Once, the weather in the Gail crater probably felt somewhat like those in Iceland. But no one was there to bundle 3 billion years ago.
The ancient Mars crater is the focus of a study done by scientists at Rice University comparing Curiosity Rover’s data on Earth’s locations, where similar geologic formations have experienced weathering in different climates.
Iceland’s basaltic terrain and cold weather, typically with temperatures below 38 degrees Fahrenheit, became the closest analogue to ancient Mars. The study determined that temperature had the greatest impact on how the climate was formed from rocks deposited by ancient Martian streams.
Postdoctoral alumni Michael Thorpe and Rice’s Martian geologist Kirsten Siebach and State University of New York’s Stony Brook geologist Joel Howitz are scheduled to answer questions about the forces affecting sand and mud in ancient lakebeds.
The data collected by Curiosity during its journey since landing on Mars in 2012 provide details about the chemical and physical states of sludge formed in an ancient lake, but the chemistry does not directly reveal climatic conditions when sediment Sunk upwards For this, researchers had to look for similar rocks and soil on Earth to find a connection between planets.
Study published in JGR Planet Carries data from famous and changing circumstances in Iceland, Idaho and around the world, providing the best match to see what the rover sees and incorporating Mount Sharp into the crater.
There was once a lake in the crater, but the climate that allows water to fill is the subject of a long debate. Some argue that the early Mars was hot and wet, and that rivers and lakes were commonly present. Others think it was cold and dry and glaciers and snow were more common.
“The sedimentary rocks in the Gayle Crater reduce the likelihood of a gap between these two scenarios,” said Thorpe, a Mars sample return scientist at the Jacobs Space Exploration Group, a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. “The ancient climate was less likely, but also appears to support liquid water in lakes for extended periods of time.”
Researchers were surprised that more than 3 billion years later there was so little weathering of rocks on Mars, as if the rocks of ancient Mars were today equivalent to the Icelandic sediments in a river and lake.
“On Earth, the sedimentary rock record does a fantastic job of maturing over time with the help of chemical weathering,” Thorpe said. “However, on Mars we see very small minerals in clay stones that are older than any sedimentary rocks on Earth, suggesting that weathering was limited.”
Researchers directly studied sediment from Idaho and Iceland, and compiled studies of similar basaltic sediment from a range of climates around the world from Antarctica to Hawaii predicted climatic conditions to be possible on Mars when the water gale crater I was flowing
“Earth provided an excellent laboratory for us in this study, where we can use multiple locations to look at the effects of different climatic variables on weathering, and the average annual temperature is the strongest effect for the types of rocks in the Gayle Crater. Was, “said. Siebeck, a member of the curiosity team, will be a persistence operator after touching the new lander in February. “The range of climate on Earth allowed us to calibrate our thermometer to measure temperature on ancient Mars.”
The makeup of sand and sludge in Iceland was the closest match to Mars, based on analysis through the Standard Chemical Index of Change (CIA), a basic geological tool that estimated past climate from the chemical and physical weathering of the sample.
“As water flows to erase the rocks and weather them, it dissolves the most soluble chemical components of the minerals that form the rocks,” Siebach said. “On Mars, we observed that only a small fraction of the elements dissolving the steepest fractions were lost from the soil relative to volcanic rocks, even though the soil has the smallest grain size and usually has the most weather .
“It actually limits the average annual temperature on Mars when the lake was present, because if it were warmer, more of those elements would have been swept away,” she said.
Results also indicated that the climate became more Icelandic over time from conditions such as the Antarctic while fluvial processes continued to accumulate sediments in the crater. This change suggests that technology can be used to track climate change on ancient Mars.
While curiosity, the most ancient part of the lake’s sediment, has focused on the fewest studies, other studies have also indicated that Mars’ climate is probably fluctuating and dried up over time. Seebeck said, “This study establishes a way to explain the trend that is more quantitatively on Earth today than the climate and environment.” “Similar techniques can be used convincingly to understand the ancient climate around its landing site at the Jazero Crater.”
He said that parallel, climate change, especially in Iceland, can move places on Earth that are best suited to understanding the past of both planets.
Seebach is an assistant professor of Earth, Environment and Planetary Sciences at Rice. Hurowitz is an Associate Professor of Geoscience at Stony Brook.
The area geology at the equator of Mars points to the ancient megaflood
Michael T. Thorpe et al. Terrestrial Analog Sync for Paleoenvironments of Terr Gail Crater, Mars from Source Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets (2021). DOI: 10.1029 / 2020JE006530
Provided by Rice University
Quotes: Roux once made Mars feel like Iceland (2021, 21 January) Retrieved 22 January 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-mars-felt-iceland.html
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