Massive Earthquake Recorded on Mars Was As Strong as All Other Earthquakes Added – ScienceAlert

Massive Earthquake Recorded on Mars Was As Strong as All Other Earthquakes Added - ScienceAlert
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A massive, record-breaking earthquake rocking mars New research has revealed that it is at least five times larger than the previous record holder in May of this year.

It’s unclear what the source of the quake was, but it was certainly odd. In addition to being the strongest earthquake ever recorded on Mars, it was the longest earthquake by a significant amount, shaking the red planet for 10 hours.

“The energy released by this single earthquake is equivalent to the cumulative energy from all the other earthquakes we’ve seen so far.” says seismologist John Clinton From the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland “and although the event was more than 2,000 kilometers (1200 miles) away, the waves recorded in InSight were so large that they nearly saturated our seismometer.”

New analysis of earthquake published Geophysical Research Letters, set its size to 4.7. The previous record holder was a 4.2 magnitude earthquake. Detected in August 2021.

This may not sound like a major earthquake by Earth standards. strong earthquake bridge a recorded magnitude so far was about 9.5. But that’s impressive for a planet that was thought to be seismically stationary until NASA’s InSight probe began recording its interior in early 2019.

Although Mars and Earth have a lot in common, there are some really important differences. Mars has no tectonic plates; and since Earth’s magnetic field is theorized to be the result of internal thermal convection, it also does not have a consistent, global magnetic field, which is often interpreted as a sign that there isn’t much going on in the interior of Mars.

InSight has revealed that Mars is not as seismically quiet as we previously assumed. Squeaks and rumbles, hinting volcanic activity under Cerberus Fossae region Where the InSight lander crouches and watches the planet’s hidden viscera.

Spectrogram of the earthquake recorded on May 4, 2022. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ETH Zurich)

But determining the activity status of the interior of Mars isn’t the only reason to monitor Martian earthquakes. The way seismic waves propagate on and on a planet’s surface can help reveal density variations within the planet. In other words, they can be used to reconstruct the structure of the planet.

This is usually done here on earthbut hundreds of earthquakes recorded by InSight Mars interior mapmore.

The May earthquake may have been just a seismic event, but it looks like it was a major event.

“For the first time, we were able to identify surface waves that travel around the planet multiple times, moving through the crust and upper mantle.” Clinton says.

In two other newspapers Geophysical Research LettersTeams of scientists analyzed these waves to try to understand the structure of the crust on Mars. sedimentary rock and possible volcanic activity inside the shell.

But there is much more to be done in the earthquake itself. First, it did not originate from the Cerberus Fossae site but from nearby and could not be traced to any obvious surface features. This suggests it may be related to something hidden under the shell.

Second, mars earthquakes usually have either a high or a low frequency; the former are characterized by fast, short tremors and the latter by longer, deeper waves with larger amplitudes. This earthquake combined both frequency ranges, and researchers aren’t entirely sure why. However, it is possible that previously recorded high and low frequency earthquakes analyzed separately are two parts of the same seismic event.

That could mean scientists need to rethink how Martian earthquakes are understood and analyzed, revealing more secrets hiding beneath the deceptively quiet Martian surface.

“This was definitely the biggest earthquake we’ve ever seen” says planetary scientist Taichi Kawamura From the Paris Globe Institute for Physics in France.

“Stay tuned for more exciting stuff following this.”

Research published Geophysical Research Letters.

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