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Micro-meteoroid seismic uplift and regolith concentration on kilometric scale asteroids

Garcia, Raphaël F. and Murdoch, Naomi and Mimoun, David Micro-meteoroid seismic uplift and regolith concentration on kilometric scale asteroids. (2015) Icarus, 253. 159-168. ISSN 0019-1035

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2015.02.014


Seismic shaking is an attractive mechanism to explain the destabilisation of regolith slopes and the rego- lith migration found on the surfaces of asteroids (Richardson, J.E., Melosh, H.J., Greenberg, R. [2004]. Science 306, 1526–1529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1104731; Miyamoto, H., et al., 2007). Here, we use a continuum mechanics method to simulate the seismic wave propagation in an asteroid. Assuming that asteroids can be described by a cohesive core surrounded by a thin non-cohesive regolith layer, our numerical simulations of vibrations induced by micro-meteoroids suggest that the surface peak ground accelerations induced by micro-meteoroid impacts may have been previously under-estimated. Our lower bound estimate of vertical accelerations induced by seismic waves is about 50 times larger than previous estimates. It suggests that impact events triggering seismic activity are more frequent than previously assumed for asteroids in the kilometric and sub-kilometric size range. The regolith lofting is also estimated by a first order ballistic approximation. Vertical displacements are small, but lofting times are long compared to the duration of the seismic signals. The regolith movement has a non-linear dependence on the distance to the impact source which is induced by the type of seismic wave generating the first movement. The implications of regolith concentration in lows of surface acceleration potential are also discussed. We suggest that the resulting surface thermal inertia variations of small fast rotators may induce an increased sensitivity of these objects to the Yarkovsky effect.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-03030588
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:16 Dec 2015 09:14

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