Seismic tomography of the Moon

Dapeng Zhao, Jianshe Lei, Lucy Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We attempted to determine the first three-dimensional P and S wave velocity and Poisson's ratio structures of the lunar crust and mantle down to 1000 km depth under the near-side of the Moon by applying seismic tomography to the moonquake arrival-time data recorded by the Apollo seismic network operated during 1969 to 1977. Our results show that significant lateral heterogeneities may exist in the lunar interior. Because there is no plate tectonics in the Moon, the lateral heterogeneities may be produced at the early stage of the Moon formation and evolution, and they have been preserved till today. There seems to be a correlation between the distribution of deep moonquakes and lateral velocity variations in the lunar lower mantle, suggesting that the occurrence of deep moonquakes may be affected by the lunar structural heterogeneity in addition to the tidal stresses. Although this is an experimental work and the result is still preliminary, it indicates that tomographic imaging of the lunar interior is feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3897-3907
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec


  • Apollo seismic data
  • Lunar interior
  • Moon
  • Moonquakes
  • Seismic tomography
  • Seismic waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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