Space Science Reviews

, 215:50 | Cite as

Lunar Seismology: An Update on Interior Structure Models

  • Raphael F. GarciaEmail author
  • Amir Khan
  • Mélanie Drilleau
  • Ludovic Margerin
  • Taichi Kawamura
  • Daoyuan Sun
  • Mark A. Wieczorek
  • Attilio Rivoldini
  • Ceri Nunn
  • Renee C. Weber
  • Angela G. Marusiak
  • Philippe Lognonné
  • Yosio Nakamura
  • Peimin Zhu


An international team of researchers gathered, with the support of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), (1) to review seismological investigations of the lunar interior from the Apollo-era and up until the present and (2) to re-assess our level of knowledge and uncertainty on the interior structure of the Moon. A companion paper (Nunn et al. in Space Sci. Rev., submitted) reviews and discusses the Apollo lunar seismic data with the aim of creating a new reference seismic data set for future use by the community. In this study, we first review information pertinent to the interior of the Moon that has become available since the Apollo lunar landings, particularly in the past ten years, from orbiting spacecraft, continuing measurements, modeling studies, and laboratory experiments. Following this, we discuss and compare a set of recent published models of the lunar interior, including a detailed review of attenuation and scattering properties of the Moon. Common features and discrepancies between models and moonquake locations provide a first estimate of the error bars on the various seismic parameters. Eventually, to assess the influence of model parameterisation and error propagation on inverted seismic velocity models, an inversion test is presented where three different parameterisations are considered. For this purpose, we employ the travel time data set gathered in our companion paper (Nunn et al. in Space Sci. Rev., submitted). The error bars of the inverted seismic velocity models demonstrate that the Apollo lunar seismic data mainly constrain the upper- and mid-mantle structure to a depth of ∼1200 km. While variable, there is some indication for an upper mantle low-velocity zone (depth range 100–250 km), which is compatible with a temperature gradient around 1.7 C/km. This upper mantle thermal gradient could be related to the presence of the thermally anomalous region known as the Procellarum Kreep Terrane, which contains a large amount of heat producing elements.


Moon Seismology Internal structure of planets 



We acknowledge ISSI Bern and ISSI Beijing for providing support to our international research team. This work was granted access to the HPC resources of CINES under the allocation A0050407341 made by GENCI. Internal structure models and quake locations presented in this study are available in electronic form at the following

Supplementary material (3.7 mb)
(ZIP 3.7 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael F. Garcia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Amir Khan
    • 3
  • Mélanie Drilleau
    • 4
  • Ludovic Margerin
    • 2
  • Taichi Kawamura
    • 4
  • Daoyuan Sun
    • 5
    • 6
  • Mark A. Wieczorek
    • 7
  • Attilio Rivoldini
    • 8
  • Ceri Nunn
    • 9
    • 10
  • Renee C. Weber
    • 11
  • Angela G. Marusiak
    • 12
  • Philippe Lognonné
    • 4
  • Yosio Nakamura
    • 13
  • Peimin Zhu
    • 14
  1. 1.Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO)Université de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, C.N.R.S.Université de ToulouseToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Institute of GeophysicsETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institut de Physique du Globe de ParisUniversité de Paris, CNRSParisFrance
  5. 5.Laboratory of Seismology and Physics of Earth’s Interior, School of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  6. 6.CAS Center for Excellence in Comparative PlanetologyHefeiChina
  7. 7.Laboratoire Lagrange, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRSUniversité Côte d’AzurNiceFrance
  8. 8.Observatoire Royal de BelgiqueBruxellesBelgium
  9. 9.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  10. 10.Ludwig Maximilian UniversityMunichGermany
  11. 11.NASA Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA
  12. 12.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  13. 13.Institute for Geophysics, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of GeosciencesUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  14. 14.China University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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