Space Science Reviews

, 214:114 | Cite as

On the Detectability and Use of Normal Modes for Determining Interior Structure of Mars

  • Felix BissigEmail author
  • Amir Khan
  • Martin van Driel
  • Simon C. Stähler
  • Domenico Giardini
  • Mark Panning
  • Mélanie Drilleau
  • Philippe Lognonné
  • Tamara V. Gudkova
  • Vladimir N. Zharkov
  • Ana-Catalina Plesa
  • William B. Banerdt
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The InSight Mission to Mars II


The InSight mission to Mars is well underway and will be the first mission to acquire seismic data from a planet other than Earth. In order to maximise the science return of the InSight data, a multifaceted approach will be needed that seeks to investigate the seismic data from a series of different frequency windows, including body waves, surface waves, and normal modes. Here, we present a methodology based on globally-averaged models that employs the long-period information encoded in the seismic data by looking for fundamental-mode spheroidal oscillations. From a preliminary analysis of the expected signal-to-noise ratio, we find that normal modes should be detectable during nighttime in the frequency range 5–15 mHz. For improved picking of (fundamental) normal modes, we show first that those are equally spaced between 5–15 mHz and then show how this spectral spacing, obtained through autocorrelation of the Fourier-transformed time series can be further employed to select normal mode peaks more consistently. Based on this set of normal-mode spectral frequencies, we proceed to show how this data set can be inverted for globally-averaged models of interior structure (to a depth of \(\sim 250~\mbox{km}\)), while simultaneously using the resultant synthetically-approximated normal mode peaks to verify the initial peak selection. This procedure can be applied iteratively to produce a “cleaned-up” set of spectral peaks that are ultimately inverted for a “final” interior-structure model. To investigate the effect of three-dimensional (3D) structure on normal mode spectra, we constructed a 3D model of Mars that includes variations in surface and Moho topography and lateral variations in mantle structure and employed this model to compute full 3D waveforms. The resultant time series are converted to spectra and the inter-station variation hereof is compared to the variation in spectra computed using different 1D models. The comparison shows that 3D effects are less significant than the variation incurred by the difference in radial models, which suggests that our 1D approach represents an adequate approximation of the global average structure of Mars.


Mars Seismology Normal modes Interior structure Inverse problems 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for comments that helped improve the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF project 200021\(\_\)172508). This work was also supported by a grant from the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) under project ID s830. Part of the computations were performed on the ETH cluster Euler. This is InSight contribution 72.

Supplementary material

11214_2018_547_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (855 kb)
Additional material can be found in the Online Resource of this article. It contains figures showing 1) additionally investigated radial models, 2) corresponding dispersion curves and spacing of fundamental modes (\(\Delta f\)), and 3) comparison of estimated and theoretical \(\Delta f\). (PDF 855 kB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Bissig
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amir Khan
    • 1
  • Martin van Driel
    • 1
  • Simon C. Stähler
    • 1
  • Domenico Giardini
    • 1
  • Mark Panning
    • 4
  • Mélanie Drilleau
    • 2
  • Philippe Lognonné
    • 2
  • Tamara V. Gudkova
    • 3
  • Vladimir N. Zharkov
    • 3
  • Ana-Catalina Plesa
    • 5
  • William B. Banerdt
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institut de Physique du Globe de ParisUniv Paris Diderot-Sorbonne Paris CitéParis Cedex 13France
  3. 3.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the EarthRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  5. 5.Planetary Physics, Institute of Planetary ResearchGerman Aerospace Center (DLR)BerlinGermany

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