Seismically detected cratering on Mars: Enhanced recent impact flux?OPEN ACCESS 

Ingrid J. Daubar, Raphaël F. Garcia, Alexander E. Stott, Benjamin Fernando, Gareth S. Collins, Colin M. Dundas, Natalia Wójcicka, Géraldine Zenhäusern, Alfred S. McEwen, Simon C. Stähler, Matthew Golombek, Constantinos Charalambous, Domenico Giardini, Philippe Lognonné and W. Bruce Banerdt

Science Advances
28 Jun 2024
Vol 10, Issue


“Seismic observations of impacts on Mars indicate a higher impact flux than previously measured. Using six confirmed seismic impact detections near the NASA InSight lander and two distant large impacts, we calculate appropriate scalings to compare these rates with lunar-based chronology models. We also update the impact rate from orbital observations using the most recent catalog of new craters on Mars. The snapshot of the current impact rate at Mars recorded seismically is higher than that found using orbital detections alone. The measured rates differ between a factor of 2 and 10, depending on the diameter, although the sample size of seismically detected impacts is small. The close timing of the two largest new impacts found on Mars in the past few decades indicates either a heightened impact rate or a low-probability temporal coincidence, perhaps representing recent fragmentation of a parent body. We conclude that seismic methods of detecting current impacts offer a more complete dataset than orbital imaging.”