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First observations of core-transiting seismic phases on Mars

Irving, J. C. E. and Lekic, V. and Duran, C. and Drilleau, M. and Kim, D. and Rivoldini, A. and Khan, A. and Samuel, Henri and Antonangeli, D. and Banerdt, W.B. and Beghein, C. and Bozdag, E. and Ceylan, S. and Charalambous, C. and Clinton, J. and Davis, Paul and Garcia, R. and Giardini, D. and Horleston, A. and Huang, Quancheng and Hurst, K. and Kawamura, T. and King, Scott and Knapmeyer, Martin and Li, J. and Lognonne, P. and Maguire, R. and Panning, M. and Plesa, Ana-Catalina and Schimmel, M. and Schmerr, N. and Stähler, S. and Stutzmann, Éléonore and Xu, Z. (2023) First observations of core-transiting seismic phases on Mars. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 120 (18), e2217090120. National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2217090120. ISSN 0027-8424.

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Official URL: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2217090120


We present the first observations of seismic waves propagating through the core of Mars. These observations, made using seismic data collected by the InSight geophysical mission, have allowed us to construct the first seismically constrained models for the elastic properties of Mars’ core. We observe core-transiting seismic phase SKS from two farside seismic events detected on Mars and measure the travel times of SKS relative to mantle traversing body waves. SKS travels through the core as a compressional wave, providing information about bulk modulus and density. We perform probabilistic inversions using the core-sensitive relative travel times together with gross geophysical data and travel times from other, more proximal, seismic events to seek the equation of state parameters that best describe the liquid iron-alloy core. Our inversions provide constraints on the velocities in Mars’ core and are used to develop the first seismically based estimates of its composition. We show that models informed by our SKS data favor a somewhat smaller (median core radius = 1,780 to 1,810 km) and denser (core density = 6.2 to 6.3 g/cm3) core compared to previous estimates, with a P-wave velocity of 4.9 to 5.0 km/s at the core–mantle boundary, with the composition and structure of the mantle as a dominant source of uncertainty. We infer from our models that Mars’ core contains a median of 20 to 22 wt% light alloying elements when we consider sulfur, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. These data can be used to inform models of planetary accretion, composition, and evolution.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195471/
Document Type:Article
Title:First observations of core-transiting seismic phases on Mars
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Irving, J. C. E.University of Bristol, School of Earth Sciences, Bristol, United KingdomUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lekic, V.Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Duran, C.Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Drilleau, M.ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse University, Toulouse, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kim, D.ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rivoldini, A.Royal Observatory of Belgium And Université catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute (ELI), Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), BelgiumUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Khan, A.Institut für Geophysik, ETH Zürich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Samuel, HenriInstitut de Physique du Globe de Paris, CNRS, Université de Paris, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Antonangeli, D.Sorbonne Université - MNHN - CNRS - IMPMC, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Banerdt, W.B.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bozdag, E.Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ceylan, S.Institute of Geophysics, ETH Zurich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Charalambous, C.Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, South Kensington Campus, London, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Clinton, J.Swiss Seismological Service, ETH Zürich, Zürich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Davis, PaulUniversity of California, Los Angeles, Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United StatesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Garcia, R.ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse University, Toulouse, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Giardini, D.Institute of Geophysics/Swiss Seismological Service, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, (ETHZ), Honggerberg, CH-3093 Zurich, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Horleston, A.University of BristolUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Huang, QuanchengDepartment of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hurst, K.JPL, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kawamura, T.Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
King, ScottVirginia Tech Geosciences, Blacksburg, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Knapmeyer, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0319-2514UNSPECIFIED
Maguire, R.Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Panning, M.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, PasadenaUSAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Plesa, Ana-CatalinaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3366-7621UNSPECIFIED
Schimmel, M.Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume AlmeraUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schmerr, N.Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3256-1262UNSPECIFIED
Stutzmann, ÉléonoreInstitut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Université Paris Diderot, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Xu, Z.Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:24 April 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:e2217090120
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Keywords:Mars InSight Seismology SKS Core
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project InSight - HP3
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Knapmeyer, Dr. Martin
Deposited On:14 Jun 2023 12:03
Last Modified:28 Nov 2023 13:06

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