Moonquakes: Mechanisms and Relation to Tidal Stresses

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Science  27 May 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4293, pp. 979-981
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4293.979


Observed features of moonquakes are combined with theoretical calculations of the tidal stresses to interpret the moonquake mechanisms. Tidal stresses, together with a postulated ambient tectonic stress, are sufficient to explain the depth, periodicity, and polarity reversal of moonquakes. Both of these stresses are small (on the order of 1 bar) and consistent with the small magnitudes of moonquakes.