Arrival Times for Martian Surface Waves

The InSight seismometer will detect the arrival of marsquake or meteor impact seismic waves.
These waves, like the ripples of water from a stone dropped in a pond, travel on the surface of Mars.
There are two waves that travel around Mars called Rayleigh 1 and Rayleigh 2.
The R1 wave arrives first, and the R2 wave travels a longer distance and arrives next.
These waves can also continue to travel around Mars back to the seismometer and are then called R3 and R4.

This program calculates how long these Rayleigh waves take to reach the InSight seismometer.

Drag the impact/marsquake site on the Mars map. The box below the map shows the latitudes, longitudes, calculated distance, and Rayleigh wave distances/times. Adjust the slider to set the speed of the surface wave.

Longitude/latitude of lander: ,
Longitude/latitude of impact site: ,
Distance between lander and impact site:

Speed of surface wave:
Wave name Distance (km) Time (mins)

Although the surface waves R1,R2 and R3 are the only ones likely to be detected, the list includes the first six possibilities.
These surface waves are also called Rayleigh Waves because they resemble the waves from a stone dropped in water.

Rayleigh wave computation code

GitHub source

More Space Math modules

This web page is adapted from Space Math @ NASA ILabs.

Background image taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
HiRISe camera on March 2010