Ref: CTALK-2022-0012

The interior of Mars as seen by InSight

Staehler, Simon C ; Khan, Amir ; Knapmeyer-Endrun, Brigitte ; Panning, Mark P ; Banerdt, William Bruce ; Lognonné, Philippe Henri ; Giardini, Domenico ; Antonangeli, Daniele ; Beucler, Eric ; Bissig, Felix ; Bozdag, Ebru ; Brinkman, Nienke ; Ceylan, Savas ; Charalambous, Constantinos ; Clinton, John F. ; Compaire, Nicolas ; Dahmen, Nikolaj L ; Davis, Paul Mcewan ; Driel, Martin van ; Drilleau, Melanie ; Garcia, Raphael F. ; Huang, Quancheng ; Joshi, Rakshit ; Gudkova, Tamara ; Irving, Jessica ; Johnson, Catherine ; Kawamura, Taichi ; Kim, Doyeon ; Knapmeyer, Martin ; Maguire, Ross ; Lekic, Vedran ; Margerin, Ludovic ; Marusiak, Angela G ; McLennan, Scott M ; Mittelholz, Anna ; Michaut, Chloe ; Plasman, Matthieu ; Pan, Lu ; Duran, Cecilia ; Perrin, Clement ; Pike, William T ; Plesa, Ana-Catalina ; Pinot, Baptiste ; Rivoldini, Attilio ; Scholz, John-Robert ; Schimmel, Martin ; Schmerr, Nicholas C ; Stutzmann, Eleonore ; Samuel, Henri ; Smrekar, Suzanne ; Spohn, Tilman ; Tauzin, Benoit ; Tharimena, Saikiran ; Widmer-Schnidrig, Rudolf ; Wieczorek, Mark ; Xu, Zongbo ; Zenhäusern, Géraldine ; Karakostas, Foivos Georgios

Talk presented at AGU Fall Meeting 2021, New Orleans, online on 2021-12-19

Abstract: InSight is the first planetary mission dedicated to exploring the whole interior of a planet using geophysical methods, specifically seismology and geodesy. To this end, we observed seismic waves of distant marsquakes and inverted for interior models using differential travel times of phases reflected at the surface (PP, SS...) or the core mantle-boundary (ScS), as well as those converted at crustal interfaces. Compared to previous orbital observations1-3, the seismic data added decisive new insights with consequences for the formation of Mars: The global average crustal thickness of 24-75 km is at the low end of pre-mission estimates5. Together with the the thick lithosphere of 450-600 km5, this requires an enrichment of heat-producing elements in the crust by a factor of 13-20, compared to the primitive mantle. The iron-rich liquid core is 1790-1870 km in radius6, which rules out the existence of an insulating bridgmanite-dominated lower mantle on Mars. The large, and therefore low-density core needs a high amount of light elements. Given the geochemical boundary conditions, Sulfur alone cannot explain the estimated density of ~6 g/cm3 and volatile elements, such as oxygen, carbon or hydrogen are needed in significant amounts. This observation is difficult to reconcile with classical models of late formation from the same material as Earth. We also give an overview of open questions after three years of InSight operation on the surface of Mars, such as the potential existence of an inner core or compositional layers above the CMB.

Keyword(s): Mars, core, SEIS, quake, InSight

The record appears in these collections:
Conference Contributions & Seminars > Conference Talks > Contributed Talks
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Reference Systems & Planetology

 Record created 2022-01-20, last modified 2022-01-20