Analyzing Low Frequency Seismic Events at Cerberus Fossae as Long Period Volcanic Quakes | INSTITUT DE PHYSIQUE DU GLOBE DE PARIS


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  Analyzing Low Frequency Seismic Events at Cerberus Fossae as Long Period Volcanic Quakes

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Volume 126, p.e2020JE006518 (2021)



long-period, Mars, tremor


<p>Abstract The InSight Mission began acquiring the first seismic data on Mars in early 2019 and has detected hundreds of events. The largest events recorded to date originate at Cerberus Fossae, a young volcanic region characterized by high volume, low viscosity lava flows. A handful of Low Frequency (LF) quakes that share key attributes of Long Period quakes recorded on Earth's volcanoes are also traced to Cerberus Fossae. This study explores whether a traditional volcanic source model that simulates the generation of tremor as pressurized fluid makes its way through a channel at depth, can explain these atypical LF events. We consider a wide range of physical parameters including fluid viscosity, the ratio of driving pressure to lithostatic pressure, aspect ratio of the channel, and the equilibrium channel opening. We find that the model can produce the observed seismic signature, with a combination of low-viscosity magma and high volume flux of ∼104&nbsp;−&nbsp;105&nbsp;m3/s that are within an order-of-magnitude agreement with Cerberus Fossae lava flow properties deduced from analysis of lava flow dimensions. It is impossible, however, at this stage to conclude whether or not this is a likely explanation for Mars, as the model results in fluxes that are extreme for Earth yet are just within bounds of what has been inferred for Cerberus Fossae. We therefore conclude that we cannot rule out active magma flow as the mechanism responsible for the atypical LF events that likely originate from Cerberus Fossae.</p>