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Stresses in the lunar interior: insights from slip directions in the A01 deep moonquake nest
  • Alice R Turner,
  • Jessica Cleary Hawthorne,
  • Matthew Gaddes
Alice R Turner
University of Oxford

Corresponding Author:alice.turner@earth.ox.ac.uk

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Jessica Cleary Hawthorne
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
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Matthew Gaddes
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We probe the present-day stresses in the lunar interior by examining the slip directions of moonquakes in the A01 nest. In this nest, some deep moonquakes appear to slip ‘backwards’, in the opposite direction to other events. We assess whether these changes in slip direction result from a spatial variation in the tectonic stress or from a temporal variation in the tidal stress. To test these two options, we first show that a dominant tectonic stress implies deep moonquakes can only slip in one direction: forwards and backwards, while a dominant tidal stress could allow moonquakes to slip in more directions: any combination of forwards, backwards, left, and right. Then we look for the number of slip directions; we separate the deep moonquake waveforms into slip directions using a principal component analysis technique. We find two slip directions present in the A01 deep moonquake nest. The moonquakes slip in a variety of directions as time evolves. This observation implies that the tidal stresses drive deep moonquakes. Additionally, these results place a new constraint on the magnitude of the tectonic stresses at depth; they must be smaller than the modelled tidal stress of ~ 0.1 MPa.