They discovered a large volcano and possible glacial ice on the equator of Mars.

Repeatedly photographed by an orbiting spacecraft MarteBut it is too deeply eroded to be easily recognized Volcano The giant had been hiding in plain sight for decades.

And Volcano Giant and potentially layered Glacier ice Burials have been found in the eastern part of the volcanic province Tharsis of Martenear the planet's equator.

Repeatedly photographed by an orbiting spacecraft Marte From Mariner 9 in 1971, but has eroded too deeply to be easily identified Volcano The giant has been hiding in plain sight in one of the most popular areas for decades MarteOn the border between Noctis Labyrinthus and the strongly fractured floor of the monumental valley of Valles Marineris.

temporarily”Volcano Noctis” awaiting an official name, the system is centered at 7° 35' S, 93° 55' W. It reaches a height of 9,022 meters and a width of 450 kilometers. Its gigantic size Volcano And the complex history of changes indicates that it has been active for a long time. On its southeastern side there is a recent and thin volcanic deposit, which may still lie below Glacier ice.

This combined invention a Volcano A great and possible invention Glacier ice It is significant because it points to an exciting new place to study geological evolution Marte Over time, look for life and Explore the future with robots and humans.

“Last year we were exploring the geology of an area where we found remnants of a glacier, and we realized we were inside. Volcano Massive and deeply eroded,” Dr. Pascal Lee, a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and the Mars Institute at NASA Ames Research Center and lead author of the study, presented at the Planetary Science Conference and the Moon in The Woodlands, Texas.

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“The long awaited irrefutable proof”

Several clues, taken together, reveal the volcanic nature of this eastern part of the Noctis Labyrinths, a chaos of cascading mesas and valleys. The central summit area is marked by several high mesas that form an arc, reach a regional elevation, and descend from the summit. The gentle outer slopes stretch over 225 kilometers in different directions.

Near the center of the structure you can see a caldera remnant, the remnants of a crater that once held a lava lake. Lava flows, pyroclastic deposits (composed of volcanic particles such as ash, pumice, and tephra), and hydrous mineral deposits occur in several areas within the perimeter of the structure.

“This area is known Marte Mars has had a variety of hydrated minerals throughout its long history. A volcanic environment for these minerals has long been suspected. Therefore, a find may be quite surprising Volcano Here,” explained Saurabh Shubham, a graduate student in the University of Maryland's Department of Geography and co-author of the study. “In a way it's big. Volcano “This is the long-awaited 'irrefutable proof'.”

Besides VolcanoThe study suggests that there are 5,000 square kilometers of volcanic deposits within the perimeter of the volcano. Volcano, which has a large number of low, rounded and elongated ridges in the form of blisters. This “vesicular terrain” has been interpreted as a field of “rootless cones” formed by the explosive release of steam or vapor swelling when a thin layer of hot volcanic material rests on a water-filled surface or Ice cube.

Thermal erosion and glacial erosion

He Volcano Noctis has a long and complex alteration history, probably a combination of fracturing, thermal erosion, and glacial erosion. Researchers interpret the volcanism as a vast shield made up of pyroclastic materials, lava flows and stratified accumulations. Ice cubeThe latter is the result of the repeated accumulation of ice and glaciers along its margins over time.

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When fractures and faults develop, especially in relation to the advancement of the wider tarsi area VolcanoLava started rising in various areas VolcanoIt caused thermal corrosion and was removed in large quantities Ice cube Buried and catastrophic collapse of entire divisions Volcano.

Subsequent glaciers continued its erosion, giving many valleys their present distinctive shape. In this context, “relict glacier” and potential layer Ice cube Buried around it may be remnants of the last episode of glacial impact Volcano Noctis.

(with information from Europa Press)

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