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What would hide under the earthquakes detected on Mars


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[EN VIDÉO] Mars InSight: a geophysicist on Mars
Launched in May 2018 and installed on Mars in November, the InSight lander must explore the least well-known environment of the Red Planet: its basement, up to its core. Thanks to sophisticated instruments, including a seismometer and a five-meter drill, it has enough to help us better understand our little neighbor.

The Red Planet has been, like the Earth, the seat of violent tectonic activities, as evidenced by certain rugged structures on its surface such as Valles Marineris, a vast network of canyons extending over nearly 4,000 kilometers. And Mars still continues to be seismically active today. Since the arrival ofInSight in the region ofElysium Planitia November 26, 2018 and the deployment of its seismometer Sixthe first direct observations of earthquakes Martians have been made. The It therefore corresponds to the point on the surface where the perceived intensity of an earthquake is greatest (maximum magnitude). Indeed, since the epicenter is the point in…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/f/3/e/f3e900a7f5_45441_def-hypocentre-lorangeo- wikimediacommons.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/structure-earth-epicenter-3658/” data-more=”Read more”>epicentres of the most violent were located in the region of Cerberus Fossaecharacterized by a series of faults more than 1,000 kilometers long and formed less than 20 million years ago, and having sheltered volcanic activity that is still very recent (less than 200,000 years).

A concern for noise in the analysis of seismic data

But due to the relatively small magnitudes martian earthquakes and a potentially high noise level, the detection as the certain identification of these tremors is not easy. A team of scientists China and Australia have thus developed two new models for analyzing seismic data, enabling them to identify low-magnitude earthquakes previously drowned in ambient noise. Their new analysis methods then allowed the identification of 47 new repetitive and relatively similar seismic events in the data collected by Seis, probably located in nearby regions, around Cerberus Fossaeand associated with two previously detected earthquakes.

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A new suspect to explain the Martian earthquakes?

Before the detection of these 47 new seismic events, the hypotheses as to the events at the origin of Martian earthquakes were already multiple: certain earthquakes, detected during the Martian night, would be caused according to scientists by the cooling and the contraction of the planet; others argue that the interactions between Mars and its two satellites, Phobos et Deimos, could also generate earthquakes due to tidal effects – similar to the gravitational pull that Earth exerts on the A moon with a lowercase “L” is the satellite of a planet. For example Phobos and Deimos are the two moons of the planet Mars.
The moon
The Moon with a capital “L” is Earth’s only natural satellite; it probably results from a collision 4.4 years ago…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/c/7/8/c785911d64_50034415_lune-05 .jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/universe-lune-2550/” data-more=”Read more”>Moon generates moonquakes.

But the detection of these new earthquakes, observed day and night, does not seem linked to the movements of the two satellites of the planet, thus ruling out these two hypotheses to explain their origin. The high depth of their epicentres also seems to rule out a possible tectonic origin along the normal faults of Cerberus Fossae.

The scientists then chose to reason by making analogs with our Planet: on Earth, the vast majority of earthquakes are distributed along the borders between The Earth’s lithosphere is made up of 15 major plates and 40 minor plates, which move by 1 at 20 cm per year (according to…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/9/f/c/9fcec5bdc0_45137_plaques-tectonique-wikimediacommons-dp.jpg ” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planet/definitions/structure-earth-tectonic-plate-13874/” data-more=”Read more”>tectonic plateswhile a small part – about 10% – of Earth’s earthquakes originate inside the plates lithospheric. Mars, on the other hand, has no active tectonic plates: thus, since the Red Planet has only one plate, we can compare Martian earthquakes to terrestrial earthquakes within lithospheric plates.

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On Earth, if intra-plate earthquakes are not caused by slips along faults, their origin is then generally linked to volcanic events, or to movements of underlying fluids. By combining these comparisons with the recent volcanic structures of Cerberus Fossae, scientists tend to think that volcanic activity could be the cause of these freshly analyzed earthquakes; However, on Earth, volcanic earthquakes generally result in Several categories of volcanic eruptions
There are three main categories of eruptions…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/e/6/d/e6d4dc734e_124536_eruption-volcan-01.jpg” data -url=”https://news.google.com/planet/definitions/structure-earth-volcanic-eruption-455/” data-more=”Read more”>volcanic eruptions, while these new earthquakes were not accompanied by any eruption. The team explains the absence of eruption associated with these earthquakes in part by the high thickness of the continental crust which forms, as the name suggests, the continents. It is essentially of a…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/7/d/1/7d1ca441ac_44707_def-epaisseur-croute-terrestre-usgs.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/structure-terre-terrestrial-crust-2491/” data-more=”Read more”>crustpreventing the make to reach the surface. According to the scientists, the number of repetitive earthquakes detected day and night would be a sign of movements in the interior of Mars, and the seismic activity detected around Cerberus Fossae would be caused by movements of molten rocks in the The mantle, although solid, is animated by convection currents which…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/ 7/4/6/7466fb8049_50004180_terre-270907.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/structure-terre-terrestrial-mantle-2495/” data-more=”Read more “>coat superior Martian, which in this case would be more active than previously thought.

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