A minimally cemented shallow crust beneath InSight

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL099250. This is version 3 of this Preprint.

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Vashan Wright, Jhardel Dasent, Richard Kilburn, Michael Manga


Ice and other mineral cements in Mars’ shallow subsurface affect the mechanical properties of the shallow crust, the geologic processes that shape the planet’s surface, and the search for past or extant Martian life. Cements increase seismic velocities. We use rock physics models to infer cement properties from seismic velocities. Model results confirm that the upper 300 m of Mars beneath InSight is most likely composed of sediments and fractured basalts. Grains within sediment layers are unlikely to be cemented by ice or other mineral cements. Hence, any existing cements are nodular or formed away from grain contacts. Fractures within the basalt layers could be filled with gas, 2% mineral cement and 98% gas, and no more than 20% ice. Thus, no ice- or liquid water-saturated layers likely exist within the upper 300 m beneath InSight. Any past cement at grain contacts has likely been broken by impacts or marsquakes.




Planetary Geology, Planetary Geophysics and Seismology, Planetary Hydrology, Planetary Sciences, Planetary Sedimentology


Mars, Rock Physics, Seismology, Cement, InSight


Published: 2022-04-21 17:50

Last Updated: 2022-08-10 14:27

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International