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Global and Regional Tomography

Planetary Seismology

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The Europa work was done in collaboration with Fabio Cammarano, Vedran Lekic, Michael Manga, and Barbara Romanowicz, and the Mars work has been done in collaboration with Bruce Banerdt, Éric Beucler, Mélanie Drilleau, Philippe Lognonné, Antoine Mocquet and the rest of the InSight Team.

InSight: Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport)


JPL figure showing the proposed InSight lander.

InSight is a proposed mission to Mars, currently scheduled for launch in May, 2018. InSight will illuminate the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution by performing the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical investigation of Mars. It will provide key information on the composition and structure of an Earthlike planet that has gone through most of the evolutionary stages of the Earth up to, but not including, plate tectonics. The traces of this history are still contained in the basic parameters of the planet: the size, state and composition of the core, the composition and layering of the mantle, the thickness and layering of the crust, and the thermal flux from the interior.

Resolved mantle velocity models using 7 events located with multiple orbit surface waves.

A critical instrument for the InSight mission will be the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS). SEIS comprises two sensor assemblies deployed on the surface: a 3- axis very broad band (VBB) oblique seismometer within an evacuated sphere, and an independent 3-axis short period (SP) seismometer outside. Such instrumentation will allow for an unprecedented view of the interior of Mars. However, since the proposed mission will have only a single lander and no network, we will not be able to apply traditional source location methods and will need to take advantage of single station approaches. In order to determine whether single-station approahces based on surface waves will provide sufficient location accuracy, we performed single-station location using multiple-orbit surface waves (which we propose we will be able to do for roughly ten events during the course of InSight). Using these locations, we demonstrate the ability to resolve mantle velocity structure within the 5% mission requirements (Panning et al., 2015).

References (click for pdf)

M.P. Panning, P. Lognonné, W. B. Banerdt, R. Garcia, M. Golombek, S. Kedar, B. Knapmeyer-Endrun, A. Mocquet, N.A. Teanby, J. Tromp, R. Weber, E. Beucler, J.-F. Blanchette-Guertin, M. Drilleau, T. Gudkova, S. Hempel, A. Khan, V. Lekic, A.-C. Plesa, A. Rivoldini, N. Schmerr, Y, Ruan, O. Verhoeven, C. Gao, U. Christensen, J. Clinton, V. Dehant, D. Giardini, D. Mimoun, W. T. Pike, S. Smrekar, M. Wieczorek, M. Knapmeyer, and J. Wookey, "Planned products of the Mars Structure Service for the InSight mission to Mars", Space Science Reviews, accepted, doi: 10.1007/s11214-016-0317-5, 2016. pdf of submitted paper

M.P. Panning, E. Beucler, M. Drilleau, A. Mocquet, P. Lognonné, and W.B. Banerdt, "Verifying single-station seismic approaches using Earth-based data: Preparation for data return from the InSight mission to Mars" Icarus, 248, 230-242, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2014.10.035, 2015. pdf of submitted paper

Banerdt, W.B., S. Smrekar, K. Hurst, P. Lognonné, T. Spohn, S Asmar, D. Banfield, L. Boschi, U. Christensen, V. Dehant, W. Folkner, D. Giardini, W. Goetz, M. Golombek, M. Grott, T. Hudson, C. Johnson, G. Kargl, N. Kobayashi, J. Maki, D. Mimoun, A. Mocquet, P. Morgan, M.P. Panning, W. T. Pike, J. Tromp, T. van Zoest, R. Weber, M. Wieczorek, and the InSight Team, "InSight: A Discovery mission to explore the interior of Mars", 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract #1915, 2013.

Panning, M.P., A. Mocquet, E. Beucler, W.B. Banerdt, P. Lognonné, L. Boschi, C. Johnson, R.C. Weber, "InSight: Using Earth data to demonstrate inversion techniques for Mars' interior" 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract #1515, 2012.
Click for pdf of poster

Banerdt, W.B., S. Smrekar, L. Alkalai, T. Hoffman, R. Warwick, K. Hurst, W. Folkner, P. Lognonné, T. Spohn, S. Asmar, D. Banfield, L. Boschi, U. Christensen, V. Dehant, D. Giardini, W. Goetz, M. Golombek, M. Grott, T. Hudson, C. Johnson, G. Kargl, N. Kobayashi, J. Maki, D. Mimoun, A. Mocquet, P. Morgan, M. Panning, W. T. Pike, J. Tromp, T. van Zoest, R. Weber, M. Wieczorek and the InSight Team, "InSight: An integrated exploration of the interior of Mars" 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract #2838, 2012.

Long-period seismology on Europa


NASA image of Europa from Wikipedia

Europa, one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter, is of great interest to the planetary community, primarily due to evidence of an extensive liquid water ocean below the outer ice shell. Determining the thickness of that ice shell can be accomplished using seismological observations, perhaps even from orbit.

Vertical component seismograms for different ice shell thicknesses and for a model with no liquid ocean.

In order to explore the importance of long period data (periods from 10 to 1000 seconds) in constraining this and deeper structure, we first determined a range of thermodynamically self-consistent models (Paper I published in JGR Planets). These models were then used to predict the seismic response using a normal modes summation method (Paper II).

We conclude that the Rayleigh wave group velocity dispersion, which is marked by a characteristic transition to a flexural mode which depends on ice shell thickness in this frequency band, may be used to determine the ice shell thickness even if the tectonic event can not be located.

References (click for pdf)

Cammarano, F., V. Lekic, M. Manga, M.P. Panning, and B.A. Romanowicz, "Long-period seismology on Europa: 1. Physically consistent interior models" J. Geophys. Res., 111, E12009, doi:10.1029/2006JE002710, 2006.

Panning, M.P., V. Lekic, M. Manga, F. Cammarano, and B.A. Romanowicz, "Long-period seismology on Europa: 2. Predicted seismic response" J. Geophys. Res., 111, E12008, doi:10.1029/2006JE002712, 2006.