Planetary scientists believe that billions of years ago Mars was warmer and wetter than it is now. Where was his water? In the new study, researchers impose the assumption that most of the water is still on the red planet, only it is sealed in the Martian rock, which it absorbed like a giant sponge. The assumption becomes quite an interesting addition to the generally accepted hypothesis that the planet is still “dry” under the influence of solar winds.
According to the article published in the journal Nature using computer modeling techniques and examining the data of the earth’s minerals, an international group of scientists came to the assumption that the basaltic rocks on the surface of the red planet captured about 25 percent more water than similar minerals on Earth that would explain the loss of most of the water from Mars.
“People wondered for a long time, but never tested the theory that water can be absorbed into the Martian rock under the influence of the special conditions of the Martian environment,” said study leader John Wade of Oxford University.
Due to temperature fluctuations, pressure and chemical composition of the rock, the water on Mars could simply be absorbed, while on Earth it is stored in the form of lakes and oceans, scientists say. The model also showed that after that the water could rush in the direction of the mantle.
“Tectonic system of the Earth prevents sudden changes in the level of the surface of the water, while soaking in the earth rock water really can go deeper to the mantle,” says Wade.
When Earth and Mars were quite different. Volcanic activity and lava flows could have altered the composition of the rock on the surface, making it more absorbent, the researchers say.
“Water on Mars interacted with fresh volcanic lava that led to the formation of basaltic crust on the surface of the planet, have the property harder to absorb liquid,” says Wade.
“Water planet entered into a chemical reaction with the rock, which led to the emergence of various hydrous minerals. In the end, changed the Mineralogy of the planet has caused drying of the surface and made it uninhabitable”.
Even small changes in the concentration of iron in rocks on Earth and Mars can lead to serious changes in its absorptive effects, the researchers say. My role is also played by the fact that Mars is significantly smaller than the Earth.
Researchers agree that the solar wind could dry some of the water resources of Mars, but insist that most of the water would just go under the surface of the red planet that has accumulated there in the form of subsurface ice. But in order to speak confidently about whether or not it’s surface rocks are of Martian bound water, it is desirable to have samples of such rocks extracted from different depths. At present, the most effective of the Mars Rover drilled Mars to a depth of no more than 7.5 centimeters. Thus, while to test a new hypothesis quite difficult. So to know for sure we can either sent the Mars Rover able to drill much deeper, or after the establishment of the settlement, which all dream last time, having checked it personally.
Scientists want to use the same method of computer simulation, and analysis of data on the composition of rocks and tectonic activity to check whether the water suffered a similar fate on other planets of the Solar system.
“Pursuing the search for life on other planets, we must consider not only the correct chemical composition of the latter, but also the possible events that could happen in the past and shaped their final form. Because these events can have a major impact on whether there will be on these planets water,” says Wade.
“In fact, such effects and their implications for the planets remain virtually unexplored”.