GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 246-3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM


PLESA, Ana-Catalina1, BREUER, Doris1, PADOVAN, Sebastiano1, TOSI, Nicola1, GROTT, Matthias1, KNAPMEYER, Martin1, RIVOLDINI, Attilio2, WIECZOREK, Mark3, GOLOMBEK, Matthew P.4, SPOHN, Tilman5, LOGNONNÉ, Philippe6, SMREKAR, Suzanne4 and BANERDT, William B.4, (1)German Aerospace Center (DLR), Rutherfordstraße 2, Berlin, 12489, Germany, (2)Royal Observatory of Belgium, 3 Avenue Circulaire, Brussels, B-1180, Belgium, (3)Université Côte d'Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, 06300, France, (4)Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA / CALTECH), 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, (5)German Aerospace Center (DLR), Rutherfordstraße 2, Berlin, 12489, Germany; International Space Science Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, 3012, Switzerland, (6)Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 35 rue Hélène Brion, Paris, 75205, France

Measurements by the NASA InSight mission will help determine the present-day thermal state and interior structure of Mars and improve our understanding of the interior evolution of the terrestrial planets (Banerdt & Russel, 2017). The InSight data will provide valuable constraints for thermal evolution models, and, in turn, such calculations will provide a tool to support the overall interpretation of the InSight measurements.

InSight will anchor crustal thickness models and help constrain crustal thickness on a global scale by determining the crust-mantle boundary depth at the landing site. 3D thermal evolution models suggest that crustal thickness variations affect the surface heat flow and lithospheric temperature variations, and possibly the location of mantle plumes (Plesa et al., 2018).

InSight’s seismic and rotation dynamics measurements will help determine Mars’ core radius (Lognonné et al., 2019). The latter is important for the presence or absence of an endothermic phase transition from ringwoodite to perovskite at the base of the mantle, which would affect the core-mantle boundary (CMB) temperature and interior dynamics.

An inner core could induce a resonant amplification of Mars’ annual prograde nutation large enough to be detectable by InSight (Folkner et al., 2018). This will constrain the evolution of the CMB temperature that can be used to improve thermal evolution models of Mars.

The average surface heat flow is directly linked to the amount of heat producing elements in the interior of Mars (Spohn et al., 2018). 3D thermal evolution models suggest that the heat flow at InSight’s location is representative of the global average, and will help constrain the amount of energy in the interior that triggered Mars’ volcanic and tectonic activity.

The determination of seismic activity of Mars by InSight will constrain the existing seismicity models (Knapmeyer et al., 2006). In addition, seismic velocities and estimates of the depth and location of seismic events will place constraints on the thermal and chemical state of the crust and lithosphere, and could help distinguish between various interior models.

InSight data will help improve models of the interior evolution of Mars (Smrekar et al., 2019). In turn, this will provide important implications for the thermal history of terrestrial planets in general.