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Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution

Dehant, Veronique and Banerdt, Bruce and Lognonné, Philippe and Grott, Matthias and Asmar, Sami and Biele, Jens and Breuer, Doris and Forget, François and Jaumann, Ralf and Johnson, Catherine and Knapmeyer, Martin and Langlais, Benoit and Le Feuvre, Mathieu and Mimoun, David and Mocquet, Antoine and Read, Peter and Rivoldini, Attilio and Romberg, Oliver and Schubert, Gerald and Smrekar, Sue and Spohn, Tilman and Tortora, Paolo and Ulamec, Stephan and Vennerstrøm, Susanne (2012) Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution. Planetary and Space Science, 68 (1). pp. 123-145. ISSN 0032-0633. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2011.10.016.

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Our fundamental understanding of the interior of the Earth comes from seismology, geodesy, geochemistry, geomagnetism, geothermal studies, and petrology. For the Earth, measurements in those disciplines of geophysics have revealed the basic internal layering of the Earth, its dynamical regime, its thermal structure, its gross compositional stratification, as well as significant lateral variations in these quantities. Planetary interiors not only record evidence of conditions of planetary accretion and differentiation, they exert significant control on surface environments. We present recent advances in possible in-situ investigations of the interior of Mars, experiments and strategies that can provide unique and critical information about the fundamental processes of terrestrial planet formation and evolution. Such investigations applied on Mars have been ranked as a high priority in virtually every set of European, US and international high-level planetary science recommendations for the past 30 years. New seismological methods and approaches based on the cross-correlation of seismic noise by two seismic stations/landers on the surface of Mars and on joint seismic/orbiter detection of meteorite impacts, as well as the improvement of the performance of Very Broad-Band (VBB) seismometers have made it possible to secure a rich scientific return with only two simultaneously recording stations. In parallel, use of interferometric methods based on two Earth–Mars radio links simultaneously from landers tracked from Earth has increased the precision of radio science experiments by one order of magnitude. Magnetometer and heat flow measurements will complement seismic and geodetic data in order to obtain the best information on the interior of Mars. In addition to studying the present structure and dynamics of Mars, these measurements will provide important constraints for the astrobiology of Mars by helping to understand why Mars failed to sustain a magnetic field, by helping to understand the planet’s climate evolution, and by providing a limit for the energy available to the chemoautotrophic biosphere through a measurement of the surface heat flow. The landers of the mission will also provide meteorological stations to monitor the climate and obtain new measurements in the atmospheric boundary layer.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Asmar, Sami0000-0002-9912-645X
Mimoun, David0000-0002-3427-2974
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier. Received 20 February 2011. Received in revised form 26 October 2011. Accepted 29 October 2011. Available online 26 November 2011. P.L., A.M., D.M., M.L.F. acknowledge CNES for continuous support of the VBB Mars seismometer project in the last decades, and M.L.F. furthermore acknowledges CNES for a postdoc support. This is IPGP contribution 3217. V.D. and A.R. were financially supported by the Belgian PRODEX program managed by the European Space Agency in collaboration with the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. C.L.J. acknowledges support from the NSERC Discovery Program.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)342134
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Interior structure; Rotation; Magnetic field; Heat flow; Seismology; Mars; Atmosphere; Habitability
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160226-152430792
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Veronique Dehant, Bruce Banerdt, Philippe Lognonné, Matthias Grott, Sami Asmar, Jens Biele, Doris Breuer, François Forget, Ralf Jaumann, Catherine Johnson, Martin Knapmeyer, Benoit Langlais, Mathieu Le Feuvre, David Mimoun, Antoine Mocquet, Peter Read, Attilio Rivoldini, Oliver Romberg, Gerald Schubert, Sue Smrekar, Tilman Spohn, Paolo Tortora, Stephan Ulamec, Susanne Vennerstrøm, Future Mars geophysical observatories for understanding its internal structure, rotation, and evolution, Planetary and Space Science, Volume 68, Issue 1, August 2012, Pages 123-145, ISSN 0032-0633, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64819
Deposited By: Colette Connor
Deposited On:01 Mar 2016 00:13
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:35

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