Scientists have obtained data on the seismic activity of Mars. Now they were able to conclude that earthquakes on the planet happen more often, but their magnitude is less than on Earth.
Scientists from NASA analyzed the data of the InSight mission on the seismic activity of the rocky parts of Mars. The researchers were able to find out that on Mars one can observe a moderate level of seismic activity – something in between the Earth and the Moon. Details of the discovery can be found in the journal Nature Geoscience.
“This is the first mission where geophysical measurements were made on another planet. It gave us a real understanding of the internal structure of Mars, its geological processes and the degree of their activity, ”said Nicholas Schmerr, a geologist at the University of Maryland who participated in the study.
So far, InSight has been able to record 174 earthquakes. These data allow researchers to observe how seismic waves propagate around the planet and reveal the characteristics of the planet – much like X-rays are used in medical tomography. Before the InSight landing, the researchers developed a wide range of possible models to represent the internal structure of the red planet.
Large-scale earthquakes are similar to seismic events that we observe on Earth, although they usually have a lower magnitude. 174 recorded earthquakes can be divided into two families: one includes 24 low-frequency events with magnitudes of 3 to 4 points, the second – 150 events with smaller magnitudes, a shallower hypocentric depth and high-frequency waves penetrating the Martian mantle.