A Tectonic Origin for the Largest Marsquake Observed by InSight

Benjamin Fernando, Ingrid J. Daubar, Constantinos Charalambous, Peter M. Grindrod, Alexander Stott, Abdullah Al Ateqi, Dimitra Atri, Savas Ceylan, John Clinton, Matthew Fillingim, Ernest Hauber, Jonathon R. Hill, Taichi Kawamura, Jianjun Liu, Antoine Lucas, Ralph Lorenz, Lujendra Ojha, Clement Perrin, Sylvain Piqueux, Simon StählerDaniela Tirsch, Colin Wilson, Natalia Wójcicka, Domenico Giardini, Philippe Lognonné, W. Bruce Banerdt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The S1222a marsquake detected by InSight on 4 May 2022 was the largest of the mission, at (Figure presented.) 4.7. Given its resemblance to two other large seismic events (S1000a and S1094b), which were associated with the formation of fresh craters, we undertook a search for a fresh crater associated with S1222a. Such a crater would be expected to be ∼300 m in diameter and have a blast zone on the order of 180 km across. Orbital images were targeted and searched as part of an international, multi-mission effort. Comprehensive analysis of the area using low- and medium-resolution images reveals no relevant transient atmospheric phenomena and no fresh blast zone. High-resolution coverage of the epicentral area from most spacecraft are more limited, but no fresh crater or other evidence of a new impact have been identified in those images either. We thus conclude that the S1222a event was highly likely of tectonic origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023GL103619
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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