https://safirsoft.com Scientists use seismic noise to image the first 100 meters of Mars

Martian winds are making enough noise to see what's below the InSight lander. Let's take that. This data provides a big picture of the interior of Mars - how big the core is, whether something is molten, etc. But it doesn't record the small details, like the shape of the Earth just below InSight.

This week, researchers explained how they were able to find lulls on Mars that allow them to take closer pictures. The results, along with some adjacent surface features, suggest that InSight is probably above large lava flows separated by layers of sediment.

Be very calm

Earthquakes are therefore not helpful. Sort local features If their seismic waves reach far enough, their behavior is more influenced by materials that have spent most of their time traveling. If an earthquake occurs nearby, everything is too active to discern minute details of local characteristics. So, to look at the local geology, you need to look at the background seismic noise that InSight constantly receives.

On Earth, most seismic noise is generated by human activities. Oceans But Mars lacks these two sources of noise, and winds dominate its background in its interaction with the features of Mars.

Found. They are dominated by the frequencies generated by the wind in interaction with the probe itself. Therefore, the researchers focused on the early evening, the time of Mars, when the winds tend to be calm. At this point, most of the seismic noise is generated by the interaction of weak winds with nearby geology rather than the landing gear. Noise is a process that can correspond to a wide range of potential structures near the surface of Mars. To narrow the list of possibilities, the researchers focused on the features described in most potential solutions. They also looked at rocks in nearby craters to look for visible features that matched what their models suggested.

the following

The closest point to the surface is the rock. Mars consists of dust and rock fragments. It appears to be only 1.5 meters thick, although researchers warn that information about 20 meters from the top of the substance is very vague. Three meters below the surface, a layer of volcanic rock appears to have formed as a result of large eruptions in the past around Mars.

Below, from about 30 m to 80 m M (these numbers are very imprecise.), is another layer of material in which seismic signals move slowly. The researchers concluded that this may be a layer of sedimentary rock. Beneath it are other volcanic deposits.

Researchers conclude that the deepest volcanic reserves date back to the Hesperian period, a period of massive volcanic activity that ended more than 3 billion years ago. The sediments above were formed when Mars experienced cold, dry conditions similar to its present state. Once settled, and sometime in the Amazon period on Mars, additional eruptions covered the sediment. Since then, Martian shocks and winds have deposited a layer of loose material on top of the volcanic layers.

All this corresponds to what can be seen in nearby craters. However, it is remarkable how much information the researchers were able to extract from just a small noise.

Nature Communications, 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26957-7 (about DOIs). p> p>

Image cataloged by NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists use seismic noise to image the first 100 meters of Mars
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