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The crust and mantle structures of Earth, Mars, and Moon revealed by the P-wave receiver function


Campus Paris-Rive-Gauche


Séminaires Planétologie et Sciences Spatiales

522, bât. Lamarck

Jing Shi

Planétologie et sciences spatiales (PSS)

The structures of the crust and mantle of a planet are products of the planet’s crystallization differentiation, recording the thermal evolutionary history of the planet. Therefore, the crust and mantle structures are crucial for understanding the planetary composition and the geological activities, such as the sedimentary history, volcanism, and the meteoritic impact process. The crust of a planet generally refers to the outermost solid part of a rocky planet, which can be distinguished by its chemical composition, and physical properties, like the viscosity, geothermal gradient, and density, from the underlying mantle. And the mantle is the zone extending from the bottom of the crust to the top of the planet’s core. Seismic waves are considered the most efficient tool to study planetary interiors because seismic waves travel through the interior of rocky planets, carrying seismic signals related to the interior. In seismology, because the P-wave receiver function (PRF) method is very sensitive to the structures near the station, this method has been a routine to study the crust and mantle structures of Earth, Mars, and the Moon. In this talk, I will introduce this method, review the PRF works on Earth, exhibit the PRFs of the latest large marsquake S1222a of Mars, and compare the PRFs of Earth, Mars, and the Moon. The PRF comparison of the three planets can also enable us to estimate their crustal scattering properties, which is helpful for planetary exploration missions in the future.