analysed the data. D. Mimoun provided the environmental noise model. S. Ceylan provided the seismic event catalogue data. E.S. and M.S. provided the polarization analysis. L. Pou provided the VBB-POS output analysis. A. Spiga and D.B. provided the environmental data. P. Lognonné and S. Kedar led the analysis of Supplementary Discussion 2. L.F. developed the LVL inversion methodology with the support of P. Lognonné. P. Delage and P. Lognonné discussed the results and P. Delage provided additional laboratory experiment support. L.F. and M. van D. performed the resonances analysis. T.S. leads the HP3 experiment and contributed to the execution of the HP3-SEIS experiment and the interpretation of the results. D.S. and F.A. implemented in collaboration with C.S. and J.R. the aliased-data reconstruction algorithm developed by D.S., F.A. and J.R. N.B., J. ten P. and C.S. implemented the clock time processing in collaboration with D.S. N.B., C.S., D.S. and M. van D. processed and interpreted the travel-time data in collaboration with J.R. C.S. and M. van D. contributed to the writing of the main text section related to the subsurface, and N.B., D.S., C.S. and M. van D. in collaboration with J.R. and F.A. wrote Supplementary Discussion 2. A.H. contributed to the HP3-SEIS analysis. S. Krasner, J.K., C.K., L.R., J.V. and N.V. developed the timing tools between the lander, HP3 and SEIS. B.K. and N.M. developed the modelling and inversion tools for dust devils, processed the corresponding data and wrote Supplementary Discussion 2-3. C.P. and S.R. developed the automatic HiRise dust devil track software. M.D. developed the subsurface inversion tool with contributions from B.K. and P. Lognonné and wrote Supplementary Discussion 2-4. All authors discussed the overall results. N.T. and C.V. contributed to the discussion on regolith and duricrust properties. Supplementary Discussion 3 was written and led by L.M., T.K. and N.S. The scattering and attenuation scenarios for the sol 128 and sol 173 events were developed by T.K., P. Lognonné and L.M. R.F.G. provided deglitched waveforms. E.S., M.S. and E. Beucler analysed the polarization and incidence angle of the sol 173 event. Diffusion calculations were performed by W.T.P., N.S., L.M., P. Lognonné and M.P. Radiative transfer models were developed by L.M. M.C. and S.M. compiled the measurements and waveforms pertaining to Supplementary Fig. 3-12. The results were interpreted by P. Lognonné, T.K. and L.M. Reviews were provided by C.B., T.N.-M., A.-C.P. and R.W. B.K.-E., B.T. and M.P. coordinated the RF study in Supplementary Discussion 4. B.K.-E. (Method D), V.L. (Method A), B.T. (Method B), S. Tharimena (Method C) and A.K. and F.B. (Method E) calculated RFs using various methods, discussed the results, contributed to the interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. R.J. performed the inversion of S0173a data. B.K.-E. and B.T. calculated synthetic RFs. M.P. contributed to the interpretation and participated in discussions and writing. P. Davis, P. Lognonné, B.P., R.F.G. and J.-R.S. contributed deglitched waveforms for S0173a. S. Stähler provided the probability distribution of ray parameters for S0173a. M.K. produced the schematic diagrams in Fig. 6 and participated in discussions. The elastic property compilation was provided by C.P., L. Pan, D.A., A.J., C.M., M. Golombek, A.K., N.F. and C.Q.-N. C.B. and J.I. reviewed this supplementary material. J.-R.S. coordinated Supplementary Discussion 5 with P. Davis and R.W.-S. F.N. and P. Lognonné led the glitch-focused working group. P. Davis, P. Lognonné, L. Pou, B.P. and R.F.G. developed the glitch-removal algorithm based on the instrument transfer function. S.B., P. Lognonné and E.S. developed the glitch-removal algorithm based on the deep scattering tool. J.-R.S. developed the glitch-removal algorithm based on the discrete wavelet transform. All authors analysed the glitches, discussed the removal strategies and approved of the manuscript.

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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

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