Volume 47, N. 3

Special Issue: Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials: Honorary & Special Lectures (Invited Editors: S. Rios, A. Viana da Fonseca, C. Ferreira), in progress, July-September 2024

Review Article

Volume 47, N. 3, Special Issue: Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials: Honorary & Special Lectures (Invited Editors: S. Rios, A. Viana da Fonseca, C. Ferreira), in progress, July-September 2024 | DOWNLOAD PDF (41 downloads)

Abstract

The InSight mission is a geophysical mission aimed at better understanding the structure of Mars and of the other rocky planets of the solar system. To do so, a lander accommodating two cameras, a very sensitive seismometer, and a dynamic self-penetrating heat probe nicknamed the mole were placed on the Mars surface by the Instrument Deployment Arm (IDA). Besides geophysical data (which definitely enriched the existing knowledge on the structure of Mars), the InSight instruments significantly increased the knowledge of the geological and geotechnical characteristics of the surface material at the InSight site. Small strain (elastic) parameters were derived from wave velocity measurements during the hammering sessions between the self-penetrating probe and the seismometer. A detailed observation of the soil profile along a depth of 37 cm was made possible thanks to the photos taken by the cameras, and to a detailed analysis of the mole penetration process. Further information was provided by an intense campaign of scraping and piling conducted by the IDA on the surface sand/dust layer. It was shown that the soil profile was composed of a surface 1 cm thick sand/dust layer, overlaying an around 20 cm thick loose duricrust made up of a cohesive matrix containing some pebbles, located above a 12 cm layer of sand overlaying a gravel/sand deposit. It is believed that the geology and soil mechanics data provided by the InSight mission will help for further robotic exploration of Mars.

Keywords: Mars, Regolith, Seismometer, Heat probe, Elastic parameters, Mechanical properties,


Submitted on May 12, 2023.
Final Acceptance on December 26, 2023.
Discussion open until December 26, 2024.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.2024.005023