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Journal Article

Crustal S-Wave Velocity from Apparent Incidence Angles: A Case Study in Preparation for InSight


Knapmeyer-Endrun,  Brigitte
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Knapmeyer-Endrun, B., Ceylan, S., & van Driel, M. (2018). Crustal S-Wave Velocity from Apparent Incidence Angles: A Case Study in Preparation for InSight. Space Science Reviews, 214(5): 83. doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0510-9.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-9494-0
Retrieval of crustal structure and thickness of Mars is among the main goals of InSight. Here we investigate which constraints on the crust at the landing site can be provided by apparent P-wave incidence angles derived from P-receiver functions. We consider receiver functions for six different Mars models, calculated from synthetic seismograms generated via Instaseis from the Green’s function databases of the Marsquake Service, in detail. To allow for a larger range of crustal thicknesses and structures, we additionally analyze data from five broad-band stations across Central Europe. We find that the likely usable epicentral distance range for P-wave receiver functions on Mars lies between 35∘ and the core shadow, and can be extended to more than 150∘ by also using the PP-phase. Comparison to models for the spatial distribution of Martian seismicity indicates that sufficient seismicity should occur within the P-wave distance range around InSight within the nominal mission duration to allow for the application of our method. Apparent P-wave incidence angles are derived from the amplitudes of vertical and radial receiver functions at the P-wave onset within a range of period bands, up to 120 s. The apparent incidence angles are directly related to apparent S-wave velocities, which are inverted for the subsurface S-wave velocity structure via a grid search. The veracity of the forward calculated receiver functions and apparent S-wave velocities is ensured by benchmarking various algorithms against the Instaseis synthetics. Results indicate that apparent S-wave velocity curves provide valuable constraints on crustal thickness and structure, even without any additional constraints, and considering the location uncertainty and limited data quantity of InSight. S-wave velocities in the upper half of the crust are constrained best, but if reliable measurements at long periods are available, the curves also provide constraints down to the uppermost mantle. Besides, it is demonstrated that the apparent velocity curves can differentiate between crustal velocity models that are indistinguishable by other methods.