Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Richard S. Miller

Committee Member

Renee Weber

Committee Member

Seyed Sadeghi


Moonquakes, Lunar soil, Apollo 17 (Spacecraft)


Rediscovered data from Apollo 17’s Lunar Seismic Profiling Experiment (LSPE) are a new untapped resource for probing lunar structure. LSPE, the last seismic instrument deployed on the Moon, was designed to detect artificial seismic signatures, but also listened passively from 1976 to 1977. This 40-year-old data went unstudied due to the cancellation of the Apollo program. The analyses presented here show no evidence for correlations with the Apollo 12-16 seismic event catalog. However, the LSPE geophones have also been used as a small-aperture seismic array to identify local thermally-induced events. Supporting evidence comes from a strong association with Apollo 17 heat probe data. Seismic event rate enhancements are consistent with lunar sunrise, and include a secondary rate increase delayed by nine-hours, whose origin is currently unknown. These results extend our knowledge of lunar seismology and facilitate future comparative studies, such as those anticipated for the InSight mission to Mars.



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