2021-05-07

Scientists find evidence of “recent” volcanic eruption: suggesting the possibility of life under the surface of Mars

By yqqlm yqqlm

Scientists find evidence of “recent” volcanic eruption: suggesting the possibility of life under the surface of Mars

There are still traces of past volcanic eruptions on Mars. Its surface is dotted with the remains of possibly huge, long-silent supervolcanoes, and there is even evidence that one of the volcanoes has erupted continuously for 2 billion years. But generally speaking, scientists believe that Martian volcanic activity mainly occurred about 3 to 4 billion years ago, and has completely ceased in the past few million years-despite the strange, very weak Martian earthquakes.

But now, scientists have discovered a trace that seems relatively new. They discovered from the track in an area called Elysium Planitia, this feature is a dark deposit, 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) wide, surrounding a large fissure 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) long. The research team said it looks different from anything else in this area or elsewhere on Mars.

Based on its level relative to the surrounding environment and the number of small pits in it, the research team calculated its age to be about 53,000 years. It does not seem to be the result of an ordinary lava flow eruption, but a more explosive event driven by expanding gas, called a pyroclastic flow eruption.

Scientists find evidence of “recent” volcanic eruption: suggesting the possibility of life under the surface of Mars(1)

David, the lead author of this study Horvath said: “This feature covers the surrounding lava flow and appears to be a relatively new and thin volcanic ash and rock deposit, representing a different eruption style from previously identified igneous rock features. This eruption may eject ash into Mars. The atmosphere is 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) high. It is possible that this type of sediment is more common, but has been eroded or buried.”

Interestingly, this may be the youngest volcanic eruption that happened to be located Only a few miles away from a large impact crater, the impact crater may also be the youngest on Mars. The research team said that the two may be related.

Pranabendu Moitra, co-author of the study, said: “The age of volcanic eruption and impact is indistinguishable. This raises the possibility, albeit speculatively, that the impact actually triggered the volcano. Eruption.”

The impact of such a recent volcanic eruption is not just seismological. Volcanic activity may support microbial life beneath the surface, by creating warmth and circulating nutrients through rocks. A recent Brown University study found that Mars may have these favorable conditions today-new research provides evidence for this idea.

Horvath said: “The interaction between rising magma and the ice and snow matrix in this area may have recently provided favorable conditions for microbial life and raised the possibility of life in this area. ”

This research was published in the “Icarus” magazine.