Most pictures we see on Mars make the landscape look flat and large, but it's actually home to some of…
Most pictures we see on Mars make the landscape look flat and large, but it’s actually home to some of the largest mountains in the entire solar system. And while the planet is quite inactive, it was once very active. Mars has winds and dunes that form distinctive features on its surface similar to what we see here on earth, and a new study suggests that Mars may have much more in common with the Earth than we thought.
Meteorites are constantly falling through our clouds, landing all over the world. Sometimes little bits of Mars survive through our atmosphere and are discovered – mostly in the Sahara Desert and Antarctica ̵
1; where researchers collect them for future studies. A new paper released today in Nature Communications states that these marshmorrites can be formed by the same volcanic processes that create volcanoes in Hawaii.
The burned mountains of the islands are created by what is called a hot spot or when material from the earth’s mantle reaches the surface and creates melting. A good example of this is the highly active Kilauea volcano. But when these “hot spot” volcanoes get heavier and heavier from constant creation and hardening of materials, they can actually create a completely different type of volcano. They become so heavy with stones that they bend physically and curl the massive oceanic plate under Hawaii. When the bending occurs, as one saw, the area around the larger, heavier volcanoes is bent and raised – creating new potential outbreaks.
“If you go to Oahu or some of the older islands, you’ll find this volcanism that occurred long after the original volcanism. A good example of this is Diamond Head Crater,” says geologist James Day, studying the management of Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
The Diamond Head Crater on Oahu was formed as a result of tectonic stress from older, more massive volcanoes. “This exactly matches what we see in the martian meteorites,” says Day.
Enter Mars: Scientists know two types of meteorites from Mars called shergottites and nakhlites, and while they sound like they are on the same superhero, they are very different in age and chemical composition. And despite collecting over 200 martian meteorites, scientists still have no idea where they are from Mars. While they know they are volcanic, if you’ve ever seen a geological map of Mars, you know that the planet is full of volcanoes.
But the new research can give a big clue. Today and his team analyzed Meteorites for their chemical composition on March 40 and found that they shared some similarities to each other – not unlike how volcanic stones on earth are related. The Nakhliter has a unique composition that does not really fit most of the volcanoes we find on Earth, while the Shergotti resemble the release of volcanoes such as Kilauea, which form a hot spot. This is what Dag believes might have happened to Mars. And Olympus Mons – the largest volcano in the solar system, rising several times higher than Mt. Everest-is really up to the task. Other areas of Mars are smaller, lesser known volcanoes similar to Diamondhead. Day suggests that, like what we see around Hawaii, the importance of large volcanoes like Olympus Mons has bowed and bent a lot of Mars upward, creating the smaller mountains, which is where nakhlites can come from.
“What is remarkable about these two similar styles of lava or volcanoes is that they both require a source that has already melted earlier,” says Day. “What happens at Diamondhead is that the plate is bent and pressed and hugged and a little More of the enriched material can be shot out – and that’s what we see with the Nahkalites from Mars. “
Kayla Lacovino, a postdoctoral researcher in experimental petrology at Arizona State University, says what’s cool if the study is its ability to explain all marijuana volcanoes, big and small. “Their model seems to fit our geochemical observations of Martial Volcanism [from meteorite samples] and it does not require a remarkable, second world explanation for how or why volcanoes form on Mars.”
Today says that People have been searching for the sources of these meteorites for decades and now this can give them a place to search for the source. “If this model is correct, they should find these lavo r from the big volcanoes. They should find them in the region where the outer plate bends. “
Dr. Paul Byrne, Assistant Professor of Planetary Geology at North Carolina State University states,” We have long known that the giant volcanoes on Mars are larger, older versions of the Hawaiian shields. This study takes an interesting approach by combining what we know about chemical makeup of martian meteorites with great geophysical processes such as bending of these large plates. “
Understanding the volcanic processes that once happened on Mars is not only important for completing March-historical books, but it can also help determine habitats as well.” If you do not have volcanicism on Earth then you do not have any of the necessary the gases in the atmosphere to keep our biosphere alive, “says Day. The nakhlites we found on the earth are water-rich, which means that water is needed to help melting. This may indicate that the volcanoes on Mars are linked to the hydrological cycle .
“If we see this process on earth, can it resemble volcanism on other planets? The answer, based on the meteorites of the mart, is yes, says Dag. Now he and his colleagues have to wait for more satellite observations of these volcanic regions to see how well the data is adapted to his hypothesis.
“It’s up to remote sensors to now look at their image and their spectral data and decide if they match.”