The InSight exploration vehicle, which has been on Mars for more than two years, has recently recorded some of the strongest quakes on record.
Their magnitudes were 3.3 and 3.1 points. This is not much for the Earth, but quite a lot for Mars, whose geological activity is much lower than that of our planet. Also, according to the available data, there are simply no tectonic plates on Mars.
For comparison, the strongest recorded earthquakes were 3.6 and 3.5. At the same time, like on Earth, small tremors are recorded much more often. The same InSight registered more than 500 of them, that is, almost one a day.
The tremors’ source is the Cerberus Fossae area, which was also the source of the most powerful Marsquakes mentioned above. Scientists also note that all large marsquakes differ from insignificant ones. The propagation of seismic waves occurs similarly to how it happens on Earth; that is, it is quite straightforward. Weak tremors on Mars are characterized by diffuse wave propagation, as on the Moon.
The mission specialists also identified an interesting pattern: past and present strong tremors were recorded in the Martian summer. However, in the presence of a small sample, this can only be a coincidence.
By the way, InSight has been on Mars for 859 days, while the mission was originally designed for 728 days.