Empirical Recurrence Rates for Seismic Signals on Planetary Surfaces [EPA]


We review the recurrence intervals as a function of ground motion amplitude at several terrestrial locations, and make the first interplanetary comparison with measurements on the Moon, Mars, Venus and Titan. This empirical approach gives an intuitive guide to the relative seismicity of these locations, without invoking interior models and specific sources: for example a Venera-14 observation of possible ground motion indicates a microseismic environment mid-way between noisy and quiet terrestrial locations; quiet terrestrial regions see a peak velocity amplitude in mm/s roughly equal to 0.4*N(-0.7), where N is the number of events observed per year. The Apollo data show signals for a given recurrence rate are typically about 10,000 times smaller in amplitude than a quiet site on Earth, while Viking data masked for low-wind periods appears comparable with a quiet terrestrial site. Recurrence rate plots from in-situ measurements provide a convenient guide to expectations for seismic instrumentation on future planetary missions : while small geophones can discriminate terrestrial activity rates, observations with guidance accelerometers are typically too insensitive to provide meaningful constraints unless operated for long periods.

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R. Lorenz and M. Panning
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 17 pages, 4 figures