Theoretical models for Mars and their seismic properties

Emile A. Okal*, Don L. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Theoretical seismic properties of the planet Mars are investigated on the basis of the various models which have been proposed for the internal composition of the planet. The latest interpretation of gravity field data (Reasenberg, 1977), assuming a lower value of the moment of inertia, would require a less dense mantle and a larger core than previous models. If Mars is chondritic in composition, the most reasonable models are an incompletely differentiated H-chondrite or a mixture of H-chondrites and carbonaceous chondrites. Seismic profiles, travel times, and free oscillation periods are computed for various models, with the aim of establishing which seismic data is crucial for deciding among the alternatives. A detailed discussion is given of the seismic properties which could-in principle-help answer the following two questions: Is Mars' core liquid or solid? Does Mars have a partially molten asthenosphere in its upper mantle?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-528
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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