We report observations of Rayleigh waves that orbit around Mars up to three times following the S1222a marsquake. Averaging these signals, we find the largest amplitude signals at 30 s and 85 s central period, propagating with distinctly different group velocities of 2.9 km/s and 3.8 km/s, respectively. The group velocities constraining the average crustal thickness beneath the great circle path rule out the majority of previous crustal models of Mars that have a >200 kg/m3 density contrast across the dichotomy. We find that the thickness of the martian crust is 42-56 km on average, and thus thicker than the crusts of the Earth and Moon. Together with thermal evolution models, a thick martian crust suggests that the crust must contain 50-70% of the total heat production to explain present-day local melt zones in the interior of Mars.
InSight’s seismometers recorded more than 1300 events. Ninety-eight of these, named the low-frequency family, show energy predominantly below 1 Hz down to ∼0.125 Hz. The Marsquake Service identified seismic phases and computed distances for 42 of these marsquakes, 26 of which have backazimuths. Hence, the locations of the majority of low-frequency family events remain undetermined. Here, we use an envelope shape similarity approach to determine event classes and distances, and introduce an alternative method to estimate the backazimuth. In our similarity approach, we use the highest quality marsquakes with well-constrained distance estimates as templates, including the largest event S1222a, and assign distances to marsquakes with relatively high signal-to-noise ratio based on their similarities to the template events. The resulting enhanced catalog allows us to re-evaluate the seismicity of Mars. We find the Valles Marineris region to be more active than initially perceived, where only a single marsquake (S0976a) had previously been located. We relocated two marsquakes using new backazimuth estimates, which had reported distances of ∼90o, in the SW of the Tharsis region, possibly at Olympus Mons. In addition, two marsquakes with little or no S-wave energy have been located in the NE of the Elysium Bulge. Event epicenters in Cerberus Fossae follow a North-South trend due to uncertainties in location, while the fault system is in the NW-SE direction; therefore, these events are re-projected along the observed fault system.
On May 4th, 2022 the InSight seismometer SEIS recorded the largest marsquake ever observed, S1222a, with an initial magnitude estimate of Mw 4.7. Understanding the depth and source properties of this event has important implications for the nature of tectonic activity on Mars. Located ~37 degrees to the southeast of InSight, S1222a is one of the few non-impact marsquakes that exhibits prominent ratio surface waves. We use waveform modeling of body waves (P and S) and surface waves (Rayleigh and Love) to constrain the moment tensor and quantify the associated uncertainty. We find that S1222a likely resulted from dip-slip faulting in the mid-crust (source depth ~18 – 28 km) and estimate a scalar moment of 3.51015 – 5.01015 Nm (magnitude Mw 4.3 – 4.4). The best-fitting focal mechanism is sensitive to the choice of phase windows and misfit weights, as well as the structural model of Mars used to calculate Green’s functions. We find that an E-W to SE-NW striking thrust fault can explain the data well, although depending on the choice of misfit weighting, a normal fault solution is also permissible. The orientation of the best-fitting fault plane solutions suggests that S1222a takes place on a fault system near the martian crustal dichotomy accommodating relative motion between the northern lowlands and southern highlands. Independent constraints on the event depth and improved models of the (an)isotropic velocity structure of the martian crust and mantle could help resolve the ambiguity inherent to single-station moment tensor inversions of S1222a and other marsquakes.
Using seismic recordings of event S1222a, we measure dispersion curves of Rayleigh and Love waves, including their first overtones, and invert these for shear velocity (Vs) and radial anisotropic structure of the martian crust. The crustal structure along the topographic dichotomy is characterized by a fairly uniform vertically-polarized shear velocity (Vsv) of 3.17 km/s between ~5-30 km depth, compatible with the previous study by Kim et al. (2022). Radial anisotropy as large as 12 % (Vsh > Vsv) is required in the crust between 5-40 km depth. At greater depths, we observe a large discontinuity near 63 ± 10 km, below which Vsv reaches 4.1 km/s. We interpret this velocity increase as the crust-mantle boundary along the path. Combined gravimetric modeling suggests that the observed average crustal thickness favors the absence of large-scale density differences across the topographic dichotomy.
The seismic activity of a planet can be described by the corner magnitude, events larger than which are extremely unlikely, and the seismic moment rate, the long-term average of annual seismic moment release. Marsquake S1222a proves large enough to be representative of the global activity of Mars and places observational constraints on the moment rate. The magnitude-frequency distribution of relevant Marsquakes indicates a b-value of 1.17, but with its uncertainty and a volcanic region bias, b=1 is still possible. The moment rate is likely between 1.5e15 Nm/a and 1.6e18 Nm/a, with a marginal distribution peaking at 4.9e16 Nm/a. Comparing this with pre-InSight estimations shows that these tended to overestimate the moment rate, and that 30 % or more of the tectonic deformation may occur silently, whereas the seismicity is probably restricted to localized centers rather than spread over the entire planet.
The InSight mission (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) has been collecting high-quality seismic data from Mars since February 2019, shortly after its landing. The Marsquake Service (MQS) is the team responsible for the prompt review of all seismic data recorded by the InSight’s seismometer (SEIS), marsquake event detection, and curating seismicity catalogues. Until sol 1011 (end of September 2021), MQS have identified 951 marsquakes that we interpret to occur at regional and teleseismic distances, and 1062 very short duration events that are most likely generated by local thermal stresses nearby the SEIS package. Here, we summarize the seismic data collected until sol 1011, version 9 of the InSight seismicity catalogue. We focus on the significant seismicity that occurred after sol 478, the end date of version 3, the last catalogue described in a dedicated paper. In this new period, almost a full Martian year of new data has been collected, allowing us to observe seasonal variations in seismicity that are largely driven by strong changes in atmospheric noise that couples into the seismic signal. Further, the largest, closest and most distant events have been identified, and the number of fully located events has increased from 3 to 7. In addition to the new seismicity, we document improvements in the catalogue that include the adoption of InSight-calibrated Martian models and magnitude scales, the inclusion of additional seismic body-wave phases, and first focal mechanism solutions for three of the regional marsquakes at distances ~30 degrees.
NASA’s InSight seismometer has been recording Martian seismicity since early 2019, and to date, over 1300 marsquakes have been catalogued by the Marsquake Service (MQS). Due to typically low signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) of marsquakes, their detection and analysis remain challenging: while event amplitudes are relatively low, the background noise has large diurnal and seasonal variations and contains various signals originating from the interactions of the local atmosphere with the lander and seismometer system. Since noise can resemble marsquakes in a number of ways, the use of conventional detection methods for catalogue curation is limited. Instead, MQS finds events through manual data inspection. Here, we present MarsQuakeNet (MQNet), a deep convolutional neural network for the detection of marsquakes and the removal of noise contamination. Based on three-component seismic data, MQNet predicts segmentation masks that identify and separate event and noise energy in time-frequency domain. As the number of catalogued MQS events is small, we combine synthetic event waveforms with recorded noise to generate a training data set. We apply MQNet to the entire continuous 20 samples-per-second waveform data set available to date, for automatic event detection and for retrieving denoised amplitudes. The algorithm reproduces all high quality-, as well as majority of low quality events in the manual, carefully curated MQS catalogue. Furthermore, MQNet detects 60% additional events that were previously unknown with mostly low SNR, that are verified in manual review. Our analysis on the event rate confirms seasonal trends and shows a substantial increase in the second Martian year.