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Seasonal variations of subsurface seismic velocities monitored by the SEIS-InSight seismometer on Mars

Compaire, Nicolas and Margerin, L and Monnereau, M and Garcia, Raphaël F. and Lange, L and Calvet, M and Dahmen, N L and Stähler, S C and Mueller, N and Grott, M and Lognonné, Philippe and Spohn, Tilman and Banerdt, William Bruce Seasonal variations of subsurface seismic velocities monitored by the SEIS-InSight seismometer on Mars. (2022) Geophysical Journal International, 229 (2). 776-799. ISSN 0956-540X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggab499


The SEIS seismometer deployed at the surface of Mars in the framework of the NASA- InSight mission has been continuously recording the ground motion at Elysium Planitia for more than one martian year. In this work, we investigate the seasonal variation of the near surface properties using both background vibrations and a particular class of high- frequency seismic events. We present measurements of relative velocity changes over one martian year and show that they can be modeled by a thermoelastic response of the Mar- tian regolith. Several families of high-frequency seismic multiplets have been observed at various periods of the martian year. These events exhibit complex, repeatable waveforms with an emergent character and a coda that is likely composed of scattered waves. Taking advantage of these properties, we use coda wave interferometry to measure relative travel-time changes as a function of the date of occurrence of the quakes. While in some families a stretching of the coda waveform is clearly observed, in other families we ob- serve either no variation or a clear contraction of the waveform. These various behaviors correspond to different conditions of illumination at the InSight landing site, depending on the season. Measurements of velocity changes from the analysis of background vi- brations above 5 Hz are consistent with the results from coda wave interferometry. We identify a frequency band structure in the power spectral density that can be tracked over hundreds of days. This band structure is the equivalent in the frequency domain of an autocorrelogram and can be efficiently used to measure relative travel-time changes as a function of frequency. We explain how the PSD analysis allows us to circumvent the con- tamination of the measurements by the Lander mode excitation which is inevitable in the time domain. The observed velocity changes can be adequately modeled by the thermoe- lastic response of the regolith to the time-dependent incident solar flux at the seasonal scale. In particular, the model captures the time delay between the surface temperature variations and the velocity changes in the subsurface. Our observations could serve as a basis for a joint inversion of the seismic and thermal properties in the first 20 meters below InSight.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Paris Sciences & Lettres - PSL (FRANCE)
Other partners > Sorbonne Université (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole Polytechnique (FRANCE)
Other partners > Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (FRANCE)
Other partners > Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - INSU (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:07 Jan 2022 13:58

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