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No Cryosphere-Confined Aquifer Below InSight on Mars

Abstract

The seismometer deployed by the InSight lander measured the seismic velocity of the Martian crust. We use a rock physics model to interpret those velocities and constrain hydrogeological properties. The seismic velocity of the upper ∼10 km is too low to be ice-saturated. Hence there is no cryosphere that confines deeper aquifers and possibly no aquifers locally. An increase in seismic velocity at depths of ∼10 km could be explained by a few volume percent of mineral cement (1%–5%) in pore space and may document the past depth of aquifers.

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