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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets Year : 2022

Tidal Constraints on the Martian Interior

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F. Nimmo
A. Rivoldini
A. Bagheri
T. Gray
  • Function : Author
H. Samuel
A.‐c. Plesa
T. Gudkova
D. Giardini


We compare several recent Martian interior models and evaluate how these are impacted by the tidal constraints provided by the Love number k2 and the secular acceleration in longitude s of its main moon, Phobos. The expression of the latter is developed up to harmonic degree 5 to match the accuracy of the current observations. We match a number of current interior structure models to the recent measurements of the tidal parameters and derive estimations of the possible core radius, temperature profile, and attenuation in the Martian interior. Our estimation of the core radius is 1,820 ± 80 km, consistent with recent seismic measurements. The attenuation profiles in the Martian interior at the main tidal period of Phobos are similar between the considered models, giving a range for the degree-2 bulk tidal attenuation Q2 = 93.0 ± 8.40 but diverge at seismic frequencies. At seismic frequencies, model shear attenuation Qμ ranges between 100 and 4,000 in the lower mantle, so that a measurement of seismic shear attenuation could be used as an effective means for distinguishing between the models considered. Other constraints such as elastic lithosphere thickness and Chandler Wobble period favor a thicker elastic lithosphere and models with a frequency dependence α of the shear attenuation between 0.15 and 0.4. Improved constraints on the Martian interior should be possible with additional seismic and radio observations from the InSight mission.
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Dates and versions

hal-03938834 , version 1 (13-01-2023)



L. Pou, F. Nimmo, A. Rivoldini, A. Khan, A. Bagheri, et al.. Tidal Constraints on the Martian Interior. Journal of Geophysical Research. Planets, 2022, 127 (11), ⟨10.1029/2022JE007291⟩. ⟨hal-03938834⟩
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