WorldWideScience

Sample records for martian soil simulants

  1. Activity and stability of a complex bacterial soil community under simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Merrison, Jonathan; Nørnberg, Per; Aagaard Lomstein, Bente; Finster, Kai

    2005-04-01

    A simulation experiment with a complex bacterial soil community in a Mars simulation chamber was performed to determine the effect of Martian conditions on community activity, stability and survival. At three different depths in the soil core short-term effects of Martian conditions with and without ultraviolet (UV) exposure corresponding to 8 Martian Sol were compared. Community metabolic activities and functional diversity, measured as glucose respiration and versatility in substrate utilization, respectively, decreased after UV exposure, whereas they remained unaffected by Martian conditions without UV exposure. In contrast, the numbers of culturable bacteria and the genetic diversity were unaffected by the simulated Martian conditions both with and without UV exposure. The genetic diversity of the soil community and of the colonies grown on agar plates were evaluated by denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) on DNA extracts. Desiccation of the soil prior to experimentation affected the functional diversity by decreasing the versatility in substrate utilization. The natural dominance of endospores and Gram-positive bacteria in the investigated Mars-analogue soil may explain the limited effect of the Mars incubations on the survival and community structure. Our results suggest that UV radiation and desiccation are major selecting factors on bacterial functional diversity in terrestrial bacterial communities incubated under simulated Martian conditions. Furthermore, these results suggest that forward contamination of Mars is a matter of great concern in future space missions.

  2. Developing a High Fidelity Martian Soil Simulant Based on MSL Measurements: Applications for Habitability, Exploration, and In-Situ Resource Utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, K.; Britt, D. T.; Smith, T. M.; Fritsche, R. F.; Covey, S. D.; Batcheldor, D.; Watson, B.

    2017-12-01

    Powerful instruments, that include CheMin and SAM on the MSL Curiosity rover, have provided an unprecedented look into the mineral, chemical, and volatile composition of Martian soils. Interestingly, the bulk chemistry of the Rocknest windblown soil is a close match to similar measurements from the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, suggesting the presence of a global basaltic soil component. The Martian regolith is likely composed of this global soil mixed with locally to regionally derived components that include alteration products and evolved volcanic compositions. Without returned soil samples, researchers have relied on terrestrial simulants to address fundamental Mars science, habitability, in-situ resource utilization, and hardware for future exploration. However, these past simulants have low fidelity compared to actual Martian soils: JSC Mars-1a is an amorphous palagonitic material with spectral similarities to Martian dust, not soil, and Mojave Mars is simply a ground up terrestrial basalt chosen for its convenient location. Based on our experience creating asteroid regolith simulants, we are developing a high fidelity Martian soil simulant (Mars Global) designed ab initio to match the mineralogy, chemistry, and volatile contents of the global basaltic soil on Mars. The crystalline portion of the simulant is based on CheMin measurements of Rocknest and includes plagioclase, two pyroxenes, olivine, hematite, magnetite, anhydrite, and quartz. The amorphous portion is less well constrained, but we are re-creating it with basaltic glass, synthetic ferrihydrite, ferric sulfate, and carbonates. We also include perchlorate and nitrate salts based on evolved gas analyses from the SAM instrument. Analysis and testing of Mars Global will include physical properties (shear strength, density, internal friction angle), spectral properties, magnetic properties, and volatile release patterns. The simulant is initially being designed for NASA agricultural studies, but

  3. Production of reactive oxygen species from abraded silicates. Implications for the reactivity of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Zafirov, Kaloyan; Merrison, Jonathan P.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur P.; Finster, Kai

    2017-09-01

    The results of the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments conducted on Mars by the Viking Landers show that compounds in the Martian soil can cause oxidation of organics and a release of oxygen in the presence of water. Several sources have been proposed for the oxidizing compounds, but none has been validated in situ and the cause of the observed oxidation has not been resolved. In this study, laboratory simulations of saltation were conducted to examine if and under which conditions wind abrasion of silicates, a process that is common on the Martian surface, can give rise to oxidants in the form of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (ṡOH). We found that silicate samples abraded in simulated Martian atmospheres gave rise to a significant production of H2O2 and ṡOH upon contact with water. Our experiments demonstrated that abraded silicates could lead to a production of H2O2 facilitated by atmospheric O2 and inhibited by carbon dioxide. Furthermore, during simulated saltation the silicate particles became triboelectrically charged and at pressures similar to the Martian surface pressure we observed glow discharges. Electrical discharges can cause dissociation of CO2 and through subsequent reactions lead to a production of H2O2. These results indicate that the reactions linked to electrical discharges are the dominant source of H2O2 during saltation of silicates in a simulated Martian atmosphere, given the low pressure and the relatively high concentration of CO2. Our experiments provide evidence that wind driven abrasion could enhance the reactivity of the Martian soil and thereby could have contributed to the oxidation of organic compounds and the O2 release observed in the Labeled Release and the Gas Exchange experiments. Furthermore, the release of H2O2 and ṡOH from abraded silicates could have a negative effect on the persistence of organic compounds in the Martian soil and the habitability of the Martian surface.

  4. Physical and chemical properties of the Martian soil: Review of resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Gooding, James L.; Banin, A.; Clark, Benton C.; Roush, Ted

    1991-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of Martian surface materials are reviewed from the perspective of using these resources to support human settlement. The resource potential of Martian sediments and soils can only be inferred from limited analyses performed by the Viking Landers (VL), from information derived from remote sensing, and from analysis of the SNC meteorites thought to be from Mars. Bulk elemental compositions by the VL inorganic chemical (x ray fluorescence) analysis experiments have been interpreted as evidence for clay minerals (possibly smectites) or mineraloids (palagonite) admixed with sulfate and chloride salts. The materials contained minerals bearing Fe, Ti, Al, Mg and Si. Martian surface materials may be used in many ways. Martian soil, with appropriate preconditioning, can probably be used as a plant growth medium, supplying mechanical support, nutrient elements, and water at optimal conditions to the plants. Loose Martian soils could be used to cover structures and provide radiation shielding for surface habitats. Martian soil could be wetted and formed into abode bricks used for construction. Duricrete bricks, with strength comparable to concrete, can probably be formed using compressed muds made from martian soil.

  5. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticoş, C. M.; Scurtu, A.; Toader, D.; Banu, N.

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  6. Experimental demonstration of Martian soil simulant removal from a surface using a pulsed plasma jet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticoş, C M; Scurtu, A; Toader, D; Banu, N

    2015-03-01

    A plasma jet produced in a small coaxial plasma gun operated at voltages up to 2 kV and working in pure carbon dioxide (CO2) at a few Torr is used to remove Martian soil simulant from a surface. A capacitor with 0.5 mF is charged up from a high voltage source and supplies the power to the coaxial electrodes. The muzzle of the coaxial plasma gun is placed at a few millimeters near the dusty surface and the jet is fired parallel with the surface. Removal of dust is imaged in real time with a high speed camera. Mars regolith simulant JSC-Mars-1A with particle sizes up to 5 mm is used on different types of surfaces made of aluminium, cotton fabric, polyethylene, cardboard, and phenolic.

  7. Glass and Glass-Ceramic Materials from Simulated Composition of Lunar and Martian Soils: Selected Properties and Potential Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, C. S.; Sen, S.; Reis, S. T.; Kim, C. W.

    2005-01-01

    In-situ resource processing and utilization on planetary bodies is an important and integral part of NASA's space exploration program. Within this scope and context, our general effort is primarily aimed at developing glass and glass-ceramic type materials using lunar and martian soils, and exploring various applications of these materials for planetary surface operations. Our preliminary work to date have demonstrated that glasses can be successfully prepared from melts of the simulated composition of both lunar and martian soils, and the melts have a viscosity-temperature window appropriate for drawing continuous glass fibers. The glasses are shown to have the potential for immobilizing certain types of nuclear wastes without deteriorating their chemical durability and thermal stability. This has a direct impact on successfully and economically disposing nuclear waste generated from a nuclear power plant on a planetary surface. In addition, these materials display characteristics that can be manipulated using appropriate processing protocols to develop glassy or glass-ceramic magnets. Also discussed in this presentation are other potential applications along with a few selected thermal, chemical, and structural properties as evaluated up to this time for these materials.

  8. Extraction of Water from Martian Regolith Simulant via Open Reactor Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trunek, Andrew J.; Linne, Diane L.; Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Bauman, Steven W.

    2018-01-01

    To demonstrate proof of concept water extraction from simulated Martian regolith, an open reactor design is presented along with experimental results. The open reactor concept avoids sealing surfaces and complex moving parts. In an abrasive environment like the Martian surface, those reactor elements would be difficult to maintain and present a high probability of failure. A general lunar geotechnical simulant was modified by adding borax decahydrate (Na2B4O7·10H2O) (BDH) to mimic the 3 percent water content of hydrated salts in near surface soils on Mars. A rotating bucket wheel excavated the regolith from a source bin and deposited the material onto an inclined copper tray, which was fitted with heaters and a simple vibration system. The combination of vibration, tilt angle and heat was used to separate and expose as much regolith surface area as possible to liberate the water contained in the hydrated minerals, thereby increasing the efficiency of the system. The experiment was conducted in a vacuum system capable of maintaining a Martian like atmosphere. Evolved water vapor was directed to a condensing system using the ambient atmosphere as a sweep gas. The water vapor was condensed and measured. Processed simulant was captured in a collection bin and weighed in real time. The efficiency of the system was determined by comparing pre- and post-processing soil mass along with the volume of water captured.

  9. Liquid Water in the Extremely Shallow Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Shivak, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    Availability of liquid water is one of the major constraints for the potential Martian biosphere. Although liquid water is unstable on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressures, it has been suggested that liquid films of water could be present in the Martian soil. Here we explored a possibility of the liquid water formation in the extremely shallow (1-3 cm) subsurface layer under low atmospheric pressures (0.1-10 mbar) and low ("Martian") surface temperatures (approx.-50 C-0 C). We used a new Goddard Martian simulation chamber to demonstrate that even in the clean frozen soil with temperatures as low as -25C the amount of mobile water can reach several percents. We also showed that during brief periods of simulated daylight warming the shallow subsurface ice sublimates, the water vapor diffuses through porous surface layer of soil temporarily producing supersaturated conditions in the soil, which leads to the formation of additional liquid water. Our results suggest that despite cold temperatures and low atmospheric pressures, Martian soil just several cm below the surface can be habitable.

  10. Martian Soil Plant Growth Experiment: The Effects of Adding Nitrogen, Bacteria, and Fungi to Enhance Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliman, D. M.; Cooper, J. B.; Anderson, R. C.

    2000-01-01

    Plant growth is enhanced by the presence of symbiotic soil microbes. In order to better understand how plants might prosper on Mars, we set up an experiment to test whether symbiotic microbes function to enhance plant growth in a Martian soil simulant.

  11. Effect of Shadowing on Survival of Bacteria under Conditions Simulating the Martian Atmosphere and UV Radiation▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, Shariff; Peeters, Zan; La Duc, Myron T.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2008-01-01

    Spacecraft-associated spores and four non-spore-forming bacterial isolates were prepared in Atacama Desert soil suspensions and tested both in solution and in a desiccated state to elucidate the shadowing effect of soil particulates on bacterial survival under simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. All non-spore-forming cells that were prepared in nutrient-depleted, 0.2-μm-filtered desert soil (DSE) microcosms and desiccated for 75 days on aluminum died, whereas cells prepared similarly in 60-μm-filtered desert soil (DS) microcosms survived such conditions. Among the bacterial cells tested, Microbacterium schleiferi and Arthrobacter sp. exhibited elevated resistance to 254-nm UV irradiation (low-pressure Hg lamp), and their survival indices were comparable to those of DS- and DSE-associated Bacillus pumilus spores. Desiccated DSE-associated spores survived exposure to full Martian UV irradiation (200 to 400 nm) for 5 min and were only slightly affected by Martian atmospheric conditions in the absence of UV irradiation. Although prolonged UV irradiation (5 min to 12 h) killed substantial portions of the spores in DSE microcosms (∼5- to 6-log reduction with Martian UV irradiation), dramatic survival of spores was apparent in DS-spore microcosms. The survival of soil-associated wild-type spores under Martian conditions could have repercussions for forward contamination of extraterrestrial environments, especially Mars. PMID:18083857

  12. Simulation of Martian surface-atmosphere interaction in a space-simulator: Technical considerations and feasibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Space Simulator of the German Aerospace Research Establishment at Cologne, formerly used for testing satellites, is now, since 1987, the central unit within the research sub-program 'Comet-Simulation' (KOSI). The KOSI team has investigated physical processes relevant to comets and their surfaces. As a byproduct we gained experience in sample-handling under simulated space conditions. In broadening the scope of the research activities of the DLR Institute of Space Simulation an extension to 'Laboratory-Planetology' is planned. Following the KOSI-experiments a Mars Surface-Simulation with realistic minerals and surface soil in a suited environment (temperature, pressure, and CO2-atmosphere) is foreseen as the next step. Here, our main interest is centered on thermophysical properties of the Martian surface and energy transport (and related gas transport) through the surface. These laboratory simulation activities can be related to space missions as typical pre-mission and during-the-mission support of the experiments design and operations (simulation in parallel). Post mission experiments for confirmation and interpretation of results are of great value. The physical dimensions of the Space Simulator (cylinder of about 2.5 m diameter and 5 m length) allows for testing and qualification of experimental hardware under realistic Martian conditions.

  13. Mars Gardens in the University - Red Thumbs: Growing Vegetables in Martian regolith simulant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, Edward Francis

    2018-01-01

    Over the next few decades NASA and private enterprise missions plan to send manned missions to Mars with the ultimate aim to establish a permanent human presence on this planet. For a self-sustaining colony on Mars it will be necessary to provide food by growing plants in sheltered greenhouses on the Martian surface. As part of an undergraduate student project in Astrobiology at Villanova University, experiments are being carried out, testing how various plants grow in Martian regolith. A wide sample of plants are being grown and tested in Mars regolith simulant commercially available from The Martian Garden (TheMartian Garden.com). This Mars regolith simulant is based on Mojave Mars Simulant (MMS) developed by NASA and JPL for the Mars Phoenix mission. The MMS is based on the Mojave Saddleback basalt similar that used by JPL/NASA. Additional reagents were added to this iron rich basalt to bring the chemical content close to actual Mars regolith. The MMS used is an approximately 90% similar to regolith found on the surface of Mars - excluding poisonous perchlorates commonly found on actual Mars surface.The students have selected various vegetables and herbs to grow and test. These include carrots, spinach, dandelions, kale, soy beans, peas, onions, garlic and of course potatoes and sweet potatoes. Plants were tested in various growing conditions, using different fertilizers, and varying light conditions and compared with identical “control plants” grown in Earth soil / humus. The results of the project will be discussed from an education view point as well as from usefulness for fundamental research.We thank The Martian Garden for providing Martian regolith simulant at education discounted prices.

  14. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has conducted its first analysis of Martian soil samples using multiple instruments, the agency announced at a 3 December news briefing at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. "These results are an unprecedented look at the chemical diversity in the area," said NASA's Michael Meyer, program scientist for Curiosity.

  15. Research Article: Effects of long-term simulated Martian conditions on a freeze-dried and homogenized bacterial permafrost community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Jensen, Lars Liengård; Kristoffersen, Tommy

    2009-01-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation......, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead......, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core...

  16. Methylated silicates may explain the release of chlorinated methane from Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N.; Jensen, Svend J. Knak; Nørnberg, Per; Finster, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The only organic compounds that have been detected in the Martian soil are simple chlorinated compounds released from heated surface material. However, the sources of the organic carbon are in dispute. Wind abraded silicates, which are widespread on the Martian surface, can sequester atmospheric methane which generates methylated silicates and thus could provide a mechanism for accumulation of reduced carbon in the surface soil. In this study we show that thermal volatilization of methylated silicates in the presence of perchlorate leads to the production of chlorinated methane. Thus, methylated silicates could be a source of the organic carbon released as chlorinated methane upon thermal volatilization of Martian soil samples. Further, our experiments show that the ratio of the different chlorinated compounds produced is dependent on the mass ratio of perchlorate to organic carbon in the soil.

  17. Survival of a microbial soil community under Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, A. A.; Noernberg, P.; Merrison, J.; Lomstein, B. Aa.; Finster, K. W.

    2003-04-01

    Because of the similarities between Earth and Mars early history the hypothesis was forwarded that Mars is a site where extraterrestrial life might have and/or may still occur(red). Sample-return missions are planned by NASA and ESA to test this hypothesis. The enormous economic costs and the logistic challenges of these missions make earth-based model facilities inevitable. The Mars simulation system at University of Aarhus, Denmark allows microbiological experiments under Mars analogue conditions. Thus detailed studies on the effect of Mars environmental conditions on the survival and the activity of a natural microbial soil community were carried out. Changes in the soil community were determined with a suite of different approaches: 1) total microbial respiration activity was investigated with 14C-glucose, 2) the physiological profile was investigated by the EcoLog-system, 3) colony forming units were determined by plate counts and 4) the microbial diversity on the molecular level was accessed with Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis. The simulation experiments showed that a part of the bacterial community survived Martian conditions corresponding to 9 Sol. These and future simulation experiments will contribute to our understanding of the possibility for extraterrestrial and terrestrial life on Mars.

  18. The chemical reactivity of the Martian soil and implications for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1994-01-01

    Possible interpretations of the results of the Viking Biology Experiments suggest that greater than 1 ppm of a thermally labile oxidant, perhaps H2O2, and about 10 ppm of a thermally stable oxidant are present in the martian soil. We reexamine these results and discuss implications for future missions, the search for organics on Mars, and the possible health and engineering effects for human exploration. We conclude that further characterization of the reactivity of the martian regolith materials is warrented-although if our present understanding is correct the oxidant does not pose a hazard to humans. There are difficulties in explaining the reactivity of the Martian soil by oxidants. Most bulk phase compounds that are capable of oxidizing H2O to O2 per the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEx) are thermally labile or unstable against reduction by atmospheric CO2. Models invoking trapped O2 or peroxynitrates (NOO2(-)) require an unlikely geologic history for the Viking Lander 2 site. Most suggested oxidants, including H2O2, are expected to decompose rapidly under martian UV. Nonetheless, we conclude that the best model for the martian soil contains oxidants produced by heterogeneous chemical reactions with a photochemically produced atmospheric oxidant. The GEx results may be due to catalytic decomposition of an unstable oxidizing material by H2O. We show that interfacial reaction sites covering less than 1% of the available soil surfaces could explain the Viking Biology Experiments results.

  19. On to Mars! chronicles of Martian simulations

    CERN Document Server

    PLETSER, Vladimir

    2018-01-01

    This book introduces the Martian simulations, one installed on Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Canadian Arctic, well within the polar circle, and two in the desert of Utah, several hundreds of kilometers South of Salt Lake City. The book is based on the diaries during the simulations, held by Vladimir Pletser, a physicist-engineer, who was selected to attend these simulations. It relates the details of everyday life in these Martian habitats and of the scientific and exploratory work conducted in these extreme environments in preparation for future manned missions to Mars. Through the real experiences described in the book, readers will find space explorations and living on Mars more tangible. .

  20. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays: Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1992-08-01

    Manned exploration of Mars may result in the contamination of that planet with terrestrial microbes, a situation requiring assessment of the survival potential of possible contaminating organisms. In this study, the survival of Bacillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 was examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) or Martian (Fe 3+-montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric pressure and composition, but not to UV flux or oxidizing conditions. Survival of bacteria was determined by standard plate counts and biochemical and physiological measurements over 112 days. Extractable lipid phosphate was used to measure microbial biomass, and the rate of 14C-acetate incorporation into microbial lipids was used to determine physiological activity. MS2 survival was assayed by plaque counts. Both bacterial types survived terrestrial or Martian conditions in Wyoming montmorillonite better than Martian conditions in Fe 3+-montmorillonite. Decreased survival may have been caused by the lower pH of the Fe 3+-montmorillonite compared to Wyoming montmorillonite. MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, likely due to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Martian environment. The survival of MS2 in the simulated Martian environment is the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Martian type soils. This work may have implications for planetary protection for future Mars missions.

  1. Can plants grow on Mars and the moon: a growth experiment on Mars and moon soil simulants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wamelink, G W Wieger; Frissel, Joep Y; Krijnen, Wilfred H J; Verwoert, M Rinie; Goedhart, Paul W

    2014-01-01

    When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably in native soils. We report on the first large-scale controlled experiment to investigate the possibility of growing plants in Mars and moon soil simulants. The results show that plants are able to germinate and grow on both Martian and moon soil simulant for a period of 50 days without any addition of nutrients. Growth and flowering on Mars regolith simulant was much better than on moon regolith simulant and even slightly better than on our control nutrient poor river soil. Reflexed stonecrop (a wild plant); the crops tomato, wheat, and cress; and the green manure species field mustard performed particularly well. The latter three flowered, and cress and field mustard also produced seeds. Our results show that in principle it is possible to grow crops and other plant species in Martian and Lunar soil simulants. However, many questions remain about the simulants' water carrying capacity and other physical characteristics and also whether the simulants are representative of the real soils.

  2. Can plants grow on Mars and the moon: a growth experiment on Mars and moon soil simulants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G W Wieger Wamelink

    Full Text Available When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably in native soils. We report on the first large-scale controlled experiment to investigate the possibility of growing plants in Mars and moon soil simulants. The results show that plants are able to germinate and grow on both Martian and moon soil simulant for a period of 50 days without any addition of nutrients. Growth and flowering on Mars regolith simulant was much better than on moon regolith simulant and even slightly better than on our control nutrient poor river soil. Reflexed stonecrop (a wild plant; the crops tomato, wheat, and cress; and the green manure species field mustard performed particularly well. The latter three flowered, and cress and field mustard also produced seeds. Our results show that in principle it is possible to grow crops and other plant species in Martian and Lunar soil simulants. However, many questions remain about the simulants' water carrying capacity and other physical characteristics and also whether the simulants are representative of the real soils.

  3. Synthesis of Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Lunar and Martian Soil Simulars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, L.; Gavira-Gallardo, J. A.; Hourlier-Bahloul, D.

    2004-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report initial results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in martian or lunar soil. The presence of SO2, TiO2, and Al2O3 in both martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2, 7 wt.% Al2O3) and lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from lunar and martian soil simulars. Clear solutions of sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from lunar soil similar JSC-1 in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Similarly, sol-gel solutions produced from martian soil simulars reveal higher contents of iron oxides. Characterization of the precursor molecules and efforts to further concentrate and hydrolyze the products to obtain gel materials will be presented for evaluation as ceramic precursors.

  4. Synthesis of Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Lunar and Martian Soil Simulars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, L.; Gavira-Gallardo, J. A.; Hourlier-Bahloul, D.

    2003-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report initial results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in martian or lunar soil. The presence of SiO2, TiO2, and Al2O3 in both martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2,7 wt.% Al2O3) and lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from lunar and martian soil simulars. Clear solutions of sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from lunar soil simular in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Similarly, sol-gel solutions produced from martian soil simulars reveal higher contents of iron oxides. The elemental composition and structure of the precursor molecules were characterized. Further concentration and hydrolysis of the products was performed to obtain gel materials for evaluation as ceramic precursors.

  5. Study of the rheological properties of water and Martian soil simulant mixtures for engineering applications on the red planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Lewis; Alberini, Federico; Sullo, Antonio; Meyer, Marit E.; Alexiadis, Alessio

    2018-03-01

    The rheological properties of mixtures of water and the Martian soil simulant JSC-Mars-1A are investigated by preparing and testing samples at various solids concentrations. The results indicate that the dispersion is viscoelastic and, at small timescales (∼0.1 s), reacts to sudden strain as an elastic solid. At longer timescales the dispersion behaves like a Bingham fluid and exhibits a yield stress. Hysteresis loops show that rapid step-changes (2 s duration) of shear-rate result in thixotropic behaviour, but slower changes (>10 s duration) can result in rheopexy. These observations are explained with the breakdown and recovery of the packing structure under stress. The rheological information is used to generate practical tools, such as the system curve and the Moody chart that can be used for designing piping systems, and calculating pump sizes and pressure requirements.

  6. Survival of microorganisms in smectite clays - Implications for Martian exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Deborah M.; Vestal, J. R.

    1992-01-01

    The survival of Baccillus subtilis, Azotobacter chroococcum, and the enteric bacteriophage MS2 has been examined in clays representing terrestrial (Wyoming type montmorillonite) and Martian (Fe3+ montmorillonite) soils exposed to terrestrial and Martian environmental conditions of temperature and atmospheric composition and pressure. An important finding is that MS2 survived simulated Mars conditions better than the terrestrial environment, probably owing to stabilization of the virus caused by the cold and dry conditions of the simulated Mars environment. This finding, the first published indication that viruses may be able to survive in Mars-type soils, may have important implications for future missions to Mars.

  7. Characterizing Martian Soils: Correlating Orbital Observations with Chemistry and Mineralogy from Landed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Great advances have been achieved recently in our understanding of the surface of Mars at global scales from orbital missions and at local scales from landed missions. This presentation seeks to provide links between the chemistry and mineralogy observed by landed missions with remote detections of minerals from orbit. Spectral data from CRISM, OMEGA and TES characterize a mostly basaltic planet with some outcrops of hematite, clays, sulfates and carbonates at the surface. Recent alteration of these rocks to form soils has likely been dominated by physical processes; however, martian soils probably also contain relicts of early alteration involving aqueous processes. Clays, hydroxides, sulfates, carbonates and perchlorates are examples of surface components that may have formed early in the planet’s history in the presence of liquid water. Some of these minerals have not been detected in the soil, but all have likely contributed to the current soil composition. The grain size, shape, chemistry, mineralogy, and magnetic properties of Martian soils are similar to altered volcanic ash found at many analog sites on Earth. Reflectance and emission spectra of some of these analog soils are consistent with the basic soil spectral properties observed from orbit. The cemented soil units observed by rovers may have formed through interaction of the soil grains with salts, clays, and hydroxides. Lab experiments have shown that cementing of analog grains darkens the VN reflectance, which could explain the low reflectance of Martian soils compared to analog sites. Reflectance spectra of an analog soil mixture containing altered ash and sulfate are shown in Figure 1. A pellet was made by adding water and allowing the sample to dry in air. Finally, the pellet was crushed and ground again to properties might be.

  8. Survival and death of the haloarchaeon Natronorubrum strain HG-1 in a simulated martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Z.; Vos, D.; ten Kate, I. L.; Selch, F.; van Sluis, C. A.; Sorokin, D. Yu.; Muijzer, G.; Stan-Lotter, H.; van Loosdrecht, M. C. M.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2010-11-01

    Halophilic archaea are of interest to astrobiology due to their survival capabilities in desiccated and high salt environments. The detection of remnants of salty pools on Mars stimulated investigations into the response of haloarchaea to martian conditions. Natronorubrum sp. strain HG-1 is an extremely halophilic archaeon with unusual metabolic pathways, growing on acetate and stimulated by tetrathionate. We exposed Natronorubrum strain HG-1 to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, similar to levels currently prevalent on Mars. In addition, the effects of low temperature (4, -20, and -80 °C), desiccation, and exposure to a Mars soil analogue from the Atacama desert on the viability of Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cultures were investigated. The results show that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive for more than several hours when exposed to UV radiation equivalent to that at the martian equator. Even when protected from UV radiation, viability is impaired by a combination of desiccation and low temperature. Desiccating Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cells when mixed with a Mars soil analogue impaired growth of the culture to below the detection limit. Overall, we conclude that Natronorubrum strain HG-1 cannot survive the environment currently present on Mars. Since other halophilic microorganisms were reported to survive simulated martian conditions, our results imply that survival capabilities are not necessarily shared between phylogenetically related species.

  9. Effects of Long-Term Simulated Martian Conditions on a Freeze-Dried and Homogenized Bacterial Permafrost Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Aviaja A.; Jenson, Lars L.; Kristoffersen, Tommy; Mikkelsen, Karina; Merrison, Jonathan; Finster, Kai W.; Lomstein, Bente Aa.

    2009-03-01

    Indigenous bacteria and biomolecules (DNA and proteins) in a freeze-dried and homogenized Arctic permafrost were exposed to simulated martian conditions that correspond to about 80 days on the surface of Mars with respect to the accumulated UV dose. The simulation conditions included UV radiation, freeze-thaw cycles, the atmospheric gas composition, and pressure. The homogenized permafrost cores were subjected to repeated cycles of UV radiation for 3 h followed by 27 h without irradiation. The effects of the simulation conditions on the concentrations of biomolecules; numbers of viable, dead, and cultured bacteria; as well as the community structure were determined. Simulated martian conditions resulted in a significant reduction of the concentrations of DNA and amino acids in the uppermost 1.5 mm of the soil core. The total number of bacterial cells was reduced in the upper 9 mm of the soil core, while the number of viable cells was reduced in the upper 15 mm. The number of cultured aerobic bacteria was reduced in the upper 6 mm of the soil core, whereas the community structure of cultured anaerobic bacteria was relatively unaffected by the exposure conditions. As explanations for the observed changes, we propose three causes that might have been working on the biological material either individually or synergistically: (i) UV radiation, (ii) UV-generated reactive oxygen species, and (iii) freeze-thaw cycles. Currently, the production and action of reactive gases is only hypothetical and will be a central subject in future investigations. Overall, we conclude that in a stable environment (no wind-/pressure-induced mixing) biological material is efficiently shielded by a 2 cm thick layer of dust, while it is relatively rapidly destroyed in the surface layer, and that biomolecules like proteins and polynucleotides are more resistant to destruction than living biota.

  10. Origin and Reactivity of the Martian Soil: A 2003 Micromission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Albert S.; Kim, S. Sam; Marshall, John; Murray, Bruce C.

    1999-01-01

    The role of water in the development of the martian surface remains a fundamental scientific question. Did Mars have one or more "warm and wet" climatic episodes where liquid water was stable at the surface? If so, the mineral phases present in the soils should be consistent with a history of aqueous weathering. More generally, the formation of hydrated mineral phases on Mars is a strong indicator of past habitable surface environments. The primary purpose of this investigation is to help resolve the question of whether such aqueous indicators are present on Mars by probing the upper meter for diagnostic mineral species. According to Burns [1993], the formation of the ferric oxides responsible for the visible color of Mars are the result of dissolution of Fe (+2) phases from basalts followed by aqueous oxidation and precipitation of Fe" mineral assemblages. These precipitates likely included iron oxyhydroxides such as goethite (a-FeOOH) and lepidocrocite (g-FeOOH), but convincing evidence for these phases at the surface is still absent. The stability of these minerals is enhanced beneath the surface, and thus we propose a subsurface search for hydroxylated iron species as a test for a large-scale chemical weathering process based on interactions with liquid water. It is also possible that the ferric minerals on Mars are not aqueous alteration products of the rocks. A chemical study of the Pathfinder landing site concluded that the soils are not directly derived from the surrounding rocks and are enhanced in Mg and Fe. The additional source of these elements might be from other regions of Mars and transported by winds, or alternatively, from exogenic sources. Gibson [1970] proposed that the spectral reflectivity of Mars is consistent with oxidized meteoritic material. Yen and Murray [1998] further extend Gibson's idea and show, in the laboratory, that metallic iron can be readily oxidized to maghemite and hematite under present-day martian surface conditions (in the

  11. Experimental Simulations to Understand the Lunar and Martian Surficial Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Y. Y. S.; Li, X.; Tang, H.; Li, Y.; Zeng, X.; Chang, R.; Li, S.; Zhang, S.; Jin, H.; Mo, B.; Li, R.; Yu, W.; Wang, S.

    2016-12-01

    In support with China's Lunar and Mars exploration programs and beyond, our center is dedicated to understand the surficial processes and environments of planetary bodies. Over the latest several years, we design, build and optimize experimental simulation facilities and utilize them to test hypotheses and evaluate affecting mechanisms under controlled conditions particularly relevant to the Moon and Mars. Among the fundamental questions to address, we emphasize on five major areas: (1) Micrometeorites bombardment simulation to evaluate the formation mechanisms of np-Fe0 which was found in lunar samples and the possible sources of Fe. (2) Solar wind implantation simulation to evaluate the alteration/amorphization/OH or H2O formation on the surface of target minerals or rocks. (3) Dusts mobility characteristics on the Moon and other planetary bodies by excitation different types of dust particles and measuring their movements. (4) Mars basaltic soil simulant development (e.g., Jining Martian Soil Simulant (JMSS-1)) and applications for scientific/engineering experiments. (5) Halogens (Cl and Br) and life essential elements (C, H, O, N, P, and S) distribution and speciation on Mars during surficial processes such as sedimentary- and photochemical- related processes. Depending on the variables of interest, the simulation systems provide flexibility to vary source of energy, temperature, pressure, and ambient gas composition in the reaction chambers. Also, simulation products can be observed or analyzed in-situ by various analyzer components inside the chamber, without interrupting the experimental conditions. In addition, behavior of elements and isotopes during certain surficial processes (e.g., evaporation, dissolution, etc.) can be theoretically predicted by our theoretical geochemistry group with thermodynamics-kinetics calculation and modeling, which supports experiment design and result interpretation.

  12. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pang, K D; Ajello, J M [Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA (USA); Chun, S F.S. [California Univ., San Francisco (USA). School of Medicine; Nansheng, Z [Beijing Planetarium (China); Minji, L [Beijing Glass Institute (China)

    1982-01-07

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet.

  13. Organic and inorganic interpretations of the martian UV-IR reflectance spectrum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pang, K.D.; Ajello, J.M.; Chun, S.F.S.; Minji, L.

    1982-01-01

    The Viking gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis of martian soil samples are discussed, in particular why no organic molecules were detected at the landing sites, whether the sterility of the two sites is representative of the entire planet and if there are locations on Mars more conducive to the formation and preservation of organics. The destruction of organic compounds has been simulated in Mars-like laboratory conditions and the possible planetwide destructive mechanism considered. The UV and IR reflectance spectra of Mars has been re-examined for any evidence of organic molecules and an upper limit on the organic carbon content of average martian soil has been set. The results reveal that the average martian soil is organic-poor, makes an unfavourable habitat for life forms based on carbon chemistry, and there is no reason to believe that organic molecules are preferentially preserved anywhere on the planet. (U.K.)

  14. APXS-derived chemistry of the Bagnold dune sands: Comparisons with Gale Crater soils and the global Martian average

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell-Cooper, C. D.; Spray, J. G.; Thompson, L. M.; Gellert, R.; Berger, J. A.; Boyd, N. I.; Desouza, E. D.; Perrett, G. M.; Schmidt, M.; VanBommel, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    We present Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) data for the active Bagnold dune field within the Gale impact crater (Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission). We derive an APXS-based average basaltic soil (ABS) composition for Mars based on past and recent data from the MSL and Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. This represents an update to the Taylor and McLennan (2009) average Martian soil and facilitates comparison across Martian data sets. The active Bagnold dune field is compositionally distinct from the ABS, with elevated Mg, Ni, and Fe, suggesting mafic mineral enrichment and uniformly low levels of S, Cl, and Zn, indicating only a minimal dust component. A relationship between decreasing grain size and increasing felsic content is revealed. The Bagnold sands possess the lowest S/Cl of all Martian unconsolidated materials. Gale soils exhibit relatively uniform major element compositions, similar to Meridiani Planum and Gusev Crater basaltic soils (MER missions). However, they show minor enrichments in K, Cr, Mn, and Fe, which may signify a local contribution. The lithified eolian Stimson Formation within the Gale impact crater is compositionally similar to the ABS and Bagnold sands, which provide a modern analogue for these ancient eolian deposits. Compilation of APXS-derived soil data reveals a generally homogenous global composition for Martian soils but one that can be locally modified due to past or extant geologic processes that are limited in both space and time.

  15. Plasma and wave properties downstream of Martian bow shock: Hybrid simulations and MAVEN observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Winske, Dan; Cowee, Misa; Bougher, Stephen W.; Andersson, Laila; Connerney, Jack; Epley, Jared; Ergun, Robert; McFadden, James P.; Ma, Yingjuan; Toth, Gabor; Curry, Shannon; Nagy, Andrew; Jakosky, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Two-dimensional hybrid simulation codes are employed to investigate the kinetic properties of plasmas and waves downstream of the Martian bow shock. The simulations are two-dimensional in space but three dimensional in field and velocity components. Simulations show that ion cyclotron waves are generated by temperature anisotropy resulting from the reflected protons around the Martian bow shock. These proton cyclotron waves could propagate downward into the Martian ionosphere and are expected to heat the O+ layer peaked from 250 to 300 km due to the wave-particle interaction. The proton cyclotron wave heating is anticipated to be a significant source of energy into the thermosphere, which impacts atmospheric escape rates. The simulation results show that the specific dayside heating altitude depends on the Martian crustal field orientations, solar cycles and seasonal variations since both the cyclotron resonance condition and the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating threshold depend on the ambient magnetic field strength. The dayside magnetic field profiles for different crustal field orientation, solar cycle and seasonal variations are adopted from the BATS-R-US Mars multi-fluid MHD model. The simulation results, however, show that the heating of O+ via proton cyclotron wave resonant interaction is not likely in the relatively weak crustal field region, based on our simplified model. This indicates that either the drift motion resulted from the transport of ionospheric O+, or the non/sub-resonant stochastic heating mechanism are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer. We will investigate this further by comparing the simulation results with the available MAVEN data. These simulated ion cyclotron waves are important to explain the heating of Martian O+ layer and have significant implications for future observations.

  16. Saltation under Martian gravity and its influence on the global dust distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musiolik, Grzegorz; Kruss, Maximilian; Demirci, Tunahan; Schrinski, Björn; Teiser, Jens; Daerden, Frank; Smith, Michael D.; Neary, Lori; Wurm, Gerhard

    2018-05-01

    Dust and sand motion are a common sight on Mars. Understanding the interaction of atmosphere and Martian soil is fundamental to describe the planet's weather, climate and surface morphology. We set up a wind tunnel to study the lift of a mixture between very fine sand and dust in a Mars simulant soil. The experiments were carried out under Martian gravity in a parabolic flight. The reduced gravity was provided by a centrifuge under external microgravity. The onset of saltation was measured for a fluid threshold shear velocity of 0.82 ± 0.04 m/s. This is considerably lower than found under Earth gravity. In addition to a reduction in weight, this low threshold can be attributed to gravity dependent cohesive forces within the sand bed, which drop by 2/3 under Martian gravity. The new threshold for saltation leads to a simulation of the annual dust cycle with a Mars GCM that is in agreement with observations.

  17. Mars Surveyor Program '01 Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment wet chemistry lab: a sensor array for chemical analysis of the Martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Lukow, Stefan R.; Comeau, Brian P.; Hecht, Michael H.; Grannan-Feldman, Sabrina M.; Manatt, Ken; West, Steven J.; Wen, Xiaowen; Frant, Martin; Gillette, Tim

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) instrument was designed, built, and flight qualified for the now canceled MSP (Mars Surveyor Program) '01 Lander. The MECA package consisted of a microscope, electrometer, material patch plates, and a wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The primary goal of MECA was to analyze the Martian soil (regolith) for possible hazards to future astronauts and to provide a better understanding of Martian regolith geochemistry. The purpose of the WCL was to analyze for a range of soluble ionic chemical species and electrochemical parameters. The heart of the WCL was a sensor array of electrochemically based ion-selective electrodes (ISE). After 20 months storage at -23 degrees C and subsequent extended freeze/thawing cycles, WCL sensors were evaluated to determine both their physical durability and analytical responses. A fractional factorial calibration of the sensors was used to obtain slope, intercept, and all necessary selectivity coefficients simultaneously for selected ISEs. This calibration was used to model five cation and three anion sensors. These data were subsequently used to determine concentrations of several ions in two soil leachate simulants (based on terrestrial seawater and hypothesized Mars brine) and four actual soil samples. The WCL results were compared to simulant and soil samples using ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. The results showed that flight qualification and prolonged low-temperature storage conditions had minimal effects on the sensors. In addition, the analytical optimization method provided quantitative and qualitative data that could be used to accurately identify the chemical composition of the simulants and soils. The WCL has the ability to provide data that can be used to "read" the chemical, geological, and climatic history of Mars, as well as the potential habitability of its regolith.

  18. Unusual Reactivity of the Martian Soil: Oxygen Release Upon Humidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.

    2002-01-01

    Recent lab results show that oxygen evolves from superoxide-coated mineral grains upon exposure to water vapor. This observation is additional support of the hypothesis that UV-generated O2 is responsible for the reactivity of the martian soil. Discussion of current NASA research opportunities, status of various programs within the Solar System Exploration Division, and employment opportunities within NASA Headquarters to support these programs. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  19. Enrichment of Inorganic Martian Dust Simulant with Carbon Component can Provoke Neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Pastukhov, Artem; Dudarenko, Marina; Borysov, Arsenii; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasia; Borisova, Tatiana

    2017-02-01

    Carbon is the most abundant dust-forming element in the interstellar medium. Tremendous amount of meteorites containing plentiful carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily. National Institute of Health panel accumulates evidences that nano-sized air pollution components may have a significant impact on the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the CNS. Based on above facts, here we present the study, the aims of which were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust simulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds and carbon dots; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded simulant on key characteristics of synaptic neurotransmission; and 3) to compare above effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues resulted in a significant decrease in transporter-mediated uptake of L-[14C]glutamate (the major excitatory neurotransmitter) and [3H]GABA (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter) by isolated rat brain nerve terminals. The extracellular level of both neurotransmitters increased in the presence of carbon-containing Martian dust analogues. These effects were associated with action of carbon components of upgraded Martian dust simulant, but not with its inorganic constituent. This fact indicates that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate and GABA homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamate- and GABA-ergic neurotransmission disballansing exitation and inhibition.

  20. An integrated view of the chemistry and mineralogy of martian soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Gellert, Ralf; Schroder, C.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Knudson, A.T.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Crisp, J.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Blaney, D.; Brückner, J.; Christensen, P.R.; DesMarais, D.J.; De Souza, P.A.; Economou, T.E.; Ghosh, A.; Hahn, B.C.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Haskin, L.A.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Joliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Madsen, M.B.; McLennan, S.M.; McSween, H.Y.; Richter, L.; Rieder, R.; Rodionov, D.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S. W.; Tosca, N.J.; Wang, A.; Wyatt, M.; Zipfel, J.

    2005-01-01

    The mineralogical and elemental compositions of the martian soil are indicators of chemical and physical weathering processes. Using data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, we show that bright dust deposits on opposite sides of the planet are part of a global unit and not dominated by the composition of local rocks. Dark soil deposits at both sites have similar basaltic mineralogies, and could reflect either a global component or the general similarity in the compositions of the rocks from which they were derived. Increased levels of bromine are consistent with mobilization of soluble salts by thin films of liquid water, but the presence of olivine in analysed soil samples indicates that the extent of aqueous alteration of soils has been limited. Nickel abundances are enhanced at the immediate surface and indicate that the upper few millimetres of soil could contain up to one per cent meteoritic material.

  1. Sol-Gel Precursors for Ceramics from Minerals Simulating Soils from the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Gavira-Gallardo, Jose-Antonio; Hourlier-Bahloul, Djamila

    2003-01-01

    Recent NASA mission plans for the human exploration of our Solar System has set new priorities for research and development of technologies necessary to enable a long-term human presence on the Moon and Mars. The recovery and processing of metals and oxides from mineral sources on other planets is under study to enable use of ceramics, glasses and metals by explorer outposts. We report some preliminary results on the production of sol-gel precursors for ceramic products using mineral resources available in Martian or Lunar soil. The presence of SiO2, TiO2, and A12O3 in both Martian (44 wt.% SiO2, 1 wt.% TiO2, 7 wt.% Al2O3) and Lunar (48 wt.% SiO2, 1.5 wt.% TiO2, 16 wt.% Al2O3) soils and the recent developments in chemical processes to solubilize silicates using organic reagents and relatively little energy indicate that such an endeavor is possible. In order to eliminate the risks involved in the use of hydrofluoric acid to dissolve silicates, two distinct chemical routes are investigated to obtain soluble silicon oxide precursors from Lunar and Martian simulant soils. Clear sol-gel precursors have been obtained by dissolution of silica from Lunar simulant soil in basic ethylene glycol (C2H4(OH)2) solutions to form silicon glycolates. Thermogravimetric Analysis and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy were used to characterize the elemental composition and structure of the precursor molecules. Further concentration and hydrolysis of the products was performed to obtain gel materials for evaluation as ceramic precursors. In the second set of experiments, we used the same starting materials to synthesize silicate esters in acidified alcohol mixtures. Preliminary results indicate the presence of silicon alkoxides in the product of distillation.

  2. Seasonal cycle of Martian climate : Experimental data and numerical simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodin, A. V.; Willson, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The most adequate theoretical method of investigating the present-day Martian climate is numerical simulation based on a model of general circulation of the atmosphere. First and foremost, such models encounter the greatest difficulties in description of aerosols and clouds, which in turn

  3. Remote Sensing Observations and Numerical Simulation for Martian Layered Ejecta Craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, L.; Yue, Z.; Zhang, C.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    To understand past Martian climates, it is important to know the distribution and nature of water ice on Mars. Impact craters are widely used ubiquitous indicators for the presence of subsurface water or ice on Mars. Remote sensing observations and numerical simulation are powerful tools for investigating morphological and topographic features on planetary surfaces, and we can use the morphology of layered ejecta craters and hydrocode modeling to constrain possible layering and impact environments. The approach of this work consists of three stages. Firstly, the morphological characteristics of the Martian layered ejecta craters are performed based on Martian images and DEM data. Secondly, numerical modeling layered ejecta are performed through the hydrocode iSALE (impact-SALE). We present hydrocode modeling of impacts onto targets with a single icy layer within an otherwise uniform basalt crust to quantify the effects of subsurface H2O on observable layered ejecta morphologies. The model setup is based on a layered target made up of a regolithic layer (described by the basalt ANEOS), on top an ice layer (described by ANEOS equation of H2O ice), in turn on top of an underlying basaltic crust. The bolide is a 0.8 km diameter basaltic asteroid hitting the Martian surface vertically at a velocity of 12.8 km/s. Finally, the numerical results are compared with the MOLA DEM profile in order to analyze the formation mechanism of Martian layered ejecta craters. Our simulations suggest that the presence of an icy layer significantly modifies the cratering mechanics, and many of the unusual features of SLE craters may be explained by the presence of icy layers. Impact cratering on icy satellites is significantly affected by the presence of subsurface H2O.

  4. Preservation of Biomarkers from Cyanobacteria Mixed with Mars­Like Regolith Under Simulated Martian Atmosphere and UV Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baqué, Mickael; Verseux, Cyprien; Böttger, Ute; Rabbow, Elke; de Vera, Jean-Pierre Paul; Billi, Daniela

    2016-06-01

    The space mission EXPOSE-R2 launched on the 24th of July 2014 to the International Space Station is carrying the BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) experiment aimed at investigating the endurance of extremophiles and stability of biomolecules under space and Mars-like conditions. In order to prepare the analyses of the returned samples, ground-based simulations were carried out in Planetary and Space Simulation facilities. During the ground-based simulations, Chroococcidiopsis cells mixed with two Martian mineral analogues (phyllosilicatic and sulfatic Mars regolith simulants) were exposed to a Martian simulated atmosphere combined or not with UV irradiation corresponding to the dose received during a 1-year-exposure in low Earth orbit (or half a Martian year on Mars). Cell survival and preservation of potential biomarkers such as photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments or DNA were assessed by colony forming ability assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and PCR-based assays. DNA and photoprotective pigments (carotenoids) were detectable after simulations of the space mission (570 MJ/m2 of UV 200-400 nm irradiation and Martian simulated atmosphere), even though signals were attenuated by the treatment. The fluorescence signal from photosynthetic pigments was differently preserved after UV irradiation, depending on the thickness of the samples. UV irradiation caused a high background fluorescence of the Martian mineral analogues, as revealed by Raman spectroscopy. Further investigation will be needed to ensure unambiguous identification and operations of future Mars missions. However, a 3-month exposure to a Martian simulated atmosphere showed no significant damaging effect on the tested cyanobacterial biosignatures, pointing out the relevance of the latter for future investigations after the EXPOSE-R2 mission. Data gathered during the ground-based simulations will contribute to interpret results from space experiments and guide our

  5. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  6. Model of the fine-grain component of martian soil based on Viking lander data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nussinov, M.D.; Chernyak, Y.B.; Ettinger, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A model of the fine-grain component of the Martian soil is proposed. The model is based on well-known physical phenomena, and enables an explanation of the evolution of the gases released in the GEX (gas exchange experiments) and GCMS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometer experiments) of the Viking landers. (author)

  7. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  8. Filter Media Tests Under Simulated Martian Atmospheric Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agui, Juan H.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration of Mars will require the optimal utilization of planetary resources. One of its abundant resources is the Martian atmosphere that can be harvested through filtration and chemical processes that purify and separate it into its gaseous and elemental constituents. Effective filtration needs to be part of the suite of resource utilization technologies. A unique testing platform is being used which provides the relevant operational and instrumental capabilities to test articles under the proper simulated Martian conditions. A series of tests were conducted to assess the performance of filter media. Light sheet imaging of the particle flow provided a means of detecting and quantifying particle concentrations to determine capturing efficiencies. The media's efficiency was also evaluated by gravimetric means through a by-layer filter media configuration. These tests will help to establish techniques and methods for measuring capturing efficiency and arrestance of conventional fibrous filter media. This paper will describe initial test results on different filter media.

  9. The Search for Ammonia in Martian Soils with Curiosity's SAM Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, James J.; Archer, P. D.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.; McKay, C. P.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen is the second or third most abundant constituent of the Martian atmosphere [1,2]. It is a bioessential element, a component of all amino acids and nucleic acids that make up proteins, DNA and RNA, so assessing its availability is a key part of Curiosity's mission to characterize Martian habitability. In oxidizing desert environments it is found in nitrate salts that co-occur with perchlorates [e.g., 3], inferred to be widespread in Mars soils [4-6]. A Mars nitrogen cycle has been proposed [7], yet prior missions have not constrained the state of surface N. Here we explore Curiosity's ability to detect N compounds using data from the rover's first solid sample. Companion abstracts describe evidence for nitrates [8] and for nitriles (C(triple bond)N) [9]; we focus here on nonnitrile, reduced-N compounds as inferred from bonded N-H. The simplest such compound is ammonia (NH3), found in many carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in NH4(+) salts and organic compounds [e.g., 10].

  10. Simulation of Martian EVA at the Mars Society Arctic Research Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pletser, V.; Zubrin, R.; Quinn, K.

    The Mars Society has established a Mars Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) on Devon Island, North of Canada, in the middle of the Haughton crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite several million years ago. The site was selected for its similarities with the surface of the Mars planet. During the Summer 2001, the MARS Flashline Research Station supported an extended international simulation campaign of human Mars exploration operations. Six rotations of six person crews spent up to ten days each at the MARS Flashline Research Station. International crews, of mixed gender and professional qualifications, conducted various tasks as a Martian crew would do and performed scientific experiments in several fields (Geophysics, Biology, Psychology). One of the goals of this simulation campaign was to assess the operational and technical feasibility of sustaining a crew in an autonomous habitat, conducting a field scientific research program. Operations were conducted as they would be during a Martian mission, including Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) with specially designed unpressurized suits. The second rotation crew conducted seven simulated EVAs for a total of 17 hours, including motorized EVAs with All Terrain Vehicles, to perform field scientific experiments in Biology and Geophysics. Some EVAs were highly successful. For some others, several problems were encountered related to hardware technical failures and to bad weather conditions. The paper will present the experiment programme conducted at the Mars Flashline Research Station, the problems encountered and the lessons learned from an EVA operational point of view. Suggestions to improve foreseen Martian EVA operations will be discussed.

  11. Chemical and Physical Interactions of Martian Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.

    1999-09-01

    A model of alteration and maturation of the Martian surface material is described involving both chemical and physical interactions. Physical processes involve distribution and mixing of the fine-grained soil particles across the surface and into the atmosphere. Chemical processes include reaction of sulfate, salt and oxidizing components of the soil particles; these agents in the soils deposited on rocks will chew through the rock minerals forming coatings and will bind surface soils together to form duricrust deposits. Formation of crystalline iron oxide/oxyhydroxide minerals through hydrothermal processes and of poorly crystalline and amorphous phases through palagonitic processes both contribute to formation of the soil particles. Chemical and physical alteration of these soil minerals and phases contribute to producing the chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic character of the Martian soil as observed by Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor. Minerals such as maghemite/magnetite and jarosite/alunite have been observed in terrestrial volcanic soils near steam vents and may be important components of the Martian surface material. The spectroscopic properties of several terrestrial volcanic soils containing these minerals have been analyzed and evaluated in terms of the spectroscopic character of the surface material on Mars.

  12. Assessment of the turbulence parameterization schemes for the Martian mesoscale simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temel, Orkun; Karatekin, Ozgur; Van Beeck, Jeroen

    2016-07-01

    Turbulent transport within the Martian atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is one of the most important physical processes in the Martian atmosphere due to the very thin structure of Martian atmosphere and super-adiabatic conditions during the diurnal cycle [1]. The realistic modeling of turbulent fluxes within the Martian ABL has a crucial effect on the many physical phenomena including dust devils [2], methane dispersion [3] and nocturnal jets [4]. Moreover, the surface heat and mass fluxes, which are related with the mass transport within the sub-surface of Mars, are being computed by the turbulence parameterization schemes. Therefore, in addition to the possible applications within the Martian boundary layer, parameterization of turbulence has an important effect on the biological research on Mars including the investigation of water cycle or sub-surface modeling. In terms of the turbulence modeling approaches being employed for the Martian ABL, the "planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes" have been applied not only for the global circulation modeling but also for the mesoscale simulations [5]. The PBL schemes being used for Mars are the variants of the PBL schemes which had been developed for the Earth and these schemes are either based on the empirical determination of turbulent fluxes [6] or based on solving a one dimensional turbulent kinetic energy equation [7]. Even though, the Large Eddy Simulation techniques had also been applied with the regional models for Mars, it must be noted that these advanced models also use the features of these traditional PBL schemes for sub-grid modeling [8]. Therefore, assessment of these PBL schemes is vital for a better understanding the atmospheric processes of Mars. In this framework, this present study is devoted to the validation of different turbulence modeling approaches for the Martian ABL in comparison to Viking Lander [9] and MSL [10] datasets. The GCM/Mesoscale code being used is the PlanetWRF, the extended version

  13. Mineralogic and compositional properties of Martian soil and dust: results from Mars Pathfinder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; McSween, H.Y.; Crisp, J.A.; Morris, R.V.; Murchie, S.L.; Bridges, N.T.; Johnson, J. R.; Britt, D.T.; Golombek, M.P.; Moore, H.J.; Ghosh, A.; Bishop, J.L.; Anderson, R.C.; Brückner, J.; Economou, T.; Greenwood, J.P.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hargraves, R.M.; Hviid, S.; Knudsen, J.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Reid, R.; Rieder, R.; Soderblom, L.

    2000-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder obtained multispectral, elemental, magnetic, and physical measurements of soil and dust at the Sagan Memorial Station during the course of its 83 sol mission. We describe initial results from these measurements, concentrating on multispectral and elemental data, and use these data, along with previous Viking, SNC meteorite, and telescopic results, to help constrain the origin and evolution of Martian soil and dust. We find that soils and dust can be divided into at least eight distinct spectral units, based on parameterization of Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) 400 to 1000 nm multispectral images. The most distinctive spectral parameters for soils and dust are the reflectivity in the red, the red/blue reflectivity ratio, the near-IR spectral slope, and the strength of the 800 to 1000 nm absorption feature. Most of the Pathfinder spectra are consistent with the presence of poorly crystalline or nanophase ferric oxide(s), sometimes mixed with small but varying degrees of well-crystalline ferric and ferrous phases. Darker soil units appear to be coarser-grained, compacted, and/or mixed with a larger amount of dark ferrous materials relative to bright soils. Nanophase goethite, akaganeite, schwertmannite, and maghemite are leading candidates for the origin of the absorption centered near 900 nm in IMP spectra. The ferrous component in the soil cannot be well-constrained based on IMP data. Alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) measurements of six soil units show little variability within the landing site and show remarkable overall similarity to the average Viking-derived soil elemental composition. Differences exist between Viking and Pathfinder soils, however, including significantly higher S and Cl abundances and lower Si abundances in Viking soils and the lack of a correlation between Ti and Fe in Pathfinder soils. No significant linear correlations were observed between IMP spectral properties and APXS elemental chemistry. Attempts at constraining

  14. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.

    2003-01-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO 2 ). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer, a

  15. Paloma-radon: atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the martian subsoil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabroux, J.Ch.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V

    2003-07-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon 222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO{sub 2}). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option. In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a set of alpha detectors connected to an electronic spectrometer

  16. Extended survival of several organisms and amino acids under simulated martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. P.; Pratt, L. M.; Vishnivetskaya, T.; Pfiffner, S.; Bryan, R. A.; Dadachova, E.; Whyte, L.; Radtke, K.; Chan, E.; Tronick, S.; Borgonie, G.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Rothschild, L. J.; Rogoff, D. A.; Horikawa, D. D.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-02-01

    Recent orbital and landed missions have provided substantial evidence for ancient liquid water on the martian surface as well as evidence of more recent sedimentary deposits formed by water and/or ice. These observations raise serious questions regarding an independent origin and evolution of life on Mars. Future missions seek to identify signs of extinct martian biota in the form of biomarkers or morphological characteristics, but the inherent danger of spacecraft-borne terrestrial life makes the possibility of forward contamination a serious threat not only to the life detection experiments, but also to any extant martian ecosystem. A variety of cold and desiccation-tolerant organisms were exposed to 40 days of simulated martian surface conditions while embedded within several centimeters of regolith simulant in order to ascertain the plausibility of such organisms' survival as a function of environmental parameters and burial depth. Relevant amino acid biomarkers associated with terrestrial life were also analyzed in order to understand the feasibility of detecting chemical evidence for previous biological activity. Results indicate that stresses due to desiccation and oxidation were the primary deterrent to organism survival, and that the effects of UV-associated damage, diurnal temperature variations, and reactive atmospheric species were minimal. Organisms with resistance to desiccation and radiation environments showed increased levels of survival after the experiment compared to organisms characterized as psychrotolerant. Amino acid analysis indicated the presence of an oxidation mechanism that migrated downward through the samples during the course of the experiment and likely represents the formation of various oxidizing species at mineral surfaces as water vapor diffused through the regolith. Current sterilization protocols may specifically select for organisms best adapted to survival at the martian surface, namely species that show tolerance to radical

  17. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

  18. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  19. Martian soil stratigraphy and rock coatings observed in color-enhanced Viking Lander images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, E. L., III

    1979-01-01

    Subtle color variations of martian surface materials were enhanced in eight Viking Lander (VL) color images. Well-defined soil units recognized at each site (six at VL-1 and four at VL-2), are identified on the basis of color, texture, morphology, and contact relations. The soil units at the Viking 2 site form a well-defined stratigraphic sequence, whereas the sequence at the Viking 1 site is only partially defined. The same relative soil colors occur at the two sites, suggesting that similar soil units are widespread on Mars. Several types of rock surface materials can be recognized at the two sites; dark, relatively 'blue' rock surfaces are probably minimally weathered igneous rock, whereas bright rock surfaces, with a green/(blue + red) ratio higher than that of any other surface material, are interpreted as a weathering product formed in situ on the rock. These rock surface types are common at both sites. Soil adhering to rocks is common at VL-2, but rare at VL-1. The mechanism that produces the weathering coating on rocks probably operates planet-wide.

  20. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  1. An Electrostatic Precipitator System for the Martian Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, C. I.; Mackey, P. J.; Hogue, M. D.; Johansen, M. R.; Phillips, J. R., III; Clements, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Human exploration missions to Mars will require the development of technologies for the utilization of the planet's own resources for the production of commodities. However, the Martian atmosphere contains large amounts of dust. The extraction of commodities from this atmosphere requires prior removal of this dust. We report on our development of an electrostatic precipitator able to collect Martian simulated dust particles in atmospheric conditions approaching those of Mars. Extensive experiments with an initial prototype in a simulated Martian atmosphere showed efficiencies of 99%. The design of a second prototype with aerosolized Martian simulated dust in a flow-through is described. Keywords: Space applications, electrostatic precipitator, particle control, particle charging

  2. Paloma-radon: Atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian subsoil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabroux, J.-C.; Michielsen, N.; Voisin, V.; Ferry, C.; Richon, P.; Pineau, J.-F.; Le Roulley, J.-C.; Chassefière, E.

    2003-04-01

    Radon exhalation from a porous soil is known to depend strongly on the soil moisture content: a minute amount of water, or water ice, in the pore space increases dramatically the possibility for radon to migrate far from its parent mineral. We propose to take advantage of this characteristic by using atmospheric radon-222 as a geochemical probe for water in the Martian soil, at least one order of magnitude deeper than the current Mars Odyssey neutron data. Strong thermal inversions during the Martian night will accumulate radon in the lowest atmospheric boundary layer, up to measurable levels despite the comparatively high environmental (cosmic and solar) background radiation and the assumed low uranium content of the upper crust of the planet. Preliminary studies and development of an instrument for the measurement of the Martian atmospheric alpha radioactivity is part of the CNES-supported PALOMA experiment. Two test benches have been implemented, one of them allowing differential measurements of the diffusion of radon in the Martian soil simulant NASA JSC Mars-1, under relevant temperatures and pressures. The other, a 1 m^3 radon-dedicated test bench, aims to characterize the instrument that will measure radon in the Mars environment (7 mb CO_2). Tests on several nuclear radiation detectors show that semiconductor alpha-particle detectors (PIPS) are the best option (already on board the Mars Pathfinder Rover and other platforms). In addition, the detection volume is left open in order to capitalize upon the long (ca. 4 m) alpha track at this low pressure. A stationary diffusion model was developed in order to assess the radon flux at the Mars soil surface. Diffusion of gas in Martian soil is governed by Knudsen diffusion. The radon Knudsen diffusion coefficient was estimated, depending on the soil moisture and relevant structural properties, leading to a radon diffusion length of the order of 20 m. The landed platform PALOMA-Radon instrument will consist of a

  3. Martian Environment Electrostatic Precipitator

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Michael Owen

    2016-01-01

    As part of the planned manned mission to Mars, NASA has noticed that shipping oxygen as a part of life support to keep the astronauts alive continuously is overly expensive, and impractical. As such, noting that the Martian atmosphere is 95.37% CO2, NASA chemists noted that one could obtain oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The plan, as part of a larger ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) initiative, would extract water from the regolith, or the Martian soil which can be electrolyzed by solar panel produced voltage into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used in the Sabatier reaction with carbon dioxide to produce methane and water producing a net reaction that does not lose water and outputs methane and oxygen for use as rocket fuel and breathing.

  4. Wind tunnel simulation of Martian sand storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeley, R.

    1980-01-01

    The physics and geological relationships of particles driven by the wind under near Martian conditions were examined in the Martian Surface Wind Tunnel. Emphasis was placed on aeolian activity as a planetary process. Threshold speeds, rates of erosion, trajectories of windblown particles, and flow fields over various landforms were among the factors considered. Results of experiments on particles thresholds, rates of erosion, and the effects of electrostatics on particles in the aeolian environment are presented.

  5. Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses of Sulfate, Nitrate, and Carbonate-bearing Atacama Desert Soils: Analogs for the Interpretation of Infrared Spectra from the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J. B.; Dalton, J. B.; Ewing, S. A.; Amundson, R.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-01-01

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth, receiving only a few mm of rain per decade. The Mars climate may, in the past, have been punctuated by short-lived episodes of aqueous activity. The paleo-Martian environment may have had aqueous conditions similar to the current conditions that exist in the Atacama, and Mars soils may have formed with soil chemistry and mineralogy similar to those found in the Atacama. Remote and in-situ analysis of the Martian surface using infrared technology has a long heritage. Future investigations of the subsurface mineralogy are likely to build upon this heritage, and will benefit from real life lessons to be learned from terrestrial analog studies. To that end, preliminary results from a near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic study of Atacama soil profiled at a range of depths are presented.

  6. Luminescence Dating of Martian Polar Deposits: Concepts and Preliminary Measurements Using Martian Soil Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepper, K.; Kuhns, C. K.; McKeever, S. W. S.; Sears, D. W. G.

    2000-08-01

    Martian polar deposits have the potential to reveal a wealth of information about the evolution of Mars' climate and surface environment. However, as pointed out by Clifford et al. in the summary of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, 'The single greatest obstacle to unlocking and interpreting the geologic and climatic record preserved at the [martian] poles is the need for absolute dating.' At that same conference Lepper and McKeever proposed development of luminescence dating as a remote in-situ technique for absolute dating of silicate mineral grains incorporated in polar deposits. Clifford et al. have also acknowledged that luminescence dating is more practical from cost, engineering, and logistical perspectives than other isotope-based methods proposed for in-situ dating on Mars. We report here the results of ongoing experiments with terrestrial analogs of martian surface materials to establish a broad fundamental knowledge base from which robust dating procedures for robotic missions may be developed. This broad knowledge base will also be critical in determining the engineering requirements of remote in-situ luminescence dating equipment intended for use on Mars. Additional information can be found in the original extended abstract.

  7. Earth – Mars Similarity Criteria for Martian Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavian TRIFU

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to select the most efficient kind of a martian exploring vehicle, the similarity criteria are deduced from the equilibrium movement in the terrestrial and martian conditions. Different invariants have been obtained for the existing (entry capsules, parachutes and rovers and potential martian exploring vehicles (lighter-than-air vehicle, airplane, helicopter and Mars Jumper. These similarity criteria, as non dimensional numbers, allow to quickly compare if such a kind of vehicles can operate in the martian environment, the movement performances, the necessary geometrical dimensions and the power consumption. Following this way of study it was concluded what vehicle is most suitable for the near soil Mars exploration. “Mars Rover” has less power consumption on Mars, but due to the rugged terrain the performances are weak. A vacuumed rigid airship is possible to fly with high performances and endurance on Mars, versus the impossibility of such a machine on the Earth. Due to very low density and the low Reynolds numbers in the Mars atmosphere, the power consumption for the martian airplane or helicopter, is substantial higher. The most efficient vehicle for the Mars exploration it seems to be a machine using the in-situ non-chemical propellants: the 95% CO2 atmosphere and the weak solar radiation. A small compressor, electrically driven by photovoltaics, compresses the gas in a storage tank, in time. If the gas is expanded through a nozzle, sufficient lift and control forces are obtained for a VTOL flight of kilometers over the martian soil, in comparison with tens of meters of the actual Mars rovers.

  8. Some potentialities of living organisms under simulated Martian conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozina-Lozinsky, L K; Bychenkova, V N; Zaar, E I; Levin, V L; Rumyantseva, V M

    1971-01-01

    Temperature, humidity, pressure, composition of the atmosphere and radiation are the main factors conditioning life on the surface of Mars. When studying the Martian ecology, one must know the total effect of these factors. One may expect that, as a result of adaptation to low temperatures, there is a corresponding shift in the temperature optimum of enzymatic activity. Dryness is the main obstacle to active life. We suggest the presence of some soil moisture and water vapour. Moreover, there can be areas of permafrost. This minimum supply of water and periodic fluctuations of humidity may create conditions for the existence of drought-resistant organisms. Decreased atmospheric pressure alone does not affect micro-organisms, plants, protozoa and even insects. Ciliates reproduce in a flowing atmosphere of pure nitrogen containing 0.0002-0.0005% oxygen as an impurity. Protozoa may also develop in an atmosphere of 98-99% carbon dioxide mixed with 1% O2. Therefore, even traces of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere would be sufficient for aerobic unicellular organisms. Cells and organisms on earth have acquired various ways of protection from uv light, and therefore may increase their resistance further by adaptation or selection. The resistance of some organisms to ionizing radiation is high enough to enable them to endure hard ionizing radiation of the sun. Experiments with unicellular [correction of unicellar] organisms show that the effect of short wave uv radiation depends on the intensity of visible light, long-wave solar uv radiation, temperatures, cell repair processes, and the state of cell components, i.e. whether the cell was frozen, dried or hydrated.

  9. Low Biotoxicity of Mars Analog Soils Suggests that the Surface of Mars May be Habitable for Terrestrial Microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Golden, D. C.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies on the interactive effects of hypobaria, low temperatures, and CO2-enriched anoxic atmospheres on the growth of 37 species of mesophilic bacteria identified 14 potential biocidal agents that might affect microbial survival and growth on the martian surface. Biocidal or inhibitory factors include (not in priority): (1) solar UV irradiation, (2) low pressure, (3) extreme desiccating conditions, (4) extreme diurnal temperature fluctuations, (5) solar particle events, (6) galactic cosmic rays, (7) UV-glow discharge from blowing dust, (8) solar UV-induced volatile oxidants [e.g., O2(-), O(-), H2O2, O3], (9) globally distributed oxidizing soils, (10) extremely high salts levels [e.g., MgCl2, NaCl, FeSO4, and MgSO4] in surficial soils at some sites on Mars, (11) high concentrations of heavy metals in martian soils, (12) likely acidic conditions in martian fines, (13) high CO2 concentrations in the global atmosphere, and (14) perchlorate-rich soils. Despite these extreme conditions several studies have demonstrated that dormant spores or vegetative cells of terrestrial microorganisms can survive simulated martian conditions as long as they are protected from UV irradiation. What has not been explored in depth are the effects of potential biotoxic geochemical components of the martian regolith on the survival and growth of microorganisms. The primary objectives of the research included: (1) prepare and characterize Mars analog soils amended with potential biotoxic levels of sulfates, salts, acidifying minerals, etc.; and (2) use the simulants to conduct biotoxicity assays to determine if terrestrial microorganisms from spacecraft can survive direct exposure to the analog soils.

  10. Confirmation of Soluble Sulfate at the Phoenix Landing Site: Implications for Martian Geochemistry and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, S. P.; Hecht, M. H.; Kapit, J.; Quinn, R. C.; Catling, D. C.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Gospodinova, K.; Hredzak, P.; McElhoney, K.; hide

    2010-01-01

    Over the past several decades, elemental sulfur in martian soils and rocks has been detected by a number of missions using X-ray spectroscopy [1-3]. Optical spectroscopy has also provided evidence for widespread sulfates on Mars [4,5]. The ubiquitous presence of sulfur in soils has been interpreted as a widely distributed sulfate mineralogy [6]. However, direct confirmation as to the identity and solubility of the sulfur species in martian soil has never been obtained. One goal of the Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL) [7] on board the 2007 Phoenix Mars Lander [8] was to determine soluble sulfate in the martian soil. The WCL received three primary samples. Each sample was added to 25 mL of leaching solution and analysed for solvated ionic species, pH, and conductivity [9,10]. The analysis also showed a discrepancy between charge balance, ionic strength, and conductivity, suggesting unidentified anionic species.

  11. Reduction in emittance of thermal radiator coatings caused by the accumulation of a Martian dust simulant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollingsworth, D. Keith; Witte, Larry C.; Hinke, Jaime [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4006 (United States); Hurlbert, Kathryn [NASA, Johnson Space Center (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Measurements were made of the effective emittance of three types of radiator coatings as a Martian dust simulant was added to the radiator surfaces. The apparatus consisted of multiple radiator coupons on which Carbondale Red Clay dust was deposited. The coupon design employed guard heating to achieve the accuracy required for acceptable emittance calculations. The apparatus was contained in a vacuum chamber that featured a liquid-nitrogen cooled shroud that simulated the Martian sky temperature. Three high-emittance radiator coatings were tested: two while silicate paints, Z-93P and NS-43G, and a silver Teflon film. Radiator temperatures ranged from 250 to 350K with sky temperatures from 185 to 248K. As dust was added to the radiator surfaces, the effective emittance of all three coatings decreased from initial values near 0.9 to a value near 0.4. A low-emittance control surface, polished aluminum, demonstrated a rise in effective emittance for thin dust layers, and then a decline as the dust layer thickened. This behavior is attributed to the conductive resistance caused by the dust layer. (author)

  12. Where to search for martian biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasch, Paul

    1997-07-01

    Martian Salt. Terrestrial halite containing negative crystals which entrapped drops of viscous fluid yielded viable bacteria. The fluid has a Br/Mg ratio which chemist W.T. Holser characterized as a `Permian bittern.' All relevant salt on Mars should be inspected for negative crystals and possible ancient bacterial tenants. Martian Water. Moist soil in the regolith, cooled hydrothermal fluids, sediments of recurrent oceanic water, and related to inferred strand lines, even limited water in future SNC-type meteorites, upper atmosphere liquid water or water vapor, and North Polar liquid water or ice--all liquid water in any form, wherever, should be collected for microbiological analysis. Vent Fauna. Living or fossil thermophiles as trace fossils, or fauna metallicized in relation to sulphide ores. Iron Bacteria. Limonitized magnetite ore (USSR) in thin section showed structures attributed to iron bacteria. Biogenic magnetite, produced by both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and its significance. Carbonaceous chondrites (non martian) (Ivuna and Orgueil) yielded apparent life forms that could not be attributed to contamination during the given study. Are they extraterrestrial?

  13. Simulations of the general circulation of the Martian atmosphere. I - Polar processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Haberle, Robert M.; Schaeffer, James; Lee, Hilda

    1990-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the Martian atmosphere general circulation are carried out for 50 simulated days, using a three-dimensional model, based on the primitive equations of meteorology, which incorporated the radiative effects of atmospheric dust on solar and thermal radiation. A large number of numerical experiments were conducted for alternative choices of seasonal date and dust optical depth. It was found that, as the dust content of the winter polar region increased, the rate of atmospheric CO2 condensation increased sharply. It is shown that the strong seasonal variation in the atmospheric dust content observed might cause a number of hemispheric asymmetries. These asymmetries include the greater prevalence of polar hoods in the northern polar region during winter, the lower albedo of the northern polar cap during spring, and the total dissipation of the northern CO2 ice cap during the warmer seasons.

  14. Spice In Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiferlin, K.; Spohn, T.; Spice Team

    The Netlander mission offers a unique opportunity to study the surface and the inte- rior of Mars at four different locations at the same time. In addition to real "network"- science, where the presence of four stations is a 'must' to address global science as- pects, local, landing site-related instruments can more than double our knowledge of the surface of Mars, compared to the three landing sites (Viking 1 and 2, Pathfinder) we are currently familiar with. The SPICE instrument will characterize the soil at the landing sites. Force sensors integrated into the seismometer legs (three per station) will determine the mechanical strength of the soil. Thermal sensors will measure the local soil temperature, the thermal inertia and the thermal diffusivity independently, thus allowing us to determine the thermal conductivity and the volumetric heat capac- ity of the soil. These properties will tell us about (1) soil cementation ("duricrust"), (2) volatile exchange with the atmosphere, (3) grain size, (4) near-surface stratigra- phy, and (5) will finally provide ground truth for remote sensing data such as that from Mars Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer.

  15. Electrodynamics of the Martian Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledvina, S. A.; Brecht, S. H.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of the Martian crustal magnetic fields makes a significant modification to the interaction between the solar wind/IMF and the ionosphere of the planet. This paper presents the results of 3-D hybrid simulations of Martian solar wind interaction containing the Martian crustal fields., self-consistent ionospheric chemistry and planetary rotation. It has already been reported that the addition of the crustal fields and planetary rotation makes a significant modification of the ionospheric loss from Mars, Brecht et al., 2016. This paper focuses on two other aspects of the interaction, the electric fields and the current systems created by the solar wind interaction. The results of several simulations will be analyzed and compared. The electric fields around Mars due to its interaction with the solar wind will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the electric field constituents (∇ X B, ∇Pe, ηJ). Regions where the electric field is parallel to the magnetic field will be found and the implications of these regions will be discussed. Current systems for each ion species will be shown. Finally the effects on the electric fields and the current systems due to the rotation of Mars will be examined.

  16. Martian Mixed Layer during Pathfinder Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, G. M.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.

    2008-09-01

    In situ measurements of the Martian Planetary Boundary Layer (MPBL) encompass only the sur- face layer. Therefore, in order to fully address the MPBL, it becomes necessary to simulate somehow the behaviour of the martian mixed layer. The small-scale processes that happen in the MPBL cause GCM's ([1], [2]) to describe only partially the turbulent statistics, height, convective scales, etc, of the surface layer and the mixed layer. For this reason, 2D and 3D martian mesoscale models ([4], [5]), and large eddy simulations ([4], [6], [7], [8]) have been designed in the last years. Although they are expected to simulate more accurately the MPBL, they take an extremely expensive compu- tational time. Alternatively, we have derived the main turbu- lent characteristics of the martian mixed layer by using surface layer and mixed layer similarity ([9], [10]). From in situ temperature and wind speed measurements, together with quality-tested simu- lated ground temperature [11], we have character- ized the martian mixed layer during the convective hours of Pathfinder mission Sol 25. Mean mixed layer turbulent statistics like tem- perature variance , horizontal wind speed variance , vertical wind speed variance , viscous dissipation rate , and turbu- lent kinetic energy have been calculated, as well as the mixed layer height zi, and the convective scales of wind w? and temperature θ?. Our values, obtained with negligible time cost, match quite well with some previously obtained results via LES's ([4] and [8]). A comparisson between the above obtained mar- tian values and the typical Earth values are shown in Table 1. Convective velocity scale w doubles its counterpart terrestrial typical value, as it does the mean wind speed variances and . On the other hand, the temperature scale θ? and the mean temperature variance are virtually around one order higher on Mars. The limitations of these results concern the va- lidity of the convective mixed layer similarity. This theory

  17. Radiation transport simulation of the Martian GCR surface flux and dose estimation using spherical geometry in PHITS compared to MSL-RAD measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-McLaughlin, John

    2017-08-01

    Planetary bodies and spacecraft are predominantly exposed to isotropic radiation environments that are subject to transport and interaction in various material compositions and geometries. Specifically, the Martian surface radiation environment is composed of galactic cosmic radiation, secondary particles produced by their interaction with the Martian atmosphere, albedo particles from the Martian regolith and occasional solar particle events. Despite this complex physical environment with potentially significant locational and geometric dependencies, computational resources often limit radiation environment calculations to a one-dimensional or slab geometry specification. To better account for Martian geometry, spherical volumes with respective Martian material densities are adopted in this model. This physical description is modeled with the PHITS radiation transport code and compared to a portion of measurements from the Radiation Assessment Detector of the Mars Science Laboratory. Particle spectra measured between 15 November 2015 and 15 January 2016 and PHITS model results calculated for this time period are compared. Results indicate good agreement between simulated dose rates, proton, neutron and gamma spectra. This work was originally presented at the 1st Mars Space Radiation Modeling Workshop held in 2016 in Boulder, CO. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Multiyear Simulations of the Martian Water Cycle with the Ames General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, R. M.; Schaeffer, J. R.; Nelli, S. M.; Murphy, J. R.

    2003-01-01

    Mars atmosphere is carbon dioxide dominated with non-negligible amounts of water vapor and suspended dust particles. The atmospheric dust plays an important role in the heating and cooling of the planet through absorption and emission of radiation. Small dust particles can potentially be carried to great altitudes and affect the temperatures there. Water vapor condensing onto the dust grains can affect the radiative properties of both, as well as their vertical extent. The condensation of water onto a dust grain will change the grain s fall speed and diminish the possibility of dust obtaining high altitudes. In this capacity, water becomes a controlling agent with regard to the vertical distribution of dust. Similarly, the atmosphere s water vapor holding capacity is affected by the amount of dust in the atmosphere. Dust is an excellent green house catalyst; it raises the temperature of the atmosphere, and thus, its water vapor holding capacity. There is, therefore, a potentially significant interplay between the Martian dust and water cycles. Previous research done using global, 3-D computer modeling to better understand the Martian atmosphere treat the dust and the water cycles as two separate and independent processes. The existing Ames numerical model will be employed to simulate the relationship between the Martian dust and water cycles by actually coupling the two cycles. Water will condense onto the dust, allowing the particle's radiative characteristics, fall speeds, and as a result, their vertical distribution to change. Data obtained from the Viking, Mars Pathfinder, and especially the Mars Global Surveyor missions will be used to determine the accuracy of the model results.

  19. Preliminary findings of the Viking gas exchange experiment and a model for Martian surface chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oyama, V.I.; Berdahl, B.J.; Carle, G.C.

    1977-01-01

    It is stated that O 2 and CO 2 were evolved from humidified Martian soil in the gas exchange experiment on Viking Lander 1. Small changes in N 2 gas were also recorded. A model of the morphology and a hypothesis of the mechanistics of the Martian surface are proposed. (author)

  20. Smectite clays in Mars soil - Evidence for their presence and role in Viking biology experimental results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banin, A.; Rishpon, J.

    1979-01-01

    Evidence for the presence of smectite clays in Martian soils is reviewed and results of experiments with certain active clays simulating the Viking biology experiments are reported. Analyses of Martian soil composition by means of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and dust storm spectroscopy and Martian geological history strongly suggest the presence of a mixture of weathered ferro-silicate minerals, mainly nontronite and montmorillonite, accompanied by soluble sulphate salts, as major constituents. Samples of montmorillonite and nontronite incubated with (C-14)-formate or the radioactive nutrient medium solution used in the Viking Labeled Release experiment, were found to produce patterns of release of radioactive gas very similar to those observed in the Viking experiments, indicating the iron-catalyzed decomposition of formate as the reaction responsible for the Viking results. The experimental results of Hubbard (1979) simulating the results of the Viking Pyrolytic Release experiment using iron montmorillonites are pointed out, and it is concluded that many of the results of the Viking biology experiments can be explained in terms of the surface activity of smectite clays in catalysis and adsorption.

  1. Martian Gullies: H2O or CO2 snow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yolanda, C.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    The theories proposed to try to explain the origin of the Martian gullies involve either liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We propose another processes that can be favorable for the origin of the Martian gullies, with our model by gaseous fluidification of CO2. We propose that on the Martian slopes, CO2 snow and dust transported by winds, are accumulate. During the Martian spring, sublimation of carbonic snow starts because of heat and weigth of the frezze layer, causing that the material mixed its fluidifized and slide downslope by gravity. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air inside the granular material. We also present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compared them with some Martian gullies, to identify possible processes evolved in its formation. We measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 meters to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material and our field trip to Nevado de Toluca Volcano.

  2. Characterization of Fillite as a planetary soil simulant in support of rover mobility assessment in high-sinkage/high-slip environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Michael

    This thesis presents the results of a research program characterizing a soil simulant called Fillite, which is composed of alumino-silicate hollow microspheres harvested from the pulverized fuel ash of coal-fired power plants. Fillite is available in large quantities at a reasonable cost and it is chemically inert. Fillite has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center to simulate high-sinkage/high-slip environment in a large test bed such as the ones encountered by the Spirit rover on Mars in 2009 when it became entrapped in a pocket of soft, loose regolith on Mars. The terms high-sinkage and high-slip used here describe the interaction of soils with typical rover wheels. High-sinkage refers to a wheel sinking with little to no applied force while high-slip refers to a spinning wheel with minimal traction. Standard material properties (density, specific gravity, compression index, Young's modulus, and Poisson's ratio) of Fillite were determined from a series of laboratory tests conducted in general accordance with ASTM standards. Tests were also performed to determine some less standard material properties of Fillite such as the small strain shear wave velocity, maximum shear modulus, and several pressure-sinkage parameters for use in pressure-sinkage models. The experiments include an extensive series of triaxial compression tests, bender element tests, and normal and shear bevameter tests. The unit weight of Fillite on Earth ranges between 3.9 and 4.8 kN/m 3, which is similar to that of Martian regolith (about 3.7 -- 5.6 kN/m3) on Mars and close to the range of the unit weight of lunar regolith (about 1.4 -- 2.9 kN/m3) on the Moon. The data presented here support that Fillite has many physical and mechanical properties that are similar to what is known about Martian regolith. These properties are also comparable to lunar regolith. Fillite is quite dilatant; its peak and critical angles of internal friction are

  3. Chemosynthesis in deep-sea red-clay: Linking concepts to probable martian life

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Das, A.; Mourya, B.S.; Mamatha, S.S.; Khadge, N.H.; LokaBharathi, P.A.

    of microbial biogeochemistry are used in the pres- ent deep-sea analogue studies and would be imple- mented for actual Martian soil samples in future: Microbial abundance in terms of total counts » Diversity of culture dependent and independent Chemos... soils done earlier by Viking I robots [5, Bianciardi et. al, 2012

  4. Survival of spores of the UV-resistant Bacillus subtilis strain MW01 after exposure to low-earth orbit and simulated martian conditions: data from the space experiment ADAPT on EXPOSE-E.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wassmann, Marko; Moeller, Ralf; Rabbow, Elke; Panitz, Corinna; Horneck, Gerda; Reitz, Günther; Douki, Thierry; Cadet, Jean; Stan-Lotter, Helga; Cockell, Charles S; Rettberg, Petra

    2012-05-01

    In the space experiment "Molecular adaptation strategies of microorganisms to different space and planetary UV climate conditions" (ADAPT), bacterial endospores of the highly UV-resistant Bacillus subtilis strain MW01 were exposed to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and simulated martian surface conditions for 559 days on board the European Space Agency's exposure facility EXPOSE-E, mounted outside the International Space Station. The survival of B. subtilis MW01 spores from both assays (LEO and simulated martian conditions) was determined by a colony-formation assay after retrieval. It was clearly shown that solar extraterrestrial UV radiation (λ≥110 nm) as well as the martian UV spectrum (λ≥200 nm) was the most deleterious factor applied; in some samples only a few spore survivors were recovered from B. subtilis MW01 spores exposed in monolayers. However, if shielded from solar irradiation, about 8% of MW01 spores survived in LEO conditions, and 100% survived in simulated martian conditions, compared to the laboratory controls. The results demonstrate the effect of shielding against the high inactivation potential of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation, which limits the chances of survival of even the highly UV-resistant strain of B. subtilis MW01 in the harsh environments of outer space and the martian surface.

  5. Chemical composition of Martian fines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Baird, A. K.; Weldon, R. J.; Tsusaki, D. M.; Schnabel, L.; Candelaria, M. P.

    1982-01-01

    Of the 21 samples acquired for the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, 17 were analyzed to high precision. Compared to typical terrestrial continental soils and lunar mare fines, the Martian fines are lower in Al, higher in Fe, and much higher in S and Cl concentrations. Protected fines at the two lander sites are almost indistinguishable, but concentration of the element S is somewhat higher at Utopia. Duricrust fragments, successfully acquired only at the Chryse site, invariably contained about 50% higher S than fines. No elements correlate positively with S, except Cl and possibly Mg. A sympathetic variation is found among the triad Si, Al, Ca; positive correlation occurs between Ti and Fe. Sample variabilities are as great within a few meters as between lander locations (4500 km apart), implying the existence of a universal Martian regolith component of constant average composition. The nature of the source materials for the regolith fines must be mafic to ultramafic.

  6. Martian Feeling: An Analogue Study to Simulate a Round-Trip to Mars using the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, C. V.; Gini, A.

    When talking about human space exploration, Mars missions are always present. It is clear that sooner or later, humanity will take this adventure. Arguably the most important aspect to consider for the success of such an endeavour is the human element. The safety of the crew throughout a Martian mission is a top priority for all space agencies. Therefore, such a mission should not take place until all the risks have been fully understood and mitigated. A mission to Mars presents unique human and technological challenges in terms of isolation, confinement, autonomy, reliance on mission control, communication delays and adaptation to different gravity levels. Analogue environments provide the safest way to simulate these conditions, mitigate the risks and evaluate the effects of long-term space travel on the crew. Martian Feeling is one of nine analogue studies, from the Mars Analogue Path (MAP) report [1], proposed by the TP Analogue group of ISU Masters class 2010. It is an integrated analogue study which simulates the psychological, physiological and operational conditions that an international, six-person, mixed gender crew would experience on a mission to Mars. Set both onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth, the Martian Feeling study will perform a ``dress rehearsal'' of a mission to Mars. The study proposes to test both human performance and operational procedures in a cost-effective manner. Since Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is more accessible than other space-based locations, an analogue studies in LEO would provide the required level of realism to a simulated transit mission to Mars. The sustained presence of microgravity and other elements of true spaceflight are features of LEO that are neither currently feasible nor possible to study in terrestrial analogue sites. International collaboration, economics, legal and ethical issues were considered when the study was proposed. As an example of international collaboration, the ISS would

  7. Martian Bow Shock and Magnetic Pile-Up Barrier Formation Due to the Exosphere Ion Mass-Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eojin Kim

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Bow shock, formed by the interaction between the solar wind and a planet, is generated in different patterns depending on the conditions of the planet. In the case of the earth, its own strong magnetic field plays a critical role in determining the position of the bow shock. However, in the case of Mars of which has very a small intrinsic magnetic field, the bow shock is formed by the direct interaction between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. It is known that the position of the Martian bow shock is affected by the mass loading-effect by which the supersonic solar wind velocity becomes subsonic as the heavy ions originating from the planet are loaded on the solar wind. We simulated the Martian magnetosphere depending on the changes of the density and velocity of the solar wind by using the three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model built by modifying the comet code that includes the mass loading effect. The Martian exosphere model of was employed as the Martian atmosphere model, and only the photoionization by the solar radiation was considered in the ionization process of the neutral atmosphere. In the simulation result under the normal solar wind conditions, the Martian bow shock position in the subsolar point direction was consistent with the result of the previous studies. The three-dimensional simulation results produced by varying the solar wind density and velocity were all included in the range of the Martian bow shock position observed by Mariner 4, Mars 2, 3, 5, and Phobos 2. Additionally, the simulation result also showed that the change of the solar wind density had a greater effect on the Martian bow shock position than the change of the solar wind velocity. Our result may be useful in analyzing the future observation data by Martian probes.

  8. The effect of as long-term Mars simulation on a microbial permafrost soil community and macromolecules such as DNA, polypeptides and cell wall components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finster, K.; Hansen, A.; Liengaard, L.; Kristoffersen, T.; Mikkelsen, K.; Merrison, J.; Lomstein, B.

    Ten freeze-dried and homogenized samples of a 2300 years old Spitsbergen permafrost soil containing a complex microbial community were aseptically transferred to inert glass tubes and subjected to a 30 days Martian simulation experiment. During this period the samples received an UV dose equivalent to 80 Martian Sol. Data loggers in 4 out the ten samples monitored the temperature 0-2 mm below the surface of the sample. After removal from the simulation chamber, the samples were sliced in 1.5 to 6 mm thick horizons (H1, 0-1.5 mm; H2, 1.5-3 mm; H3, 3-6 mm; H4, 6-9 mm; H5, 9-15 mm; H6, 15-21 mm; H7, 21-27 mm and H8, 27-33 mm), resulting in 10 subsamples from each soil horizon. The subsamples from each horizon were pooled and used for the following investigations: 1. Determination of the bacterial number after staining with SYBR-gold, 2. Determination of the number of dead and living bacteria using the BacLight kit, 3. Determination of the total amount of extractable DNA, 4. Determination of the number of culturable aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, 5. Determination of the concentration of the total hydrolysable amino acids and D and L enantiomers, 6. Determination of the muramic acid contentration. The results of the experiments will be presented and discussed in our communication

  9. Study of the formation of duricrusts on the martian surface and their effect on sampling equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kömle, Norbert; Pitcher, Craig; Gao, Yang; Richter, Lutz

    2017-01-01

    The Powdered Sample Dosing and Distribution System (PSDDS) of the ExoMars rover will be required to handle and contain samples of Mars regolith for long periods of time. Cementation of the regolith, caused by water and salts in the soil, results in clumpy material and a duricrust layer forming on the surface. It is therefore possible that material residing in the sampling system may cement, and could potentially hinder its operation. There has yet to be an investigation into the formation of duricrusts under simulated Martian conditions, or how this may affect the performance of sample handling mechanisms. Therefore experiments have been performed to create a duricrust and to explore the cementation of Mars analogues, before performing a series of tests on a qualification model of the PSDDS under simulated Martian conditions. It was possible to create a consolidated crust of cemented material several millimetres deep, with the material below remaining powder-like. It was seen that due to the very low permeability of the Montmorillonite component material, diffusion of water through the material was quickly blocked, resulting in a sample with an inhomogeneous water content. Additionally, samples with a water mass content of 10% or higher would cement into a single solid piece. Finally, tests with the PSDDS revealed that samples with a water mass content of just 5% created small clumps with significant internal cohesion, blocking the sample funnels and preventing transportation of the material. These experiments have highlighted that the cementation of regolith in Martian conditions must be taken into consideration in the design of sample handling instruments.

  10. Nonlinear MHD waves and discontinuities in the Martian magnetosheath. Observations and 2D bi-ion MHD simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, K.; Dubinin, E.; Baumgärtel, K.

    1998-09-01

    The characteristic scale of the Martian magnetosheath is less than the pick-up gyroradius of oxygen ions. This leads to admissible differential motion of protons and heavies and a strong coupling between both ion fluids. 2D bi-ion MHD simulations reveal many new interesting features in such Large Larmour Radius systems. The formation of an ion-composition boundary, which separates both plasmas, and structuring of the transition from proton dominated plasma of the solar wind origin to massive planetary plasma are the main features of the interaction. A comprehensive multi-instrument study of Martian plasma environment and the comparison with theoretical modelling initiated in the framework of the Visiting Science Programme of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern (Switzerland) gives confirmation that Mars interacts with the solar wind like a comet which has a outgassing rate near to that of Grigg-Skjellerup. The results may also be relevant for small bodies which are surrounded by a neutral gas atmosphere (icy moons, asteroids, Mercury).

  11. Martian Gullies: Formation by CO2 Fluidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2006-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried explain its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows: In winter CO2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain. In spring the CO2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies. By experimental work with dry granular material, we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment, sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City, México. We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas, to target goal recognize or to distinguish, (to identify) possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters. Finally, we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material.

  12. The Martian Water Cycle Based on 3-D Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, H.; Haberle, R. M.; Joshi, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of Martian water is a major goal of the Mars Surveyor program. However, until the bulk of the data from the nominal missions of TES, PMIRR, GRS, MVACS, and the DS2 probes are available, we are bound to be in a state where much of our knowledge of the seasonal behavior of water is based on theoretical modeling. We therefore summarize the results of this modeling at the present time. The most complete calculations come from a somewhat simplified treatment of the Martian climate system which is capable of simulating many decades of weather. More elaborate meteorological models are now being applied to study of the problem. The results show a high degree of consistency with observations of aspects of the Martian water cycle made by Viking MAWD, a large number of ground-based measurements of atmospheric column water vapor, studies of Martian frosts, and the widespread occurrence of water ice clouds. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Animated Optical Microscope Zoom in from Phoenix Launch to Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for animation This animated camera view zooms in from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander launch site all the way to Phoenix's Microscopy and Electrochemistry and C Eonductivity Analyzer (MECA) aboard the spacecraft on the Martian surface. The final frame shows the soil sample delivered to MECA as viewed through the Optical Microscope (OM) on Sol 17 (June 11, 2008), or the 17th Martian day. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  14. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    measurements by different space missions. Numerical simulations by computational models able to simulate the processes that shape the ionosphere have also been commonly employed to obtain information about this region, to provide an interpretation of the observations and to fill their gaps. As a result, the Martian ionosphere is today the best known one after that of the Earth. However, there are still areas for which our knowledge is far from being complete. Examples are the details and balance of the mechanisms populating the nightside ionosphere, or a good understanding of the meteoric ionospheric layer and its variability.

  15. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  16. Using rainfall simulations to understand the relationship between precipitation, soil crust and infiltration in four agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angulo-Martinez, Marta; Alastrué, Juan; Moret-Fernández, David; Beguería, Santiago; López, Mariví; Navas, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Rainfall simulation experiments were carried out in order to study soil crust formation and its relation with soil infiltration parameters—sorptivity (S) and hydraulic conductivity (K)—on four common agricultural soils with contrasted properties; namely, Cambisol, Gypsisol, Solonchak, and Solonetz. Three different rainfall simulations, replicated three times each of them, were performed over the soils. Prior to rainfall simulations all soils were mechanically tilled with a rototiller to create similar soil surface conditions and homogeneous soils. Rainfall simulation parameters were monitored in real time by a Thies Laser Precipitation Monitor, allowing a complete characterization of simulated rainfall microphysics (drop size and velocity distributions) and integrated variables (accumulated rainfall, intensity and kinetic energy). Once soils dried after the simulations, soil penetration resistance was measured and soil hydraulic parameters, S and K, were estimated using the disc infiltrometry technique. There was little variation in rainfall parameters among simulations. Mean intensity and mean median diameter (D50) varied in simulations 1 ( 0.5 bar), 2 ( 0.8 bar) and 3 ( 1.2 bar) from 26.5 mm h-1 and 0.43 mm (s1) to 40.5 mm h-1 and 0.54 mm (s2) and 41.1 mm h-1 and 0.56 mm for (s3), respectively. Crust formation by soil was explained by D50 and subsequently by the total precipitation amount and the percentage of silt and clay in soil, being Cambisol and Gypsisol the soils that showed more increase in penetration resistance by simulation. All soils showed similar S values by simulations which were explained by rainfall intensity. Different patterns of K were shown by the four soils, which were explained by the combined effect of D50 and intensity, together with soil physico-chemical properties. This study highlights the importance of monitoring all precipitation parameters to determine their effect on different soil processes.

  17. Implantation of Martian Materials in the Inner Solar System by a Mega Impact on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Genda, Hidenori

    2018-04-01

    Observations and meteorites indicate that the Martian materials are enigmatically distributed within the inner solar system. A mega impact on Mars creating a Martian hemispheric dichotomy and the Martian moons can potentially eject Martian materials. A recent work has shown that the mega-impact-induced debris is potentially captured as the Martian Trojans and implanted in the asteroid belt. However, the amount, distribution, and composition of the debris has not been studied. Here, using hydrodynamic simulations, we report that a large amount of debris (∼1% of Mars’ mass), including Martian crust/mantle and the impactor’s materials (∼20:80), are ejected by a dichotomy-forming impact, and distributed between ∼0.5–3.0 au. Our result indicates that unmelted Martian mantle debris (∼0.02% of Mars’ mass) can be the source of Martian Trojans, olivine-rich asteroids in the Hungarian region and the main asteroid belt, and some even hit the early Earth. The evidence of a mega impact on Mars would be recorded as a spike of 40Ar–39Ar ages in meteorites. A mega impact can naturally implant Martian mantle materials within the inner solar system.

  18. NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF AN AGRICULTURAL SOIL SHEAR STRESS TEST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Formato

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available In this work a numerical simulation of agricultural soil shear stress tests was performed through soil shear strength data detected by a soil shearometer. We used a soil shearometer available on the market to measure soil shear stress and constructed special equipment that enabled automated detection of soil shear stress. It was connected to an acquisition data system that displayed and recorded soil shear stress during the full field tests. A soil shearometer unit was used to the in situ measurements of soil shear stress in full field conditions for different types of soils located on the right side of the Sele river, at a distance of about 1 km from each other, along the perpendicular to the Sele river in the direction of the sea. Full field tests using the shearometer unit were performed alongside considered soil characteristic parameter data collection. These parameter values derived from hydrostatic compression and triaxial tests performed on considered soil samples and repeated 4 times and we noticed that the difference between the maximum and minimum values detected for every set of performed tests never exceeded 4%. Full field shear tests were simulated by the Abaqus program code considering three different material models of soils normally used in the literature, the Mohr-Coulomb, Drucker-Prager and Cam-Clay models. We then compared all data outcomes obtained by numerical simulations with those from the experimental tests. We also discussed any further simulation data results obtained with different material models and selected the best material model for each considered soil to be used in tyre/soil contact simulation or in soil compaction studies.

  19. In situ calibration using univariate analyses based on the onboard ChemCam targets: first prediction of Martian rock and soil compositions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabre, C.; Cousin, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Ollila, A.; Gasnault, O.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Forni, O.; Lasue, J.; Tokar, R.; Vaniman, D.; Melikechi, N.

    2014-01-01

    Curiosity rover landed on August 6th, 2012 in Gale Crater, Mars and it possesses unique analytical capabilities to investigate the chemistry and mineralogy of the Martian soil. In particular, the LIBS technique is being used for the first time on another planet with the ChemCam instrument, and more than 75,000 spectra have been returned in the first year on Mars. Curiosity carries body-mounted calibration targets specially designed for the ChemCam instrument, some of which are homgeneous glasses and others that are fine-grained glass-ceramics. We present direct calibrations, using these onboard standards to infer elements and element ratios by ratioing relative peak areas. As the laser spot size is around 300 μm, the LIBS technique provides measurements of the silicate glass compositions representing homogeneous material and measurements of the ceramic targets that are comparable to fine-grained rock or soil. The laser energy and the auto-focus are controlled for all sequences used for calibration. The univariate calibration curves present relatively to very good correlation coefficients with low RSDs for major and ratio calibrations. Trace element calibration curves (Li, Sr, and Mn), down to several ppm, can be used as a rapid tool to draw attention to remarkable rocks and soils along the traverse. First comparisons to alpha-particle X-ray spectroscopy (APXS) data, on selected targets, show good agreement for most elements and for Mg# and Al/Si estimates. SiO 2 estimates using univariate cannot be yet used. Na 2 O and K 2 O estimates are relevant for high alkali contents, but probably under estimated due to the CCCT initial compositions. Very good results for CaO and Al 2 O 3 estimates and satisfactory results for FeO are obtained. - Highlights: • In situ LIBS univariate calibrations are done using the Curiosity onboard standards. • Major and minor element contents can be rapidly obtained. • Trace element contents can be used as a rapid tool along the

  20. Resistance of Terrestrial Microbial Communities to Impack of Physical Conditinos of Subsurface Layers of Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptsov, V. S.; Vorobyova, E. A.

    2017-05-01

    Currently, astrobiology is focused on Mars as one of the most perspective objects in the Solar System to search for microbial life. It was assumed that the putative biosphere of Mars could be cryopreserved and had been stored for billions of years in anabiotic state like microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic permafrost deposits have been preserved till now for millions of years. In this case microbial cells should be not able to repair the damages or these processes have to be significantly depressed, and the main factor causing cell's death should be ionizing radiation. In a series of experiments we simulated the effects of combination of physical factors known as characteristics of the Martian regolith (and close to the space environment) on the natural microbial communities inhabiting xerophytic harsh habitats with extreme temperature conditions: polar permafrost and desert soils. The aim of the study was to examine the cumulative effect of factors (gamma radiation, low temperature, low pressure) to assess the possibility of metabolic reactions, and to find limits of the viability of natural microbial communities after exposure to the given conditions. It was found that microbial biomarkers could be reliably detected in soil samples after radiation dose accumulation up to 1 MGy (not further investigated) in combination with exposure to low temperature and low pressure. Resistance to extremely high doses of radiation in simulated conditions proves that if there was an Earth-like biosphere on the early Mars microorganisms could survive in the surface or subsurface layers of the Martian regolith for more than tens of millions of years after climate change. The study gives also some new grounds for the approval of transfer of viable microorganisms in space.

  1. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  2. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Qualitative Analysis of Metals in Simulated Martian Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowry, Curtis; Milofsky, Rob; Collins, William; Pimentel, Adam S.

    2017-01-01

    This laboratory introduces students to laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the analysis of metals in soil and rock samples. LIBS employs a laser-initiated spark to induce electronic excitation of metal atoms. Ensuing atomic emission allows for qualitative and semiquantitative analysis. The students use LIBS to analyze a series of…

  3. Magnetic Particles Are Found In The Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    The dark bullseye pattern seen at the top of Viking l's camera calibration chart indicates the presence of magnetic particles in the fine dust in the Martian atmosphere. A tiny magnet is mounted at that spot to catch wind-borne magnetic particles. The particles may have been tossed into the atmosphere surrounding the spacecraft at the time of landing and during the digging and delivery of the Mars soil sample by the surface sampler scoop. This picture was taken August 4.

  4. Atmospheric Modeling of the Martian Polar Regions: CRISM EPF Coverage During the South Polar Spring Recession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, A. J.; McGuire, P.; Wolff, M. J.

    2008-03-01

    We describe efforts to model dust and ice aerosols content and soils and icy surface reflectance in the Martian southern polar region during spring recession (Ls = 152-320) using CRISM emission phase function (EPF) observations.

  5. Simulating soil phosphorus dynamics for a phosphorus loss quantification tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadas, Peter A; Joern, Brad C; Moore, Philip A

    2012-01-01

    Pollution of fresh waters by agricultural phosphorus (P) is a water quality concern. Because soils can contribute significantly to P loss in runoff, it is important to assess how management affects soil P status over time, which is often done with models. Our objective was to describe and validate soil P dynamics in the Annual P Loss Estimator (APLE) model. APLE is a user-friendly spreadsheet model that simulates P loss in runoff and soil P dynamics over 10 yr for a given set of runoff, erosion, and management conditions. For soil P dynamics, APLE simulates two layers in the topsoil, each with three inorganic P pools and one organic P pool. It simulates P additions to soil from manure and fertilizer, distribution among pools, mixing between layers due to tillage and bioturbation, leaching between and out of layers, crop P removal, and loss by surface runoff and erosion. We used soil P data from 25 published studies to validate APLE's soil P processes. Our results show that APLE reliably simulated soil P dynamics for a wide range of soil properties, soil depths, P application sources and rates, durations, soil P contents, and management practices. We validated APLE specifically for situations where soil P was increasing from excessive P inputs, where soil P was decreasing due to greater outputs than inputs, and where soil P stratification occurred in no-till and pasture soils. Successful simulations demonstrate APLE's potential to be applied to major management scenarios related to soil P loss in runoff and erosion. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  6. Color Views of Soil Scooped on Sol 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    These three color views show the Robotic Arm scoop from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The image shows a handful of Martian soil dug from the digging site informally called 'Knave of Hearts,' from the trench informally called 'Dodo,' on the ninth Martian day of the mission, or Sol 9 (June 3, 2008). 'Dodo' is the same site as the earlier test trench dug on the seventh Martian day of the mission, or Sol 7 (June 1, 2008). The Robotic Arm Camera took the three color views at different focus positions. Scientists can better study soil structure and estimate how much soil was collected by taking multiple images at different foci. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  7. Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S. M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R. C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T. H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J. G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M. B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M. A.; Moores, J. E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Mauchien, Patrick; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Schieber, Juergen; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Cros, Alain; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Toplis, Mike; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey

    2013-09-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  8. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schroder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.L.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, Ryan Bradley; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; ,; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B. C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; ,; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.B.; Tokar, R.; de la Torre, M.; d'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of widespread martian soils and is similar in composition to the martian dust. It possesses a ubiquitous hydrogen signature in ChemCam spectra, corresponding to the hydration of the amorphous phases found in the soil by the CheMin instrument. This hydration likely accounts for an important fraction of the global hydration of the surface seen by previous orbital measurements. ChemCam analyses did not reveal any significant exchange of water vapor between the regolith and the atmosphere. These observations provide constraints on the nature of the amorphous phases and their hydration.

  9. Martian gullies: possible formation mechanism by dry granular material..

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    section Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies Some theories developed tried explain its origin either by liquid water liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones We propose that the mechanism of formation of the gullies is as follows In winter CO 2 snow mixed with sand falls in the terrain In spring the CO 2 snow sublimate and gaseous CO 2 make fluid the sand which flows like liquid eroding the terrain and forming the gullies By experimental work with dry granular material we simulated the development of the Martian gullies injecting air in the granular material section We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies forms at cold environment sited at Nevado de Toluca Volcano near Toluca City M e xico We compare them with Martian gullies choose from four different areas to target goal recognize or to distinguish to identify possible processes evolved in its formation Also we measured the lengths of those Martian gullies and the range was from 24 m to 1775 meters Finally we present results of our experimental work at laboratory with dry granular material

  10. Development and research program for a soil-based bioregenerative agriculture system to feed a four person crew at a Mars base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J.

    For humans to survive during long-term missions on the Martian surface, bioregenerative life support systems including food production will decrease requirements for launch of Earth supplies, and increase mission safety. It is proposed that the development of ``modular biospheres''- closed system units that can be air-locked together and which contain soil-based bioregenerative agriculture, horticulture, with a wetland wastewater treatment system is an approach for Mars habitation scenarios. Based on previous work done in long-term life support at Biosphere 2 and other closed ecological systems, this consortium proposes a research and development program called Mars On Earth™ which will simulate a life support system designed for a four person crew. The structure will consist of /6 × 110 square meter modular agricultural units designed to produce a nutritionally adequate diet for 4 people, recycling all air, water and waste, while utilizing a soil created by the organic enrichment and modification of Mars simulant soils. Further research needs are discussed, such as determining optimal light levels for growth of the necessary range of crops, energy trade-offs for agriculture (e.g. light intensity vs. required area), capabilities of Martian soils and their need for enrichment and elimination of oxides, strategies for use of human waste products, and maintaining atmospheric balance between people, plants and soils.

  11. Development and research program for a soil-based bioregenerative agriculture system to feed a four person crew at a Mars base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S; Nelson, M; Alling, A; Allen, J

    2003-01-01

    For humans to survive during long-term missions on the Martian surface, bioregenerative life support systems including food production will decrease requirements for launch of Earth supplies, and increase mission safety. It is proposed that the development of "modular biospheres"--closed system units that can be air-locked together and which contain soil-based bioregenerative agriculture, horticulture, with a wetland wastewater treatment system is an approach for Mars habitation scenarios. Based on previous work done in long-term life support at Biosphere 2 and other closed ecological systems, this consortium proposes a research and development program called Mars On Earth(TM) which will simulate a life support system designed for a four person crew. The structure will consist of 6 x 110 square meter modular agricultural units designed to produce a nutritionally adequate diet for 4 people, recycling all air, water and waste, while utilizing a soil created by the organic enrichment and modification of Mars simulant soils. Further research needs are discussed, such as determining optimal light levels for growth of the necessary range of crops, energy trade-offs for agriculture (e.g. light intensity vs. required area), capabilities of Martian soils and their need for enrichment and elimination of oxides, strategies for use of human waste products, and maintaining atmospheric balance between people, plants and soils. c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Martian Cryogenic Carbonate Formation: Stable Isotope Variations Observed in Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.; Sun, Tao; Fu, Qi; Romanek, Christopher S.; Gibson, Everett K. Jr.

    2014-01-01

    The history of water on Mars is tied to the formation of carbonates through atmospheric CO2 and its control of the climate history of the planet. Carbonate mineral formation under modern martian atmospheric conditions could be a critical factor in controlling the martian climate in a means similar to the rock weathering cycle on Earth. The combination of evidence for liquid water on the martian surface and cold surface conditions suggest fluid freezing could be very common on the surface of Mars. Cryogenic calcite forms easily from freezing solutions when carbon dioxide degasses quickly from Ca-bicarbonate-rich water, a process that has been observed in some terrestrial settings such as arctic permafrost cave deposits, lake beds of the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and in aufeis (river icings) from rivers of N.E. Alaska. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted that simulated cryogenic carbonate formation on Mars in order to understand their isotopic systematics. The results indicate that carbonates grown under martian conditions show variable enrichments from starting bicarbonate fluids in both carbon and oxygen isotopes beyond equilibrium values.

  13. Growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant after exposure to vacuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Mayumi; Sato, Seigo; Ohmori, Masayuki; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation on Mars is one of our challenges in this century. The growth of cyanobacteria on Martian Regolith Simulant (MRS) was studied with two species of terrestrial cyanobacteria, Nostoc, and one species of other cyanobacterium, Synechosystis. Their vacuum tolerances was examined in order to judge feasibility of the use of cyanobacteria to creat habitable environment on a distant planet. The viability of cyanobacteria tested was evaluated by the microscopic observation after staining by FDA (fluorescein diacetate). A part of them were also re-incubated again in a liquid culture medium, and viability and the chlorophyll production were examined in detail. Nostoc was found to grow for over 140 days with their having normal function of chlorophyll synthesis on the MRS. After the exposure to high vacuum environment (10-5 Pa) for a year, Nostoc sp. started growth. Chlorophyll was produced after this vacuum exposure as well. The A'MED (Arai's Mars Ecosystem Dome, A'MED) is designed to install on Mars for conducting agricultural production in it. We performed the fundamental experiment with MRS. These results show a possibility that cyanobacteria could adapt to MRS, and grow under the low pressure environment expected on Mars.

  14. On the in situ aqueous alteration of soils on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, Ronald; Ewing, Stephanie; Dietrich, William; Sutter, Brad; Owen, Justine; Chadwick, Oliver; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Walvoord, Michelle; McKay, Christopher

    2008-08-01

    Early (>3 Gy) wetter climate conditions on Mars have been proposed, and it is thus likely that pedogenic processes have occurred there at some point in the past. Soil and rock chemistry of the Martian landing sites were evaluated to test the hypothesis that in situ aqueous alteration and downward movement of solutes have been among the processes that have transformed these portions of the Mars regolith. A geochemical mass balance shows that Martian soils at three landing sites have lost significant quantities of major rock-forming elements and have gained elements that are likely present as soluble ions. The loss of elements is interpreted to have occurred during an earlier stage(s) of weathering that may have been accompanied by the downward transport of weathering products, and the salts are interpreted to be emplaced later in a drier Mars history. Chemical differences exist among the sites, indicating regional differences in soil composition. Shallow soil profile excavations at Gusev crater are consistent with late stage downward migration of salts, implying the presence of small amounts of liquid water even in relatively recent Martian history. While the mechanisms for chemical weathering and salt additions on Mars remain unclear, the soil chemistry appears to record a decline in leaching efficiency. A deep sedimentary exposure at Endurance crater contains complex depth profiles of SO 4, Cl, and Br, trends generally consistent with downward aqueous transport accompanied by drying. While no model for the origin of Martian soils can be fully constrained with the currently available data, a pedogenic origin is consistent with observed Martian geology and geochemistry, and provides a testable hypothesis that can be evaluated with present and future data from the Mars surface.

  15. In situ calibration using univariate analyses based on the onboard ChemCam targets: first prediction of Martian rock and soil compositions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabre, C. [GeoRessources lab, Université de Lorraine, Nancy (France); Cousin, A.; Wiens, R.C. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Ollila, A. [University of NM, Albuquerque (United States); Gasnault, O.; Maurice, S. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Sautter, V. [Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle, Paris (France); Forni, O.; Lasue, J. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Tokar, R.; Vaniman, D. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Melikechi, N. [Delaware State University (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Curiosity rover landed on August 6th, 2012 in Gale Crater, Mars and it possesses unique analytical capabilities to investigate the chemistry and mineralogy of the Martian soil. In particular, the LIBS technique is being used for the first time on another planet with the ChemCam instrument, and more than 75,000 spectra have been returned in the first year on Mars. Curiosity carries body-mounted calibration targets specially designed for the ChemCam instrument, some of which are homgeneous glasses and others that are fine-grained glass-ceramics. We present direct calibrations, using these onboard standards to infer elements and element ratios by ratioing relative peak areas. As the laser spot size is around 300 μm, the LIBS technique provides measurements of the silicate glass compositions representing homogeneous material and measurements of the ceramic targets that are comparable to fine-grained rock or soil. The laser energy and the auto-focus are controlled for all sequences used for calibration. The univariate calibration curves present relatively to very good correlation coefficients with low RSDs for major and ratio calibrations. Trace element calibration curves (Li, Sr, and Mn), down to several ppm, can be used as a rapid tool to draw attention to remarkable rocks and soils along the traverse. First comparisons to alpha-particle X-ray spectroscopy (APXS) data, on selected targets, show good agreement for most elements and for Mg# and Al/Si estimates. SiO{sub 2} estimates using univariate cannot be yet used. Na{sub 2}O and K{sub 2}O estimates are relevant for high alkali contents, but probably under estimated due to the CCCT initial compositions. Very good results for CaO and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} estimates and satisfactory results for FeO are obtained. - Highlights: • In situ LIBS univariate calibrations are done using the Curiosity onboard standards. • Major and minor element contents can be rapidly obtained. • Trace element contents can be used as a

  16. ISRU Soil Mechanics Vacuum Facility: Soil Bin Preparation and Simulant Strength Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhenz, Julie; Wilkinson, Allen

    2012-01-01

    Testing in relevant environments is key to exploration mission hardware development. This is true on both the component level (in early development) and system level (in late development stages). During ISRU missions the hardware will interface with the soil (digging, roving, etc) in a vacuum environment. A relevant test environment will therefore involve a vacuum chamber with a controlled, conditioned simulant bed. However, in earth-based granular media, such as lunar soil simulant, gases trapped within the material pore structures and water adsorbed to all particle surfaces will release when exposed to vacuum. Early vacuum testing has shown that this gas release can occur violently, which loosens and weakens the simulant, altering the consolidation state. The Vacuum Facility #13, a mid-size chamber (3.66m tall, 1.5m inner diameter) at the NASA Glenn Research Center has been modified to create a soil mechanics test facility. A 0.64m deep by 0.914m square metric ton bed of lunar simulant was placed under vacuum using a variety of pumping techniques. Both GRC-3 and LHT-3M simulant types have been used. An electric cone penetrometer was used to measure simulant strength properties at vacuum including: cohesion, friction angle, bulk density and shear modulus. Simulant disruptions, caused by off gassing, affected the strength properties, but could be mitigated by reducing pump rate. No disruptions were observed at pressures below 2.5Torr, regardless of the pump rate. However, slow off gassing of the soil lead to long test times, a full week, to reach 10-5Torr. This work highlights the need for robotic machine-simulant hardware and operations in vacuum to expeditiously perform (sub-)systems tests.

  17. Soil erodibility variability in laboratory and field rainfall simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Boglárka; Szabó, Judit; Jakab, Gergely; Centeri, Csaba; Szalai, Zoltán

    2017-04-01

    Rainfall simulation experiments are the most common way to observe and to model the soil erosion processes in in situ and ex situ circumstances. During modelling soil erosion, one of the most important factors are the annual soil loss and the soil erodibility which represent the effect of soil properties on soil loss and the soil resistance against water erosion. The amount of runoff and soil loss can differ in case of the same soil type, while it's characteristics determine the soil erodibility factor. This leads to uncertainties regarding soil erodibility. Soil loss and soil erodibility were examined with the investigation of the same soil under laboratory and field conditions with rainfall simulators. The comparative measurement was carried out in a laboratory on 0,5 m2, and in the field (Shower Power-02) on 6 m2 plot size where the applied slope angles were 5% and 12% with 30 and 90 mm/h rainfall intensity. The main idea was to examine and compare the soil erodibility and its variability coming from the same soil, but different rainfall simulator type. The applied model was the USLE, nomograph and other equations which concern single rainfall events. The given results show differences between the field and laboratory experiments and between the different calculations. Concerning for the whole rainfall events runoff and soil loss, were significantly higher at the laboratory experiments, which affected the soil erodibility values too. The given differences can originate from the plot size. The main research questions are that: How should we handle the soil erodibility factors and its significant variability? What is the best solution for soil erodibility determination?

  18. Cryolitozone of Mars- as the climatic indicator of the Martian relict ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozorovich, Y.; Fournier-Sicre, A.; Linkin, V.; Kosov, A.; Skulachev, D.; Gorbatov, S.; Ivanov, A.; Heggy, E.

    2015-10-01

    this approach is - the salt component of subsurface is the global geolectrical marker of the Martian relict ocean in the past. Mars' observations by means of ground and onboard instruments are known to have been conducted in recent years. These observations provided information on Mars' surface mean temperature values and their seasonal variations. Radar measurements allowed to estimate dielectric constant and soil upper layer density values. Mars' surface radiation measurements by a 3,4 cm radiometer aboard Mars-3 and 5 automatic interplanetary stations (1971-1973) proved to be more informative. Radio brightness temperature variations were registered along the flight route. As a result surface temperature latitudinal distribution estimates in a spatial resolution element, were obtained as well as more precise values of dielectric constant and soil density of centimeter fractions this surface layer. No more experiments using microwave radiometers were conducted since. The only way to obtain information about Mars surface mezoscale structure is to use a high spatial resolution panoramic equipment on-board. Mars' surface radio images would allow to identify regions differing in ice percentage content in cryogenic surface structures or in mineralized solutions of negative temperature and to estimate relative quantity of cryogenic formations - permafrost fractions as well as to measure the soil looseness or porosity degree. In addition it would be possible to restore various regions' average vertical temperature, humidity and porosity profiles of less than 1 m thick surface layer. These dependencies combined with the results of depth inductive sounding (0.5 km) and magnitotelluric (1- 5 km) sensing would provide new and more detailed information on Martian crust structure and character and its cryolitozone, necessary to create a more reliable paleoclimatic model of the planet. Experiment equipment and methods Space experiment is conducted to obtain maps of temperature and

  19. [Simulation of cropland soil moisture based on an ensemble Kalman filter].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhao; Zhou, Yan-Lian; Ju, Wei-Min; Gao, Ping

    2011-11-01

    By using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to assimilate the observed soil moisture data, the modified boreal ecosystem productivity simulator (BEPS) model was adopted to simulate the dynamics of soil moisture in winter wheat root zones at Xuzhou Agro-meteorological Station, Jiangsu Province of China during the growth seasons in 2000-2004. After the assimilation of observed data, the determination coefficient, root mean square error, and average absolute error of simulated soil moisture were in the ranges of 0.626-0.943, 0.018-0.042, and 0.021-0.041, respectively, with the simulation precision improved significantly, as compared with that before assimilation, indicating the applicability of data assimilation in improving the simulation of soil moisture. The experimental results at single point showed that the errors in the forcing data and observations and the frequency and soil depth of the assimilation of observed data all had obvious effects on the simulated soil moisture.

  20. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  1. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.; Szunyogh, Istvan; Gyarmati, Gyorgyi; Wilson, R. John

    2013-01-01

    The paper investigates the processes that drive the spatiotemporal evolution of baroclinic transient waves in the Martian atmosphere by a simulation experiment with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Mars general circulation model (GCM). The main diagnostic tool of the study is the (local) eddy kinetic energy equation. Results are shown for a prewinter season of the Northern Hemisphere, in which a deep baroclinic wave of zonal wavenumber 2 circles the planet at an eastward phase speed of about 70° Sol-1 (Sol is a Martian day). The regular structure of the wave gives the impression that the classical models of baroclinic instability, which describe the underlying process by a temporally unstable global wave (e.g., Eady model and Charney model), may have a direct relevance for the description of the Martian baroclinic waves. The results of the diagnostic calculations show, however, that while the Martian waves remain zonally global features at all times, there are large spatiotemporal changes in their amplitude. The most intense episodes of baroclinic energy conversion, which take place in the two great plain regions (Acidalia Planitia and Utopia Planitia), are strongly localized in both space and time. In addition, similar to the situation for terrestrial baroclinic waves, geopotential flux convergence plays an important role in the dynamics of the downstream-propagating unstable waves. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

  2. Martian meteorites and Martian magnetic anomalies: a new perspective from NWA 7034 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Scozelli, R. B.; Munayco, P.; Agee, C. B.; Quesnel, Y.; Cournede, C.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic anomalies observed above the Martian Noachian crust [1] require strong crustal remanent magnetization in the 15-60 A/m range over a thickness of 20-50 km [2,3]. The Martian rocks available for study in the form of meteorites do contain magnetic minerals (magnetite and/or pyrrhotite) but in too small amount to account for such strong remanent magnetizations [4]. Even though this contradiction was easily explained by the fact that Martian meteorites (mostly nakhlites and shergottites) are not representative of the Noachian Martian crust, we were left with no satisfactory candidate lithology to account for the Martian magnetic anomalies. The discovery in the Sahara of a new type of Martian meteorite (NWA 7034 [5] and subsequent paired stones which are hydrothermalized volcanic breccia) shed a new light on this question as it contains a much larger amount of ferromagnetic minerals than any other Martian meteorite. We present here a study of the magnetic properties of NWA 7034, together with a review of the magnetic properties of thirty other Martian meteorites. Magnetic measurements (including high and low temperature behavior and Mössbauer spectroscopy) show that NWA 7034 contains about 15 wt.% of magnetite with various degrees of substitution and maghemitization up to pure maghemite, in the pseudo-single domain size range. Pyrrhotite, a common mineral in other Martian meteorites is not detected. Although it is superparamagnetic and cannot carry remanent magnetization, nanophase goethite is present in significant amounts confirming that NWA 7034 is the most oxidized Martian meteorite studied so far, as already indicated by the presence of maghemite (this study) and pyrite [5]. These magnetic properties show that a kilometric layer of a lithology similar to NWA 7034 magnetized in a dynamo field would be enough to account for the strongest Martian magnetic anomalies. Although the petrogenesis of NWA 7034 is still debated, as the brecciation could be either

  3. Soil Science in Space: Thinking Way Outside the Box

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Mars is a perfect laboratory to reconsider the future of pedology across the universe. By investigating the soils and geology through our Curiosity and further endeavors, we find ourselves able to learn about the past, present, and possibly the future. Imagine what we could learn about the early Earth if we could have explored it without vegetation and clouds in the way. The tools and techniques that are used to probe the Martian soil can teach us about exploring the soils on Earth. Although many may feel that soil science has learned all that it can about the soils on Earth, we know differently. Deciding what the most important things to know about Martian soils can help us focus on the fundamentals of soil science on Earth. Our soil science knowledge and experience on Earth can help us learn more about the angry red planet. Why is it so angry with so many fascinating secrets it can tell?

  4. Photometric properties of Mars soils analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pommerol, A.; Thomas, N.; Jost, B.; Beck, P.; Okubo, C.; McEwen, A.S.

    2013-01-01

    We have measured the bidirectional reflectance of analogs of dry, wet, and frozen Martian soils over a wide range of phase angles in the visible spectral range. All samples were produced from two geologic samples: the standard JSC Mars-1 soil simulant and Hawaiian basaltic sand. In a first step, experiments were conducted with the dry samples to investigate the effects of surface texture. Comparisons with results independently obtained by different teams with similar samples showed a satisfying reproducibility of the photometric measurements as well as a noticeable influence of surface textures resulting from different sample preparation procedures. In a second step, water was introduced to produce wet and frozen samples and their photometry investigated. Optical microscope images of the samples provided information about their microtexture. Liquid water, even in relatively low amount, resulted in the disappearance of the backscattering peak and the appearance of a forward-scattering peak whose intensity increases with the amount of water. Specular reflections only appeared when water was present in an amount large enough to allow water to form a film at the surface of the sample. Icy samples showed a wide variability of photometric properties depending on the physical properties of the water ice. We discuss the implications of these measurements in terms of the expected photometric behavior of the Martian surface, from equatorial to circum-polar regions. In particular, we propose some simple photometric criteria to improve the identification of wet and/or icy soils from multiple observations under different geometries.

  5. Use of midlatitude soil moisture and meteorological observations to validate soil moisture simulations with biosphere and bucket models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robock, Alan; Vinnikov, Konstantin YA.; Schlosser, C. Adam; Speranskaya, Nina A.; Xue, Yongkang

    1995-01-01

    Soil moisture observations in sites with natural vegetation were made for several decades in the former Soviet Union at hundreds of stations. In this paper, the authors use data from six of these stations from different climatic regimes, along with ancillary meteorological and actinometric data, to demonstrate a method to validate soil moisture simulations with biosphere and bucket models. Some early and current general circulation models (GCMs) use bucket models for soil hydrology calculations. More recently, the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB) was developed to incorporate the effects of vegetation on fluxes of moisture, momentum, and energy at the earth's surface into soil hydrology models. Until now, the bucket and SiB have been verified by comparison with actual soil moisture data only on a limited basis. In this study, a Simplified SiB (SSiB) soil hydrology model and a 15-cm bucket model are forced by observed meteorological and actinometric data every 3 h for 6-yr simulations at the six stations. The model calculations of soil moisture are compared to observations of soil moisture, literally 'ground truth,' snow cover, surface albedo, and net radiation, and with each other. For three of the stations, the SSiB and 15-cm bucket models produce good simulations of seasonal cycles and interannual variations of soil moisture. For the other three stations, there are large errors in the simulations by both models. Inconsistencies in specification of field capacity may be partly responsible. There is no evidence that the SSiB simulations are superior in simulating soil moisture variations. In fact, the models are quite similar since SSiB implicitly has a bucket embedded in it. One of the main differences between the models is in the treatment of runoff due to melting snow in the spring -- SSiB incorrectly puts all the snowmelt into runoff. While producing similar soil moisture simulations, the models produce very different surface latent and sensible heat fluxes, which

  6. Looking for a Source of Water in Martian Basltic Breccia NWA 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muttik, N.; Agee, C. B.; McCubbin, F. M.; McCuttcheon, W. A.; Provencio, P. P.; Keller, L. P.; Santos, A. R..; Shearer, C. K.

    2014-01-01

    The recently described martian meteorite NWA 7034 has high water content compared to other SNC meteorites. Deuterium to hydrogen isotope ratio measurements indicates that there are two distinct delta-D components in NWA 7034, a low temperature (150-500degC) light component around -100per mille and a high temperature (300-1000degC) heavy component around +300per mille. NWA 7034 contains iron-rich phases that are likely secondary aqueous alteration products. They are commonly found as spheroidal objects of various sizes that are often rich in Fe-Ti oxides and possibly iron hydroxides. Iron oxides and oxyhydroxides are very common in weathered rocks and soils on Earth and Mars and they are important components of terrestrial and Martian dust. In NWA 7034 iron-rich phases are found throughout the fine-grained basaltic groundmass of the meteorite. The total amount of martian H2O in NWA 7034 is reported to be 6000 ppm, and in this study we attempt to determine the phase distribution of this H2O by texturally describing and characterizing hydrous phases in NWA 7034, using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

  7. Physical properties of the martian surface from the Viking 1 lander: preliminary results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shorthill, R.W.; Hutton, R.E.; Moore, H.J. II; Scott, R.E.; Spitzer, C.R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of the physical properties experiment is to determine the characteristics of the martian ''soil'' based on the use of the Viking lander imaging system, the surface sampler, and engineering sensors. Viking 1 lander made physical contact with the surface of Mars at 11:53:07.1 hours on 20 July 1976 G.M.T. Twenty-five seconds later a high-resolution image sequence of the area around a footpad was started which contained the first information about surface conditions on Mars. The next image is a survey of the martian landscape in front of the lander, including a view of the top support of two of the landing legs. Each leg has a stroke gauge which extends from the top of the leg support an amount equal to the crushing experienced by the shock absorbers during touchdown. Subsequent images provided views of all three stroke gauges which, together with the knowledge of the impact velocity, allow determination of ''soil'' properties. In the images there is evidence of surface erosion from the engines. Several laboratory tests were carried out prior to the mission with a descent engine to determine what surface alterations might occur during a Mars landing. On sol 2 the shroud, which protected the surface sampler collector head from biological contamination, was ejected onto the surface. Later a cylindrical pin which dropped from the boom housing of the surface sampler during the modified unlatching sequence produced a crater (the second Mars penetrometer experiment). These two experiments provided further insight into the physical properties of the martian surface

  8. The Electric Environment of Martian Dust Devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, E. L.; Farrell, W. M.; Rafkin, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    While Martian dust devils have been monitored through decades of observations, we have yet to study their possible electrical effects from in situ instrumentation. However, evidence for the existence of active electrodynamic processes on Mars is provided by laboratory studies of analog material and field campaigns of dust devils on Earth. We have enabled our Mars regional scale atmospheric model (MRAMS) to estimate an upper limit on electric fields generated through dust devil circulations by including charged particles as defined from the Macroscopic Triboelectric Simulation (MTS) code. MRAMS is used to investigate the complex physics of regional, mesoscale, and microscale atmospheric phenomena on Mars; it is a 3-D, nonhydrostatic model, which permits the simulation of atmospheric flows with large vertical accelerations, such as dust devils. MTS is a 3-D particle code which quantifies charging associated with swirling, mixing dust grains; grains of pre-defined sizes and compositions are placed in a simulation box and allowed to move under the influence of winds and gravity. Our MRAMS grid cell size makes our results most applicable to dust devils of a few hundred meters in diameter. We have run a number of simulations to understand the sensitivity of the electric field strength to the particle size and abundance and the amount of charge on each dust grain. We find that Efields can indeed develop in Martian dust convective features via dust grain filtration effects. The overall value of these E-fields is strongly dependent upon dust grain size, dust load, and lifting efficiency, and field strengths can range from 100s of mV/m to 10s of kV/m.

  9. Mars analog minerals' spectral reflectance characteristics under Martian surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poitras, J. T.; Cloutis, E. A.; Salvatore, M. R.; Mertzman, S. A.; Applin, D. M.; Mann, P.

    2018-05-01

    We investigated the spectral reflectance properties of minerals under a simulated Martian environment. Twenty-eight different hydrated or hydroxylated phases of carbonates, sulfates, and silica minerals were selected based on past detection on Mars through spectral remote sensing data. Samples were ground and dry sieved to <45 μm grain size and characterized by XRD before and after 133 days inside a simulated Martian surface environment (pressure 5 Torr and CO2 fed). Reflectance spectra from 0.35 to 4 μm were taken periodically through a sapphire (0.35-2.5 μm) and zinc selenide (2.5-4 μm) window over a 133-day period. Mineral stability on the Martian surface was assessed through changes in spectral characteristics. Results indicate that the hydrated carbonates studied would be stable on the surface of Mars, only losing adsorbed H2O while maintaining their diagnostic spectral features. Sulfates were less stable, often with shifts in the band position of the SO, Fe, and OH absorption features. Silicas displayed spectral shifts related to SiOH and hydration state of the mineral surface, while diagnostic bands for quartz were stable. Previous detection of carbonate minerals based on 2.3-2.5 μm and 3.4-3.9 μm features appears to be consistent with our results. Sulfate mineral detection is more questionable since there can be shifts in band position related to SO4. The loss of the 0.43 μm Fe3+ band in many of the sulfates indicate that there are fewer potential candidates for Fe3+ sulfates to permanently exist on the Martian surface based on this band. The gypsum sample changed phase to basanite during desiccation as demonstrated by both reflectance and XRD. Silica on Mars has been detected using band depth ratio at 1.91 and 1.96 μm and band minimum position of the 1.4 μm feature, and the properties are also used to determine their age. This technique continues to be useful for positive silica identifications, however, silica age appears to be less consistent

  10. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  11. Comparison of upright LBPP and supine LBNP in terms of cardiovascular and biomechanical parameters to simulate 1/6-G (lunar gravity) and 3/8-G (Martian gravity) activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlabs, Thomas; Rosales-Velderrain, Armando; Ruckstuhl, Heidi; Richardson, Sara E.; Hargens, Alan

    Background: Missions of astronauts to Moon and Mars may be planned in the future. From over 40 years of manned spaceflight it is known that the human body experiences cardiovascular and musculoskeletal losses and a decrease in aerobic fitness while exposed to reduced gravity. Because future missions will be much longer than before, further research is needed to improve Earth-based simulations of reduced gravity. Among others, two methods are capable of simu-lating fractional gravity on Earth: upright Lower Body Positive Pressure (LBPP) and supine Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP). No previous study has directly compared these two methods to determine which method is better suited to simulate both the biomechanical and cardiovascular responses of performing activity in lunar (1/6-G) and Martian (3/8-G) gravities. Taken previous studies into account and considering the fact that supine posture is closer to the established 10 head-up-tilt lunar simulation, we hypothesized that exercise performed in supine LBNP better simulates the cardiovascular conditions that occur in lunar and Martian gravities. Methods: 12 healthy normal subjects underwent a protocol consisting of resting and walking (0.25 Froude) with LBNP and LBPP. Each protocol was performed in simulated 1/6-G and 3/8-G. Heart-rate (HR), blood pressure, oxygen consumption (VO2), vertical component of the ground reaction force, comfort of the subject and perceived exertion of the subject (Borg Scale) were assessed. The obtained parameters were compared to predicted values for lunar and Martian gravity conditions in order to determine the method that shows the best level of agreement. Results: There was no difference in gait parameters between LBPP and LBNP simulation of lunar and Martian gravity (cadence: P=0.427, normalized stride length: P=0.373, duty fac-tor: P=0.302, and normalized vertical peak force (P=0.064). Mean blood pressure (P=0.398), comfort (P=0.832) and BORG rating (P=0.186) did not differ

  12. Evaluation of soil flushing of complex contaminated soil: An experimental and modeling simulation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yun, Sung Mi; Kang, Christina S. [Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jonghwa [Department of Industrial Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Han S., E-mail: hankim@konkuk.ac.kr [Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-04-28

    Highlights: • Remediation of complex contaminated soil achieved by sequential soil flushing. • Removal of Zn, Pb, and heavy petroleum oils using 0.05 M citric acid and 2% SDS. • Unified desorption distribution coefficients modeled and experimentally determined. • Nonequilibrium models for the transport behavior of complex contaminants in soils. - Abstract: The removal of heavy metals (Zn and Pb) and heavy petroleum oils (HPOs) from a soil with complex contamination was examined by soil flushing. Desorption and transport behaviors of the complex contaminants were assessed by batch and continuous flow reactor experiments and through modeling simulations. Flushing a one-dimensional flow column packed with complex contaminated soil sequentially with citric acid then a surfactant resulted in the removal of 85.6% of Zn, 62% of Pb, and 31.6% of HPO. The desorption distribution coefficients, K{sub Ubatch} and K{sub Lbatch}, converged to constant values as C{sub e} increased. An equilibrium model (ADR) and nonequilibrium models (TSNE and TRNE) were used to predict the desorption and transport of complex contaminants. The nonequilibrium models demonstrated better fits with the experimental values obtained from the column test than the equilibrium model. The ranges of K{sub Ubatch} and K{sub Lbatch} were very close to those of K{sub Ufit} and K{sub Lfit} determined from model simulations. The parameters (R, β, ω, α, and f) determined from model simulations were useful for characterizing the transport of contaminants within the soil matrix. The results of this study provide useful information for the operational parameters of the flushing process for soils with complex contamination.

  13. Evapotranspiration simulated by CRITERIA and AquaCrop models in stony soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasquale Campi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The performance of a water balance model is also based on the ability to correctly perform simulations in heterogeneous soils. The objective of this paper is to test CRITERIA and AquaCrop models in order to evaluate their suitability in estimating evapotranspiration at the field scale in two types of soil in the Mediterranean region: non-stony and stony soil. The first step of the work was to calibrate both models under the non-stony conditions. The models were calibrated by using observations on wheat crop (leaf area index or canopy cover, and phenological stages as a function of degree days and pedo-climatic measurements. The second step consisted in the analysing the impact of the soil type on the models performances by comparing simulated and measured values. The outputs retained in the analysis were soil water content (at the daily scale and crop evapotranspiration (at two time scales: daily and crop season. The model performances were evaluated through four statistical tests: normalised difference (D% at the seasonal time scale; and relative root mean square error (RRMSE, efficiency index (EF, coefficient of determination (r2 at the daily scale. At the seasonal scale, values of D% were less than 15% in stony and on-stony soils, indicating a good performance attained by both models. At the daily scale, the RRMSE values (<30% indicate that the evapotranspiration simulated by CRITERIA is acceptable in both soil types. In the stony soil conditions, 3 out 4 statistical tests (RRMSE, EF, r2 indicate the inadequacy of AquaCrop to simulate correctly daily evapotranspiration. The higher performance of CRITERIA model to simulate daily evapotranspiration in stony soils, is due to the soil submodel, which requires the percentage skeleton as an input, while AquaCrop model takes into account the presence of skeleton by reducing the soil volume.

  14. Nighttime Convection, Temperature Inversions, and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Spiga, A.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Asmar, S. W.; Haeusler, B.

    2014-07-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements and numerical simulations to explore the atmospheric structure and diurnal variations in the lowest few scale heights of the martian atmosphere, with emphasis on nighttime convective layers.

  15. Relative chronology of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landheim, R.; Barlow, N.G.

    1991-01-01

    Impact cratering is one of the major geological processes that has affected the Martian surface throughout the planet's history. The frequency of craters within particular size ranges provides information about the formation ages and obliterative episodes of Martian geologic units. The Barlow chronology was extended by measuring small craters on the volcanoes and a number of standard terrain units. Inclusions of smaller craters in units previously analyzed by Barlow allowed for a more direct comparison between the size-frequency distribution data for volcanoes and established chronology. During this study, 11,486 craters were mapped and identified in the 1.5 to 8 km diameter range in selected regions of Mars. The results are summarized in this three page report and give a more precise estimate of the relative chronology of the Martian volcanoes. Also, the results of this study lend further support to the increasing evidence that volcanism has been a dominant geologic force throughout Martian history

  16. Manganese, Metallogenium, and Martian Microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L. Y.; Nealson, K. H.

    1999-01-01

    Manganese could easily be considered an abundant element in the Martian regolith, assuming that the composition of martian meteorites reflects the composition of the planet. Mineralogical analyses of 5 SNC meteorites have revealed an average manganese oxide concentration of 0.48%, relative to the 0.1% concentration of manganese found in the Earth's crust. On the Earth, the accumulation of manganese oxides in oceans, soils, rocks, sedimentary ores, fresh water systems, and hydrothermal vents can be largely attributed to microbial activity. Manganese is also a required trace nutrient for most life forms and participates in many critical enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis. The wide-spread process of bacterial manganese cycling on Earth suggests that manganese is an important element to both geology and biology. Furthermore, there is evidence that bacteria can be fossilized within manganese ores, implying that manganese beds may be good repositories for preserved biomarkers. A particular genus of bacteria, known historically as Metallogenium, can form star-shaped manganese oxide minerals (called metallogenium) through the action of manganese oxide precipitation along its surface. Fossilized structures that resemble metallogenium have been found in Precambrian sedimentary formations and in Cretaceous-Paleogene cherts. The Cretaceous-Paleogene formations are highly enriched in manganese and have concentrations of trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Co) similar to modern-day manganese oxide deposits in marine environments. The appearance of metallogenium-like fossils associated with manganese deposits suggests that bacteria may be preserved within the minerals that they form. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  17. Evaluation of a simulation model for predicting soil-water ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The soils particle size distribution (specifically, percent clay and sand) and organic matter contents were inputted into the model to simulate soil moisture status at saturation, field capacity and wilting point, soil bulk density and saturated hydraulic conductivity. The model outputs were statistically compared with observed ...

  18. Antarctic Martian Meteorites at Johnson Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, R. C.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.; Harrington, R.

    2018-01-01

    This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the first Martian meteorite found in Antarctica by the ANSMET Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, ALH 77005. Since then, an additional 14 Martian meteorites have been found by the ANSMET program making for a total of 15 Martian meteorites in the U. S. Antarctic meteorite collection at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Of the 15 meteorites, some have been paired so the 15 meteorites actually represent a total of approximately 9 separate samples. The first Martian meteorite found by ANSMET was ALH 77005 (482.500 g), a lherzolitic shergottite. When collected, this meteorite was split as a part of the joint expedition with the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) Japan. Originally classified as an "achondrite-unique", it was re-classified as a Martian lherzolitic shergottite in 1982. This meteorite has been allocated to 137 scientists for research and there are 180.934 g remaining at JSC. Two years later, one of the most significant Martian meteorites of the collection at JSC was found at Elephant Moraine, EET 79001 (7942.000 g), a shergottite. This meteorite is the largest in the Martian collection at JSC and was the largest stony meteorite sample collected during the 1979 season. In addition to its size, this meteorite is of particular interest because it contains a linear contact separating two different igneous lithologies, basaltic and olivine-phyric. EET 79001 has glass inclusions that contain noble gas and nitrogen compositions that are proportionally identical to the Martian atmosphere, as measured by the Viking spacecraft. This discovery helped scientists to identify where the "SNC" meteorite suite had originated, and that we actually possessed Martian samples. This meteorite has been allocated to 205 scientists for research and 5,298.435 g of sample is available.

  19. Photovoltaic array for Martian surface power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, J.; Landis, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    Missions to Mars will require electric power. A leading candidate for providing power is solar power produced by photovoltaic arrays. To design such a power system, detailed information on solar-radiation availability on the Martian surface is necessary. The variation of the solar radiation on the Martian surface is governed by three factors: (1) variation in Mars-Sun distance; (2) variation in solar zenith angle due to Martian season and time of day; and (3) dust in the Martian atmosphere. A major concern is the dust storms, which occur on both local and global scales. However, there is still appreciable diffuse sunlight available even at high opacity, so that solar array operation is still possible. Typical results for tracking solar collectors are also shown and compared to the fixed collectors. During the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer the isolation is relatively high, 2-5 kW-hr/sq m-day, due to the low optical depth of the Martian atmosphere. These seasons, totalling a full terrestrial year, are the likely ones during which manned mission will be carried out.

  20. Near-opposition martian limb-darkening: Quantification and implication for visible-near-infrared bidirectional reflectance studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Grenier, Muriel; Pinet, Patrick C.

    1995-06-01

    A nearly global coverage of the martian eastern hemisphere, acquired under small phase angles and varying observational geometries conditions, has been produced from 1988 opposition by spectral (0.5-1 μm) imaging data obtained at the Pic du Midi Observatory in France. From this data set, the methodology presented here permits a systematic analysis of martian photometric behavior at a regional scale of 100-300 km in the visible and near-infrared. The quantification of limb-darkening as a function of wavelength and surface albedo gives access in martian regional properties as a function of wavelength and surface albedo and results in the production of visible and near-infrared geometric albedo maps. A linear relation between the limb darkening parameter k and geometric albedo exists in the near infrared. Based on laboratory studies, it suggests a spectral response of particulate type for the martian soil. Conversely, in the visible, the value of k parameter is 0.6 independent of albedo and is consistent with a single scattering photometric behavior in the surface layer. However, the observed change in the martian photometry from single to multiple scattering may be partially due to a large contribution of atmospheric scattering above 0.7 μm. In the absence of a multitemporal dataset analysis, it must be emphasized that the present results are a priori only pertinent to the atmospheric and surface conditions existing on Mars at the time of observation. However, this analysis may contribute to characterize some physical properties, such as surface roughness. In the near-infrared, for bright terrains, k tends to 0.8 and agrees with the presence of very fine particulate materials. Photometry of dark areas is more irregular (0.48 duricrust. Finally, we evaluate the influence of reflectance geometrical effects on the multispectral and spectroscopic data of the martian surface.

  1. Localized Models of Charged Particle Motion in Martian Crustal Magnetic Cusps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brain, D. A.; Poppe, A. R.; Jarvinen, R.; Dong, Y.; Egan, H. L.; Fang, X.

    2017-12-01

    The induced magnetosphere of Mars is punctuated by localized but strong crustal magnetic fields that are observed to play host to a variety of phenomena typically associated with global magnetic fields, such as auroral processes and particle precipitation, field-aligned current systems, and ion outflow. Each of these phenomena occur on the night side, in small-scale magnetic `cusp' regions of vertically aligned field. Cusp regions are not yet capable of being spatially resolved in global scale models that include the ion kinetics necessary for simulating charged particle transport along cusps. Local models are therefore necessary if we are to understand how cusp processes operate at Mars. Here we present the first results of an effort to model the kinetic particle motion and electric fields in Martian cusps. We are adapting both a 1.5D Particle-in-Cell (PIC) model for lunar magnetic cusps regions to the Martian case and a hybrid model framework (used previously for the global Martian plasma interaction and for lunar magnetic anomaly regions) to cusps in 2D. By comparing the models we can asses the importance of electron kinetics in particle transport along cusp field lines. In this first stage of our study we model a moderately strong nightside cusp, with incident hot hydrogen plasma from above, and cold planetary (oxygen) plasma entering the simulation from below. We report on the spatial and temporal distribution of plasma along cusp field lines for this initial case.

  2. Permeability Barrier Generation in the Martian Lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schools, Joe; Montési, Laurent

    2015-11-01

    Permeability barriers develop when a magma produced in the interior of a planet rises into the cooler lithosphere and crystallizes more rapidly than the lithosphere can deform (Sparks and Parmentier, 1991). Crystallization products may then clog the porous network in which melt is propagating, reducing the permeability to almost zero, i.e., forming a permeability barrier. Subsequent melts cannot cross the barrier. Permeability barriers have been useful to explain variations in crustal thickness at mid-ocean ridges on Earth (Magde et al., 1997; Hebert and Montési, 2011; Montési et al., 2011). We explore here under what conditions permeability barriers may form on Mars.We use the MELTS thermodynamic calculator (Ghiorso and Sack, 1995; Ghiorso et al., 2002; Asimow et al., 2004) in conjunction with estimated Martian mantle compositions (Morgan and Anders, 1979; Wänke and Dreibus, 1994; Lodders and Fegley, 1997; Sanloup et al., 1999; Taylor 2013) to model the formation of permeability barriers in the lithosphere of Mars. In order to represent potential past and present conditions of Mars, we vary the lithospheric thickness, mantle potential temperature (heat flux), oxygen fugacity, and water content.Our results show that permeability layers can develop in the thermal boundary layer of the simulated Martian lithosphere if the mantle potential temperature is higher than ~1500°C. The various Martian mantle compositions yield barriers in the same locations, under matching variable conditions. There is no significant difference in barrier location over the range of accepted Martian oxygen fugacity values. Water content is the most significant influence on barrier development as it reduces the temperature of crystallization, allowing melt to rise further into the lithosphere. Our lower temperature and thicker lithosphere model runs, which are likely the most similar to modern Mars, show no permeability barrier generation. Losing the possibility of having a permeability

  3. Effect of soil compositions on the electrochemical corrosion behavior of carbon steel in simulated soil solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, T.M. [College of Materials Science and Engineering, Chongqing University (China); Luo, S.X. [Department of Chemistry, Zunyi Normal College, Zunyi (China); Sun, C. [State Key Laboratory for Corrosion and Protection, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang (China); Wu, Y.H.

    2010-04-15

    In this study, effect of cations, Ca{sup 2+}, Mg{sup 2+}, K{sup +}, and anions, SO{sub 4}{sup 2-}, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}, NO{sub 3}{sup -} on electrochemical corrosion behavior of carbon steel in simulated soil solution was investigated through potentiodynamic polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The results indicate that the Ca{sup 2+}and Mg{sup 2+} can decrease the corrosion current density of carbon steel in simulated soil solution, and K{sup +}, SO{sub 4}{sup 2-}, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}, and NO{sub 3}{sup -} can increase the corrosion density. All the above ions in the simulated soil solution can decrease its resistivity, but they have different effect on the charge transfer resistivity. This finding can be useful in evaluating the corrosivity of certain soil through chemical analysis, and provide data for construction engineers. (Abstract Copyright [2010], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  4. Properties of Subsurface Soil Cores from Four Geologic Provinces Surrounding Mars Desert Research Station, Utah: Characterizing Analog Martian Soil in a Human Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, C. R.; Clarke, J. D. A.; Direito, S.; Foing, B.

    2011-01-01

    The DOMEX program is a NASA-MMAMA funded project featuring simulations of human crews on Mars focused on science activities that involve collecting samples from the subsurface using both manual and robotic equipment methods and analyzing them in the field and post mission. A crew simulating a human mission to Mars performed activities focused on subsurface science for 2 weeks in November 2009 at Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah --an important chemical and morphological Mars analog site. Activities performed included 1) survey of the area to identify geologic provinces, 2) obtaining soil and rock samples from each province and characterizing their mineralogy, chemistry, and biology; 3) site selection and reconnaissance for a future drilling mission; 4) deployment and testing of Mars Underground Mole, a percussive robotic soil sampling device; and 5) recording and analyzing how crew time was used to accomplish these tasks. This paper summarizes results from analysis of soil cores

  5. Soil Erosion Study through Simulation: An Educational Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Thomas P.; Falkenmayer, Karen

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the need for education about soil erosion and advocates the use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to show the impacts of human and natural action on the land. Describes the use of a computer simulated version of the USLE in several environmental and farming situations. (TW)

  6. Martian volcanism: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    Martian volcanism is reviewed. It is emphasized that lava plains constitute the major type of effusive flow, and can be differentiated by morphologic characteristics. Shield volcanoes, domes, and patera constitute the major constructional landforms, and recent work has suggested that explosive activity and resulting pyroclastic deposits may have been involved with formation of some of the small shields. Analysis of morphology, presumed composition, and spectroscopic data all indicate that Martian volcanism was dominantly basaltic in composition

  7. Prediction of Lunar- and Martian-Based Intra- and Site-to-Site Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ade, Carl J; Broxterman, Ryan M; Craig, Jesse C; Schlup, Susanna J; Wilcox, Samuel L; Warren, Steve; Kuehl, Phillip; Gude, Dana; Jia, Chen; Barstow, Thomas J

    2016-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of determining the physiological parameters associated with the ability to complete simulated exploration type tasks at metabolic rates which might be expected for lunar and Martian ambulation. Running V̇O2max and gas exchange threshold (GET) were measured in 21 volunteers. Two simulated extravehicular activity field tests were completed in 1 G in regular athletic apparel at two intensities designed to elicit metabolic rates of ∼20.0 and ∼30.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1), which are similar to those previously reported for ambulation in simulated lunar- and Martian-based environments, respectively. All subjects were able to complete the field test at the lunar intensity, but 28% were unable to complete the field test at the Martian intensity (non-Finishers). During the Martian field test there were no differences in V̇O2 between Finishers and non-Finishers, but the non-Finishers achieved a greater %V̇O2max compared to Finishers (78.4 ± 4.6% vs. 64.9 ± 9.6%). Logistic regression analysis revealed fitness thresholds for a predicted probability of 0.5, at which Finishing and non-Finishing are equally likely, and 0.75, at which an individual has a 75% chance of Finishing, to be a V̇O2max of 38.4 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) and 40.0 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) or a GET of 20.1 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1) and 25.1 ml · kg(-1) · min(-1), respectively (χ(2) = 10.2). Logistic regression analysis also revealed that the expected %V̇O2max required to complete a field test could be used to successfully predict performance (χ(2) = 19.3). The results of the present investigation highlight the potential utility of V̇O2max, particularly as it relates to the metabolic demands of a surface ambulation, in defining successful completion of planetary-based exploration field tests.

  8. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    The environment in space and on planets such as Mars, can be lethal to living organisms and high levels of tolerance to desiccation, cold and radiation are needed for survival: rock-inhabiting cyanobacteria belonging to the genus Chroococcidiopsis can fulfil these requirements [1]. These cyanobacteria constantly appear in the most extreme and dry habitats on Earth, including the McMurdo Dry Valleys (Antarctica) and the Atacama Desert (Chile), which are considered the closest terrestrial analogs of two Mars environmental extremes: cold and aridity. In their natural environment, these cyanobacteria occupy the last refuges for life inside porous rocks or at the stone-soil interfaces, where they survive in a dry, dormant state for prolonged periods. How desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis can dry without dying is only partially understood, even though experimental evidences support the existence of an interplay between mechanisms to avoid (or limit) DNA damage and repair it: i) desert strains of Chroococcidiopsis mend genome fragmentation induced by ionizing radiation [2]; ii) desiccation-survivors protect their genome from complete fragmentation; iii) in the dry state they show a survival to an unattenuated Martian UV flux greater than that of Bacillus subtilis spores [3], and even though they die following atmospheric entry after having orbited the Earth for 16 days [4], they survive to simulated shock pressures up to 10 GPa [5]. Recently additional experiments were carried out at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) of Cologne (Germany) in order to identify suitable biomarkers to investigate the survival of Chroococcidiopsis cells present in lichen-dominated communities, in view of their direct and long term space exposition on the International Space Station (ISS) in the framework of the LIchens and Fungi Experiments (LIFE, EXPOSEEuTEF, ESA). Multilayers of dried cells of strains CCMEE 134 (Beacon Valley, Antarctica), and CCMEE 123 (costal desert, Chile ), shielded by

  9. A Martian origin for the Mars Trojan asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polishook, D.; Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.; Aharonson, O.

    2017-08-01

    Seven of the nine known Mars Trojan asteroids belong to an orbital cluster1,2 named after its largest member, (5261) Eureka. Eureka is probably the progenitor of the whole cluster, which formed at least 1 Gyr ago3. It has been suggested3 that the thermal YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) effect spun up Eureka, resulting in fragments being ejected by the rotational-fission mechanism. Eureka's spectrum exhibits a broad and deep absorption band around 1 μm, indicating an olivine-rich composition4. Here we show evidence that the Trojan Eureka cluster progenitor could have originated as impact debris excavated from the Martian mantle. We present new near-infrared observations of two Trojans ((311999) 2007 NS2 and (385250) 2001 DH47) and find that both exhibit an olivine-rich reflectance spectrum similar to Eureka's. These measurements confirm that the progenitor of the cluster has an achondritic composition4. Olivine-rich reflectance spectra are rare amongst asteroids5 but are seen around the largest basins on Mars6. They are also consistent with some Martian meteorites (for example, Chassigny7) and with the material comprising much of the Martian mantle8,9. Using numerical simulations, we show that the Mars Trojans are more likely to be impact ejecta from Mars than captured olivine-rich asteroids transported from the main belt. This result directly links specific asteroids to debris from the forming planets.

  10. Simulation of salinity effects on past, present, and future soil organic carbon stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setia, Raj; Smith, Pete; Marschner, Petra; Gottschalk, Pia; Baldock, Jeff; Verma, Vipan; Setia, Deepika; Smith, Jo

    2012-02-07

    Soil organic carbon (SOC) models are used to predict changes in SOC stocks and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions from soils, and have been successfully validated for non-saline soils. However, SOC models have not been developed to simulate SOC turnover in saline soils. Due to the large extent of salt-affected areas in the world, it is important to correctly predict SOC dynamics in salt-affected soils. To close this knowledge gap, we modified the Rothamsted Carbon Model (RothC) to simulate SOC turnover in salt-affected soils, using data from non-salt-affected and salt-affected soils in two agricultural regions in India (120 soils) and in Australia (160 soils). Recently we developed a decomposition rate modifier based on an incubation study of a subset of these soils. In the present study, we introduce a new method to estimate the past losses of SOC due to salinity and show how salinity affects future SOC stocks on a regional scale. Because salinity decreases decomposition rates, simulations using the decomposition rate modifier for salinity suggest an accumulation of SOC. However, if the plant inputs are also adjusted to reflect reduced plant growth under saline conditions, the simulations show a significant loss of soil carbon in the past due to salinization, with a higher average loss of SOC in Australian soils (55 t C ha(-1)) than in Indian soils (31 t C ha(-1)). There was a significant negative correlation (p < 0.05) between SOC loss and osmotic potential. Simulations of future SOC stocks with the decomposition rate modifier and the plant input modifier indicate a greater decrease in SOC in saline than in non-saline soils under future climate. The simulations of past losses of SOC due to salinity were repeated using either measured charcoal-C or the inert organic matter predicted by the Falloon et al. equation to determine how much deviation from the Falloon et al. equation affects the amount of plant inputs generated by the model for the soils used in this study

  11. Real-time model for simulating a tracked vehicle on deformable soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Meywerk

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Simulation is one possibility to gain insight into the behaviour of tracked vehicles on deformable soils. A lot of publications are known on this topic, but most of the simulations described there cannot be run in real-time. The ability to run a simulation in real-time is necessary for driving simulators. This article describes an approach for real-time simulation of a tracked vehicle on deformable soils. The components of the real-time model are as follows: a conventional wheeled vehicle simulated in the Multi Body System software TRUCKSim, a geometric description of landscape, a track model and an interaction model between track and deformable soils based on Bekker theory and Janosi–Hanamoto, on one hand, and between track and vehicle wheels, on the other hand. Landscape, track model, soil model and the interaction are implemented in MATLAB/Simulink. The details of the real-time model are described in this article, and a detailed description of the Multi Body System part is omitted. Simulations with the real-time model are compared to measurements and to a detailed Multi Body System–finite element method model of a tracked vehicle. An application of the real-time model in a driving simulator is presented, in which 13 drivers assess the comfort of a passive and an active suspension of a tracked vehicle.

  12. Yamato 980459: Crystallization of Martian Magnesian Magma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; McKay, G.; Monkawa, A.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M.

    2004-01-01

    Recently, several basaltic shergottites have been found that include magnesian olivines as a major minerals. These have been called olivinephyric shergottites. Yamato 980459, which is a new martian meteorite recovered from the Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic expedition, is one of them. This meteorite is different from other olivine-phyric shergottites in several key features and will give us important clues to understand crystallization of martian meteorites and the evolution of Martian magma.

  13. Supercooled interfacial water in fine-grained soils probed by dielectric spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Lorek

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Water substantially affects nearly all physical, chemical and biological processes on the Earth. Recent Mars observations as well as laboratory investigations suggest that water is a key factor of current physical and chemical processes on the Martian surface, e.g. rheological phenomena. Therefore it is of particular interest to get information about the liquid-like state of water on Martian analogue soils for temperatures below 0 °C. To this end, a parallel plate capacitor has been developed to obtain isothermal dielectric spectra of fine-grained soils in the frequency range from 10 Hz to 1.1 MHz at Martian-like temperatures down to −70 °C. Two Martian analogue soils have been investigated: a Ca-bentonite (specific surface of 237 m2 g−1, up to 9.4% w / w gravimetric water content and JSC Mars 1, a volcanic ash (specific surface of 146 m2 g−1, up to 7.4% w / w. Three soil-specific relaxation processes are observed in the investigated frequency–temperature range: two weak high-frequency processes (bound or hydrated water as well as ice and a strong low-frequency process due to counter-ion relaxation and the Maxwell–Wagner effect. To characterize the dielectric relaxation behaviour, a generalized fractional dielectric relaxation model was applied assuming three active relaxation processes with relaxation time of the ith process modelled with an Eyring equation. The real part of effective complex soil permittivity at 350 kHz was used to determine ice and liquid-like water content by means of the Birchak or CRIM equation. There are evidence that bentonite down to −70 °C has a liquid-like water content of 1.17 monolayers and JSC Mars 1 a liquid-like water content of 1.96 monolayers.

  14. Impact of Spatial Soil and Climate Input Data Aggregation on Regional Yield Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Holger; Zhao, Gang; Asseng, Senthold; Bindi, Marco; Biernath, Christian; Constantin, Julie; Coucheney, Elsa; Dechow, Rene; Doro, Luca; Eckersten, Henrik; Gaiser, Thomas; Grosz, Balázs; Heinlein, Florian; Kassie, Belay T; Kersebaum, Kurt-Christian; Klein, Christian; Kuhnert, Matthias; Lewan, Elisabet; Moriondo, Marco; Nendel, Claas; Priesack, Eckart; Raynal, Helene; Roggero, Pier P; Rötter, Reimund P; Siebert, Stefan; Specka, Xenia; Tao, Fulu; Teixeira, Edmar; Trombi, Giacomo; Wallach, Daniel; Weihermüller, Lutz; Yeluripati, Jagadeesh; Ewert, Frank

    2016-01-01

    We show the error in water-limited yields simulated by crop models which is associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate input data. Crop simulations at large scales (regional, national, continental) frequently use input data of low resolution. Therefore, climate and soil data are often generated via averaging and sampling by area majority. This may bias simulated yields at large scales, varying largely across models. Thus, we evaluated the error associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate data for 14 crop models. Yields of winter wheat and silage maize were simulated under water-limited production conditions. We calculated this error from crop yields simulated at spatial resolutions from 1 to 100 km for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Most models showed yields biased by <15% when aggregating only soil data. The relative mean absolute error (rMAE) of most models using aggregated soil data was in the range or larger than the inter-annual or inter-model variability in yields. This error increased further when both climate and soil data were aggregated. Distinct error patterns indicate that the rMAE may be estimated from few soil variables. Illustrating the range of these aggregation effects across models, this study is a first step towards an ex-ante assessment of aggregation errors in large-scale simulations.

  15. Impact of Spatial Soil and Climate Input Data Aggregation on Regional Yield Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holger Hoffmann

    Full Text Available We show the error in water-limited yields simulated by crop models which is associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate input data. Crop simulations at large scales (regional, national, continental frequently use input data of low resolution. Therefore, climate and soil data are often generated via averaging and sampling by area majority. This may bias simulated yields at large scales, varying largely across models. Thus, we evaluated the error associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate data for 14 crop models. Yields of winter wheat and silage maize were simulated under water-limited production conditions. We calculated this error from crop yields simulated at spatial resolutions from 1 to 100 km for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Most models showed yields biased by <15% when aggregating only soil data. The relative mean absolute error (rMAE of most models using aggregated soil data was in the range or larger than the inter-annual or inter-model variability in yields. This error increased further when both climate and soil data were aggregated. Distinct error patterns indicate that the rMAE may be estimated from few soil variables. Illustrating the range of these aggregation effects across models, this study is a first step towards an ex-ante assessment of aggregation errors in large-scale simulations.

  16. Simulation of Soil Frost and Thaw Fronts Dynamics with Community Land Model 4.5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, J.; Xie, Z.

    2016-12-01

    Freeze-thaw processes in soils, including changes in frost and thaw fronts (FTFs) , are important physical processes. The movement of FTFs affects soil water and thermal characteristics, as well as energy and water exchanges between land surface and the atmosphere, and then the land surface hydrothermal process. In this study, a two-directional freeze and thaw algorithm for simulating FTFs is incorporated into the community land surface model CLM4.5, which is called CLM4.5-FTF. The simulated FTFs depth and soil temperature of CLM4.5-FTF compared well with the observed data both in D66 station (permafrost) and Hulugou station (seasonally frozen soil). Because the soil temperature profile within a soil layer can be estimated according to the position of FTFs, CLM4.5 performed better in soil temperature simulation. Permafrost and seasonally frozen ground conditions in China from 1980 to 2010 were simulated using the CLM4.5-FTF. Numerical experiments show that the spatial distribution of simulated maximum frost depth by CLM4.5-FTF has seasonal variation obviously. Significant positive active-layer depth trends for permafrost regions and negative maximum freezing depth trends for seasonal frozen soil regions are simulated in response to positive air temperature trends except west of Black Sea.

  17. Simulation of large-scale soil water systems using groundwater data and satellite based soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreye, Phillip; Meon, Günter

    2016-04-01

    Complex concepts for the physically correct depiction of dominant processes in the hydrosphere are increasingly at the forefront of hydrological modelling. Many scientific issues in hydrological modelling demand for additional system variables besides a simulation of runoff only, such as groundwater recharge or soil moisture conditions. Models that include soil water simulations are either very simplified or require a high number of parameters. Against this backdrop there is a heightened demand of observations to be used to calibrate the model. A reasonable integration of groundwater data or remote sensing data in calibration procedures as well as the identifiability of physically plausible sets of parameters is subject to research in the field of hydrology. Since this data is often combined with conceptual models, the given interfaces are not suitable for such demands. Furthermore, the application of automated optimisation procedures is generally associated with conceptual models, whose (fast) computing times allow many iterations of the optimisation in an acceptable time frame. One of the main aims of this study is to reduce the discrepancy between scientific and practical applications in the field of hydrological modelling. Therefore, the soil model DYVESOM (DYnamic VEgetation SOil Model) was developed as one of the primary components of the hydrological modelling system PANTA RHEI. DYVESOMs structure provides the required interfaces for the calibrations made at runoff, satellite based soil moisture and groundwater level. The model considers spatial and temporal differentiated feedback of the development of the vegetation on the soil system. In addition, small scale heterogeneities of soil properties (subgrid-variability) are parameterized by variation of van Genuchten parameters depending on distribution functions. Different sets of parameters are operated simultaneously while interacting with each other. The developed soil model is innovative regarding concept

  18. Soil diversity and hydration as observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meslin, P.-Y.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Schröder, S.; Cousin, A.; Berger, G.; Clegg, S.M.; Lasue, J.; Maurice, S.; Sautter, V.; Le Mouélic, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Fabre, C.; Goetz, W.; Bish, D.; Mangold, N.; Ehlmann, B.; Lanza, N.; Harri, A.-M.; Anderson, R.; Rampe, E.; McConnochie, T.H.; Pinet, P.; Blaney, D.; Léveillé, R.; Archer, D.; Barraclough, B.; Bender, S.; Blake, D.; Blank, J.G.; Bridges, N.; Clark, B.C.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M.D.; Fisk, M.; Gondet, B.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Leshin, L.; Lewin, E.; Madsen, M.B.; Melikechi, N.; Mezzacappa, A.; Mischna, M.A.; Moores, J.E.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Renno, N.; Sirven, J.-B.; Tokar, R.; De La Torre, M.; D'Uston, L.; Vaniman, D.; Yingst, A.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument, which provides insight into martian soil chemistry at the submillimeter scale, identified two principal soil types along the Curiosity rover traverse: a fine-grained mafic type and a locally derived, coarse-grained felsic type. The mafic soil component is representative of

  19. Nuclear densimeter of soil simulated in MCNP-4C code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braga, Mario R.M.S.S.; Penna, Rodrigo; Vasconcelos, Danilo C.; Pereira, Claubia; Guerra, Bruno T.; Silva, Clemente J.G.C.

    2009-01-01

    The Monte Carlo code (MCNPX) was used to simulate a nuclear densimeter for measuring soil density. An Americium source (E = 60 keV) and a NaI (Tl) detector were placed on soil surface. Results from MCNP shown that scattered photon fluxes may be used to determining soil density. Linear regressions between scattered photons fluxes and soil density were calculated and shown correlation coefficients near unity. (author)

  20. Impact of Spatial Soil and Climate Input Data Aggregation on Regional Yield Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Holger; Zhao, Gang; Asseng, Senthold; Bindi, Marco; Biernath, Christian; Constantin, Julie; Coucheney, Elsa; Dechow, Rene; Doro, Luca; Eckersten, Henrik; Gaiser, Thomas; Grosz, Balázs; Heinlein, Florian; Kassie, Belay T.; Kersebaum, Kurt-Christian; Klein, Christian; Kuhnert, Matthias; Lewan, Elisabet; Moriondo, Marco; Nendel, Claas; Priesack, Eckart; Raynal, Helene; Roggero, Pier P.; Rötter, Reimund P.; Siebert, Stefan; Specka, Xenia; Tao, Fulu; Teixeira, Edmar; Trombi, Giacomo; Wallach, Daniel; Weihermüller, Lutz; Yeluripati, Jagadeesh; Ewert, Frank

    2016-01-01

    We show the error in water-limited yields simulated by crop models which is associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate input data. Crop simulations at large scales (regional, national, continental) frequently use input data of low resolution. Therefore, climate and soil data are often generated via averaging and sampling by area majority. This may bias simulated yields at large scales, varying largely across models. Thus, we evaluated the error associated with spatially aggregated soil and climate data for 14 crop models. Yields of winter wheat and silage maize were simulated under water-limited production conditions. We calculated this error from crop yields simulated at spatial resolutions from 1 to 100 km for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Most models showed yields biased by data. The relative mean absolute error (rMAE) of most models using aggregated soil data was in the range or larger than the inter-annual or inter-model variability in yields. This error increased further when both climate and soil data were aggregated. Distinct error patterns indicate that the rMAE may be estimated from few soil variables. Illustrating the range of these aggregation effects across models, this study is a first step towards an ex-ante assessment of aggregation errors in large-scale simulations. PMID:27055028

  1. Karst bare slope soil erosion and soil quality: a simulation case study

    OpenAIRE

    Q. Dai; Z. Liu; H. Shao; Z. Yang

    2015-01-01

    The influence on soil erosion by different bedrock bareness ratios, different rainfall intensities, different underground pore fissure degrees and rainfall duration are researched through manual simulation of microrelief characteristics of karst bare slopes and underground karst crack construction in combination with artificial simulation of rainfall experiment. The results show that firstly, when the rainfall intensity is small (30 and 50 mm h−1), no ...

  2. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riad Hosein

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i Digity; (ii Piparo and (iii Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  3. Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad as Astrobiological Analogs for Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil’s Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region. PMID:25370529

  4. Mud volcanoes of trinidad as astrobiological analogs for martian environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosein, Riad; Haque, Shirin; Beckles, Denise M

    2014-10-13

    Eleven onshore mud volcanoes in the southern region of Trinidad have been studied as analog habitats for possible microbial life on Mars. The profiles of the 11 mud volcanoes are presented in terms of their physical, chemical, mineralogical, and soil properties. The mud volcanoes sampled all emitted methane gas consistently at 3% volume. The average pH for the mud volcanic soil was 7.98. The average Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) was found to be 2.16 kg/mol, and the average Percentage Water Content was 34.5%. Samples from three of the volcanoes, (i) Digity; (ii) Piparo and (iii) Devil's Woodyard were used to culture bacterial colonies under anaerobic conditions indicating possible presence of methanogenic microorganisms. The Trinidad mud volcanoes can serve as analogs for the Martian environment due to similar geological features found extensively on Mars in Acidalia Planitia and the Arabia Terra region.

  5. Hydrological and Climatic Significance of Martian Deltas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Achille, G.; Vaz, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    We a) review the geomorphology, sedimentology, and mineralogy of the martian deltas record and b) present the results of a quantitative study of the hydrology and sedimentology of martian deltas using modified version of terrestrial model Sedflux.

  6. Experimental Investigation of InSight HP3 Mole Interaction with Martian Regolith Simulant. Quasi-Static and Dynamic Penetration Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Jason P.; Hudson, Troy L.; Andrade, José E.

    2017-10-01

    The InSight mission launches in 2018 to characterize several geophysical quantities on Mars, including the heat flow from the planetary interior. This quantity will be calculated by utilizing measurements of the thermal conductivity and the thermal gradient down to 5 meters below the Martian surface. One of the components of InSight is the Mole, which hammers into the Martian regolith to facilitate these thermal property measurements. In this paper, we experimentally investigated the effect of the Mole's penetrating action on regolith compaction and mechanical properties. Quasi-static and dynamic experiments were run with a 2D model of the 3D cylindrical mole. Force resistance data was captured with load cells. Deformation information was captured in images and analyzed using Digitial Image Correlation (DIC). Additionally, we used existing approximations of Martian regolith thermal conductivity to estimate the change in the surrounding granular material's thermal conductivity due to the Mole's penetration. We found that the Mole has the potential to cause a high degree of densification, especially if the initial granular material is relatively loose. The effect on the thermal conductivity from this densification was found to be relatively small in first-order calculations though more complete thermal models incorporating this densification should be a subject of further investigation. The results obtained provide an initial estimate of the Mole's impact on Martian regolith thermal properties.

  7. Feasibility of High-Resolution Soil Erosion Measurements by Means of Rainfall Simulations and SfM Photogrammetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phoebe Hänsel

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The silty soils of the intensively used agricultural landscape of the Saxon loess province, eastern Germany, are very prone to soil erosion, mainly caused by water erosion. Rainfall simulations, and also increasingly structure-from-motion (SfM photogrammetry, are used as methods in soil erosion research not only to assess soil erosion by water, but also to quantify soil loss. This study aims to validate SfM photogrammetry determined soil loss estimations with rainfall simulations measurements. Rainfall simulations were performed at three agricultural sites in central Saxony. Besides the measured data runoff and soil loss by sampling (in mm, terrestrial images were taken from the plots with digital cameras before and after the rainfall simulation. Subsequently, SfM photogrammetry was used to reconstruct soil surface changes due to soil erosion in terms of high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs for the pre- and post-event (resolution 1 × 1 mm. By multi-temporal change detection, the digital elevation model of difference (DoD and an averaged soil loss (in mm is received, which was compared to the soil loss by sampling. Soil loss by DoD was higher than soil loss by sampling. The method of SfM photogrammetry-determined soil loss estimations also include a comparison of three different ground control point (GCP approaches, revealing that the most complex one delivers the most reliable soil loss by DoD. Additionally, soil bulk density changes and splash erosion beyond the plot were measured during the rainfall simulation experiments in order to separate these processes and associated surface changes from the soil loss by DoD. Furthermore, splash was negligibly small, whereas higher soil densities after the rainfall simulations indicated soil compaction. By means of calculated soil surface changes due to soil compaction, the soil loss by DoD achieved approximately the same value as the soil loss by rainfall simulation.

  8. A mechanistic diagnosis of the simulation of soil CO2 efflux of the ACME Land Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Wang, G.; Gu, L.; Hanson, P. J.; Mayes, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate simulation of the CO2 efflux from soils (i.e., soil respiration) to the atmosphere is critical to project global biogeochemical cycles and the magnitude of climate change in Earth system models (ESMs). Currently, the simulated soil respiration by ESMs still have a large uncertainty. In this study, a mechanistic diagnosis of soil respiration in the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME) Land Model (ALM) was conducted using long-term observations at the Missouri Ozark AmeriFlux (MOFLUX) forest site in the central U.S. The results showed that the ALM default run significantly underestimated annual soil respiration and gross primary production (GPP), while incorrectly estimating soil water potential. Improved simulations of soil water potential with site-specific data significantly improved the modeled annual soil respiration, primarily because annual GPP was simultaneously improved. Therefore, accurate simulations of soil water potential must be carefully calibrated in ESMs. Despite improved annual soil respiration, the ALM continued to underestimate soil respiration during peak growing seasons, and to overestimate soil respiration during non-peak growing seasons. Simulations involving increased GPP during peak growing seasons increased soil respiration, while neither improved plant phenology nor increased temperature sensitivity affected the simulation of soil respiration during non-peak growing seasons. One potential reason for the overestimation of the soil respiration during non-peak growing seasons may be that the current model structure is substrate-limited, while microbial dormancy under stress may cause the system to become decomposer-limited. Further studies with more microbial data are required to provide adequate representation of soil respiration and to understand the underlying reasons for inaccurate model simulations.

  9. Effects of simulated warming on soil respiration to XiaoPo lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shuangkai; Chen, Kelong; Wu, Chengyong; Mao, Yahui

    2018-02-01

    The main flux of carbon cycling in terrestrial and atmospheric ecosystems is soil respiration, and soil respiration is one of the main ways of soil carbon output. This is of great significance to explore the dynamic changes of soil respiration rate and its effect on temperature rise, and the correlation between environmental factors and soil respiration. In this study, we used the open soil carbon flux measurement system (LI-8100, LI-COR, NE) in the experimental area of the XiaoPo Lake wetland in the Qinghai Lake Basin, and the Kobresia (Rs) were measured, and the soil respiration was simulated by simulated temperature (OTC) and natural state. The results showed that the temperature of 5 cm soil was 1.37 °C higher than that of the control during the experiment, and the effect of warming was obvious. The respiration rate of soil under warming and natural conditions showed obvious diurnal variation and monthly variation. The effect of warming on soil respiration rate was promoted and the effect of precipitation on soil respiration rate was inhibited. Further studies have shown that the relationship between soil respiration and 5 cm soil temperature under the control and warming treatments can be described by the exponential equation, and the correlation analysis between the two plots shows a very significant exponential relationship (p main influencing factor of soil respiration in this region.

  10. Karst bare slope soil erosion and soil quality: a simulation case study

    OpenAIRE

    Q. Dai; Z. Liu; H. Shao; Z. Yang

    2015-01-01

    The influence on soil erosion by different bedrock bareness ratios, different rainfall intensities, different underground pore fissure degrees and rainfall duration are researched through manual simulation of microrelief characteristics of karst bare slopes and underground karst crack construction in combination with artificial simulation of rainfall experiment. The results show that firstly, when the rainfall intensity is small (30 and 50 mm h−1), no bottom load loss is pro...

  11. Clay catalyzed RNA synthesis under Martian conditions: Application for Mars return samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Prakash C; Dubey, Krishna; Aldersley, Michael F; Sausville, Meaghen

    2015-06-26

    Catalysis by montmorillonites clay minerals is regarded as a feasible mechanism for the abiotic production and polymerization of key biomolecules on early Earth. We have investigated a montmorillonite-catalyzed reaction of the 5'-phosphorimidazolide of nucleosides as a model to probe prebiotic synthesis of RNA-type oligomers. Here we show that this model is specific for the generation of RNA oligomers despite deoxy-mononucleotides adsorbing equally well onto the montmorillonite catalytic surfaces. Optimum catalytic activity was observed over a range of pH (6-9) and salinity (1 ± 0.2 M NaCl). When the weathering steps of early Earth that generated catalytic montmorillonite were modified to meet Martian soil conditions, the catalytic activity remained intact without altering the surface layer charge. Additionally, the formation of oligomers up to tetramer was detected using as little as 0.1 mg of Na⁺-montmorillonite, suggesting that the catalytic activity of a Martian clay return sample can be investigated with sub-milligram scale samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Multiaxial probabilistic elastic-plastic constitutive simulations of soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadrinezhad, Arezoo

    Fokker-Planck-Kolmogorov (FPK) equation approach has recently been developed to simulate elastic-plastic constitutive behaviors of materials with uncertain material properties. The FPK equation approach transforms the stochastic constitutive rate equation, which is a stochastic, nonlinear, ordinary differential equation (ODE) in the stress-pseudo time space into a second-order accurate, deterministic, linear FPK partial differential equation (PDE) in the probability density of stress-pseudo time space. This approach does not suffer from the drawbacks of the traditional approaches such as the Monte Carlo approach and the perturbation approach for solving nonlinear ODEs with random coefficients. In this study, the existing one dimensional FPK framework for probabilistic constitutive modeling of soils is extended to multi--dimension. However, the multivariate FPK PDEs cannot be solved using the traditional mathematical techniques such as finite difference techniques due to their high computational cost. Therefore, computationally efficient algorithms based on the Fourier spectral approach are developed for solving a class of FPK PDEs that arises in probabilistic elasto-plasticity. This class includes linear FPK PDEs in (stress) space and (pseudo) time - having space-independent but time-dependent, and both space- and time-dependent coefficients - with impulse initial conditions and reflecting boundary conditions. The solution algorithms, rely on first mapping the stress space of the governing PDE between 0 and 2pi using the change of coordinates rule, followed by approximating the solution of the PDE in the 2pi-periodic domain by a finite Fourier series in the stress space and unknown time-dependent solution coefficients. Finally, the time-dependent solution coefficients are obtained from the initial condition. The accuracy and efficiency of the developed algorithms are tested. The developed algorithms are used to simulate uniaxial and multiaxial, monotonic and cyclic

  13. Model for Volatile Incorporation into Soils and Dust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    Martian soils with high content of compounds of sulfur and chlorine are ubiquitous on Mars, having been found at all five landing sites. Sulfate and chloride salts are implicated by a variety of evidence, but few conclusive specific identifications have been made. Discovery of jarosite and Mg-Ca sulfates in outcrops at Meridiani Planum (MER mission) and regional-scale beds of kieserite and gypsum (Mars Express mission) notwithstanding, the sulfates in soils are uncertain. Chlorides or other Cl-containing minerals have not been uniquely identified directly by any method. Viking and Pathfinder missions found trends in the elemental analytical data consistent with MgSO4, but Viking results are biased by duricrust samples and Pathfinder by soil contamination of rock surfaces. The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) missions have taken extensive data on soils with no confirmation of trends implicating any particular cation. In our model of martian dust and soil, the S and Cl are initially incorporated by condensation or chemisorption on grains directly from gas phase molecules in the atmosphere. It is shown by modeling that the coatings thus formed cannot quantitatively explain the apparent elemental composition of these materials, and therefore involve the migration of ions and formation of microscopic weathering rinds. Original cation inventories of unweathered particles are isochemically conserved. Exposed rock surfaces should also have micro rinds, depending upon the length of time of exposure. Martian soils may therefore have unusual chemical properties when interacting with aqueous layers or infused fluids. Potential ramifications to the quantitative accuracy of x-ray fluorescence and Moessbauer spectroscopy on unprocessed samples are also assessed.

  14. Formation of Nanophase Iron in Lunar Soil Simulant for Use in ISRU Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Taylor, Lawrence A.; Hill, Eddy; Day, James D. M.

    2005-01-01

    For the prospective return of humans to the Moon and the extensive amount of premonitory studies necessary, large quantities of lunar soil simulants are required, for a myriad of purposes from construction/engineering purposes all the way to medical testing of its effects from ingestion by humans. And there is only a limited and precious quantity of lunar soil available on Earth (i.e., Apollo soils) - therefore, the immediate need for lunar soil simulants. Since the Apollo era, there have been several simulants; of these JSC-1 (Johnson Space Center) and MLS-1 (Minnesota Lunar Simulant) have been the most widely used. JSC-1 was produced from glassy volcanic tuff in order to approximate lunar soil geotechnical properties; whereas, MLS-1 approximates the chemistry of Apollo 11 high-Ti soil, 10084. Stocks of both simulants are depleted, but JSC-1 has recently gone back into production. The lunar soil simulant workshop, held at Marshall Space Flight Center in January 2005, identified the need to make new simulants for the special properties of lunar soil, such as nanophase iron (np-Fe(sup 0). Hill et al. (2005, this volume) showed the important role of microscale Fe(sup 0) in microwave processing of the lunar soil simulants JSC-1 and MLS-1. Lunar soil is formed by space weathering of lunar rocks (e.g., micrometeorite impact, cosmic particle bombardment). Glass generated during micrometeorite impact cements rock and mineral fragments together to form aggregates called agglutinates, and also produces vapor that is deposited and coats soil grains. Taylor et al. (2001) showed that the relative amount of impact glass in lunar soil increases with decreasing grain size and is the most abundant component in lunar dust (less than 20 micrometer fraction). Notably, the magnetic susceptibility of lunar soil also increases with the decreasing grain size, as a function of the amount of nanophase-sized Fe(sup 0) in impact-melt generated glass. Keller et al. (1997, 1999) also

  15. A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kibet, Leonard C; Saporito, Louis S; Allen, Arthur L; May, Eric B; Kleinman, Peter J A; Hashem, Fawzy M; Bryant, Ray B

    2014-04-03

    Rainfall is a driving force for the transport of environmental contaminants from agricultural soils to surficial water bodies via surface runoff. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of antecedent soil moisture content on the fate and transport of surface applied commercial urea, a common form of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, following a rainfall event that occurs within 24 hr after fertilizer application. Although urea is assumed to be readily hydrolyzed to ammonium and therefore not often available for transport, recent studies suggest that urea can be transported from agricultural soils to coastal waters where it is implicated in harmful algal blooms. A rainfall simulator was used to apply a consistent rate of uniform rainfall across packed soil boxes that had been prewetted to different soil moisture contents. By controlling rainfall and soil physical characteristics, the effects of antecedent soil moisture on urea loss were isolated. Wetter soils exhibited shorter time from rainfall initiation to runoff initiation, greater total volume of runoff, higher urea concentrations in runoff, and greater mass loadings of urea in runoff. These results also demonstrate the importance of controlling for antecedent soil moisture content in studies designed to isolate other variables, such as soil physical or chemical characteristics, slope, soil cover, management, or rainfall characteristics. Because rainfall simulators are designed to deliver raindrops of similar size and velocity as natural rainfall, studies conducted under a standardized protocol can yield valuable data that, in turn, can be used to develop models for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants in runoff.

  16. Influence of cracking clays on satellite estimated and model simulated soil moisture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Y. Liu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Vertisols are clay soils that are common in the monsoonal and dry warm regions of the world. One of the characteristics of these soil types is to form deep cracks during periods of extended dry, resulting in significant variation of the soil and hydrologic properties. Understanding the influence of these varying soil properties on the hydrological behavior of the system is of considerable interest, particularly in the retrieval or simulation of soil moisture. In this study we compare surface soil moisture (θ in m3 m−3 retrievals from AMSR-E using the VUA-NASA (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in collaboration with NASA algorithm with simulations from the Community Land Model (CLM over vertisol regions of mainland Australia. For the three-year period examined here (2003–2005, both products display reasonable agreement during wet periods. During dry periods however, AMSR-E retrieved near surface soil moisture falls below values for surrounding non-clay soils, while CLM simulations are higher. CLM θ are also higher than AMSR-E and their difference keeps increasing throughout these dry periods. To identify the possible causes for these discrepancies, the impacts of land use, topography, soil properties and surface temperature used in the AMSR-E algorithm, together with vegetation density and rainfall patterns, were investigated. However these do not explain the observed θ responses. Qualitative analysis of the retrieval model suggests that the most likely reason for the low AMSR-E θ is the increase in soil porosity and surface roughness resulting from cracking of the soil. To quantitatively identify the role of each factor, more in situ measurements of soil properties that can represent different stages of cracking need to be collected. CLM does not simulate the behavior of cracking soils, including the additional loss of moisture from the soil continuum during drying and the infiltration into cracks during rainfall events

  17. The Martian surface radiation environment – a comparison of models and MSL/RAD measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthiä Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL has been measuring the radiation environment on the surface of Mars since August 6th 2012. MSL-RAD is the first instrument to provide detailed information about charged and neutral particle spectra and dose rates on the Martian surface, and one of the primary objectives of the RAD investigation is to help improve and validate current radiation transport models. Aims: Applying different numerical transport models with boundary conditions derived from the MSL-RAD environment the goal of this work was to both provide predictions for the particle spectra and the radiation exposure on the Martian surface complementing the RAD sensitive range and, at the same time, validate the results with the experimental data, where applicable. Such validated models can be used to predict dose rates for future manned missions as well as for performing shield optimization studies. Methods: Several particle transport models (GEANT4, PHITS, HZETRN/OLTARIS were used to predict the particle flux and the corresponding radiation environment caused by galactic cosmic radiation on Mars. From the calculated particle spectra the dose rates on the surface are estimated. Results: Calculations of particle spectra and dose rates induced by galactic cosmic radiation on the Martian surface are presented. Although good agreement is found in many cases for the different transport codes, GEANT4, PHITS, and HZETRN/OLTARIS, some models still show large, sometimes order of magnitude discrepancies in certain particle spectra. We have found that RAD data is helping to make better choices of input parameters and physical models. Elements of these validated models can be applied to more detailed studies on how the radiation environment is influenced by solar modulation, Martian atmosphere and soil, and changes due to the Martian seasonal pressure cycle. By extending the range of the calculated particle

  18. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  19. Numerical and experimental approaches to simulate soil clogging in porous media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanarska, Yuliya; LLNL Team

    2012-11-01

    Failure of a dam by erosion ranks among the most serious accidents in civil engineering. The best way to prevent internal erosion is using adequate granular filters in the transition areas where important hydraulic gradients can appear. In case of cracking and erosion, if the filter is capable of retaining the eroded particles, the crack will seal and the dam safety will be ensured. A finite element numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow together with Lagrange multiplier technique for solid particles was applied to the simulation of soil filtration. The numerical approach was validated through comparison of numerical simulations with the experimental results of base soil particle clogging in the filter layers performed at ERDC. The numerical simulation correctly predicted flow and pressure decay due to particle clogging. The base soil particle distribution was almost identical to those measured in the laboratory experiment. To get more precise understanding of the soil transport in granular filters we investigated sensitivity of particle clogging mechanisms to various aspects such as particle size ration, the amplitude of hydraulic gradient, particle concentration and contact properties. By averaging the results derived from the grain-scale simulations, we investigated how those factors affect the semi-empirical multiphase model parameters in the large-scale simulation tool. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate provided funding for this research.

  20. Understanding the Impacts of Soil, Climate, and Farming Practices on Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration: A Simulation Study in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godde, Cécile M; Thorburn, Peter J; Biggs, Jody S; Meier, Elizabeth A

    2016-01-01

    Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils has the capacity to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to improve soil biological, physical, and chemical properties. The review of literature pertaining to soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics within Australian grain farming systems does not enable us to conclude on the best farming practices to increase or maintain SOC for a specific combination of soil and climate. This study aimed to further explore the complex interactions of soil, climate, and farming practices on SOC. We undertook a modeling study with the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator modeling framework, by combining contrasting Australian soils, climates, and farming practices (crop rotations, and management within rotations, such as fertilization, tillage, and residue management) in a factorial design. This design resulted in the transposition of contrasting soils and climates in our simulations, giving soil-climate combinations that do not occur in the study area to help provide insights into the importance of the climate constraints on SOC. We statistically analyzed the model's outputs to determinate the relative contributions of soil parameters, climate, and farming practices on SOC. The initial SOC content had the largest impact on the value of SOC, followed by the climate and the fertilization practices. These factors explained 66, 18, and 15% of SOC variations, respectively, after 80 years of constant farming practices in the simulation. Tillage and stubble management had the lowest impacts on SOC. This study highlighted the possible negative impact on SOC of a chickpea phase in a wheat-chickpea rotation and the potential positive impact of a cover crop in a sub-tropical climate (QLD, Australia) on SOC. It also showed the complexities in managing to achieve increased SOC, while simultaneously aiming to minimize nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nitrate leaching in farming systems. The transposition of contrasting soils and climates in

  1. Understanding the Impacts of Soil, Climate and Farming Practices on Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration: a Simulation Study in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecile Marie Godde

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils has the capacity to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to improve soil biological, physical and chemical properties. The review of literature pertaining to soil organic carbon (SOC dynamics within Australian grain farming systems does not enable us to conclude on the best farming practices to increase or maintain SOC for a specific combination of soil and climate. This study aimed to further explore the complex interactions of soil, climate and farming practices on SOC. We undertook a modeling study with the APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator modeling framework, by combining contrasting Australian soils, climates and farming practices (crop rotations, and management within rotations, such as fertilization, tillage and residue management in a factorial design. This design resulted in the transposition of contrasting soils and climates in our simulations, giving soil-climate combinations that do not occur in the study area to help provide insights into the importance of the climate constraints on SOC. We statistically analyzed the model’s outputs to determinate the relative contributions of soil parameters, climate and farming practices on SOC. The initial SOC content had the largest impact on the value of SOC, followed by the climate and the fertilization practices. These factors explained 66%, 18% and 15% of SOC variations, respectively, after 80 years of constant farming practices in the simulation. Tillage and stubble management had the lowest impacts on SOC. This study highlighted the possible negative impact on SOC of a chickpea phase in a wheat-chickpea rotation and the potential positive impact of a cover crop in a sub-tropical climate (Queensland on SOC. It also showed the complexities in managing to achieve increased SOC, while simultaneously aiming to minimize nitrous oxide (N2O emissions and nitrate leaching in farming systems. The transposition of contrasting soils

  2. An extensive phase space for the potential martian biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Eriita G; Lineweaver, Charles H; Clarke, Jonathan D

    2011-12-01

    We present a comprehensive model of martian pressure-temperature (P-T) phase space and compare it with that of Earth. Martian P-T conditions compatible with liquid water extend to a depth of ∼310 km. We use our phase space model of Mars and of terrestrial life to estimate the depths and extent of the water on Mars that is habitable for terrestrial life. We find an extensive overlap between inhabited terrestrial phase space and martian phase space. The lower martian surface temperatures and shallower martian geotherm suggest that, if there is a hot deep biosphere on Mars, it could extend 7 times deeper than the ∼5 km depth of the hot deep terrestrial biosphere in the crust inhabited by hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs. This corresponds to ∼3.2% of the volume of present-day Mars being potentially habitable for terrestrial-like life.

  3. The feasibility of TEA CO2 laser-induced plasma for spectrochemical analysis of geological samples in simulated Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savovic, Jelena; Stoiljkovic, Milovan; Kuzmanovic, Miroslav; Momcilovic, Milos; Ciganovic, Jovan; Rankovic, Dragan; Zivkovic, Sanja; Trtica, Milan

    2016-04-01

    The present work studies the possibility of using pulsed Transversely Excited Atmospheric (TEA) carbon dioxide laser as an energy source for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysis of rocks under simulated Martian atmospheric conditions. Irradiation of a basaltic rock sample with the laser intensity of 56 MW cm- 2, in carbon-dioxide gas at a pressure of 9 mbar, created target plasma with favorable conditions for excitation of all elements usually found in geological samples. Detection limits of minor constituents (Ba, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, and Zr) were in the 3 ppm-30 ppm range depending on the element. The precision varied between 5% and 25% for concentration levels of 1% to 10 ppm, respectively. Generally, the proposed relatively simple TEA CO2 laser-LIBS system provides good sensitivity for geological studies under reduced CO2 pressure.

  4. Magnesium Based Rockets for Martian Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop Mg rockets for Martian ascent vehicle applications. The propellant can be acquired in-situ from MgO in the Martian regolith (5.1% Mg by mass)...

  5. Martian fluid and Martian weathering signatures identified in Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 by halogen and noble gas analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, J. A.; Gilmour, J. D.; Burgess, R.

    2013-03-01

    We report argon (Ar) noble gas, Ar-Ar ages and halogen abundances (Cl, Br, I) of Martian nakhlites Nakhla, NWA 998 and MIL 03346 to determine the presence of Martian hydrous fluids and weathering products. Neutron-irradiated samples were either crushed and step-heated (Nakhla only), or simply step-heated using a laser or furnace, and analysed for noble gases using an extension of the 40Ar-39Ar technique to determine halogen abundances. The data obtained provide the first isotopic evidence for a trapped fluid that is Cl-rich, has a strong correlation with 40ArXS (40ArXS = 40Armeasured - 40Arradiogenic) and displays 40ArXS/36Ar of ˜1000 - consistent with the Martian atmosphere. This component was released predominantly in the low temperature and crush experiments, which may suggest a fluid inclusion host. For the halogens, we observe similar Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios between the nakhlites and terrestrial reservoirs, which is surprising given the absence of crustal recycling, organic matter and frequent fluid activity on Mars. In particular, Br/Cl ratios in our Nakhla samples (especially olivine) are consistent with previously analysed Martian weathering products, and both low temperature and crush analyses show a similar trend to the evaporation of seawater. This may indicate that surface brines play an important role on Mars and on halogen assemblages within Martian meteorites and rocks. Elevated I/Cl ratios in the low temperature NWA 998 and MIL 03346 releases may relate to in situ terrestrial contamination, though we are unable to distinguish between low temperature terrestrial or Martian components. Whilst estimates of the amount of water present based on the 36Ar concentrations are too high to be explained by a fluid component alone, they are consistent with a mixed-phase inclusion (gas and fluid) or with shock-implanted Martian atmospheric argon. The observed fluid is dilute (low salinity, but high Br/Cl and I/Cl ratios), contains a Martian atmospheric component

  6. Corrosion on Mars: An Investigation of Corrosion Mechanisms Under Relevant Simulated Martian Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Luz M.; Li, Wenyan; Johansen, Michael R.; Buhrow, Jerry W.; Calle, Carlos I.

    2017-01-01

    This one-year project was selected by NASA's Science Innovation Fund in FY17 to address Corrosion on Mars which is a problem that has not been addressed before. Corrosion resistance is one of the most important properties in selecting materials for landed spacecraft and structures that will support surface operations for the human exploration of Mars. Currently, the selection of materials is done by assuming that the corrosion behavior of a material on Mars will be the same as that on Earth. This is understandable given that there is no data regarding the corrosion resistance of materials in the Mars environment. However, given that corrosion is defined as the degradation of a metal that results from its chemical interaction with the environment, it cannot be assumed that corrosion is going to be the same in both environments since they are significantly different. The goal of this research is to develop a systematic approach to understand corrosion of spacecraft materials on Mars by conducting a literature search of available data, relevant to corrosion in the Mars environment, and by performing preliminary laboratory experiments under relevant simulated Martian conditions. This project was motivated by the newly found evidence for the presence of transient liquid brines on Mars that coincided with the suggestion, by a team of researchers, that some of the structural degradation observed on Curiosity's wheels may be caused by corrosive interactions with the brines, while the most significant damage was attributed to rock scratching. An extensive literature search on data relevant to Mars corrosion confirmed the need for further investigation of the interaction between materials used for spacecraft and structures designed to support long-term surface operations on Mars. Simple preliminary experiments, designed to look at the interaction between an aerospace aluminum alloy (AA7075-T73) and the gases present in the Mars atmosphere, at 20degC and a pressure of 700 Pa

  7. MetNet Network Mission for Martian Atmospheric Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Arrugeo, I.; Schmidt, W.; Vazquez, L.; Genzer, M.; Haukka, H.

    2014-07-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars called MetNet is being developed for martian atmospheric investigations. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy tens of small landers on the martian surface.

  8. Bi-Static Deep Electromagnetic Soundings for Martian Subsurface Characterization: Experimental Validation in the Egyptian Western Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarletti, V.; Le Gall, A.; Berthelier, J. J.; Corbel, Ch.; Dolon, F.; Ney, R.; Reineix, A.; Guiffaud, Ch.; Clifford, S.; Heggy, E.

    2007-03-01

    A bi-static version of the HF GPR TAPIR developed for martian deep soundings has been operated in the Egyptian Western Desert. The study presented focuses on the retrieval of the direction of arrival of the observed echoes on both simulated and measured d

  9. Soil developments in polar deserts: Implications for exobiology and future Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Chemical alterations, weathering, and diagenesis of soil profiles from the dry valleys of Antarctica were studied as analogs of regolith development for the Martian regolith. Chemical weathering processes play an important part in soil development within the dry valleys of Antarctica. A suite of core samples were studied which were taken within the valley floors in addition to samples taken in the vicinity of evaporite and brine ponds. Analysis of water soluable cations and anions from core samples were performed along with petrographic analysis of selected samples. It was shown that ionic transport processes operate primarily above the permafrost zone. Abundances of the water soluable ions reflect the nature of secondary minerals produced by evaporation and weathering. Chloride, calcium, and sodium abundances for soils from the cores within the North and South Forks of Wright Valley, reflect the secondary mineralogy of the soil columns. Calculations for Na, Ca, and Cl abundances reflect the appearance of halite and antarcticite. In areas where excess Ca is present, X-ray diffraction studies show the presence of gypsum. It is well known that the Martian surface conditions may be favorable for chemical weathering. Primary silicates would be expected to be reactive with any ground water. It seems likely that Martian subsurface water is available to assist in the weathering of the primary minerals. Such weathering could result in the formation of clays, sulfates, carbonates, hydrates, halides, and zeolites. The dry valley cores have shown that they maybe excellent analogs to weathering processes on the near-surface of Mars. Since movement of water within the near-surface region clearly results in chemical weathering, leaching, and salt formation in the dry valleys, similar processes are probably operating within the Martian regolith.

  10. Life on Mars: Evidence from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, David S.; Thomas-Keptra, Katie L.; Clemett, Simon J.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; Spencer, Lauren; Wentworth, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    New data on martian meteorite 84001 as well as new experimental studies show that thermal or shock decomposition of carbonate, the leading alternative non-biologic explanation for the unusual nanophase magnetite found in this meteorite, cannot explain the chemistry of the actual martian magnetites. This leaves the biogenic explanation as the only remaining viable hypothesis for the origin of these unique magnetites. Additional data from two other martian meteorites show a suite of biomorphs which are nearly identical between meteorites recovered from two widely different terrestrial environments (Egyptian Nile bottomlands and Antarctic ice sheets). This similarity argues against terrestrial processes as the cause of these biomorphs and supports an origin on Mars for these features.

  11. Do Martian Blueberries Have Pits? -- Artifacts of an Early Wet Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, L.

    2005-03-01

    Early Martian weather cycles would have supported organic chemical self-organization, the assumed predecessor to an independent "origin" of Martian life. Artifacts of these processes are discussed, including the possibility that Martian blueberries nucleated around organic cores.

  12. Efficient Meshfree Large Deformation Simulation of Rainfall Induced Soil Slope Failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongdong; Li, Ling

    2010-05-01

    An efficient Lagrangian Galerkin meshfree framework is presented for large deformation simulation of rainfall-induced soil slope failure. Detailed coupled soil-rainfall seepage equations are given for the proposed formulation. This nonlinear meshfree formulation is featured by the Lagrangian stabilized conforming nodal integration method where the low cost nature of nodal integration approach is kept and at the same time the numerical stability is maintained. The initiation and evolution of progressive failure in the soil slope is modeled by the coupled constitutive equations of isotropic damage and Drucker-Prager pressure-dependent plasticity. The gradient smoothing in the stabilized conforming integration also serves as a non-local regularization of material instability and consequently the present method is capable of effectively capture the shear band failure. The efficacy of the present method is demonstrated by simulating the rainfall-induced failure of two typical soil slopes.

  13. Cohesion of Mm- to Cm-Sized Asteroid Simulant Grains: An Experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisset, Julie; Colwell, Joshua E.; Dove, Adrienne; Jarmak, Stephanie; Anderson, Seamus

    2017-10-01

    The regolith covering the surfaces of asteroids and planetary satellites is very different from terrestrial soil particles and subject to environmental conditions very different from what is found on Earth. The loose, unconsolidated granular material has angular-shaped grains and a broad size distribution. On small and airless bodies (Earth surface gravity, the cohesion behavior of the regolith grains will dictate the asteroid’s surface morphology and its response to impact or spacecraft contact.Previous laboratory experiments on low-velocity impacts into regolith simulant with grain sizes landing missions to small bodies such as asteroids or Martian moons.

  14. Martian dust storms as a possible sink of atmospheric methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, W. M.; Delory, G. T.; Atreya, S. K.

    2006-11-01

    Recent laboratory tests, analog studies and numerical simulations all suggest that Martian dust devils and larger dusty convective storms generate and maintain large-scale electric fields. Such expected E-fields will have the capability to create significant electron drift motion in the collisional gas and to form an extended high energy (u $\\gg$ kT) electron tail in the distribution. We demonstrate herein that these energetic electrons are capable of dissociating any trace CH4 in the ambient atmosphere thereby acting as an atmospheric sink of this important gas. We demonstrate that the methane destruction rate increases by a factor of 1012 as the dust storm E-fields, E, increase from 5 to 25 kV/m, resulting in an apparent decrease in methane stability from ~ 1010 sec to a value of ~1000 seconds. While destruction in dust storms is severe, the overall methane lifetime is expected to decrease only moderately due to recycling of products, heterogeneous effects from localized sinks, etc. We show further evidence that the electrical activity anticipated in Martian dust storms creates a new harsh electro-chemical environment.

  15. Solubility of C-O-H volatiles in graphite-saturated martian basalts and application to martian atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, B. D.; Hirschmann, M. M.; Withers, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The modern martian atmosphere is thin, leading to surface conditions too cold to support liquid water. Yet, there is evidence of liquid surface water early in martian history that is commonly thought to require a thick CO2 atmosphere. Our previous work follows the analysis developed by Holloway and co-workers (Holloway et al. 1992; Holloway 1998), which predicts a linear relationship between CO2 and oxygen fugacity (fO2) in graphite-saturated silicate melts. At low oxygen fugacity, the solubility of CO2 in silicate melts is therefore very low. Such low calculated solubilities under reducing conditions lead to small fluxes of CO2 associated with martian magmatism, and therefore production of a thick volcanogenic CO2 atmosphere could require a prohibitively large volume of mantle-derived magma. The key assumption in these previous calculations is that the carbonate ion is the chief soluble C-O-H species. The results of the calculations would not be affected appreciably if molecular CO2, rather than carbonate ion, were an important species, but could be entirely different if there were other appreciable C-species such as CO, carbonyl (C=O) complexes, carbide (Si-C), or CH4. Clearly, graphite-saturated experiments are required to explore how much volcanogenic C may be degassed by reduced martian lavas. A series of piston-cylinder experiments were performed on synthetic martian starting materials over a range of oxygen fugacities (IW+2.3 to IW-0.9), and at pressures of 1-3 GPa and temperatures of 1340-1600 °C in Pt-graphite double capsules. CO2 contents in experimental glasses were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and range from 0.0026-0.50 wt%. CO2 solubilities change by one order of magnitude with an order of magnitude change in oxygen fugacity, as predicted by previous work. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) determinations of C contents in glasses range from 0.0131-0.2626 wt%. C contents determined by SIMS are consistently higher

  16. Variations of measured and simulated soil-loss amounts in a semiarid area in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacisalihoğlu, Sezgin

    2010-06-01

    The main goal of this research was soil-loss determination and comparison of the plot measurement results with simulation model (universal soil loss equation (USLE)) results in different land use and slope classes. The research took place in three different land-use types (Scotch pine forest, pasture land, and agricultural land) and in two different slope classes (15-20%, 35-40%). Within six measurement stations (for each land-use type and slope class-one station), totally 18 measurement plots have been constituted, and soil-loss amount measurements have been investigated during the research period (3 years along). USLE simulation model is used in these measurement plots for calculation the soil-loss amounts. The results pointed out that measured (in plots) and simulated (with USLE) soil-loss amounts differ significantly in each land-use type and slope class.

  17. Simulated solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere: influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Modolo

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The solar wind plasma interaction with the Martian exosphere is investigated by means of 3-D multi-species hybrid simulations. The influence of the solar EUV flux on the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is examined by comparing two simulations describing the two extreme states of the solar cycle. The hybrid formalism allows a kinetic description of each ions species and a fluid description of electrons. The ionization processes (photoionization, electron impact and charge exchange are included self-consistently in the model where the production rate is computed locally, separately for each ionization act and for each neutral species. The results of simulations are in a reasonable agreement with the observations made by Phobos 2 and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The position of the bow shock and the magnetic pile-up boundary is weakly dependent of the solar EUV flux. The motional electric field creates strong asymmetries for the two plasma boundaries.

  18. Effects of soil moisture on the diurnal pattern of pesticide emission: Comparison of simulations with field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichman, Rivka; Yates, Scott R.; Skaggs, Todd H.; Rolston, Dennis E.

    2013-02-01

    Pesticide volatilization from agricultural soils is one of the main pathways in which pesticides are dispersed in the environment and affects ecosystems including human welfare. Thus, it is necessary to have accurate knowledge of the various physical and chemical mechanisms that affect volatilization rates from field soils. A verification of the influence of soil moisture modeling on the simulated volatilization rate, soil temperature and soil-water content is presented. Model simulations are compared with data collected in a field study that measured the effect of soil moisture on diazinon volatilization. These data included diurnal changes in volatilization rate, soil-water content, and soil temperature measured at two depths. The simulations were performed using a comprehensive non-isothermal model, two water retention functions, and two soil surface resistance functions, resulting in four tested models. Results show that the degree of similarity between volatilization curves simulated using the four models depended on the initial water content. Under fairly wet conditions, the simulated curves mainly differ in the magnitude of their deviation from the measured values. However, under intermediate and low moisture conditions, the simulated curves also differed in their pattern (shape). The model prediction accuracy depended on soil moisture. Under normal practices, where initial soil moisture is about field capacity or higher, a combination of Brooks and Corey water retention and the van de Grind and Owe soil surface resistance functions led to the most accurate predictions. However, under extremely dry conditions, when soil-water content in the top 1 cm is below the volumetric threshold value, the use of a full-range water retention function increased prediction accuracy. The different models did not affect the soil temperature predictions, and had a minor effect on the predicted soil-water content of Yolo silty clay soil.

  19. Stability of immobilization remediation of several amendments on cadmium contaminated soils as affected by simulated soil acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fuyu; Ding, Changfeng; Zhou, Zhigao; Huang, Gaoxiang; Wang, Xingxiang

    2018-06-04

    Chemical immobilization is a practical approach to remediate heavy metal contamination in agricultural soils. However, the potential remobilization risks of immobilized metals are a major environmental concern, especially in acid rain zones. In the present study, changes in the immobilization efficiency of several amendments as affected by simulated soil acidification were investigated to evaluate the immobilization remediation stability of several amendments on two cadmium (Cd) contaminated soils. Amendments (hydrated lime, hydroxyapatite and biochar) effectively immobilized Cd, except for organic fertilizer, and their immobilizations were strongly decreased by the simulated soil acidification. The ratio of changes in CaCl 2 -extractable Cd: pH (△CaCl 2 -Cd/△pH) can represent the Cd remobilization risk of different amended soils. Hydroxyapatite and biochar had a stronger durable immobilizing effect than did hydrated lime, particularly in soil with a lower pH buffering capacity, which was further confirmed by the Cd concentration and accumulation in lettuce. These results can be attributed to that hydroxyapatite and biochar transformed greater proportions of exchangeable Cd to other more stable fractions than lime. After 48 weeks of incubation, in soil with a lower pH buffering capacity, the immobilization efficiencies of lime, hydroxyapatite, biochar and organic fertilizer in the deionized water group (pH 6.5) were 71.7%, 52.7%, 38.6% and 23.9%, respectively, and changed to 19.1%, 33.6%, 26.5% and 5.0%, respectively, in the simulated acid rain group (pH 2.5). The present study provides a simple method to preliminarily estimate the immobilization efficiency of amendments and predict their stability in acid rain regions before large-scale field application. In addition, hydrated lime is recommended to be combined with other acid-stable amendments (such as hydroxyapatite or biochar) to remediate heavy metal-contaminated agricultural soils in acid precipitation

  20. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  1. Measuring Low Concentrations of Liquid Water in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buehler, Martin

    2009-01-01

    An apparatus has been developed for measuring the low concentrations of liquid water and ice in relatively dry soil samples. Designed as a prototype of instruments for measuring the liquidwater and ice contents of Lunar and Martian soils, the apparatus could also be applied similarly to terrestrial desert soils and sands. The apparatus is a special-purpose impedance spectrometer: Its design is based on the fact that the electrical behavior of a typical soil sample is well approximated by a network of resistors and capacitors in which resistances decrease and capacitances increase (and, hence, the magnitude of impedance decreases) with increasing water content.

  2. Modelling of the dose-rate variations with depth in the Martian regolith using GEANT4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morthekai, P.; Jain, M.; Dartnell, L.; Murray, A.S.; Botter-Jensen, L.; Desorgher, L.

    2007-01-01

    The environmental radiation field at the Martian surface consists mainly of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and charged particles ejected during the Solar Particle Events (SPE). Interactions between these radiation fluxes and the regolith result in a complex radiation field that varies both as a function of depth and time and can only be quantified using radiation transport models. We first describe here the main issues and constraints in deriving Martian dose rates. Preliminary results, obtained using the GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation tool kit, suggest the surface dose rate is ∼63 mGy a -1 during quiet periods in solar activity. The accuracy of the model predictions has been tested by comparison with published observations of cosmic ray dose-rate variation in the Earth's atmosphere

  3. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization-gas chromatography-MS and their implications for the Viking results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P

    2006-10-31

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)-gas chromatography (GC)-MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV-GC-MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV-GC-MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10-90 mug of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV-GC-MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO(2)) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50-700 ppm of CO(2) by TV-GC-MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV-GC-MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life.

  4. The limitations on organic detection in Mars-like soils by thermal volatilization–gas chromatography–MS and their implications for the Viking results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-González, Rafael; Navarro, Karina F.; de la Rosa, José; Iñiguez, Enrique; Molina, Paola; Miranda, Luis D.; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François; Amils, Ricardo; McKay, Christopher P.

    2006-01-01

    The failure of Viking Lander thermal volatilization (TV) (without or with thermal degradation)–gas chromatography (GC)–MS experiments to detect organics suggests chemical rather than biological interpretations for the reactivity of the martian soil. Here, we report that TV–GC–MS may be blind to low levels of organics on Mars. A comparison between TV–GC–MS and total organics has been conducted for a variety of Mars analog soils. In the Antarctic Dry Valleys and the Atacama and Libyan Deserts we find 10–90 μg of refractory or graphitic carbon per gram of soil, which would have been undetectable by the Viking TV–GC–MS. In iron-containing soils (jarosites from Rio Tinto and Panoche Valley) and the Mars simulant (palogonite), oxidation of the organic material to carbon dioxide (CO2) by iron oxides and/or their salts drastically attenuates the detection of organics. The release of 50–700 ppm of CO2 by TV–GC–MS in the Viking analysis may indicate that an oxidation of organic material took place. Therefore, the martian surface could have several orders of magnitude more organics than the stated Viking detection limit. Because of the simplicity of sample handling, TV–GC–MS is still considered the standard method for organic detection on future Mars missions. We suggest that the design of future organic instruments for Mars should include other methods to be able to detect extinct and/or extant life. PMID:17060639

  5. Controls on surface soil drying rates observed by SMAP and simulated by the Noah land surface model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shellito, Peter J.; Small, Eric E.; Livneh, Ben

    2018-03-01

    Drydown periods that follow precipitation events provide an opportunity to assess controls on soil evaporation on a continental scale. We use SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) observations and Noah simulations from drydown periods to quantify the role of soil moisture, potential evaporation, vegetation cover, and soil texture on soil drying rates. Rates are determined using finite differences over intervals of 1 to 3 days. In the Noah model, the drying rates are a good approximation of direct soil evaporation rates, and our work suggests that SMAP-observed drying is also predominantly affected by direct soil evaporation. Data cover the domain of the North American Land Data Assimilation System Phase 2 and span the first 1.8 years of SMAP's operation. Drying of surface soil moisture observed by SMAP is faster than that simulated by Noah. SMAP drying is fastest when surface soil moisture levels are high, potential evaporation is high, and when vegetation cover is low. Soil texture plays a minor role in SMAP drying rates. Noah simulations show similar responses to soil moisture and potential evaporation, but vegetation has a minimal effect and soil texture has a much larger effect compared to SMAP. When drying rates are normalized by potential evaporation, SMAP observations and Noah simulations both show that increases in vegetation cover lead to decreases in evaporative efficiency from the surface soil. However, the magnitude of this effect simulated by Noah is much weaker than that determined from SMAP observations.

  6. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-06-16

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity.

  7. SSEM: A model for simulating runoff and erosion of saline-sodic soil slopes under coastal reclamation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dongdong; She, Dongli

    2018-06-01

    Current physically based erosion models do not carefully consider the dynamic variations of soil properties during rainfall and are unable to simulate saline-sodic soil slope erosion processes. The aim of this work was to build upon a complete model framework, SSEM, to simulate runoff and erosion processes for saline-sodic soils by coupling dynamic saturated hydraulic conductivity Ks and soil erodibility Kτ. Sixty rainfall simulation rainfall experiments (2 soil textures × 5 sodicity levels × 2 slope gradients × 3 duplicates) provided data for model calibration and validation. SSEM worked very well for simulating the runoff and erosion processes of saline-sodic silty clay. The runoff and erosion processes of saline-sodic silt loam were more complex than those of non-saline soils or soils with higher clay contents; thus, SSEM did not perform very well for some validation events. We further examined the model performances of four concepts: Dynamic Ks and Kτ (Case 1, SSEM), Dynamic Ks and Constant Kτ (Case 2), Constant Ks and Dynamic Kτ (Case 3) and Constant Ks and Constant Kτ (Case 4). The results demonstrated that the model, which considers dynamic variations in soil saturated hydraulic conductivity and soil erodibility, can provide more reasonable runoff and erosion prediction results for saline-sodic soils.

  8. S-World: A high resolution global soil database for simulation modelling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoorvogel, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    There is an increasing call for high resolution soil information at the global level. A good example for such a call is the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison carried out within AgMIP. While local studies can make use of surveying techniques to collect additional techniques this is practically impossible at the global level. It is therefore important to rely on legacy data like the Harmonized World Soil Database. Several efforts do exist that aim at the development of global gridded soil property databases. These estimates of the variation of soil properties can be used to assess e.g., global soil carbon stocks. However, they do not allow for simulation runs with e.g., crop growth simulation models as these models require a description of the entire pedon rather than a few soil properties. This study provides the required quantitative description of pedons at a 1 km resolution for simulation modelling. It uses the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) for the spatial distribution of soil types, the ISRIC-WISE soil profile database to derive information on soil properties per soil type, and a range of co-variables on topography, climate, and land cover to further disaggregate the available data. The methodology aims to take stock of these available data. The soil database is developed in five main steps. Step 1: All 148 soil types are ordered on the basis of their expected topographic position using e.g., drainage, salinization, and pedogenesis. Using the topographic ordering and combining the HWSD with a digital elevation model allows for the spatial disaggregation of the composite soil units. This results in a new soil map with homogeneous soil units. Step 2: The ranges of major soil properties for the topsoil and subsoil of each of the 148 soil types are derived from the ISRIC-WISE soil profile database. Step 3: A model of soil formation is developed that focuses on the basic conceptual question where we are within the range of a particular soil property

  9. Simulations of the Viking Gas Exchange Experiment using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs: implications for the surface composition of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, R; Orenberg, J

    1993-10-01

    Simulations of the Gas Exchange Experiment (GEX), one of the Viking Lander Biology Experiments, were run using palagonite and Fe-rich montmorillonite as terrestrial analogs of the Martian soil. These terrestrial analogs were exposed to a nutrient solution of the same composition as that of the Viking Landers under humid (no contact with nutrient) and wet (intimate contact) conditions. The headspace gases in the GEX sample cell were sampled and then analyzed by gas chromatography under both humid and wet conditions. Five gases were monitored: CO2, N2, O2, Ar, and Kr. It was determined that in order to simulate the CO2 gas changes of the Viking GEX experiment, the mixture of soil analog mineral plus nutrient medium must be slightly (pH = 7.4) to moderately basic (pH = 8.7). This conclusion suggests constraints upon the composition of terrestrial analogs to the Mars soil; acidic components may be present, but the overall mixture must be basic in order to simulate the Viking GEX results.

  10. Morphogenesis of Antarctic Paleosols: Martian Analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Baker, V. R.; Newsom, Horton E.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, Iain; Sheppard, D.; Milner, M. W.

    2001-11-01

    Samples of horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains of the Antarctic Dry Valleys (Aztec and New Mountain areas) were analyzed for their physical characteristics, mineralogy, chemical composition, and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents and the presence/absence of microbial populations. Salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived over time, in part from nearby oceanic and high-altitude atmospheric sources. The chemical composition of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of airborne-influxed salts and other materials, as well as the weathering of till derived principally from local dolerite and sandstone outcrops. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of Cl, whereas near the inland ice sheet, nitrogen tends to increase on a relative basis. The accumulation and vertical distribution of salts and other soluble chemical elements indicate relative amounts of movement in the profile over long periods of time, in the order of several million years. Four of the six selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in two ancient soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between 3 and 8 cm, in two profiles, yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium brevicompactum, indicating very minor input of organic carbon. Beauveria bassiana is often reported in association with insects and is used commercially for the biological control of some insect pests. Penicillium species are commonly isolated from Arctic, temperate, and tropical soils and are known to utilize a wide variety of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds. The cold, dry soils of the Antarctic bear a close resemblance to various present and past martian environments where similar weathering could occur and possible microbial populations

  11. Comparision of the Martian Gullies With Terrestrial Ones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedillo-Flores, Y.; Durand-Manterola, H. J.

    2005-12-01

    Some of the geomorphological features in Mars are the gullies. Some theories developed tried to explained its origin, either by liquid water, liquid carbon dioxide or flows of dry granular material. We made a comparative analysis of the Martian gullies with the terrestrial ones. We present the characteristics of some terrestrial gullies formed at cold enviroment, sited at the Nevado de Toluca volcanoe near Toluca City, Mexico. We compare them with Martian gullies, choisen from four different areas, to recognize possible processes evolved in its formation. Also, we measured the lenghts of those Martian gullies and their range was from 24 m 1775 m.

  12. An assessment of the meteoritic contribution to the Martian soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, G.J.; McKay, D.S.

    1990-01-01

    The addition of meteoritic material to the Mars soils should perturb their chemical compositions, as has been detected for soils on the Moon and sediments on Earth. Using the measured mass influx at Earth and estimates of the Mars/Earth flux ratio, the authors estimate the continuous, planet-wide meteoritic mass influx on Mars to be between 2,700 and 59,000 t/yr. If distributed uniformly into a soil with a mean planetary production rate of 1 m/b.y., consistent with radar estimates of the soil depth overlaying a bouldered terrain in the Tharsis region, their estimated mass influx would produce a meteoritic concentration in the Mars soil ranging from 2 to 29% by mass. Analysis of the Viking X ray fluorescence data indicates that the Mars soil composition is inconsistent with typical basaltic rock fragments but can be fit by a mixture of 60% basaltic rock fragments and 40% meteoritic material. The meteoritic influx they calculate is sufficient to provide most or all of the material required by the Clark and Baird model. Particles in the mass range from 10 -7 to 10 -3 g, about 60-1,200 μm in diameter, contribute 80% of the total mass flux of meteoritic material in the 10 -13 to 10 6 g mass range at Earth. On Earth atmospheric entry all but the smallest particles (generally ≤ 50 μm in diameter) in the 10 -7 to 10 -3 g mass range are heated sufficiently to melt or vaporize. Mars, because of its lower escape velocity and larger atmospheric scale height, is a much more favorable site for unmelted survival of micrometeorites on atmospheric deceleration. They calculate that a significant fraction of particles throughout the 60-1,200 μm diameter range will survive Mars atmospheric entry unmelted

  13. A Coupled Soil-Atmosphere Model of H2O2 on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, Mark A.; Stoker, Carol R.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Zent, Aaron P.

    1994-01-01

    The Viking Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer failed to detect organic compounds on Mars, and both the Viking Labeled Release and the Viking Gas Exchange experiments indicated a reactive soil surface. These results have led to the widespread belief that there are oxidants in the martian soil. Since H2O2 is produced by photochemical processes in the atmosphere of Mars, and has been shown in the laboratory to reproduce closely the Viking LR results, it is a likely candidate for a martian soil oxidant. Here, we report on the results of a coupled soil/atmosphere transport model for H202 on Mars. Upon diffusing into the soil, its concentration is determined by the extent to which it is adsorbed and by the rate at which it is catalytically destroyed. An analytical model for calculating the distribution of H202 in the martian atmosphere and soil is developed. The concentration of H202 in the soil is shown to go to zero at a finite depth, a consequence of the nonlinear soil diffusion equation. The model is parameterized in terms of an unknown quantity, the lifetime of H202 against heterogeneous catalytic destruction in the soil. Calculated concentrations are compared with a H202 concentration of 30 nmoles/cu cm, inferred from the Viking Labeled Release experiment. A significant result of this model is that for a wide range of H202 lifetimes (up to 105 years), the extinction depth was found to be less than 3 m. The maximum possible concentration in the top 4 cm is calculated to be approx. 240 nmoles/cu cm, achieved with lifetimes of greater than 1000 years. Concentrations higher than 30 nmoles/cu cm require lifetimes of greater than 4.3 terrestrial years. For a wide range of H202 lifetimes, it was found that the atmospheric concentration is only weakly coupled with soil loss processes. Losses to the soil become significant only when lifetimes are less than a few hours. If there are depths below which H202 is not transported, it is plausible that organic compounds

  14. Experimental simulations of oxidizing conditions and organic decomposition on the surface of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoker, C.R.; Mancinelli, R.L.; Mckay, C.P.

    1988-01-01

    One important scientific objective of a Mars Rover Sample Return mission would be to look for traces of living and extinct life on Mars. An instrument to search for organic carbon may be the simplest instrument that could screen samples which are interesting from a biological point of view. An experimental program is described which would help to understand the nature of the oxidizing soil on Mars and the mechanism responsible for organic degradation on the Martian surface. This is approached by lab simulations of the actual conditions that occur on Mars, particularly the oxidant production by atmospheric photochemistry, and the combined effects of UV light and oxidants in decomposing organic compounds. The results will be used to formulate models of the photochemistry of the atmospheric, the atmosphere-soil interaction, and the diffusion of reactive compounds into the soils. This information will provide insights and constraints on the design of a sampling strategy to search for organic compounds on Mars

  15. Influence of root-water-uptake parameterization on simulated heat transport in a structured forest soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Votrubova, Jana; Vogel, Tomas; Dohnal, Michal; Dusek, Jaromir

    2015-04-01

    Coupled simulations of soil water flow and associated transport of substances have become a useful and increasingly popular tool of subsurface hydrology. Quality of such simulations is directly affected by correctness of its hydraulic part. When near-surface processes under vegetation cover are of interest, appropriate representation of the root water uptake becomes essential. Simulation study of coupled water and heat transport in soil profile under natural conditions was conducted. One-dimensional dual-continuum model (S1D code) with semi-separate flow domains representing the soil matrix and the network of preferential pathways was used. A simple root water uptake model based on water-potential-gradient (WPG) formulation was applied. As demonstrated before [1], the WPG formulation - capable of simulating both the compensatory root water uptake (in situations when reduced uptake from dry layers is compensated by increased uptake from wetter layers), and the root-mediated hydraulic redistribution of soil water - enables simulation of more natural soil moisture distribution throughout the root zone. The potential effect on heat transport in a soil profile is the subject of the present study. [1] Vogel T., M. Dohnal, J. Dusek, J. Votrubova, and M. Tesar. 2013. Macroscopic modeling of plant water uptake in a forest stand involving root-mediated soil-water redistribution. Vadose Zone Journal, 12, 10.2136/vzj2012.0154. The research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation Project No. 14-15201J.

  16. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Kölbl

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0 and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52 as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  17. Exploring Fingerprints of the Extreme Thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula Grown on Synthetic Martian Regolith Materials as the Sole Energy Sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kölbl, Denise; Pignitter, Marc; Somoza, Veronika; Schimak, Mario P; Strbak, Oliver; Blazevic, Amir; Milojevic, Tetyana

    2017-01-01

    The biology of metal transforming microorganisms is of a fundamental and applied importance for our understanding of past and present biogeochemical processes on Earth and in the Universe. The extreme thermoacidophile Metallosphaera sedula is a metal mobilizing archaeon, which thrives in hot acid environments (optimal growth at 74°C and pH 2.0) and utilizes energy from the oxidation of reduced metal inorganic sources. These characteristics of M. sedula make it an ideal organism to further our knowledge of the biogeochemical processes of possible life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Exploring the viability and metal extraction capacity of M. sedula living on and interacting with synthetic extraterrestrial minerals, we show that M. sedula utilizes metals trapped in the Martian regolith simulants (JSC Mars 1A; P-MRS; S-MRS; MRS07/52) as the sole energy sources. The obtained set of microbiological and mineralogical data suggests that M. sedula actively colonizes synthetic Martian regolith materials and releases free soluble metals. The surface of bioprocessed Martian regolith simulants is analyzed for specific mineralogical fingerprints left upon M. sedula growth. The obtained results provide insights of biomining of extraterrestrial material as well as of the detection of biosignatures implementing in life search missions.

  18. Nonlinear soil-structure interaction calculations simulating the SIMQUAKE experiment using STEALTH 2D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, H. T.; Hofmann, R.; Yee, G.; Vaughan, D. K.

    1980-01-01

    Transient, nonlinear soil-structure interaction simulations of an Electric Power Research Institute, SIMQUAKE experiment were performed using the large strain, time domain STEALTH 2D code and a cyclic, kinematically hardening cap soil model. Results from the STEALTH simulations were compared to identical simulations performed with the TRANAL code and indicate relatively good agreement between all the STEALTH and TRANAL calculations. The differences that are seen can probably be attributed to: (1) large (STEALTH) vs. small (TRANAL) strain formulation and/or (2) grid discretization differences.

  19. Magnesium isotope systematics in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magna, Tomáš; Hu, Yan; Teng, Fang-Zhen; Mezger, Klaus

    2017-09-01

    Magnesium isotope compositions are reported for a suite of Martian meteorites that span the range of petrological and geochemical types recognized to date for Mars, including crustal breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The δ26Mg values (per mil units relative to DSM-3 reference material) range from -0.32 to -0.11‰; basaltic shergottites and nakhlites lie to the heavier end of the Mg isotope range whereas olivine-phyric, olivine-orthopyroxene-phyric and lherzolitic shergottites, and chassignites have slightly lighter Mg isotope compositions, attesting to modest correlation of Mg isotopes and petrology of the samples. Slightly heavier Mg isotope compositions found for surface-related materials (NWA 7034, black glass fraction of the Tissint shergottite fall; δ26Mg > -0.17‰) indicate measurable Mg isotope difference between the Martian mantle and crust but the true extent of Mg isotope fractionation for Martian surface materials remains unconstrained. The range of δ26Mg values from -0.19 to -0.11‰ in nakhlites is most likely due to accumulation of clinopyroxene during petrogenesis rather than garnet fractionation in the source or assimilation of surface material modified at low temperatures. The rather restricted range in Mg isotope compositions between spatially and temporally distinct mantle-derived samples supports the idea of inefficient/absent major tectonic cycles on Mars, which would include plate tectonics and large-scale recycling of isotopically fractionated surface materials back into the Martian mantle. The cumulative δ26Mg value of Martian samples, which are not influenced by late-stage alteration processes and/or crust-mantle interactions, is - 0.271 ± 0.040 ‰ (2SD) and is considered to reflect δ26Mg value of the Bulk Silicate Mars. This value is robust taking into account the range of lithologies involved in this estimate. It also attests to the lack of the Mg isotope variability reported for the inner Solar System bodies at current

  20. Chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaefer, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    The chemical evolution of the early Martian hydrosphere is discussed. The early Martian ocean can be modeled as a body of relatively pure water in equilibrium with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere. The chemical weathering of lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and impact melt sheets would have the effect of neutralizing the acidity of the juvenile water. As calcium and other cations are added to the water by chemical weathering, they are quickly removed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and other minerals, forming a deposit of limestone beneath the surface of the ocean. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure and the temperature decrease, the Martian ocean would be completely frozen. Given the scenario for the chemical evolution of the northern lowland plains of Mars, it should be possible to draw a few conclusions about the expected mineralogy and geomorphology of this regions

  1. Curation of US Martian Meteorites Collected in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Satterwhite, C.; Allton, J.; Stansbury, E.

    1998-01-01

    To date the ANSMET field team has collected five martian meteorites (see below) in Antarctica and returned them for curation at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Meteorite Processing Laboratory (MPL). ne meteorites were collected with the clean procedures used by ANSMET in collecting all meteorites: They were handled with JSC-cleaned tools, packaged in clean bags, and shipped frozen to JSC. The five martian meteorites vary significantly in size (12-7942 g) and rock type (basalts, lherzolites, and orthopyroxenite). Detailed descriptions are provided in the Mars Meteorite compendium, which describes classification, curation and research results. A table gives the names, classifications and original and curatorial masses of the martian meteorites. The MPL and measures for contamination control are described.

  2. Monitoring Bare Soil Freeze–Thaw Process Using GPS-Interferometric Reflectometry: Simulation and Validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuerui Wu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Frozen soil and permafrost affect ecosystem diversity and productivity as well as global energy and water cycles. Although some space-based Radar techniques or ground-based sensors can monitor frozen soil and permafrost variations, there are some shortcomings and challenges. For the first time, we use GPS-Interferometric Reflectometry (GPS-IR to monitor and investigate the bare soil freeze–thaw process as a new remote sensing tool. The mixed-texture permittivity models are employed to calculate the frozen and thawed soil permittivities. When the soil freeze/thaw process occurs, there is an abrupt change in the soil permittivity, which will result in soil scattering variations. The corresponding theoretical simulation results from the forward GPS multipath simulator show variations of GPS multipath observables. As for the in-situ measurements, virtual bistatic radar is employed to simplify the analysis. Within the GPS-IR spatial resolution, one SNOTEL site (ID 958 and one corresponding PBO (plate boundary observatory GPS site (AB33 are used for analysis. In 2011, two representative days (frozen soil on Doy of Year (DOY 318 and thawed soil on DOY 322 show the SNR changes of phase and amplitude. The GPS site and the corresponding SNOTEL site in four different years are analyzed for comparisons. When the soil freeze/thaw process occurred and no confounding snow depth and soil moisture effects existed, it exhibited a good absolute correlation (|R| = 0.72 in 2009, |R| = 0.902 in 2012, |R| = 0.646 in 2013, and |R| = 0.7017 in 2014 with the average detrended SNR data. Our theoretical simulation and experimental results demonstrate that GPS-IR has potential for monitoring the bare soil temperature during the soil freeze–thaw process, while more test works should be done in the future. GNSS-R polarimetry is also discussed as an option for detection. More retrieval work about elevation and polarization combinations are the focus of future development.

  3. CQESTR Simulation of Soil Organic Matter Dynamics in Long-term Agricultural Experiments across USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollany, H.; Liang, Y.; Albrecht, S.; Rickman, R.; Follett, R.; Wilhelm, W.; Novak, J.

    2009-04-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) has important chemical (supplies nutrients, buffers and adsorbs harmful chemical compounds), biological (supports the growth of microorganisms and micro fauna), and physical (improves soil structure and soil tilth, stores water, and reduces surface crusting, water runoff) functions. The loss of 20 to 50% of soil organic carbon (SOC) from USA soils after converting native prairie or forest to production agriculture is well documented. Sustainable management practices for SOC is critical for maintaining soil productivity and responsible utilization of crop residues. As crop residues are targeted for additional uses (e.g., cellulosic ethanol feedstock) developing C models that predict change in SOM over time with change in management becomes increasingly important. CQESTR, pronounced "sequester," is a process-based C balance model that relates organic residue additions, crop management and soil tillage to SOM accretion or loss. The model works on daily time-steps and can perform long-term (100-year) simulations. Soil organic matter change is computed by maintaining a soil C budget for additions, such as crop residue or added amendments like manure, and organic C losses through microbial decomposition. Our objective was to simulate SOM changes in agricultural soils under a range of soil parent materials, climate and management systems using the CQESTR model. Long-term experiments (e.g. Champaign, IL, >100 yrs; Columbia, MO, >100 yrs; Lincoln, NE, 20 yrs) under various tillage practices, organic amendments, crop rotations, and crop residue removal treatments were selected for their documented history of the long-term effects of management practice on SOM dynamics. Simulated and observed values from the sites were significantly related (r2 = 94%, P management issue. CQESTR successfully simulated a substantial decline in SOM with 90% of crop residue removal for 50 years under various rotations at Columbia, MO and Champaign, IL. An increase in SOM

  4. Simulation of pollutants transfer in soils - State-of-the-art. State-of-the-art of the simulation of pollutants transfer in soils - Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourgois, J.; Vaillant, Herve; Moszkowicz, P.; Alimi Ichola, Ibrahim; Foret, Suzanne

    1997-02-01

    Industrial companies use and produce numerous substances which can induce a pollution of our environment and especially of soil and groundwater. Thus, it's necessary to estimate the risk of an environmental impact from an accidental or chronic, real or potential pollution. Modelling, which allow the simulation of pollutant migration, can be used as a decision support system, either for the pollution control and prevention of the resource, or for the monitoring of the remediation of polluted sites. In the first part of this study, we established a state of the art on modelling of pollutant migration in soils. In the second part, we focused on the main simulation tools currently available on the market, and on the main agencies or laboratories working on this subject, especially in France. At the end of this study, we drew some conclusions concerning modelling of pollutant migration in soils and the main points which will form the subject of further studies: - sensitivity analysis of model to input parameters and ranking of the main parameters, - achievement of a database on the state of the art of the results on modelling realized on case studies, - development of a mobility indicator of pollutant in soil, - application field and relevance of the models. (authors)

  5. Water in Pyroxene and Olivine from Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peslier, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    Water in the interior of terrestrial planets can be dissolved in fluids or melts and hydrous phases, but can also be locked as protons attached to structural oxygen in lattice defects in nominally anhydrous minerals (NAM) like olivine, pyroxene, or feldspar [1-3]. Although these minerals contain only tens to hundreds of ppm H2O, this water can amount to at least one ocean in mass when added at planetary scales because of the modal dominance of NAM in the mantle and crust [4]. Moreover these trace amounts of water can have drastic effects on melting temperature, rheology, electrical and heat conductivity, and seismic wave attenuation [5]. There is presently a debate on how much water is present in the martian mantle. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) studies of NAM [6], amphiboles and glass in melt inclusions [7-10], and apatites [11, 12] from Martian meteorites report finding as much water as in the same phases from Earth's igneous rocks. Most martian hydrous minerals, however, generally have the relevant sites filled with Cl and F instead of H [13, 14], and experiments using Cl [15] in parent melts can reproduce Martian basalt compositions as well as those with water [16]. We are in the process of analyzing Martian meteorite minerals by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) in order to constrain the role of water in this planet s formation and magmatic evolution

  6. A simulation test of the impact on soil moisture by agricultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To study the impact by agricultural machinery on changes in soil moisture, we used a simulated test method employing round iron plate based on the ground pressure ratio between the front and rear wheels of wheeled tractors and crawler tractors. We conducted soil compactions with five pressure loads (35, 98, 118, 196 ...

  7. Hygrothermal Simulation of Foundations: Part 1 - Soil Material Properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kehrer, Manfred [ORNL; Pallin, Simon B [ORNL

    2012-10-01

    The hygrothermal performance of soils coupled to buildings is a complicated process. A computational approach for heat transfer through the ground has been well defined (EN ISO 13370:2007, 2007), and simplified methods have been developed (Staszczuk, Radon, and Holm 2010). However, these approaches generally ignore the transfer of soil moisture, which is not negligible (Janssen, Carmeliet, and Hens 2004). This study is divided into several parts. The intention of the first part is to gather, comprehend and adapt soil properties from Soil Science. The obtained information must be applicable to related tasks in Building Science and validated with hygrothermal calculation tools. Future parts of this study will focus on the validation aspect of the soil properties to be implemented. Basic changes in the software code may be requested at this time. Different types of basement construction will be created with a hygrothermal calculation tool, WUFI. Simulations from WUFI will be compared with existing or ongoing measurements. The intentions of the first part of this study have been fulfilled. The soil properties of interest in Building Science have been defined for 12 different soil textures. These properties will serve as input parameters when performing hygrothermal calculations of building constructions coupled to soil materials. The reliability of the soil parameters will be further evaluated with measurements in Part 2.

  8. The Apparent Involvement of ANMEs in Mineral Dependent Methane Oxidation, as an Analog for Possible Martian Methanotrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria J. Orphan

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available On Earth, marine anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM can be driven by the microbial reduction of sulfate, iron, and manganese. Here, we have further characterized marine sediment incubations to determine if the mineral dependent methane oxidation involves similar microorganisms to those found for sulfate-dependent methane oxidation. Through FISH and FISH-SIMS analyses using 13C and 15N labeled substrates, we find that the most active cells during manganese dependent AOM are primarily mixed and mixed-cluster aggregates of archaea and bacteria. Overall, our control experiment using sulfate showed two active bacterial clusters, two active shell aggregates, one active mixed aggregate, and an active archaeal sarcina, the last of which appeared to take up methane in the absence of a closely-associated bacterial partner. A single example of a shell aggregate appeared to be active in the manganese incubation, along with three mixed aggregates and an archaeal sarcina. These results suggest that the microorganisms (e.g., ANME-2 found active in the manganese-dependent incubations are likely capable of sulfate-dependent AOM. Similar metabolic flexibility for Martian methanotrophs would mean that the same microbial groups could inhabit a diverse set of Martian mineralogical crustal environments. The recently discovered seasonal Martian plumes of methane outgassing could be coupled to the reduction of abundant surface sulfates and extensive metal oxides, providing a feasible metabolism for present and past Mars. In an optimistic scenario Martian methanotrophy consumes much of the periodic methane released supporting on the order of 10,000 microbial cells per cm2 of Martian surface. Alternatively, most of the methane released each year could be oxidized through an abiotic process requiring biological methane oxidation to be more limited. If under this scenario, 1% of this methane flux were oxidized by biology in surface soils or in subsurface aquifers (prior to

  9. The provenance, formation, and implications of reduced carbon phases in Martian meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Andrew; McCubbin, Francis M.; Fries, Marc D.

    2016-11-01

    This review is intended to summarize the current observations of reduced carbon in Martian meteorites, differentiating between terrestrial contamination and carbon that is indigenous to Mars. Indeed, the identification of Martian organic matter is among the highest priority targets for robotic spacecraft missions in the next decade, including the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020. Organic carbon compounds are essential building blocks of terrestrial life, so the occurrence and origin (biotic or abiotic) of organic compounds on Mars is of great significance; however, not all forms of reduced carbon are conducive to biological systems. This paper discusses the significance of reduced organic carbon (including methane) in Martian geological and astrobiological systems. Specifically, it summarizes current thinking on the nature, sources, and sinks of Martian organic carbon, a key component to Martian habitability. Based on this compilation, reduced organic carbon on Mars, including detections of methane in the Martian atmosphere, is best described through a combination of abiotic organic synthesis on Mars and infall of extraterrestrial carbonaceous material. Although conclusive signs of Martian life have yet to be revealed, we have developed a strategy for life detection on Mars that can be utilized in future life-detection studies.

  10. Life on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venkatavaradan, V S [Tata Inst. of Fundamental Research, Bombay (India)

    1976-10-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C/sup 14/) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered.

  11. Life on Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venkatavaradan, V.S.

    1976-01-01

    The miniature biological laboratory of the Viking-1 lander had three experiments to determine, whether the micro-organisms of the Martian soil has: (1) photo-synthetic activity (2) metabolic process activity (utilisation of nutrients) and (3) respiration. The Martian soil was warmed in an incubator and exposed to carbon dioxide (containing C 14 ) in presence of xenon arc lamp to simulate the Sun. If the Martian organisms of the expected type are present in the soil, the gas released during the heating would be radio-active which can be detected by a radiation counter. The three experiments had given positive signals denoting the presence of micro-organisms on the surface of Mars. The presence of superoxide in the soil would be poisonous to life but it is likely that organisms may survive deeper below the soil, where the chemicals would not be formed. The Viking-2 results also offered similar results. However, the basic question whether there is life on Mars still remains unanswered. (K.M.)

  12. Simulating the influence of snow surface processes on soil moisture dynamics and streamflow generation in an alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wever

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of flood risks in alpine, snow-covered catchments requires an understanding of the linkage between the snow cover, soil and discharge in the stream network. Here, we apply the comprehensive, distributed model Alpine3D to investigate the role of soil moisture in the predisposition of the Dischma catchment in Switzerland to high flows from rainfall and snowmelt. The recently updated soil module of the physics-based multilayer snow cover model SNOWPACK, which solves the surface energy and mass balance in Alpine3D, is verified against soil moisture measurements at seven sites and various depths inside and in close proximity to the Dischma catchment. Measurements and simulations in such terrain are difficult and consequently, soil moisture was simulated with varying degrees of success. Differences between simulated and measured soil moisture mainly arise from an overestimation of soil freezing and an absence of a groundwater description in the Alpine3D model. Both were found to have an influence in the soil moisture measurements. Using the Alpine3D simulation as the surface scheme for a spatially explicit hydrologic response model using a travel time distribution approach for interflow and baseflow, streamflow simulations were performed for the discharge from the catchment. The streamflow simulations provided a closer agreement with observed streamflow when driving the hydrologic response model with soil water fluxes at 30 cm depth in the Alpine3D model. Performance decreased when using the 2 cm soil water flux, thereby mostly ignoring soil processes. This illustrates that the role of soil moisture is important to take into account when understanding the relationship between both snowpack runoff and rainfall and catchment discharge in high alpine terrain. However, using the soil water flux at 60 cm depth to drive the hydrologic response model also decreased its performance, indicating that an optimal soil depth to include in

  13. Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1987-01-01

    The surface of Mars is characterized on the basis of reformatted Viking remote-sensing data, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Topics examined include impact craters, ridges and faults, volcanic studies (modeling of surface effects on volcanic activity, description and interpretation of volcanic features, and calculations on lava-ice interactions), the role of liquid water on Mars, evidence for abundant ground ice at high latitudes, water-cycle modeling, and the composition and dynamics of Martian dust

  14. Impacts of simulated acid rain on recalcitrance of two different soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhongmin; Liu, Xingmei; Wu, Jianjun; Xu, Jianming

    2013-06-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to estimate the impacts of simulated acid rain (SAR) on recalcitrance in a Plinthudult and a Paleudalfs soil in south China, which were a variable and a permanent charge soil, respectively. Simulated acid rains were prepared at pH 2.0, 3.5, 5.0, and 6.0, by additions of different volumes of H2SO4 plus HNO3 at a ratio of 6 to 1. The leaching period was designed to represent 5 years of local annual rainfall (1,200 mm) with a 33 % surface runoff loss. Both soils underwent both acidification stages of (1) cation exchange and (2) mineral weathering at SAR pH 2.0, whereas only cation exchange occurred above SAR pH 3.5, i.e., weathering did not commence. The cation exchange stage was more easily changed into that of mineral weathering in the Plinthudult than in the Paleudalfs soil, and there were some K(+) and Mg(2+) ions released on the stages of mineral weathering in the Paleudalfs soil. During the leaching, the release of exchangeable base cations followed the order Ca(2+) >K(+) >Mg(2+) >Na(+) for the Plinthudult and Ca(2+) >Mg(2+) >Na(+) >K(+) for the Paleudalfs soil. The SARs above pH 3.5 did not decrease soil pH or pH buffering capacity, while the SAR at pH 2.0 decreased soil pH and the buffering capacity significantly. We conclude that acid rain, which always has a pH from 3.5 to 5.6, only makes a small contribution to the acidification of agricultural soils of south China in the short term of 5 years. Also, Paleudalfs soils are more resistant to acid rain than Plinthudult soils. The different abilities to prevent leaching by acid rain depend upon the parent materials, types of clay minerals, and soil development degrees.

  15. Perturbations in the initial soil moisture conditions: Impacts on hydrologic simulation in a large river basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niroula, Sundar; Halder, Subhadeep; Ghosh, Subimal

    2018-06-01

    Real time hydrologic forecasting requires near accurate initial condition of soil moisture; however, continuous monitoring of soil moisture is not operational in many regions, such as, in Ganga basin, extended in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. Here, we examine the impacts of perturbation/error in the initial soil moisture conditions on simulated soil moisture and streamflow in Ganga basin and its propagation, during the summer monsoon season (June to September). This provides information regarding the required minimum duration of model simulation for attaining the model stability. We use the Variable Infiltration Capacity model for hydrological simulations after validation. Multiple hydrologic simulations are performed, each of 21 days, initialized on every 5th day of the monsoon season for deficit, surplus and normal monsoon years. Each of these simulations is performed with the initial soil moisture condition obtained from long term runs along with positive and negative perturbations. The time required for the convergence of initial errors is obtained for all the cases. We find a quick convergence for the year with high rainfall as well as for the wet spells within a season. We further find high spatial variations in the time required for convergence; the region with high precipitation such as Lower Ganga basin attains convergence at a faster rate. Furthermore, deeper soil layers need more time for convergence. Our analysis is the first attempt on understanding the sensitivity of hydrological simulations of Ganga basin on initial soil moisture conditions. The results obtained here may be useful in understanding the spin-up requirements for operational hydrologic forecasts.

  16. Simulation of nitrous oxide effluxes, crop yields and soil physical properties using the LandscapeDNDC model in managed ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyckowiak, Jedrzej; Lesny, Jacek; Haas, Edwin; Juszczak, Radoslaw; Kiese, Ralf; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Olejnik, Janusz

    2014-05-01

    Modeling of nitrous oxide emissions from soil is very complex. Many different biological and chemical processes take place in soils which determine the amount of emitted nitrous oxide. Additionaly, biogeochemical models contain many detailed factors which may determine fluxes and other simulated variables. We used the LandscapeDNDC model in order to simulate N2O emissions, crop yields and soil physical properties from mineral cultivated soils in Poland. Nitrous oxide emissions from soils were modeled for fields with winter wheat, winter rye, spring barley, triticale, potatoes and alfalfa crops. Simulations were carried out for the plots of the Brody arable experimental station of Poznan University of Life Science in western Poland and covered the period 2003 - 2012. The model accuracy and its efficiency was determined by comparing simulations result with measurements of nitrous oxide emissions (measured with static chambers) from about 40 field campaigns. N2O emissions are strongly dependent on temperature and soil water content, hence we compared also simulated soil temperature at 10cm depth and soil water content at the same depth with the daily measured values of these driving variables. We compared also simulated yield quantities for each individual experimental plots with yield quantities which were measured in the period 2003-2012. We conclude that the LandscapeDNDC model is capable to simulate soil N2O emissions, crop yields and physical properties of soil with satisfactorily good accuracy and efficiency.

  17. Martian sub-surface ionising radiation: biosignatures and geology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Ward

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The surface of Mars, unshielded by thick atmosphere or global magnetic field, is exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation. This ionising radiation field is deleterious to the survival of dormant cells or spores and the persistence of molecular biomarkers in the subsurface, and so its characterisation is of prime astrobiological interest. Here, we present modelling results of the absorbed radiation dose as a function of depth through the Martian subsurface, suitable for calculation of biomarker persistence. A second major implementation of this dose accumulation rate data is in application of the optically stimulated luminescence technique for dating Martian sediments.

    We present calculations of the dose-depth profile in the Martian subsurface for various scenarios: variations of surface composition (dry regolith, ice, layered permafrost, solar minimum and maximum conditions, locations of different elevation (Olympus Mons, Hellas basin, datum altitude, and increasing atmospheric thickness over geological history. We also model the changing composition of the subsurface radiation field with depth compared between Martian locations with different shielding material, determine the relative dose contributions from primaries of different energies, and discuss particle deflection by the crustal magnetic fields.

  18. Impact of simulated acid rain on soil microbial community function in Masson pine seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Wang

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: The results obtained indicated that the higher acid load decreased the soil microbial activity and no effects on soil microbial diversity assessed by Biolog of potted Masson pine seedlings. Simulated acid rain also changed the metabolic capability of the soil microbial community.

  19. Preparation, Characterization, and UV Irradiation of Mars Soil Analogues Under Simulated Martian Conditions to Support Detection of Molecular Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornaro, T.; Brucato, J. R.; ten Kate, I. L.; Siljeström, S.; Steele, A.; Cody, G. D.; Hazen, R. M.

    2018-04-01

    We present laboratory activities of preparation, characterization, and UV irradiation processing of Mars soil analogues, which are key to support both in situ exploration and sample return missions devoted to detection of molecular biomarkers on Mars.

  20. Water erosion under simulated rainfall in different soil management systems during soybean growth

    OpenAIRE

    Engel,Fernando Luis; Bertol,Ildegardis; Mafra,Álvaro Luiz; Cogo,Neroli Pedro

    2007-01-01

    Soil management influences soil cover by crop residues and plant canopy, affecting water erosion. The objective of this research was to quantify water and soil losses by water erosion under different soil tillage systems applied on a typical aluminic Hapludox soil, in an experiment carried out from April 2003 to May 2004, in the Santa Catarina highland region, Lages, southern Brazil. Simulated rainfall was applied during five soybean cropstages, at the constant intensity of 64.0 mm h-1. Treat...

  1. Martian extratropical cyclones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G. E.; James, P. B.

    1979-01-01

    Physical properties of summer-season baroclinic waves on Mars are discussed on the basis of vidicon images and infrared thermal mapping generated by Viking Orbiter 1. The two northern-hemisphere storm systems examined here appear to be similar to terrestrial mid-latitude cyclonic storms. The Martian storm clouds are probably composed of water ice, rather than dust or CO2 ice particles.

  2. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  3. The responses of an anaerobic microorganism, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined simulated Martian stresses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Beblo-Vranesevic

    Full Text Available The limits of life of aerobic microorganisms are well understood, but the responses of anaerobic microorganisms to individual and combined extreme stressors are less well known. Motivated by an interest in understanding the survivability of anaerobic microorganisms under Martian conditions, we investigated the responses of a new isolate, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined stresses associated with the Martian surface. This organism belongs to an adaptable and persistent genus of anaerobic microorganisms found in many environments worldwide. The effects of desiccation, low pressure, ionizing radiation, varying temperature, osmotic pressure, and oxidizing chemical compounds were investigated. The strain showed a high tolerance to desiccation, with a decline of survivability by four orders of magnitude during a storage time of 85 days. Exposure to X-rays resulted in dose-dependent inactivation for exposure up to 600 Gy while applied doses above 750 Gy led to complete inactivation. The effects of the combination of desiccation and irradiation were additive and the survivability was influenced by the order in which they were imposed. Ionizing irradiation and subsequent desiccation was more deleterious than vice versa. By contrast, the presence of perchlorates was not found to significantly affect the survival of the Yersinia strain after ionizing radiation. These data show that the organism has the capacity to survive and grow in physical and chemical stresses, imposed individually or in combination that are associated with Martian environment. Eventually it lost its viability showing that many of the most adaptable anaerobic organisms on Earth would be killed on Mars today.

  4. The responses of an anaerobic microorganism, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined simulated Martian stresses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohmeier, Maria; Perras, Alexandra K.; Schwendner, Petra; Rabbow, Elke; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine; Cockell, Charles S.; Pukall, Rüdiger; Vannier, Pauline; Marteinsson, Viggo T.; Monaghan, Euan P.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Garcia-Descalzo, Laura; Gómez, Felipe; Malki, Moustafa; Amils, Ricardo; Gaboyer, Frédéric; Westall, Frances; Cabezas, Patricia; Walter, Nicolas; Rettberg, Petra

    2017-01-01

    The limits of life of aerobic microorganisms are well understood, but the responses of anaerobic microorganisms to individual and combined extreme stressors are less well known. Motivated by an interest in understanding the survivability of anaerobic microorganisms under Martian conditions, we investigated the responses of a new isolate, Yersinia intermedia MASE-LG-1 to individual and combined stresses associated with the Martian surface. This organism belongs to an adaptable and persistent genus of anaerobic microorganisms found in many environments worldwide. The effects of desiccation, low pressure, ionizing radiation, varying temperature, osmotic pressure, and oxidizing chemical compounds were investigated. The strain showed a high tolerance to desiccation, with a decline of survivability by four orders of magnitude during a storage time of 85 days. Exposure to X-rays resulted in dose-dependent inactivation for exposure up to 600 Gy while applied doses above 750 Gy led to complete inactivation. The effects of the combination of desiccation and irradiation were additive and the survivability was influenced by the order in which they were imposed. Ionizing irradiation and subsequent desiccation was more deleterious than vice versa. By contrast, the presence of perchlorates was not found to significantly affect the survival of the Yersinia strain after ionizing radiation. These data show that the organism has the capacity to survive and grow in physical and chemical stresses, imposed individually or in combination that are associated with Martian environment. Eventually it lost its viability showing that many of the most adaptable anaerobic organisms on Earth would be killed on Mars today. PMID:29069099

  5. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, Kevin; Danielson, L. R.; Martin, A. M.; Newville, M.; Choi, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Martian meteorites record a range of oxygen fugacities from near the IW buffer to above FMQ buffer [1]. In terrestrial magmas, Fe(3+)/ SigmaFe for this fO2 range are between 0 and 0.25 [2]. Such variation will affect the stability of oxides, pyroxenes, and how the melt equilibrates with volatile species. An understanding of the variation of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe for martian magmas is lacking, and previous work has been on FeO-poor and Al2O3-rich terrestrial basalts. We have initiated a study of the iron redox systematics of martian magmas to better understand FeO and Fe2O3 stability, the stability of magnetite, and the low Ca/high Ca pyroxene [3] ratios observed at the surface.

  6. An Approach for Simulating Soil Loss from an Agro-Ecosystem Using Multi-Agent Simulation: A Case Study for Semi-Arid Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biola K. Badmos

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil loss is not limited to change from forest or woodland to other land uses/covers. It may occur when there is agricultural land-use/cover modification or conversion. Soil loss may influence loss of carbon from the soil, hence implication on greenhouse gas emission. Changing land use could be considered actually or potentially successful in adapting to climate change, or may be considered maladaptation if it creates environmental degradation. In semi-arid northern Ghana, changing agricultural practices have been identified amongst other climate variability and climate change adaptation measures. Similarly, some of the policies aimed at improving farm household resilience toward climate change impact might necessitate land use change. The heterogeneity of farm household (agents cannot be ignored when addressing land use/cover change issues, especially when livelihood is dependent on land. This paper therefore presents an approach for simulating soil loss from an agro-ecosystem using multi-agent simulation (MAS. We adapted a universal soil loss equation as a soil loss sub-model in the Vea-LUDAS model (a MAS model. Furthermore, for a 20-year simulation period, we presented the impact of agricultural land-use adaptation strategy (maize cultivation credit i.e., maize credit scenario on soil loss and compared it with the baseline scenario i.e., business-as-usual. Adoption of maize as influenced by maize cultivation credit significantly influenced agricultural land-use change in the study area. Although there was no significant difference in the soil loss under the tested scenarios, the incorporation of human decision-making in a temporal manner allowed us to view patterns that cannot be seen in single step modeling. The study shows that opening up cropland on soil with a high erosion risk has implications for soil loss. Hence, effective measures should be put in place to prevent the opening up of lands that have high erosion risk.

  7. Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K.; Danielson, L.; Martin, A.; Pando, K.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.

    2011-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite [1]. Morris et al. [1] propose that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks [2,3]. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stability of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas [4,5]. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition. Second, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of the same shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar and variable fO2 at 1250 C, and at variable pressure. These two goals will help define not only magnetite stability, but pyroxene-melt equilibria that are also dependent upon fO2.

  8. Evidence for a Heterogeneous Distribution of Water in the Martian Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Srinvasan, Poorna; Santos, Alison R.; Elardo, Stephen M.; Filiberto, Justin; Steele, Andrew; Shearer, Charles K.

    2016-01-01

    The abundance and distribution of H2O within the terrestrial planets, as well as its timing of delivery, is a topic of vital importance for understanding the chemical and physical evolution of planets and their potential for hosting habitable environments. Analysis of planetary materials from Mars, the Moon, and the eucrite parent body (i.e., asteroid 4Vesta) have confirmed the presence of H2O within their interiors. Moreover, H and N isotopic data from these planetary materials suggests H2O was delivered to the inner solar system very early from a common source, similar in composition to the carbonaceous chondrites. Despite the ubiquity of H2O in the inner Solar System, the only destination with any prospects for past or present habitable environments at this time, outside of the Earth, is Mars. Although the presence of H2O within the martian interior has been confirmed, very little is known regarding its abundance and distribution within the martian interior and how the martian water inventory has changed over time. By combining new analyses of martian apatites within a large number of martian meteorite types with previously published volatile data and recently determined mineral-melt partition coefficients for apatite, we report new insights into the abundance and distribution of volatiles in the martian crust and mantle. Using the subset of samples that did not exhibit crustal contamination, we determined that the enriched shergottite mantle source has 36-73 ppm H2O and the depleted shergottite mantle source has 14-23 ppm H2O. This result is consistent with other observed geochemical differences between enriched and depleted shergottites and supports the idea that there are at least two geochemically distinct reservoirs in the martian mantle. We also estimated the H2O content of the martian crust using the revised mantle H2O abundances and known crust-mantle distributions of incompatible lithophile elements. We determined that the bulk martian crust has

  9. Modelling cadmium contamination in paddy soils under long-term remediation measures: Model development and stochastic simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Chi; Wang, Meie; Chen, Weiping

    2016-09-01

    A pollutant accumulation model (PAM) based on the mass balance theory was developed to simulate long-term changes of heavy metal concentrations in soil. When combined with Monte Carlo simulation, the model can predict the probability distributions of heavy metals in a soil-water-plant system with fluctuating environmental parameters and inputs from multiple pathways. The model was used for evaluating different remediation measures to deal with Cd contamination of paddy soils in Youxian county (Hunan province), China, under five scenarios, namely the default scenario (A), not returning paddy straw to the soil (B), reducing the deposition of Cd (C), liming (D), and integrating several remediation measures (E). The model predicted that the Cd contents of soil can lowered significantly by (B) and those of the plants by (D). However, in the long run, (D) will increase soil Cd. The concentrations of Cd in both soils and rice grains can be effectively reduced by (E), although it will take decades of effort. The history of Cd pollution and the major causes of Cd accumulation in soil were studied by means of sensitivity analysis and retrospective simulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy library for the Martian environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cousin, A.; Forni, O.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.

    2011-01-01

    The NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover will carry the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy experiment in space: ChemCam. We have developed a laboratory model which mimics ChemCam's main characteristics. We used a set of target samples relevant to Mars geochemistry, and we recorded individual spectra. We propose a data reduction scheme for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy data incorporating de-noising, continuum removal, and peak fitting. Known effects of the Martian atmosphere are confirmed with our experiment: better Signal-to-Noise Ratio on Mars compared to Earth, narrower peak width, and essentially no self-absorption. The wavelength shift of emission lines from air to Mars pressure is discussed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology vacuum database is used for wavelength calibration and to identify the elemental lines. Our Martian database contains 1336 lines for 32 elements: H, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ar, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Cs, Ba, and Pb. It is a subset of the National Institute of Standards and Technology database to be used for Martian geochemistry. Finally, synthetic spectra can be built from the Martian database. Correlation calculations help to distinguish between elements in case of uncertainty. This work is used to create tools and support data for the interpretation of ChemCam results. - Highlights: ► Chemcam: first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy technique on Mars. ► Creation of a LIBS specific database to ChemCam on Mars. ► Data reduction scheme is proposed. ► Best signal under Martian conditions. ► LIBS emission lines database: subset of NIST database for Martian geochemistry.

  11. Decomposition by ectomycorrhizal fungi alters soil carbon storage in a simulation model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moore, J. A. M.; Jiang, J.; Post, W. M.

    2015-01-01

    Carbon cycle models often lack explicit belowground organism activity, yet belowground organisms regulate carbon storage and release in soil. Ectomycorrhizal fungi are important players in the carbon cycle because they are a conduit into soil for carbon assimilated by the plant. It is hypothesized...... to decompose soil organic matter. Our review highlights evidence demonstrating the potential for ectomycorrhizal fungi to decompose soil organic matter. Our model output suggests that ectomycorrhizal activity accounts for a portion of carbon decomposed in soil, but this portion varied with plant productivity...... and the mycorrhizal carbon uptake strategy simulated. Lower organic matter inputs to soil were largely responsible for reduced soil carbon storage. Using mathematical theory, we demonstrated that biotic interactions affect predictions of ecosystem functions. Specifically, we developed a simple function to model...

  12. Evaluation of land surface model simulations of evapotranspiration over a 12 year crop succession: impact of the soil hydraulic properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrigues, S.; Olioso, A.; Calvet, J.-C.; Martin, E.; Lafont, S.; Moulin, S.; Chanzy, A.; Marloie, O.; Desfonds, V.; Bertrand, N.; Renard, D.

    2014-10-01

    Evapotranspiration has been recognized as one of the most uncertain term in the surface water balance simulated by land surface models. In this study, the SURFEX/ISBA-A-gs simulations of evapotranspiration are assessed at local scale over a 12 year Mediterranean crop succession. The model is evaluated in its standard implementation which relies on the use of the ISBA pedotransfer estimates of the soil properties. The originality of this work consists in explicitly representing the succession of crop cycles and inter-crop bare soil periods in the simulations and assessing its impact on the dynamic of simulated and measured evapotranspiration over a long period of time. The analysis focuses on key soil parameters which drive the simulation of evapotranspiration, namely the rooting depth, the soil moisture at saturation, the soil moisture at field capacity and the soil moisture at wilting point. The simulations achieved with the standard values of these parameters are compared to those achieved with the in situ values. The portability of the ISBA pedotransfer functions is evaluated over a typical Mediterranean crop site. Various in situ estimates of the soil parameters are considered and distinct parametrization strategies are tested to represent the evapotranspiration dynamic over the crop succession. This work shows that evapotranspiration mainly results from the soil evaporation when it is continuously simulated over a Mediterranean crop succession. The evapotranspiration simulated with the standard surface and soil parameters of the model is largely underestimated. The deficit in cumulative evapotranspiration amounts to 24% over 12 years. The bias in daily daytime evapotranspiration is -0.24 mm day-1. The ISBA pedotransfer estimates of the soil moisture at saturation and at wilting point are overestimated which explains most of the evapotranspiration underestimation. The overestimation of the soil moisture at wilting point causes the underestimation of

  13. The Martian Oasis Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, P. H.; tomasko, M. G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.

    2000-07-01

    The next phase of unmanned Mars missions paves the way for astronauts to land on the surface of Mars. There are lessons to be learned from the unmanned precursor missions to the Moon and the Apollo lunar surface expeditions. These unmanned missions (Ranger, Lunar Orbiter, and Surveyor) provided the following valuable information, useful from both a scientific and engineering perspective, which was required to prepare the way for the manned exploration of the lunar surface: (1) high resolution imagery instrumental to Apollo landing site selection also tremendously advanced the state of Nearside and Farside regional geology; (2) demonstrated precision landing (less than two kilometers from target) and soft landing capability; (3) established that the surface had sufficient bearing strength to support a spacecraft; and (4) examination of the chemical composition and mechanical properties of the surface. The search for extinct or extant life on Mars will follow the water. However, geomorphic studies have shown that Mars has had liquid water on its surface throughout its geologic history. A cornucopia of potential landing sites with water histories (lakes, floodplains, oceans, deltas, hydrothermal regions) presently exist. How will we narrow down site selection and increase the likelihood of finding the signs of life? One way to do this is to identify 'Martian oases.' It is known that the Martian surface is often highly fractured and some areas have karst structures that support underground caves. Much of the water that formed the channels and valley networks is thought to be frozen underground. All that is needed to create the potential for liquid water is a near surface source of heat; recent lava flows and Martian meteorites attest to the potential for volcanic activity. If we can locate even one spot where fracturing, ice, and underground heat are co-located then we have the potential for an oasis. Such a discovery could truly excite the imaginations of both the

  14. Qualitative comparison of soil erosion, runoff and infiltration coefficients using small portable rainfall simulators in Germany, Spain and France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigo Comino, Jesús; Iserloh, Thomas; Morvan, Xavier; Malam Issa, Oumarou; Naisse, Christophe; Keesstra, Saskia; Cerdà, Artemi; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Arnáez, José; Lasanta, Teodoro; Concepción Ramos, María; José Marqués, María; Ruiz Colmenero, Marta; Bienes, Ramón; Damián Ruiz Sinoga, José; Seeger, Manuel; Ries, Johannes B.

    2016-04-01

    Small portable rainfall simulators are considered as a useful tool to analyze soil erosion processes in cultivated lands. European research groups of Spain (Valencia, Málaga, Lleida, Madrid and La Rioja), France (Reims) or Germany (Trier) have used different rainfall simulators (varying in drop size distribution and fall velocities, kinetic energy, plot forms and sizes, and field of application)to study soil loss, surface flow, runoff and infiltration coefficients in different experimental plots (Valencia, Montes de Málaga, Penedès, Campo Real and La Rioja in Spain, Champagne in France and Mosel-Ruwer valley in Germany). The measurements and experiments developed by these research teams give an overview of the variety in the methodologies with rainfall simulations in studying the problem of soil erosion and describing the erosion features in different climatic environments, management practices and soil types. The aim of this study is: i) to investigate where, how and why researchers from different wine-growing regions applied rainfall simulations with successful results as a tool to measure soil erosion processes; ii) to make a qualitative comparison about the general soil erosion processes in European terroirs; iii) to demonstrate the importance of the development a standard method for soil erosion processes in vineyards, using rainfall simulators; iv) and to analyze the key factors that should be taken into account to carry out rainfall simulations. The rainfall simulations in all cases allowed knowing the infiltration capacity and the susceptibility of the soil to be detached and to generate sediment loads to runoff. Despite using small plots, the experiments were useful to analyze the influence of soil cover to reduce soil erosion and to make comparison between different locations or the influence of different soil characteristics.

  15. Nature of Reduced Carbon in Martian Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Everett K., Jr.; McKay, D. S.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Clemett, S. J.; White, L. M.

    2012-01-01

    Martian meteorites provide important information on the nature of reduced carbon components present on Mars throughout its history. The first in situ analyses for carbon on the surface of Mars by the Viking landers yielded disappointing results. With the recognition of Martian meteorites on Earth, investigations have shown carbon-bearing phases exist on Mars. Studies have yielded presence of reduced carbon, carbonates and inferred graphitic carbon phases. Samples ranging in age from the first approximately 4 Ga of Mars history [e.g. ALH84001] to nakhlites with a crystallization age of 1.3 Ga [e.g. Nakhla] with aqueous alteration processes occurring 0.5-0.7 Ga after crystallizaton. Shergottites demonstrate formation ages around 165-500 Ma with younger aqueous alterations events. Only a limited number of the Martian meteorites do not show evidence of significance terrestrial alterations. Selected areas within ALH84001, Nakhla, Yamato 000593 and possibly Tissint are suitable for study of their indigenous reduced carbon bearing phases. Nakhla possesses discrete, well-defined carbonaceous phases present within iddingsite alteration zones. Based upon both isotopic measurements and analysis of Nakhla's organic phases the presence of pre-terrestrial organics is now recognized. The reduced carbon-bearing phases appear to have been deposited during preterrestrial aqueous alteration events that produced clays. In addition, the microcrystalline layers of Nakhla's iddingsite have discrete units of salt crystals suggestive of evaporation processes. While we can only speculate on the origin of these unique carbonaceous structures, we note that the significance of such observations is that it may allow us to understand the role of Martian carbon as seen in the Martian meteorites with obvious implications for astrobiology and the pre-biotic evolution of Mars. In any case, our observations strongly suggest that reduced organic carbon exists as micrometer- size, discrete structures

  16. Research on Impact Process of Lander Footpad against Simulant Lunar Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Huang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The safe landing of a Moon lander and the performance of the precise instruments it carries may be affected by too heavy impact on touchdown. Accordingly, landing characteristics have become an important research focus. Described in this paper are model tests carried out using simulated lunar soils of different relative densities (called “simulant” lunar soils below, with a scale reduction factor of 1/6 to consider the relative gravities of the Earth and Moon. In the model tests, the lander was simplified as an impact column with a saucer-shaped footpad with various impact landing masses and velocities. Based on the test results, the relationships between the footpad peak feature responses and impact kinetic energy have been analyzed. Numerical simulation analyses were also conducted to simulate the vertical impact process. A 3D dynamic finite element model was built for which the material parameters were obtained from laboratory test data. When compared with the model tests, the numerical model proved able to effectively simulate the dynamic characteristics of the axial forces, accelerations, and penetration depths of the impact column during landing. This numerical model can be further used as required for simulating oblique landing impacts.

  17. Near-UV Transmittance of Basalt Dust as an Analog of the Martian Regolith: Implications for Sensor Calibration and Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Martínez-Frías

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The Martian regolith is exposed to solar irradiation in the near-UV (200-390 nm.Basalt is one of the main components of the dust on Mars surface. The near-UV irradiationof basalt dust on Mars is simulated experimentally in order to determine the transmittance asa function of the mass and thickness of the dust. This data can serve to quantify theabsorption of dust deposited on sensors aiming to measure the UV intensity on Marssurface. The minimum thickness of the dust that corresponds to near-zero-transmittance inthe near-UV is measured. Hypothetical Martian microorganisms living on the dusty regolithat deeper layers would be preserved from the damaging solar UV irradiation.

  18. A drill-soil system modelization for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finzi, A. E.; Lavagna, M.; Rocchitelli, G.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a first approach to the problem of modeling a drilling process to be carried on in the space environment by a dedicated payload. Systems devoted to work in space present very strict requirements in many different fields such as thermal response, electric power demand, reliability and so on. Thus, models devoted to the operational behaviour simulation represent a fundamental help in the design phase and give a great improvement in the final product quality. As the required power is the crucial constraint within drilling devices, the tool-soil interaction modelization and simulation are finalized to the computation of the power demand as a function of both the drill and the soil parameters. An accurate study of the tool and the soil separately has been firstly carried on and, secondly their interaction has been analyzed. The Dee-Dri system, designed by Tecnospazio and to be part of the lander components in the NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission, has been taken as the tool reference. The Deep-Drill system is a complex rotary tool devoted to the soil perforation and sample collection; it has to operate in a Martian zone made of rocks similar to the terrestrial basalt, then the modelization is restricted to the interaction analysis between the tool and materials belonging to the rock set. The tool geometric modelization has been faced by a finite element approach with a Langrangian formulation: for the static analysis a refined model is assumed considering both the actual geometry of the head and the rod screws; a simplified model has been used to deal with the dynamic analysis. The soil representation is based on the Mohr-Coulomb crack criterion and an Eulerian approach has been selected to model it. However, software limitations in dealing with the tool-soil interface definition required assuming a Langrangian formulation for the soil too. The interaction between the soil and the tool has been modeled by extending the two-dimensional Nishimatsu

  19. Numerical simulation of electro-osmotic consolidation coupling non-linear variation of soil parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hui; Hu, Liming; Wen, Qingbo

    2017-06-01

    Electro-osmotic consolidation is an effective method for soft ground improvement. A main limitation of previous numerical models on this technique is the ignorance of the non-linear variation of soil parameters. In the present study, a multi-field numerical model is developed with the consideration of the non-linear variation of soil parameters during electro-osmotic consolidation process. The numerical simulations on an axisymmetric model indicated that the non-linear variation of soil parameters showed remarkable impact on the development of the excess pore water pressure and degree of consolidation. A field experiment with complex geometry, boundary conditions, electrode configuration and voltage application was further simulated with the developed numerical model. The comparison between field and numerical data indicated that the numerical model coupling of the non-linear variation of soil parameters gave more reasonable results. The developed numerical model is capable to analyze engineering cases with complex operating conditions.

  20. Respiration rates in forest soil organic horizon materials treated with simulated acid rain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salonius, P O

    1990-01-01

    The entire organic horizon above the mineral soil was collected under a mature black spruce (Picea mariana) stand in central New Brunswick. The organic horizon consisted of litter, fermentation, and humus layers of 1.5, 4.0, and 1.0 cm depths respectively. In concert with a series of simulated rain experiments, which dealt with the effects of acid precipitation of pH 4.6, 3.6, and 2.6 compared with controls at pH 5.6 on germination and early growth of forest tree seedlings, 30 randomly distributed, unplanted tubes in each rain chamber were exposed to treatment during each of the 5-week treatments of the various tree species. During the experiments, ca 315 mm of simulated rain was deposited on the soil surfaces in the tube containers. Marked decreases in soil microbial activity were found only with pH 2.6 rain, but responsiveness to increasing temperature was lower as rain of greater acidity was applied to the soil. Ammonium nitrogen mineralization rates were not affected by treatment of soil with acidified precipitation. 26 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Evaluation of land surface model simulations of evapotranspiration over a 12-year crop succession: impact of soil hydraulic and vegetation properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrigues, S.; Olioso, A.; Calvet, J. C.; Martin, E.; Lafont, S.; Moulin, S.; Chanzy, A.; Marloie, O.; Buis, S.; Desfonds, V.; Bertrand, N.; Renard, D.

    2015-07-01

    Evapotranspiration has been recognized as one of the most uncertain terms in the surface water balance simulated by land surface models. In this study, the SURFEX/ISBA-A-gs (Interaction Sol-Biosphere-Atmosphere) simulations of evapotranspiration are assessed at the field scale over a 12-year Mediterranean crop succession. The model is evaluated in its standard implementation which relies on the use of the ISBA pedotransfer estimates of the soil properties. The originality of this work consists in explicitly representing the succession of crop cycles and inter-crop bare soil periods in the simulations and assessing its impact on the dynamics of simulated and measured evapotranspiration over a long period of time. The analysis focuses on key parameters which drive the simulation of ET, namely the rooting depth, the soil moisture at saturation, the soil moisture at field capacity and the soil moisture at wilting point. A sensitivity analysis is first conducted to quantify the relative contribution of each parameter on ET simulation over 12 years. The impact of the estimation method used to retrieve the soil parameters (pedotransfer function, laboratory and field methods) on ET is then analysed. The benefit of representing the variations in time of the rooting depth and wilting point is evaluated. Finally, the propagation of uncertainties in the soil parameters on ET simulations is quantified through a Monte Carlo analysis and compared with the uncertainties triggered by the mesophyll conductance which is a key above-ground driver of the stomatal conductance. This work shows that evapotranspiration mainly results from the soil evaporation when it is continuously simulated over a Mediterranean crop succession. This results in a high sensitivity of simulated evapotranspiration to uncertainties in the soil moisture at field capacity and the soil moisture at saturation, both of which drive the simulation of soil evaporation. Field capacity was proved to be the most

  2. Troughs on Martian Ice Sheets: Analysis of Their Closure and Mass Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, A.; Kargel, J.; Lewis, K.; MacAyeal, D.; Pfeffer, T.; Zwally, J.

    2000-01-01

    At the Copenhagen workshop on Martian polar processes, Ralf Greve commented that the flow regime surrounding scarps and troughs of the Martian polar ice sheets cannot be modeled using traditional "plan view" ice-sheet models. Such models are inadequate because they typically use reduced equations that embody certain simplifications applicable only to terrestrial ice sheets where the upper ice sheet surface is smooth. In response to this suggestion, we have constructed a 2-dimensional, time dependent "side view" (two spatial dimensions: one horizontal, one vertical) model of scarp closure that is designed to overcome the difficulties described by Greve. The purpose of the model is to evaluate the scales of stress variation and styles of flow closure so as to estimate errors that may be encountered by "plan view" models. We show that there may be avenues whereby the complications associated with scarp closure can be overcome in "plan view" models through appropriate parameterizations of 3-dimensional effects. Following this, we apply the flow model to simulate the evolution of a typical scarp on the North Polar Cap of Mars. Our simulations investigate: (a) the role of "radiation trapping" (see our companion abstract) in creating and maintaining "spiral-like" scarps on the ice sheet, (b) the consequences of different flowlaws and ice compositions on scarp evolution and, in particular, scarp age, and (c) the role of dust and debris in scarp evolution.

  3. Simulating emissions of 1,3-dichloropropene after soil fumigation under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, S R; Ashworth, D J

    2018-04-15

    Soil fumigation is an important agricultural practice used to produce many vegetable and fruit crops. However, fumigating soil can lead to atmospheric emissions which can increase risks to human and environmental health. A complete understanding of the transport, fate, and emissions of fumigants as impacted by soil and environmental processes is needed to mitigate atmospheric emissions. Five large-scale field experiments were conducted to measure emission rates for 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), a soil fumigant commonly used in California. Numerical simulations of these experiments were conducted in predictive mode (i.e., no calibration) to determine if simulation could be used as a substitute for field experimentation to obtain information needed by regulators. The results show that the magnitude of the volatilization rate and the total emissions could be adequately predicted for these experiments, with the exception of a scenario where the field was periodically irrigated after fumigation. In addition, the timing of the daily peak 1,3-D emissions was not accurately predicted for these experiments due to the peak emission rates occurring during the night or early-morning hours. This study revealed that more comprehensive mathematical models (or adjustments to existing models) are needed to fully describe emissions of soil fumigants from field soils under typical agronomic conditions. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Unusual Iron Redox Systematics of Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L.; Righter, K.; Pando, K.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T.; Agresti, D.; Martin, A.; Sutton, S.; Newville, M.; Lanzirotti, A.

    2012-01-01

    Martian magmas are known to be FeO-rich and the dominant FeO-bearing mineral at many sites visited by the Mars Exploration rovers (MER) is magnetite. Morris et al. proposed that the magnetite appears to be igneous in origin, rather than of secondary origin. However, magnetite is not typically found in experimental studies of martian magmatic rocks. Magnetite stability in terrestrial magmas is well understood, as are the stabilities of FeO and Fe2O3 in terrestrial magmas. In order to better understand the variation of FeO and Fe2O3, and the stability of magnetite (and other FeO-bearing phases) in martian magmas, we have undertaken an experimental study with two emphases. First, we determine the FeO and Fe2O3 contents of super- and sub-liquidus glasses from a shergottite bulk composition at 1 bar to 4 GPa, and variable fO2. Second, we document the stability of magnetite with temperature and fO2 in a shergottite bulk composition.

  5. Independent principal component analysis for simulation of soil water content and bulk density in a Canadian Watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alaba Boluwade

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate characterization of soil properties such as soil water content (SWC and bulk density (BD is vital for hydrologic processes and thus, it is importance to estimate θ (water content and ρ (soil bulk density among other soil surface parameters involved in water retention and infiltration, runoff generation and water erosion, etc. The spatial estimation of these soil properties are important in guiding agricultural management decisions. These soil properties vary both in space and time and are correlated. Therefore, it is important to find an efficient and robust technique to simulate spatially correlated variables. Methods such as principal component analysis (PCA and independent component analysis (ICA can be used for the joint simulations of spatially correlated variables, but they are not without their flaws. This study applied a variant of PCA called independent principal component analysis (IPCA that combines the strengths of both PCA and ICA for spatial simulation of SWC and BD using the soil data set from an 11 km2 Castor watershed in southern Quebec, Canada. Diagnostic checks using the histograms and cumulative distribution function (cdf both raw and back transformed simulations show good agreement. Therefore, the results from this study has potential in characterization of water content variability and bulk density variation for precision agriculture.

  6. Formation of recent martian debris flows by melting of near-surface ground ice at high obliquity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costard, F; Forget, F; Mangold, N; Peulvast, J P

    2002-01-04

    The observation of small gullies associated with recent surface runoff on Mars has renewed the question of liquid water stability at the surface of Mars. The gullies could be formed by groundwater seepage from underground aquifers; however, observations of gullies originating from isolated peaks and dune crests question this scenario. We show that these landforms may result from the melting of water ice in the top few meters of the martian subsurface at high obliquity. Our conclusions are based on the analogy between the martian gullies and terrestrial debris flows observed in Greenland and numerical simulations that show that above-freezing temperatures can occur at high obliquities in the near surface of Mars, and that such temperatures are only predicted at latitudes and for slope orientations corresponding to where the gullies have been observed on Mars.

  7. The BIOPAN experiment MARSTOX II of the FOTON M-3 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettberg, P.; Moeller, R.; Rabbow, E.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.; Meyer, C.; Lammer, H.; Douki, T.; Cadet, J.

    2008-09-01

    The experiment MARSTOX II on FOTON M-3 mission (September 14 - 26, 2007) was a further step in the study of the Responses of Organisms to the Martian Environment (ROME) which already started with first ground-based experiments in Mars simulation chambers and with the space experiment MARSTOX I, flown in 2005 in the ESA facility BIOPAN (Fig. 1) on FOTON M-2. The survivability of bacterial spores of B. subtilis, a well-characterized model system for highly resistant microorganisms, was investigated under the extreme environmental conditions as they exist on the surface of Mars. By use of exterrestrial UV radiation and cut-off filters the photoprotection and potential UV-phototoxicity of different minerals of the Martian soil were investigated.In MARSTOX II two further aspects were addressed (i) the influence of different concentrations of dust in the Martian atmosphere, which change the solar irradiance on the surface significantly compared to vacuum exposure under the same conditions (experiment parts 'DUST MARS' and 'DUST SPACE'), and (ii) the survivability of spores under martian atmosphere and pressure exposed to a mars-like spectral irradiance compared to vacuum exposure under the same conditions (experiment parts 'MIXED MARS' and 'MIXED SPACE') (Fig. 2 and 3). After exposure to space during the FOTON M-3 mission the sample analysis was performed at CEA in Grenoble, F, and at DLR in Cologne, D, together with parallel samples from the corresponding ground control experiment performed in the space simulation facilities at DLR. As biological endpoints in these investigations survival and UV-induced DNAphotoproducts were analysed.From the results of MARSTOX II the following conclusions can be drawn: (i) Spores mixed with martian soil analogue are protected only to a low degree against UV radiation. The protective effect of several defined layers of spores mixed with Martian soil analogue were quantified. (ii) The two investigated martian soil analogues, MRS07 (47

  8. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  9. Martian regolith geochemistry and sampling techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    Laboratory study of samples of the intermediate and fine-grained regolith, including duricrust peds, is a fundamental prerequisite for understanding the types of physical and chemical weathering processes on Mars. The extraordinary importance of such samples is their relevance to understanding past changes in climate, availability (and possible physical state) of water, eolian forces, the thermal and chemical influences of volcanic and impact processes, and the inventory and fates of Martian volatiles. Fortunately, this regolith material appears to be ubiquitous over the Martian surface, and should be available at many different landing sites. Viking data has been interpreted to indicate a smectite-rich regolith material, implying extensive weathering involving aqueous activity and geochemical alteration. An all-igneous source of the Martian fines has also been proposed. The X-ray fluorescence measurement data set can now be fully explained in terms of a simple two-component model. The first component is silicate, having strong geochemical similarities with Shergottites, but not other SNC meteorites. The second component is salt. Variations in these components could produce silicate and salt-rich beds, the latter being of high potential importance for microenvironments in which liquid water (brines) could exist. It therefore would be desirable to scan the surface of the regolith for such prospects.

  10. Simulation Models of Leaf Area Index and Yield for Cotton Grown with Different Soil Conditioners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijun Su

    Full Text Available Simulation models of leaf area index (LAI and yield for cotton can provide a theoretical foundation for predicting future variations in yield. This paper analyses the increase in LAI and the relationships between LAI, dry matter, and yield for cotton under three soil conditioners near Korla, Xinjiang, China. Dynamic changes in cotton LAI were evaluated using modified logistic, Gaussian, modified Gaussian, log normal, and cubic polynomial models. Universal models for simulating the relative leaf area index (RLAI were established in which the application rate of soil conditioner was used to estimate the maximum LAI (LAIm. In addition, the relationships between LAIm and dry matter mass, yield, and the harvest index were investigated, and a simulation model for yield is proposed. A feasibility analysis of the models indicated that the cubic polynomial and Gaussian models were less accurate than the other three models for simulating increases in RLAI. Despite significant differences in LAIs under the type and amount of soil conditioner applied, LAIm could be described by aboveground dry matter using Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Moreover, the simulation model for cotton yield based on LAIm and the harvest index presented in this work provided important theoretical insights for improving water use efficiency in cotton cultivation and for identifying optimal application rates of soil conditioners.

  11. SNC meteorites: Clues to martian petrologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McSween, H.Y. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The shergottites, nakhlites, and Chassigny (SNC meteorites) are apparently cumulate mafic and ultramafic rocks that crystallized at shallow levels in the crust of their parent body. The mineralogy and chemistry of these meteorites are remarkably like equivalent terrestrial rocks, although their ratios of Fe/(Fe+Mg) and certain incompatible elements and their oxygen isotopic compositions are distinctive. All have crystallization ages of 1.3 b.y. or younger and formed from magmas produced by partial melting of previously fractionated source regions. Isotope systematics suggest that the SNC parent body had a complex and protracted thermal history spanning most of geologic time. Some meteorites have been severely shock metamorphosed, and all were ejected from their parent body at relatively recent times, possibly in several impact events. Late crystallization ages, complex petrogenesis, and possible evidence for a large gravitational field suggest that these meteorites are derived from a large planet. Trapped gases in shergottite shock melts have compositions similar to the composition measured in the Martian atmosphere. Ejection of Martian meteorites may have been accomplished by acceleration of near-surface spalls or other mechanisms not fully understood. If SNC meteorites are of Martian origin, they provide important information on planetary composition and evolution. The bulk composition and redox state of the Martian mantle, as constrained by shergottite phase equilibria, must be more earthlike than most current models. Planetary thermal models should benefit from data on the abundances of radioactive heat sources, the melting behavior of the mantle, and the timing of planetary differentiation

  12. Preliminary Dynamic Feasibility and Analysis of a Spherical, Wind-Driven (Tumbleweed), Martian Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flick, John J.; Toniolo, Matthew D.

    2005-01-01

    The process and findings are presented from a preliminary feasibility study examining the dynamics characteristics of a spherical wind-driven (or Tumbleweed) rover, which is intended for exploration of the Martian surface. The results of an initial feasibility study involving several worst-case mobility situations that a Tumbleweed rover might encounter on the surface of Mars are discussed. Additional topics include the evaluation of several commercially available analysis software packages that were examined as possible platforms for the development of a Monte Carlo Tumbleweed mission simulation tool. This evaluation lead to the development of the Mars Tumbleweed Monte Carlo Simulator (or Tumbleweed Simulator) using the Vortex physics software package from CM-Labs, Inc. Discussions regarding the development and evaluation of the Tumbleweed Simulator, as well as the results of a preliminary analysis using the tool are also presented. Finally, a brief conclusions section is presented.

  13. LISEM: a physically based model to simulate runoff and soil erosion in catchments: model structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roo, de A.P.J.; Wesseling, C.G.; Cremers, N.H.D.T.; Verzandvoort, M.A.; Ritsema, C.J.; Oostindie, K.

    1996-01-01

    The Limburg Soil Erosion Model (LISEM) is described as a way of simulating hydrological and soil erosion processes during single rainfall events on the catchment scale. Sensitivity analysis of the model shows that the initial matric pressure potentialthe hydraulic conductivity of the soil and

  14. Determining the Local Abundance of Martian Methane and its 13-C/l2-C and D/H Isotopic Ratios for Comparison with Related Gas and Soil Analysis on the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the origin of Martian methane will require numerous complementary measurements from both in situ and remote sensing investigations and laboratory work to correlate planetary surface geophysics with atmospheric dynamics and chemistry. Three instruments (Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS), Gas Chromatograph (GC) and Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS)) with sophisticated sample handling and processing capability make up the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) analytical chemistry suite on NASA s 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission. Leveraging off the SAM sample and gas processing capability that includes methane enrichment, TLS has unprecedented sensitivity for measuring absolute methane (parts-per-trillion), water, and carbon dioxide abundances in both the Martian atmosphere and evolved from heated soil samples. In concert with a wide variety of associated trace gases (e.g. SO2, H2S, NH3, higher hydrocarbons, organics, etc.) and other isotope ratios measured by SAM, TLS will focus on determining the absolute abundances of methane, water and carbon dioxide, and their isotope ratios: 13C/12C and D/H in methane; 13C/12C and 18O/17O/16O in carbon dioxide; and 18O/17O/16O and D/H in water. Measurements near the MSL landing site will be correlated with satellite (Mars Express, Mars 2016) and ground-based observations.

  15. Physical properties of Martian meteorites: Porosity and density measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Ian M.; Beech, Martin; Nie, Wenshuang

    Martian meteorites are fragments of the Martian crust. These samples represent igneous rocks, much like basalt. As such, many laboratory techniques designed for the study of Earth materials have been applied to these meteorites. Despite numerous studies of Martian meteorites, little data exists on their basic structural characteristics, such as porosity or density, information that is important in interpreting their origin, shock modification, and cosmic ray exposure history. Analysis of these meteorites provides both insight into the various lithologies present as well as the impact history of the planet's surface. We present new data relating to the physical characteristics of twelve Martian meteorites. Porosity was determined via a combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) imagery/image analysis and helium pycnometry, coupled with a modified Archimedean method for bulk density measurements. Our results show a range in porosity and density values and that porosity tends to increase toward the edge of the sample. Preliminary interpretation of the data demonstrates good agreement between porosity measured at 100× and 300× magnification for the shergottite group, while others exhibit more variability. In comparison with the limited existing data for Martian meteorites we find fairly good agreement, although our porosity values typically lie at the low end of published values. Surprisingly, despite the increased data set, there is little by way of correlation between either porosity or density with parameters such as shock effect or terrestrial residency. Further data collection on additional meteorite samples is required before more definitive statements can be made concerning the validity of these observations.

  16. Simulation of Tillage Systems Impact on Soil Biophysical Properties Using the SALUS Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Sartori

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A sustainable land management has been defined as the management system that allows for production, while minimizing risk, maintaining quality of soil and water. Tillage systems can significantly decrease soil carbon storage and influence the soil environment of a crop. Crop growth models can be useful tools in evaluating the impact of different tillage systems on soil biophysical properties and on the growth and final yield of the crops. The objectives of this paper were i to illustrate the SALUS model and its tillage component; ii to evaluate the effects of different tillage systems on water infiltration and time to ponding, iii to simulate the effect of tillage systems on some soil biophysical properties. The SALUS (System Approach to Land Use Sustainability model is designed to simulate continuous crop, soil, water and nutrient conditions under different tillage and crop residues management strategies for multiple years. Predictions of changes in surface residue, bulk density, runoff, drainage and evaporation were consistent with expected behaviours of these parameters as described in the literature. The experiment to estimate the time to ponding curve under different tillage system confirmed the theory and showed the beneficial effects of the residue on soil surface with respect to water infiltration. It also showed that the no-tillage system is a more appropriate system to adopt in areas characterized by high intensity rainfall.

  17. Simulation of Tillage Systems Impact on Soil Biophysical Properties Using the SALUS Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Basso

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available A sustainable land management has been defined as the management system that allows for production, while minimizing risk, maintaining quality of soil and water. Tillage systems can significantly decrease soil carbon storage and influence the soil environment of a crop. Crop growth models can be useful tools in evaluating the impact of different tillage systems on soil biophysical properties and on the growth and final yield of the crops. The objectives of this paper were i to illustrate the SALUS model and its tillage component; ii to evaluate the effects of different tillage systems on water infiltration and time to ponding, iii to simulate the effect of tillage systems on some soil biophysical properties. The SALUS (System Approach to Land Use Sustainability model is designed to simulate continuous crop, soil, water and nutrient conditions under different tillage and crop residues management strategies for multiple years. Predictions of changes in surface residue, bulk density, runoff, drainage and evaporation were consistent with expected behaviours of these parameters as described in the literature. The experiment to estimate the time to ponding curve under different tillage system confirmed the theory and showed the beneficial effects of the residue on soil surface with respect to water infiltration. It also showed that the no-tillage system is a more appropriate system to adopt in areas characterized by high intensity rainfall.

  18. Enhanced simulations of CH4 and CO2 production in permafrost-affected soils address soil moisture controls on anaerobic decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, D. E.; Zheng, J.; Moon, J. W.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Gu, B.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Rapid warming of Arctic ecosystems exposes soil organic carbon (SOC) to accelerated microbial decomposition, leading to increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) that have a positive feedback on global warming. The magnitude, timing, and form of carbon release will depend not only on changes in temperature, but also on biogeochemical and hydrological properties of soils. In this synthesis study, we assessed the decomposability of thawed organic carbon from active layer soils and permafrost from the Barrow Environmental Observatory across different microtopographic positions under anoxic conditions. The main objectives of this study were to (i) examine environmental conditions and soil properties that control anaerobic carbon decomposition and carbon release (as both CO2 and CH4); (ii) develop a common set of parameters to simulate anaerobic CO2 and CH4 production; and (iii) evaluate uncertainties generated from representations of pH and temperature effects in the current model framework. A newly developed anaerobic carbon decomposition framework simulated incubation experiment results across a range of soil water contents. Anaerobic CO2 and CH4 production have different temperature and pH sensitivities, which are not well represented in current biogeochemical models. Distinct dynamics of CH4 production at -2° C suggest methanogen biomass and growth rate limit activity in these near-frozen soils, compared to warmer temperatures. Anaerobic CO2 production is well constrained by the model using data-informed labile carbon pool and fermentation rate initialization to accurately simulate its temperature sensitivity. On the other hand, CH4 production is controlled by water content, methanogenesis biomass, and the presence of alternative electron acceptors, producing a high temperature sensitivity with large uncertainties for methanogenesis. This set of environmental constraints to methanogenesis is likely to undergo drastic changes due to permafrost

  19. Impact of Sub-grid Soil Textural Properties on Simulations of Hydrological Fluxes at the Continental Scale Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, R.; Samaniego, L. E.; Livneh, B.

    2013-12-01

    Knowledge of soil hydraulic properties such as porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity is required to accurately model the dynamics of near-surface hydrological processes (e.g. evapotranspiration and root-zone soil moisture dynamics) and provide reliable estimates of regional water and energy budgets. Soil hydraulic properties are commonly derived from pedo-transfer functions using soil textural information recorded during surveys, such as the fractions of sand and clay, bulk density, and organic matter content. Typically large scale land-surface models are parameterized using a relatively coarse soil map with little or no information on parametric sub-grid variability. In this study we analyze the impact of sub-grid soil variability on simulated hydrological fluxes over the Mississippi River Basin (≈3,240,000 km2) at multiple spatio-temporal resolutions. A set of numerical experiments were conducted with the distributed mesoscale hydrologic model (mHM) using two soil datasets: (a) the Digital General Soil Map of the United States or STATSGO2 (1:250 000) and (b) the recently collated Harmonized World Soil Database based on the FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World (1:5 000 000). mHM was parameterized with the multi-scale regionalization technique that derives distributed soil hydraulic properties via pedo-transfer functions and regional coefficients. Within the experimental framework, the 3-hourly model simulations were conducted at four spatial resolutions ranging from 0.125° to 1°, using meteorological datasets from the NLDAS-2 project for the time period 1980-2012. Preliminary results indicate that the model was able to capture observed streamflow behavior reasonably well with both soil datasets, in the major sub-basins (i.e. the Missouri, the Upper Mississippi, the Ohio, the Red, and the Arkansas). However, the spatio-temporal patterns of simulated water fluxes and states (e.g. soil moisture, evapotranspiration) from both simulations, showed marked

  20. Chlorine and Sulfur Volatiles from in Situ Measurements of Martian Surface Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    A sentinel discovery by the first in situ measurements on Mars was the high sulfur and chlorine content of global-wide soils. A variety of circumstantial evidence led to the conclusion that soil S is in the form of sulfate, and the Cl is probably chloride. An early hypothesis states that these volatiles are emitted as gases from magmas, and quickly react with dust, soil, and exposed rocks. Subsequent determination that SNC meteorites are also samples of the martian crust revealed a significantly higher S content, as sulfide, than terrestrial igneous rocks but substantially less than in soils. The ensuing wet chemical analyses by the high-latitude Phoenix mission discovered not only chloride but also perchlorate and possibly chlorate. MSL data now also implicate perchlorate at low latitudes. Gaseous interactions may have produced amorphous material on grain surfaces without forming stoichiometric salts. Yet, when exposed to liquid water, Phoenix samples released electrolytes, indicating that the soils have not been leached by rain or fresh groundwater. Sulfate occurrences at many locations on Mars, as well as some chloride enrichments, have now been discovered by remote sensing, Landed missions have discovered Cl-enrichments and ferric, Mg, Ca and more complex sulfates as duricrust, subsurface soil horizons, sandstone evaporites, and rock coatings - most of which cannot be detected from orbit. Salt-forming volatiles affect habitability wherever they are in physical contact: physicochemical parameters (ionic strength, freezing point, water activity); S is an essential element for terrestrial organisms; perchlorate is an oxidant which can degrade some organics but also can be utilized as an energy source; the entire valence range of S-compounds has been exploited by diverse microbiota on Earth. Whether such salt-induced conditions are "extremes" of habitability depends on the relative abundance of liquid H2O.

  1. Surface runoff and soil erosion by difference of surface cover characteristics using by an oscillating rainfall simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J. K.; Kim, M. S.; Yang, D. Y.

    2017-12-01

    Sediment transfer within hill slope can be changed by the hydrologic characteristics of surface material on hill slope. To better understand sediment transfer of the past and future related to climate changes, studies for the changes of soil erosion due to hydrological characteristics changes by surface materials on hill slope are needed. To do so, on-situ rainfall simulating test was conducted on three different surface conditions, i.e. well covered with litter layer condition (a), undisturbed bare condition (b), and disturbed bare condition (c) and these results from rainfall simulating test were compared with that estimated using the Limburg Soil Erosion Model (LISEM). The result from the rainfall simulating tests showed differences in the infiltration rate (a > b > c) and the highest soil erosion rate was occurred on c condition. The result from model also was similar to those from rainfall simulating tests, however, the difference from the value of soil erosion rate between two results was quite large on b and c conditions. These results implied that the difference of surface conditions could change the surface runoff and soil erosion and the result from the erosion model might significantly underestimate on bare surface conditions rather than that from rainfall simulating test.

  2. Mineralogy of the Martian Surface: Crustal Composition to Surface Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Over the course of this award we have: 1) Completed and published the results of a study of the effects of hyperfine particles on reflectance spectra of olivine and quartz, which included the development of scattering codes. Research has also progressed in the analysis of the effects of fine particle sizes on clay spectra. 2) Completed the analysis of the mineralogy of dark regions, showed the insitu compositions are highly correlated to the SNC meteorites, and determined that the martian mantle was depleted in aluminum prior to 2-3 GA ago; Studies of the mineralogic heterogeneity of surficial materials on Mars have also been conducted. and 3) Performed initial work on the study of the physical and chemical processes likely to form and modify duricrust. This includes assessments of erosion rates, solubility and transport of iron in soil environments, and models of pedogenic crust formation.

  3. The analysis of water in the Martian regolith.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D M; Tice, A R

    1979-12-01

    One of the scientific objectives of the Viking Mission to Mars was to accomplish an analysis of water in the Martian regolith. The analytical scheme originally envisioned was severely compromised in the latter stages of the Lander instrument package design. Nevertheless, a crude soil water analysis was accomplished. Samples from each of the two widely separated sites yielded roughly 1 to 3% water by weight when heated successively to several temperatures up to 500 degrees C. A significant portion of this water was released in the 200 degrees to 350 degrees C interval indicating the presence of mineral hydrates of relatively low thermal stability, a finding in keeping with the low temperatures generally prevailing on Mars. The presence of a duricrust at one of the Lander sites is taken as possible evidence for the presence of hygroscopic minerals on Mars. The demonstrated presence of atmospheric water vapor and thermodynamic calculations lead to the belief that adsorbed water could provide a relatively favorable environment for endolithic organisms on Mars similar to types recently discovered in the dry antarctic deserts.

  4. Periglacial and glacial analogs for Martian landforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1992-01-01

    The list of useful terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms has been expanded to include: features developed by desiccation processes; catastrophic flood features associated with boulder-sized materials; and sorted ground developed at a density boundary. Quantitative analytical techniques developed for physical geography have been adapted and applied to planetary studies, including: quantification of the patterns of polygonally fractured ground to describe pattern randomness independent of pattern size, with possible correlation to the mechanism of origin and quantification of the relative area of a geomorphic feature or region in comparison to planetary scale. Information about Martian geomorphology studied in this project was presented at professional meetings world-wide, at seven colleges and universities, in two interactive televised courses, and as part of two books. Overall, this project has expanded the understanding of the range of terrestrial analogs for Martian landforms, including identifying several new analogs. The processes that created these terrestrial features are characterized by both cold temperatures and low humidity, and therefore both freeze-thaw and desiccation processes are important. All these results support the conclusion that water has played a significant role in the geomorphic history of Mars.

  5. Constraining Parameter Uncertainty in Simulations of Water and Heat Dynamics in Seasonally Frozen Soil Using Limited Observed Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mousong Wu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Water and energy processes in frozen soils are important for better understanding hydrologic processes and water resources management in cold regions. To investigate the water and energy balance in seasonally frozen soils, CoupModel combined with the generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE method was used. Simulation work on water and heat processes in frozen soil in northern China during the 2012/2013 winter was conducted. Ensemble simulations through the Monte Carlo sampling method were generated for uncertainty analysis. Behavioral simulations were selected based on combinations of multiple model performance index criteria with respect to simulated soil water and temperature at four depths (5 cm, 15 cm, 25 cm, and 35 cm. Posterior distributions for parameters related to soil hydraulic, radiation processes, and heat transport indicated that uncertainties in both input and model structures could influence model performance in modeling water and heat processes in seasonally frozen soils. Seasonal courses in water and energy partitioning were obvious during the winter. Within the day-cycle, soil evaporation/condensation and energy distributions were well captured and clarified as an important phenomenon in the dynamics of the energy balance system. The combination of the CoupModel simulations with the uncertainty-based calibration method provides a way of understanding the seasonal courses of hydrology and energy processes in cold regions with limited data. Additional measurements may be used to further reduce the uncertainty of regulating factors during the different stages of freezing–thawing.

  6. Seismic simulation analysis of nuclear reactor building by soil-building interaction model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muto, K.; Kobayashi, T.; Motohashi, S.; Kusano, N.; Mizuno, N.; Sugiyama, N.

    1981-01-01

    Seismic simulation analysis were performed for evaluating soil-structure interaction effects by an analytical approach using a 'Lattice Model' developed by the authors. The purpose of this paper is to check the adequacy of this procedure for analyzing soil-structure interaction by means of comparing computed results with recorded ones. The 'Lattice Model' approach employs a lumped mass interactive model, in which not only the structure but also the underlying and/or surrounding soil are modeled as descretized elements. The analytical model used for this study extends about 310 m in the horizontal direction and about 103 m in depth. The reactor building is modeled as three shearing-bending sticks (outer wall, inner wall and shield wall) and the underlying and surrounding soil are divided into four shearing sticks (column directly beneath the reactor building, adjacent, near and distant columns). A corresponding input base motion for the 'Lattice Model' was determined by a deconvolution analysis using a recorded motion at elevation -18.5 m in the free-field. The results of this simulation analysis were shown to be in reasonably good agreement with the recorded ones in the forms of the distribution of ground motions and structural responses, acceleration time histories and related response spectra. These results showed that the 'Lattice Model' approach was an appropriate one to estimate the soil-structure interaction effects. (orig./HP)

  7. Iron snow in the Martian core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Christopher J.; Pommier, Anne

    2018-01-01

    The decline of Mars' global magnetic field some 3.8-4.1 billion years ago is thought to reflect the demise of the dynamo that operated in its liquid core. The dynamo was probably powered by planetary cooling and so its termination is intimately tied to the thermochemical evolution and present-day physical state of the Martian core. Bottom-up growth of a solid inner core, the crystallization regime for Earth's core, has been found to produce a long-lived dynamo leading to the suggestion that the Martian core remains entirely liquid to this day. Motivated by the experimentally-determined increase in the Fe-S liquidus temperature with decreasing pressure at Martian core conditions, we investigate whether Mars' core could crystallize from the top down. We focus on the "iron snow" regime, where newly-formed solid consists of pure Fe and is therefore heavier than the liquid. We derive global energy and entropy equations that describe the long-timescale thermal and magnetic history of the core from a general theory for two-phase, two-component liquid mixtures, assuming that the snow zone is in phase equilibrium and that all solid falls out of the layer and remelts at each timestep. Formation of snow zones occurs for a wide range of interior and thermal properties and depends critically on the initial sulfur concentration, ξ0. Release of gravitational energy and latent heat during growth of the snow zone do not generate sufficient entropy to restart the dynamo unless the snow zone occupies at least 400 km of the core. Snow zones can be 1.5-2 Gyrs old, though thermal stratification of the uppermost core, not included in our model, likely delays onset. Models that match the available magnetic and geodetic constraints have ξ0 ≈ 10% and snow zones that occupy approximately the top 100 km of the present-day Martian core.

  8. Pb evolution in the Martian mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; Nemchin, A. A.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Snape, J. F.; Bland, P.; Benedix, G. K.; Roszjar, J.

    2018-03-01

    The initial Pb compositions of one enriched shergottite, one intermediate shergottite, two depleted shergottites, and Nakhla have been measured by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). These values, in addition to data from previous studies using an identical analytical method performed on three enriched shergottites, ALH 84001, and Chassigny, are used to construct a unified and internally consistent model for the differentiation history of the Martian mantle and crystallization ages for Martian meteorites. The differentiation history of the shergottites and Nakhla/Chassigny are fundamentally different, which is in agreement with short-lived radiogenic isotope systematics. The initial Pb compositions of Nakhla/Chassigny are best explained by the late addition of a Pb-enriched component with a primitive, non-radiogenic composition. In contrast, the Pb isotopic compositions of the shergottite group indicate a relatively simple evolutionary history of the Martian mantle that can be modeled based on recent results from the Sm-Nd system. The shergottites have been linked to a single mantle differentiation event at 4504 Ma. Thus, the shergottite Pb isotopic model here reflects a two-stage history 1) pre-silicate differentiation (4504 Ma) and 2) post-silicate differentiation to the age of eruption (as determined by concordant radiogenic isochron ages). The μ-values (238U/204Pb) obtained for these two different stages of Pb growth are μ1 of 1.8 and a range of μ2 from 1.4-4.7, respectively. The μ1-value of 1.8 is in broad agreement with enstatite and ordinary chondrites and that proposed for proto Earth, suggesting this is the initial μ-value for inner Solar System bodies. When plotted against other source radiogenic isotopic variables (Sri, γ187Os, ε143Nd, and ε176Hf), the second stage mantle evolution range in observed mantle μ-values display excellent linear correlations (r2 > 0.85) and represent a spectrum of Martian mantle mixing-end members (depleted

  9. Biological in situ treatment of soil contaminated with petroleum - Laboratory scale simulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palvall, B.

    1997-06-01

    Laboratory scale simulations of biological in situ treatment of soil contaminated with petroleum compounds have been made in order to get a practical concept in the general case. The work was divided into seven distinct parts. Characterisation, leaching tests and introductory microbiological investigations were followed by experiments in suspended phases and in situ simulations of solid phase reactors. For the suspensions, ratios L/S 3/1 and shaking for a couple of hours were enough to detach organic compounds in colloid or dissolved form. When testing for a time of one month anaerobic environment and cold temperatures of 4 centigrade as well gave acceptable reductions of the actual pollution levels. The range of variation in the soil tests performed showed that at least triple samples are needed to get satisfactory statistical reliability. It was shown that adequate experimental controls demand very high concentrations of e.g. sodium azide when dealing with soil samples. For triple samples in suspended phase without inoculation the weight ratios of oxygen consumption/biological degradation of aliphatic compounds were 2.41 to 2.96. For the complex overall reduction no exact rate constants could be found. The reduction of hydrocarbons were in the interval 27 to 95 % in suspension tests. Solid phase simulations with maximum water saturation showed the highest degree of reduction of hydrocarbons when using dissolved peroxide of hydrogen as electron acceptor while the effect of an active sludge reactor in series was little - reductions of aliphatic compounds were between 21 and 33 % and of aromatic compounds between 32 and 65 %. The influence of different contents of water was greater than adding inoculum or shaking the soil at different intervals in the unsaturated cylinders. The starting level of hydrocarbons was 2400 mg/kg dry weight soil and the end analyses were made after 100 days. The reduction was between 32 and 80 %. 82 refs

  10. Evaluation of the Performance of the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment Electrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantovani, James G.

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) electrometer is an instrument that was designed jointly by researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Kennedy Space Center, and is intended to fly on a future space exploration mission of the surface of Mars. The electrometer was designed primarily to study (1) the electrostatic interaction between the Martian soil and five different types of insulators, which are attached to the electrometer, as the electrometer is rubbed over the Martian soil. The MECA/Electrometer is also capable of measuring (2) the presence of charged particles in the Martian atmosphere, (3) the local electric field strength, and (4) the local temperature. The goal of the research project described in this report was to test and evaluate the measurement capabilities of the MECA/Electrometer under simulated Martian surface conditions using facilities located in the Labs and Testbeds Division at the Kennedy Space Center. The results of this study indicate that the Martian soil simulant can triboelectrically charge up the insulator surface. However, the maximum charge buildup did not exceed 18% of the electrometer's full-range sensitivity when rubbed vigorously, and is more likely to be as low as 1% of the maximum range when rubbed through soil. This indicates that the overall gain of the MECA/Electrometer could be increased by a factor of 50 if measurements at the 50% level of full-range sensitivity are desired. The ion gauge, which detects the presence of charged particles, was also evaluated over a pressure range from 10 to 400 Torr (13 to 533 mbar). The electric field sensor was also evaluated. Although the temperature sensor was not evaluated due to project time constraints, it was previously reported to work properly.

  11. The evaluation/application of Hydrus-2D model for simulating macro-pores flow in loess soil

    OpenAIRE

    Xuexuan Xu; Shahmir Ali Kalhoro; Wen yuan Chen; Sajjad Raza

    2017-01-01

    Soil hydraulic properties were mainly governed by soil structures especially when the structures is full of the connected soil macro-pores. Therefore, the good hydrological models need to be well documented for revealing the process of soil water movement affected by soil medium. The Hydrus-2D model with double domain was recommended in simulating water movement in a heterogeneous medium of soil. To evaluate the performance of the double domain Hydrus-2D model in loess soil, the dynamic of so...

  12. Simulation of soil response to acidic deposition scenarios in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vries, W. de; Reinds, G.J.; Posch, M.; Kaemaera, J.

    1994-01-01

    The chemical response of European forest soils to three emission-deposition scenarios for the year 1960-2050, i.e. official energy pathways (OEP), current reduction plans (CRP) and maximum feasible reductions (MFR), was evaluated with the SMART model (Simulation Model for Acidification's Regional Trends). Calculations were made for coniferous and deciduous forests on 80 soil types occurring on the FAO soil map of Europe, using a gradient of 1.0 degree C longitude x 0.5 degree latitude. Results indicated that the area with nitrogen saturated soils, i.e. soils with elevated NO 3 concentrations (>0.02 mol c m -3 ) will increase in the future for all scenarios, even for the MFR scenario. The area with acidified soils, with a high Al concentration (> 0.2 mol c m -3 ) and Al/BC ratio (>1 mol -1 ) and a low pH ( 3 and Al concentrations mainly occurred in western, central and eastern Europe. Uncertainties in the initial values of C/N ratios and base saturation, and in the description of N dynamics in the SMART model had the largest impact on the temporal development of forested areas exceeding critical parameter values. Despite uncertainties involved, predicted general trends are plausible and reliable. 61 refs., 11 figs., 10 tabs

  13. Planning Considerations Related to Collecting and Analyzing Samples of the Martian Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Mellon, Mike T.; Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, Richard V.; Noble, Sarah K.; Sullivan, Robert J.; Taylor, Lawrence A.; Beaty, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Sample Return (MSR) End-to-End International Science Analysis Group (E2E-iSAG [1]) established scientific objectives associ-ated with Mars returned-sample science that require the return and investigation of one or more soil samples. Soil is defined here as loose, unconsolidated materials with no implication for the presence or absence of or-ganic components. The proposed Mars 2020 (M-2020) rover is likely to collect and cache soil in addition to rock samples [2], which could be followed by future sample retrieval and return missions. Here we discuss key scientific consid-erations for sampling and caching soil samples on the proposed M-2020 rover, as well as the state in which samples would need to be preserved when received by analysts on Earth. We are seeking feedback on these draft plans as input to mission requirement formulation. A related planning exercise on rocks is reported in an accompanying abstract [3].

  14. Astrobiological Significance of Definitive Mineralogical Analysis of Martian Surface Samples Using the CheMin XRD/XRF Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, S. M.; Blake, D. F.; Sarrazin, P.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Vaniman, D. T.; Collins, S.

    2004-01-01

    The search for evidence of habitability, or of extant or extinct life on Mars, will initially be a search for evidence of past or present conditions supportive of life. The three key requirements for the emergence of life are thought to be liquid water; a suitable energy source; and chemical building blocks. CheMin is a miniaturized XRD/XRF (X-Ray diffraction / X-ray fluorescence) instrument which has been developed for definitive mineralogic analysis of soils and rocks on the Martian surface. The CheMin instrument can provide information that is highly relevant to each of these habitability requirements as summarized below.

  15. Electrostatic Precipitation of Dust in the Martian Atmosphere: Implications for the Utilization of Resources During Future Manned Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.; Clements, Judson S.; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Hogue, Michael D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.

    2011-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require the utilization of local resources for oxygen, fuel. and water. The In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project is an active research endeavor at NASA to develop technologies that can enable cost effective ways to live off the land. The extraction of oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. composed primarily of carbon dioxide, is one of the most important goals of the Mars ISRU project. The main obstacle is the relatively large amount of dust present in the Martian atmosphere. This dust must be efficiently removed from atmospheric gas intakes for ISRU processing chambers. A common technique to achieve this removal on earth is by electrostatic precipitation, where large electrostatic fields are established in a localized region to precipitate and collect previously charged dust particles. This technique is difficult to adapt to the Martian environment, with an atmospheric pressure of about one-hundredth of the terrestrial atmosphere. At these low pressures. the corona discharges required to implant an electrostatic charge to the particles to be collected is extremely difficult to sustain and the corona easily becomes biopolar. which is unsuitable for particle charging. In this paper, we report on our successful efforts to establish a stable corona under Martian simulated conditions. We also present results on dust collecting efficiencies with an electrostatic precipitator prototype that could be effectively used on a future mission to the red planet

  16. Statistical analysis of simulated global soil moisture and its memory in an ensemble of CMIP5 general circulation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiß, Felix; Stacke, Tobias; Hagemann, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture and its memory can have a strong impact on near surface temperature and precipitation and have the potential to promote severe heat waves, dry spells and floods. To analyze how soil moisture is simulated in recent general circulation models (GCMs), soil moisture data from a 23 model ensemble of Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) type simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) are examined for the period 1979 to 2008 with regard to parameterization and statistical characteristics. With respect to soil moisture processes, the models vary in their maximum soil and root depth, the number of soil layers, the water-holding capacity, and the ability to simulate freezing which all together leads to very different soil moisture characteristics. Differences in the water-holding capacity are resulting in deviations in the global median soil moisture of more than one order of magnitude between the models. In contrast, the variance shows similar absolute values when comparing the models to each other. Thus, the input and output rates by precipitation and evapotranspiration, which are computed by the atmospheric component of the models, have to be in the same range. Most models simulate great variances in the monsoon areas of the tropics and north western U.S., intermediate variances in Europe and eastern U.S., and low variances in the Sahara, continental Asia, and central and western Australia. In general, the variance decreases with latitude over the high northern latitudes. As soil moisture trends in the models were found to be negligible, the soil moisture anomalies were calculated by subtracting the 30 year monthly climatology from the data. The length of the memory is determined from the soil moisture anomalies by calculating the first insignificant autocorrelation for ascending monthly lags (insignificant autocorrelation folding time). The models show a great spread of autocorrelation length from a few months in

  17. Martian Neutron Energy Spectrometer (MANES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, R. H.; Roth, D. R.; Kinnison, J. D.; Goldsten, J. O.; Fainchtein, R.; Badhwar, G.

    2000-01-01

    High energy charged particles of extragalactic, galactic, and solar origin collide with spacecraft structures and planetary atmospheres. These primaries create a number of secondary particles inside the structures or on the surfaces of planets to produce a significant radiation environment. This radiation is a threat to long term inhabitants and travelers for interplanetary missions and produces an increased risk of carcinogenesis, central nervous system (CNS) and DNA damage. Charged particles are readily detected; but, neutrons, being electrically neutral, are much more difficult to monitor. These secondary neutrons are reported to contribute 30-60% of the dose equivalent in the Shuttle and MIR station. The Martian atmosphere has an areal density of 37 g/sq cm primarily of carbon dioxide molecules. This shallow atmosphere presents fewer mean free paths to the bombarding cosmic rays and solar particles. The secondary neutrons present at the surface of Mars will have undergone fewer generations of collisions and have higher energies than at sea level on Earth. Albedo neutrons produced by collisions with the Martian surface material will also contribute to the radiation environment. The increased threat of radiation damage to humans on Mars occurs when neutrons of higher mean energy traverse the thin, dry Martian atmosphere and encounter water in the astronaut's body. Water, being hydrogeneous, efficiently moderates the high energy neutrons thereby slowing them as they penetrate deeply into the body. Consequently, greater radiation doses can be deposited in or near critical organs such as the liver or spleen than is the case on Earth. A second significant threat is the possibility of a high energy heavy ion or neutron causing a DNA double strand break in a single strike.

  18. A Model of Thermal Conductivity for Planetary Soils. 2; Theory for Cemented Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, S.; Christensen, P. R.

    2009-01-01

    A numerical model of heat conduction through particulate media made of spherical grains cemented by various bonding agents is presented. The pore-filling gas conductivity, volume fraction, and thermal conductivity of the cementing phase are tunable parameters. Cement fractions duricrust. The fraction of cement required to fit the thermal data is less than approx.1-5% by volume. This small amount of material is consistent with orbital observations, confirming that soil cementation is an important factor controlling the thermal inertia of the Martian surface

  19. A model of thermal conductivity for planetary soils: 2. Theory for cemented soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, S.; Christensen, P. R.

    2009-09-01

    A numerical model of heat conduction through particulate media made of spherical grains cemented by various bonding agents is presented. The pore-filling gas conductivity, volume fraction, and thermal conductivity of the cementing phase are tunable parameters. Cement fractions duricrust. The fraction of cement required to fit the thermal data is less than ˜1-5% by volume. This small amount of material is consistent with orbital observations, confirming that soil cementation is an important factor controlling the thermal inertia of the Martian surface.

  20. Soft Soil Impact Testing and Simulation of Aerospace Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasanella, Edwin L.; Jackson, Karen E.; Kellas, Sotiris

    2008-01-01

    In June 2007, a 38-ft/s vertical drop test of a 5-ft-diameter, 5-ft-long composite fuselage section that was retrofitted with a novel composite honeycomb Deployable Energy Absorber (DEA) was conducted onto unpacked sand. This test was one of a series of tests to evaluate the multi-terrain capabilities of the DEA and to generate test data for model validation. During the test, the DEA crushed approximately 6-in. and left craters in the sand of depths ranging from 7.5- to 9-in. A finite element model of the fuselage section with DEA was developed for execution in LS-DYNA, a commercial nonlinear explicit transient dynamic code. Pre-test predictions were generated in which the sand was represented initially as a crushable foam material MAT_CRUSHABLE_FOAM (Mat 63). Following the drop test, a series of hemispherical penetrometer tests were conducted to assist in soil characterization. The penetrometer weighed 20-lb and was instrumented with a tri-axial accelerometer. Drop tests were performed at 16-ft/s and crater depths were measured. The penetrometer drop tests were simulated as a means for developing a more representative soil model based on a soil and foam material definition MAT_SOIL_AND FOAM (Mat 5) in LS-DYNA. The model of the fuselage with DEA was reexecuted using the updated soil model and test-analysis correlations are presented.

  1. Misrepresentation of hydro-erosional processes in rainfall simulations using disturbed soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomaz, Edivaldo L.; Pereira, Adalberto A.

    2017-06-01

    Interrill erosion is a primary soil erosion process which consists of soil detachment by raindrop impact and particle transport by shallow flow. Interill erosion affects other soil erosion sub-processes, e.g., water infiltration, sealing, crusting, and rill initiation. Interrill erosion has been widely studied in laboratories, and the use of a sieved soil, i.e., disturbed soil, has become a standard method in laboratory experiments. The aims of our study are to evaluate the hydro-erosional response of undisturbed and disturbed soils in a laboratory experiment, and to quantify the extent to which hydraulic variables change during a rainstorm. We used a splash pan of 0.3 m width, 0.45 m length, and 0.1 m depth. A rainfall simulation of 58 mm h- 1 lasting for 30 min was conducted on seven replicates of undisturbed and disturbed soils. During the experiment, several hydro-physical parameters were measured, including splashed sediment, mean particle size, runoff, water infiltration, and soil moisture. We conclude that use of disturbed soil samples results in overestimation of interrill processes. Of the nine assessed parameters, four displayed greater responses in the undisturbed soil: infiltration, topsoil shear strength, mean particle size of eroded particles, and soil moisture. In the disturbed soil, five assessed parameters displayed greater responses: wash sediment, final runoff coefficient, runoff, splash, and sediment yield. Therefore, contextual soil properties are most suitable for understanding soil erosion, as well as for defining soil erodibility.

  2. Changes in soil hydraulic properties caused by construction of a simulated waste trench at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shakofsky, S.

    1995-03-01

    In order to assess the effect of filled waste disposal trenches on transport-governing soil properties, comparisons were made between profiles of undisturbed soil and disturbed soil in a simulated waste trench. The changes in soil properties induced by the construction of a simulated waste trench were measured near the Radioactive Waste Management Complex at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in the semiarid southeast region of Idaho. The soil samples were collected, using a hydraulically-driven sampler to minimize sample disruption, from both a simulated waste trench and an undisturbed area nearby. Results show that the undisturbed profile has distinct layers whose properties differ significantly, whereas the soil profile in the simulated waste trench is, by comparison, homogeneous. Porosity was increased in the disturbed cores, and, correspondingly, saturated hydraulic conductivities were on average three times higher. With higher soil-moisture contents (greater than 0.32), unsaturated hydraulic conductivities for the undisturbed cores were typically greater than those for the disturbed cores. With lower moisture contents, most of the disturbed cores had greater hydraulic conductivities. The observed differences in hydraulic conductivities are interpreted and discussed as changes in the soil pore geometry

  3. Effect of Simulated Acid Rain on Potential Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization in Forest Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    OUYANG Xue-Jun; ZHOU Guo-Yi; HUANG Zhong-Liang; LIU Ju-Xiu; ZHANG De-Qiang; LI Jiong

    2008-01-01

    Acid rain is a serious environmental problem worldwide. In this study, a pot experiment using forest soils planted with the seedlings of four woody species was performed with weekly treatments of pH 4.40, 4.00, 3.52, and 3.05 simulated acid rain (SAR) for 42 months compared to a control of pH 5.00 lake water. The cumulative amounts of C and N mineralization in the five treated soils were determined after incubation at 25 ℃ for 65 d to examine the effects of SAR treatments.For all five treatments, cumulative CO2-C production ranged from 20.24 to 27.81 mg kg-1 dry soil, net production of available N from 17.37 to 48.95 mg kg-1 dry soil, and net production of NO-3-N from 9.09 to 46.23 mg kg-1 dry soil. SAR treatments generally enhanced the emission of CO2-C from the soils; however, SAR with pH 3.05 inhibited the emission.SAR treatments decreased the net production of available N and NO3-N. The cumulative CH4 and N2O productions from the soils increased with increasing amount of simulated acid rain. The cumulative CO2-C production and the net production of available N of the soil under Acmena acuminatissima were significantly higher (P≤0.05) than those under Schima superba and Cryptocarya concinna. The mineralization of soil organic C was related to the contents of soil organic C and N, but was not related to soil pH. However, the overall effect of acid rain on the storage of soil organic matter and the cycling of important nutrients depended on the amount of acid deposition and the types of forests.

  4. The wildgeographer avatar shows how to measure soil erosion rates by means of a rainfall simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerdà, Artemi; González Pelayo, Óscar; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Iserloh, Thomas; Prosdocimi, Massimo

    2015-04-01

    This contribution to the immersed worlds wish to develop the avatar that will teach the students and other scientists how to develop measurements of soil erosion, surface runoff and wetting fronts by means of simulated rainfall experiments. Rainfall simulation is a well established and knows methodology to measure the soil erosion rates and soil hydrology under controlled conditions (Cerdà 1998a; Cerdà, 1998b; Cerdà and Jurgensen, 2011; Dunkerley, 2012; Iserloh et al., 2012; Iserloh et al., 2013; Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013; Butzen et al., 2014). However, is a method that requires a long training and expertise to avoid mismanagement and mistaken. To use and avatar can help in the teaching of the technique and the dissemination of the findings. This contribution will show to other avatars how to develop an experiment with simulated rainfall and will help to take the right decision in the design of the experiments. Following the main parts of the experiments and measurements the Wildgeographer avatar must develop: 1. Determine the objectives and decide which rainfall intensity and distribution, and which plot size to be used. Choose between a laboratory or a field rainfall simulation. 2. Design of the rainfall simulator to achieve the objectives: type of rainfall simulator (sprayer or drop former) and calibrate. 3. The experiments are carried out. 4. The results are show. Acknowledgements To the "Ministerio de Economía and Competitividad" of Spanish Government for finance the POSTFIRE project (CGL2013- 47862-C2-1-R). The research projects GL2008-02879/BTE, LEDDRA 243857 and PREVENTING AND REMEDIATING DEGRADATION OF SOILS IN EUROPE THROUGH LAND CARE (RECARE)FP7-ENV-2013- supported this research. References Butzen, V., Seeger, M., Wirtz, S., Huemann, M., Mueller, C., Casper, M., Ries, J. B. 2014. Quantification of Hortonian overland flow generation and soil erosion in a Central European low mountain range using rainfall experiments. Catena, 113, 202-212. Cerdà, A

  5. On the chemistry of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keil, K.

    1978-01-01

    Analyses of 13 smaples of Martian surface materials with the Viking X-ray fluorescence spectrometers show SiO 2 similar to that of terrestrial mafic rocks, whereas Fe 2 O 3 , Cl, and S are higher and Al 2 O 3 , K 2 O, Rb, Sr, Y, and Zr are lower. Low totals suggest presence of CO 2 , H 2 O, and Na 2 O. Duricrust fragments are higher in S than fines, but samples from both landing sites are surprisingly similar. We suggest that Martian surface materials are aeolian deposits of complex mixtures of weathering products of mafic-ultramafic rocks, possibly consisting of iron-rich clays, sulfates, iron oxides, carbonates, and chlorides. (orig.) 891 HK [de

  6. Optimal Choice of Soil Hydraulic Parameters for Simulating the Unsaturated Flow: A Case Study on the Island of Miyakojima, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Okamoto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available We examined the influence of input soil hydraulic parameters on HYDRUS-1D simulations of evapotranspiration and volumetric water contents (VWCs in the unsaturated zone of a sugarcane field on the island of Miyakojima, Japan. We first optimized the parameters for root water uptake and examined the influence of soil hydraulic parameters (water retention curve and hydraulic conductivity on simulations of evapotranspiration. We then compared VWCs simulated using measured soil hydraulic parameters with those using pedotransfer estimates obtained with the ROSETTA software package. Our results confirm that it is important to always use soil hydraulic parameters based on measured data, if available, when simulating evapotranspiration and unsaturated water flow processes, rather than pedotransfer functions.

  7. Martian Atmospheric Pressure Static Charge Elimination Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    A Martian pressure static charge elimination tool is currently in development in the Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory (ESPL) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. In standard Earth atmosphere conditions, static charge can be neutralized from an insulating surface using air ionizers. These air ionizers generate ions through corona breakdown. The Martian atmosphere is 7 Torr of mostly carbon dioxide, which makes it inherently difficult to use similar methods as those used for standard atmosphere static elimination tools. An initial prototype has been developed to show feasibility of static charge elimination at low pressure, using corona discharge. A needle point and thin wire loop are used as the corona generating electrodes. A photo of the test apparatus is shown below. Positive and negative high voltage pulses are sent to the needle point. This creates positive and negative ions that can be used for static charge neutralization. In a preliminary test, a floating metal plate was charged to approximately 600 volts under Martian atmospheric conditions. The static elimination tool was enabled and the voltage on the metal plate dropped rapidly to -100 volts. This test data is displayed below. Optimization is necessary to improve the electrostatic balance of the static elimination tool.

  8. Mars Tumbleweed Simulation Using Singular Perturbation Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Calhoun, Phillip

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Tumbleweed is a new surface rover concept that utilizes Martian winds as the primary source of mobility. Several designs have been proposed for the Mars Tumbleweed, all using aerodynamic drag to generate force for traveling about the surface. The Mars Tumbleweed, in its deployed configuration, must be large and lightweight to provide the ratio of drag force to rolling resistance necessary to initiate motion from the Martian surface. This paper discusses the dynamic simulation details of a candidate Tumbleweed design. The dynamic simulation model must properly evaluate and characterize the motion of the tumbleweed rover to support proper selection of system design parameters. Several factors, such as model flexibility, simulation run times, and model accuracy needed to be considered in modeling assumptions. The simulation was required to address the flexibility of the rover and its interaction with the ground, and properly evaluate its mobility. Proper assumptions needed to be made such that the simulated dynamic motion is accurate and realistic while not overly burdened by long simulation run times. This paper also shows results that provided reasonable correlation between the simulation and a drop/roll test of a tumbleweed prototype.

  9. WATSFAR: numerical simulation of soil WATer and Solute fluxes using a FAst and Robust method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crevoisier, David; Voltz, Marc

    2013-04-01

    To simulate the evolution of hydro- and agro-systems, numerous spatialised models are based on a multi-local approach and improvement of simulation accuracy by data-assimilation techniques are now used in many application field. The latest acquisition techniques provide a large amount of experimental data, which increase the efficiency of parameters estimation and inverse modelling approaches. In turn simulations are often run on large temporal and spatial domains which requires a large number of model runs. Eventually, despite the regular increase in computing capacities, the development of fast and robust methods describing the evolution of saturated-unsaturated soil water and solute fluxes is still a challenge. Ross (2003, Agron J; 95:1352-1361) proposed a method, solving 1D Richards' and convection-diffusion equation, that fulfil these characteristics. The method is based on a non iterative approach which reduces the numerical divergence risks and allows the use of coarser spatial and temporal discretisations, while assuring a satisfying accuracy of the results. Crevoisier et al. (2009, Adv Wat Res; 32:936-947) proposed some technical improvements and validated this method on a wider range of agro- pedo- climatic situations. In this poster, we present the simulation code WATSFAR which generalises the Ross method to other mathematical representations of soil water retention curve (i.e. standard and modified van Genuchten model) and includes a dual permeability context (preferential fluxes) for both water and solute transfers. The situations tested are those known to be the less favourable when using standard numerical methods: fine textured and extremely dry soils, intense rainfall and solute fluxes, soils near saturation, ... The results of WATSFAR have been compared with the standard finite element model Hydrus. The analysis of these comparisons highlights two main advantages for WATSFAR, i) robustness: even on fine textured soil or high water and solute

  10. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    Martian permafrost is still 100 times older. Only one terrestrial environment is close to Mars in age - volcanoes in permafrost areas. The age of volcanic deposits frozen after eruption is much younger than the age of surrounding permafrost. Culture- and culture-independent methods show the presence of viable thermophiles and their genes within pyroclastic frozen material on Deception Island, Antarctica and Kamchatka peninsula. These bacteria and archeae have not been found in permafrost outside the volcanic areas. The only way for thermophiles to get into frozen soil is through deposition during eruption, i.e. the catastrophic geological events transport microbes from the depths to the surface and they survive at subzero temperatures. The past activity of Martian volcanoes periodically burned through the frozen strata and products of eruptions rose from the depths to the surface and froze. Images taken by the Stereo Camera on board the Mars Express discovered volcanoes 2-15Myr old that date back to ages close to permafrost on Earth. Terrestrial communities might serve as a model of inhabitants for these young volcanoes. 3. The only opportunity for free water on Mars is the overcooled water brines, and halo/psychrophilc community of Arctic cryopegs, sandwiched within permafrost, represents a plausible prototype for Martian microbial life.

  11. A simulation model for methane emissions from landfills with interaction of vegetation and cover soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Rongxing; Xin, Danhui; Chai, Xiaoli

    2018-01-01

    Global climate change and ecological problems brought about by greenhouse gas effect have become a severe threat to humanity in the 21st century. Vegetation plays an important role in methane (CH 4 ) transport, oxidation and emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills as it modifies the physical and chemical properties of the cover soil, and transports CH 4 to the atmosphere directly via their conduits, which are mainly aerenchymatous structures. In this study, a novel 2-D simulation CH 4 emission model was established, based on an interactive mechanism of cover soil and vegetation, to model CH 4 transport, oxidation and emissions in landfill cover soil. Results of the simulation model showed that the distribution of CH 4 concentration and emission fluxes displayed a significant difference between vegetated and non-vegetated areas. CH 4 emission flux was 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than bare areas in simulation conditions. Vegetation play a negative role in CH 4 emissions from landfill cover soil due to the strong CH 4 transport capacity even though vegetation also promotes CH 4 oxidation via changing properties of cover soil and emitting O 2 via root system. The model will be proposed to allow decision makers to reconsider the actual CH 4 emission from vegetated and non-vegetated covered landfills. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria-A Challenge for Life on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Ebbe N; Larsen, Michael G; Moeller, Ralf; Nissen, Silas B; Jensen, Lasse R; Nørnberg, Per; Jensen, Svend J K; Finster, Kai

    2017-01-01

    The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis , and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  13. Silicates Eroded under Simulated Martian Conditions Effectively Kill Bacteria—A Challenge for Life on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebbe N. Bak

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The habitability of Mars is determined by the physical and chemical environment. The effect of low water availability, temperature, low atmospheric pressure and strong UV radiation has been extensively studied in relation to the survival of microorganisms. In addition to these stress factors, it was recently found that silicates exposed to simulated saltation in a Mars-like atmosphere can lead to a production of reactive oxygen species. Here, we have investigated the stress effect induced by quartz and basalt abraded in Mars-like atmospheres by examining the survivability of the three microbial model organisms Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis, and Deinococcus radiodurans upon exposure to the abraded silicates. We found that abraded basalt that had not been in contact with oxygen after abrasion killed more than 99% of the vegetative cells while endospores were largely unaffected. Exposure of the basalt samples to oxygen after abrasion led to a significant reduction in the stress effect. Abraded quartz was generally less toxic than abraded basalt. We suggest that the stress effect of abraded silicates may be caused by a production of reactive oxygen species and enhanced by transition metal ions in the basalt leading to hydroxyl radicals through Fenton-like reactions. The low survivability of the usually highly resistant D. radiodurans indicates that the effect of abraded silicates, as is ubiquitous on the Martian surface, would limit the habitability of Mars as well as the risk of forward contamination. Furthermore, the reactivity of abraded silicates could have implications for future manned missions, although the lower effect of abraded silicates exposed to oxygen suggests that the effects would be reduced in human habitats.

  14. Improving Simulated Soil Moisture Fields Through Assimilation of AMSR-E Soil Moisture Retrievals with an Ensemble Kalman Filter and a Mass Conservation Constraint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bailing; Toll, David; Zhan, Xiwu; Cosgrove, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Model simulated soil moisture fields are often biased due to errors in input parameters and deficiencies in model physics. Satellite derived soil moisture estimates, if retrieved appropriately, represent the spatial mean of soil moisture in a footprint area, and can be used to reduce model bias (at locations near the surface) through data assimilation techniques. While assimilating the retrievals can reduce model bias, it can also destroy the mass balance enforced by the model governing equation because water is removed from or added to the soil by the assimilation algorithm. In addition, studies have shown that assimilation of surface observations can adversely impact soil moisture estimates in the lower soil layers due to imperfect model physics, even though the bias near the surface is decreased. In this study, an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) with a mass conservation updating scheme was developed to assimilate the actual value of Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) soil moisture retrievals to improve the mean of simulated soil moisture fields by the Noah land surface model. Assimilation results using the conventional and the mass conservation updating scheme in the Little Washita watershed of Oklahoma showed that, while both updating schemes reduced the bias in the shallow root zone, the mass conservation scheme provided better estimates in the deeper profile. The mass conservation scheme also yielded physically consistent estimates of fluxes and maintained the water budget. Impacts of model physics on the assimilation results are discussed.

  15. Origin of giant Martian polygons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgill, George E.; Hills, L. S.

    1992-01-01

    Extensive areas of the Martian northern plains in Utopia and Acidalia planitiae are characterized by 'polygonal terrane'. Polygonal terrane consists of material cut by complex troughs defining a pattern resembling mudcracks, columnar joints, or frost-wedge polygons on earth. However, the Martian polygons are orders of magnitude larger than these potential earth analogues, leading to severe mechanical difficulties for genetic models based on simple analogy arguments. Plate-bending and finite element models indicate that shrinkage of desiccating sediment or cooling volcanics accompanied by differential compaction over buried topography can account for the stresses responsible for polygon troughs as well as the large size of the polygons. Although trough widths and depths relate primarily to shrinkage, the large scale of the polygonl pattern relates to the spacing between topographic elevations on the surface buried beneath polygonal terrane material. Geological relationships favor a sedimentary origin for polygonal terrane material, but our model is not dependent on the specific genesis. Our analysis also suggests that the polygons must have formed at a geologically rapid rate.

  16. Investigating Deliquescence of Mars-like Soils from the Atacama Desert and Implications for Liquid Water Near the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Alstyne, A. M.; Tolbert, M. A.; Gough, R. V.; Primm, K.

    2017-12-01

    Recent images obtained from orbiters have shown that the Martian surface is more dynamic than previously thought. These images, showing dark features that resemble flowing water near the surface, have called into question the habitability of the Mars today. Recurring slope lineae (RSL), or the dark features seen in these images, are characterized as narrow, dark streaks that form and grow in the warm season, fade in the cold season, and recur seasonally. It is widely hypothesized that the movement of liquid water near the surface is what causes the appearance of RSL. However, the origin of the water and the potential for water to be stable near the surface is a question of great debate. Here, we investigate the potential for stable or metastable liquid water via deliquescence and efflorescence. The deliquescent properties of salts from the Atacama Desert, a popular terrestrial analog for Martian environments, were investigated using a Raman microscope outfitted with an environmental cell. The salts were put under Mars-relevant conditions and spectra were obtained to determine the presence or absence of liquid phases. The appearance of liquid phases under Mars-relevant conditions would demonstrate that liquid water could be available to cause or play a role in the formations of RSL.

  17. Evaluation of air-soil temperature relationships simulated by land surface models during winter across the permafrost region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenli; Rinke, Annette; Moore, John C.; Ji, Duoying; Cui, Xuefeng; Peng, Shushi; Lawrence, David M.; McGuire, A. David; Burke, Eleanor J.; Chen, Xiaodong; Delire, Christine; Koven, Charles; MacDougall, Andrew; Saito, Kazuyuki; Zhang, Wenxin; Alkama, Ramdane; Bohn, Theodore J.; Ciais, Philippe; Decharme, Bertrand; Gouttevin, Isabelle; Hajima, Tomohiro; Krinner, Gerhard; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Miller, Paul A.; Smith, Benjamin; Sueyoshi, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

     A realistic simulation of snow cover and its thermal properties are important for accurate modelling of permafrost. We analyze simulated relationships between air and near-surface (20 cm) soil temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere permafrost region during winter, with a particular focus on snow insulation effects in nine land surface models and compare them with observations from 268 Russian stations. There are large across-model differences as expressed by simulated differences between near-surface soil and air temperatures, (ΔT), of 3 to 14 K, in the gradients between soil and air temperatures (0.13 to 0.96°C/°C), and in the relationship between ΔT and snow depth. The observed relationship between ΔT and snow depth can be used as a metric to evaluate the effects of each model's representation of snow insulation, and hence guide improvements to the model’s conceptual structure and process parameterizations. Models with better performance apply multi-layer snow schemes and consider complex snow processes. Some models show poor performance in representing snow insulation due to underestimation of snow depth and/or overestimation of snow conductivity. Generally, models identified as most acceptable with respect to snow insulation simulate reasonable areas of near-surface permafrost (12–16 million km2). However, there is not a simple relationship between the quality of the snow insulation in the acceptable models and the simulated area of Northern Hemisphere near-surface permafrost, likely because several other factors such as differences in the treatment of soil organic matter, soil hydrology, surface energy calculations, and vegetation also provide important controls on simulated permafrost distribution.

  18. Simultaneous heat and moisture transfer in soils combined with building simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, G. H. dos; Mendes, N. [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR/CCET, Thermal Systems Laboratory (LST), Curitiba (Brazil)

    2006-07-01

    In order to precisely predict ground heat transfer, room air temperature and humidity, a combined model has been developed and conceived to calculate both the coupled heat and moisture transfer in soil and floor and the psychrometrics condition of indoor air. The present methodology for the soil is based on the theory of Philip and De Vries, using variable thermophysical properties for different materials. The governing equations were discretized using the finite-volume method and a three-dimensional model for describing the physical phenomena of heat and mass transfer in unsaturated moist porous soils and floor. Additionally, a lumped transient approach for a building room and a finite-volume multi-layer model for the building envelope have been developed to integrate with the soil model. Results are presented in terms of temperature, humidity and heat flux at the interface between room air and the floor, showing the importance of the approach presented and the model robustness for long-term simulations with a high time step. (author)

  19. The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Wet Chemistry Experiment on the Mars 2001 Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grannan, S. M.; Frant, M.; Hecht, M. H.; Kounaves, S. P.; Manatt, K.; Meloy, T. P.; Pike, W. T.; Schubert, W.; West, S.; Wen, X.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) is an instrument suite that will fly on the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander Spacecraft. MECA is sponsored by the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program and will evaluate potential hazards that the dust and soil of Mars might present to astronauts and their equipment on a future human mission to Mars. Four elements constitute the integrated MECA payload: a microscopy station, patch plates, an electrometer, and the wet chemistry laboratory (WCL). The WCL consists of four identical cells, each of which will evaluate a sample of Martian soil in water to determine conductivity, pH, redox potential, dissolved C02 and 02 levels, and concentrations of many soluble ions including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and the halides. In addition, cyclic voltammetry will be used to evaluate reversible and irreversible oxidants present in the water/soil solution. Anodic stripping voltammetry will be used to measure concentrations of trace metals including lead, copper, and cadmium at ppb levels. Voltammetry is a general electrochemical technique that involves controlling the potential of an electrode while simultaneously measuring the current flowing at that electrode. The WCL experiments will provide information on the corrosivity and reactivity of the Martian soil, as well as on soluble components of the soil which might be toxic to human explorers. They will also guide HEDS scientists in the development of high fidelity Martian soil simulants. In the process of acquiring information relevant to HEDS, the WCL will assess the chemical composition and properties of the salts present in the Martian soil.

  20. Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.

    2016-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. Such electrical activity poses serious risks to any Human exploration of the planet and the lack of sufficient data to characterize any such activity has been identified by NASA's MEPAG as a key human safety knowledge gap. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, frequency of occurrence, and the strength of the generated electric fields. We will describe a recently deployed detection engine using NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) to carry out a long term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The resulting knowledge of Mars electrical activity would allow NASA to plan risk mitigation measures to ensure human safety during Mars exploration. In addition, these measurements will also allow us to place limits on presence of oxidants such as H2O2 that may be produced by such discharges, providing another measurement point for models describing Martian atmospheric chemistry and habitability. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the DSN is the only instrument in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity at Mars from the ground.

  1. Remote Sensing Studies Of The Current Martian Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, F. W.; McCleese, D. J.; Schofield, J. T.; Calcutt, S. B.; Moroz, V. I.

    A systematic and detailed experimental study of the Martian atmosphere remains to be carried out, despite many decades of intense interest in the nature of the Martian climate system, its interactions, variability and long-term stability. Such a study is planned by the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, using limb-scanning infrared radiometric techniques similar to those used to study trace species in the terrestrial stratosphere. For Mars, the objectives are temperature, humidity, dust and condensate abundances with high vertical resolution and global coverage in the 0 to 80 km height range. The paper will discuss the experiment and its methodology and expectations for the results.

  2. A coupled approach for the three-dimensional simulation of pipe leakage in variably saturated soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peche, Aaron; Graf, Thomas; Fuchs, Lothar; Neuweiler, Insa

    2017-12-01

    In urban water pipe networks, pipe leakage may lead to subsurface contamination or to reduced waste water treatment efficiency. The quantification of pipe leakage is challenging due to inaccessibility and unknown hydraulic properties of the soil. A novel physically-based model for three-dimensional numerical simulation of pipe leakage in variably saturated soil is presented. We describe the newly implemented coupling between the pipe flow simulator HYSTEM-EXTRAN and the groundwater flow simulator OpenGeoSys and its validation. We further describe a novel upscaling of leakage using transfer functions derived from numerical simulations. This upscaling enables the simulation of numerous pipe defects with the benefit of reduced computation times. Finally, we investigate the response of leakage to different time-dependent pipe flow events and conclude that larger pipe flow volume and duration lead to larger leakage while the peak position in time has a small effect on leakage.

  3. Divergent taxonomic and functional responses of microbial communities to field simulation of aeolian soil erosion and deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xingyu; Zhao, Cancan; Gao, Ying; Liu, Bin; Wang, Tengxu; Yuan, Tong; Hale, Lauren; Nostrand, Joy D Van; Wan, Shiqiang; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2017-08-01

    Aeolian soil erosion and deposition have worldwide impacts on agriculture, air quality and public health. However, ecosystem responses to soil erosion and deposition remain largely unclear in regard to microorganisms, which are the crucial drivers of biogeochemical cycles. Using integrated metagenomics technologies, we analysed microbial communities subjected to simulated soil erosion and deposition in a semiarid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China. As expected, soil total organic carbon and plant coverage were decreased by soil erosion, and soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was increased by soil deposition, demonstrating that field simulation was reliable. Soil microbial communities were altered (p soil erosion and deposition, with dramatic increase in Cyanobacteria related to increased stability in soil aggregates. amyA genes encoding α-amylases were specifically increased (p = .01) by soil deposition and positively correlated (p = .02) to DOC, which likely explained changes in DOC. Surprisingly, most of microbial functional genes associated with carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycling were decreased or unaltered by both erosion and deposition, probably arising from acceleration of organic matter mineralization. These divergent responses support the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating ecological consequences. Furthermore, Mantel tests showed strong, significant correlations between soil nutrients and functional structure but not taxonomic structure, demonstrating close relevance of microbial function traits to nutrient cycling. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Simulation of pesticide dissipation in soil at the catchment scale over 23 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queyrel, Wilfried; Florence, Habets; Hélène, Blanchoud; Céline, Schott; Laurine, Nicola

    2014-05-01

    Pesticide applications lead to contamination risks of environmental compartments causing harmful effects on water resource used for drinking water. Pesticide fate modeling is assumed to be a relevant approach to study pesticide dissipation at the catchment scale. Simulations of five herbicides (atrazine, simazine, isoproturon, chlortoluron, metolachor) and one metabolite (DEA) were carried out with the crop model STICS over a 23-year period (1990-2012). The model application was performed using real agricultural practices over a small rural catchment (104 km²) located at 60km east from Paris (France). Model applications were established for two crops: wheat and maize. The objectives of the study were i) to highlight the main processes implied in pesticide fate and transfer at long-term; ii) to assess the influence of dynamics of the remaining mass of pesticide in soil on transfer; iii) to determine the most sensitive parameters related to pesticide losses by leaching over a 23-year period. The simulated data related to crop yield, water transfer, nitrates and pesticide concentrations were first compared to observations over the 23-year period, when measurements were available at the catchment scale. Then, the evaluation of the main processes related to pesticide fate and transfer was performed using long-term simulations at a yearly time step and monthly average variations. Analyses of the monthly average variations were oriented on the impact of pesticide application, water transfer and pesticide transformation on pesticide leaching. The evolution of the remaining mass of pesticide in soil, including the mobile phase (the liquid phase) and non-mobile (adsorbed at equilibrium and non-equilibrium), was studied to evaluate the impact of pesticide stored in soil on the fraction available for leaching. Finally, a sensitivity test was performed to evaluate the more sensitive parameters regarding the remaining mass of pesticide in soil and leaching. The findings of the

  5. Post-Viking view of Martian geologic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Goettel, K.A.; Hohenberg, C.M.

    1980-01-01

    The mean density, 3.393 g/cm 3 , and the estimated moment of inertia factor constrain the density distribution within Mars but do not define it uniquely. For plausible core density, core radii can range from approx. 1350 to approx. 2200 km, with the core constituting from approx. 13 to approx. 35% of the planet's mass. Possible extremes for the zero-pressure density of the Martian mantle could be as high as 3.6 g/cm 3 or as low as 3.3 g/cm 3 . The Martian mantle is probably denser than the terrestrial mantle. The dominant Martian lavas are probably mafic or ultramafic. Martian surface materials probably consist of variable proportions of mafic igneous minerals and weathering products, the latter primarily oxides and carbonates. A major geologic dichotomy exists between the complex northern plains and the ancient southern cratered terrain. The Tharsis plateau, which dominates the low-degree harmonics of the gravity field, appears to be only partially compensated; Olympus Mons appears to be completely uncompensated. Substantial stresses must be supported, either statically by a thick, rigid lithosphere, or dynamically. Mean crustal thicknesses from 23 to 40 km have been obtained from modeling of Bouguer gravity data. Lithospheric thicknesses from 25 to 50 km under volcanoes in the Tharsis and Elysium provinces to >150 km under olympus Mons have been obtained from consideration of the effects of mass loading by volcanic constructs. Many of the compressional and extensional features on Mars have orientations consistent with formation by fracturing in response to loading by the Tharsis plateau. The deficiency of small craters within cratered terrain is attributed to obliteration by volcanism. The maximum resurfacing rate due to volcanism occurred between 1.0 and 1.5 b.y. ago if a constant cratering flux is assumed and between 3.5 and 4.0 b.y. ago if the lunar cratering flux (scaled to Mars) is assumed

  6. Representing the effects of alpine grassland vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics by ecosystem models applied to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, S.; Li, N.; Xiang, B.; Wang, X.; Ye, B.; McGuire, A.D.

    2013-01-01

    Soil surface temperature is a critical boundary condition for the simulation of soil temperature by environmental models. It is influenced by atmospheric and soil conditions and by vegetation cover. In sophisticated land surface models, it is simulated iteratively by solving surface energy budget equations. In ecosystem, permafrost, and hydrology models, the consideration of soil surface temperature is generally simple. In this study, we developed a methodology for representing the effects of vegetation cover and atmospheric factors on the estimation of soil surface temperature for alpine grassland ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Our approach integrated measurements from meteorological stations with simulations from a sophisticated land surface model to develop an equation set for estimating soil surface temperature. After implementing this equation set into an ecosystem model and evaluating the performance of the ecosystem model in simulating soil temperature at different depths in the soil profile, we applied the model to simulate interactions among vegetation cover, freeze-thaw cycles, and soil erosion to demonstrate potential applications made possible through the implementation of the methodology developed in this study. Results showed that (1) to properly estimate daily soil surface temperature, algorithms should use air temperature, downward solar radiation, and vegetation cover as independent variables; (2) the equation set developed in this study performed better than soil surface temperature algorithms used in other models; and (3) the ecosystem model performed well in simulating soil temperature throughout the soil profile using the equation set developed in this study. Our application of the model indicates that the representation in ecosystem models of the effects of vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of the vulnerability of alpine grassland ecosystems to

  7. Impact of land use and soil data specifications on COSMO-CLM simulations in the CORDEX-MED area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Smiatek

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The impact of the ECOCLIMAP land use and the Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD data on simulations with the Consortium for Small-scale Modeling model in CLimate Mode (CCLM regional climate model is investigated. ECOCLIMAP has information about vegetation characteristics as monthly data for 215 climatic units. With the HWSD implementation in CCLM, the spatial resolution of the soil data has been increased to 30 arc seconds and has an improved texture definition and handling in the soil model TERRA_ML. Simulations in the MED-CORDEX modeling domain over the period 1986–2000 reveal that differences of up to 1.8 K in the area monthly mean temperature as well as of up to 21 % in the area monthly mean precipitation can be attributed to the differences in the soil data time-invariant boundary input. Differences related to changes in land use are with 0.4 K and 5 % moderate. Differences resulting from the soil data and its processing in CCLM indicate that regional climate model simulations might benefit from further improvements in this area.

  8. Alteration of Sedimentary Clasts in Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Tartese, R.; Santos, A. R.; Domokos, G.; Muttik, N.; Szabo, T.; Vazquez, J.; Boyce, J. W.; Keller, L. P.; Jerolmack, D. J.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The martian meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and pairings represent the first brecciated hand sample available for study from the martian surface [1]. Detailed investigations of NWA 7034 have revealed substantial lithologic diversity among the clasts [2-3], making NWA 7034 a polymict breccia. NWA 7034 consists of igneous clasts, impact-melt clasts, and "sedimentary" clasts represented by prior generations of brecciated material. In the present study we conduct a detailed textural and geochemical analysis of the sedimentary clasts.

  9. Implementation of Controlled Traffic in the Canadian Prairies: Soil and Plant Dynamics under Simulated and Field Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guenette, Kris; Hernandez-Ramirez, Guillermo

    2017-04-01

    Achieving resiliency in agroecosystems may be accomplished through the incorporation of contemporary management systems and the diversification of crop rotations with pulse crops, such as controlled traffic farming (CTF) and faba beans (Vicia faba L.). As these practices become more common in the Canadian Prairies, it is imperative to have a well-rounded understanding of how faba beans interact with the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum in conditions found in contemporary management systems. Simulated field conditions emulated soil compaction found in both the trafficked and un-trafficked areas of a CTF system, in which the presence of high water availability was shown to offset the negative results of large applications of compactive effort. Furthermore, low water availability exacerbated differences in plant responses between compaction treatments. The simulated treatment of 1.2 gcm-3 coupled with high water content yielded the most optimal results for most measured parameters, with a contrasting detrimental treatment of 1.4 gcm-3 at low water availability. The simulated field conditions were further bridged through an analysis of two commercial sites in Alberta, Canada that compared both trafficked and un-trafficked soil properties. Soil properties such as available nitrogen (AN), pH, soil total nitrogen (STN), soil organic carbon (SOC), bulk density, macroporosity, soil quality S-Index, plant available water capacity (PAWC) and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (Km) were analysed and compared among trafficked and un-trafficked areas. The measured soil physical and hydraulic properties of bulk density, macroporosity, S-Index, PAWC and Km were shown to be heavily influenced by the CTF traffic regime, while soil nutrient properties of AN, pH, STN SOC were determined to be dependent on both management and landscape features.

  10. Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2018-01-01

    Rainfall-induced shallow landsliding is a persistent hazard to human life and property. Despite the observed connection between infiltration through the unsaturated zone and shallow landslide initiation, there is considerable uncertainty in how estimates of unsaturated soil-water retention properties affect slope stability assessment. This source of uncertainty is critical to evaluating the utility of physics-based hydrologic modeling as a tool for landslide early warning. We employ a numerical model of variably saturated groundwater flow parameterized with an ensemble of texture-, laboratory-, and field-based estimates of soil-water retention properties for an extensively monitored landslide-prone site in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA. Simulations of soil-water content, pore-water pressure, and the resultant factor of safety show considerable variability across and within these different parameter estimation techniques. In particular, we demonstrate that with the same permeability structure imposed across all simulations, the variability in soil-water retention properties strongly influences predictions of positive pore-water pressure coincident with widespread shallow landsliding. We also find that the ensemble of soil-water retention properties imposes an order-of-magnitude and nearly two-fold variability in seasonal and event-scale landslide susceptibility, respectively. Despite the reduced factor of safety uncertainty during wet conditions, parameters that control the dry end of the soil-water retention function markedly impact the ability of a hydrologic model to capture soil-water content dynamics observed in the field. These results suggest that variability in soil-water retention properties should be considered for objective physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria.

  11. Rapid immobilization of simulated radioactive soil waste by microwave sintering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuai; Shu, Xiaoyan; Chen, Shunzhang; Yang, Huimin; Hou, Chenxi; Mao, Xueli; Chi, Fangting; Song, Mianxin; Lu, Xirui

    2017-09-05

    A rapid and efficient method is particularly necessary in the timely disposal of seriously radioactive contaminated soil. In this paper, a series of simulated radioactive soil waste containing different contents of neodymium oxide (3-25wt.%) has been successfully vitrified by microwave sintering at 1300°C for 30min. The microstructures, morphology, element distribution, density and chemical durability of as obtained vitrified forms have been analyzed. The results show that the amorphous structure, homogeneous element distribution, and regular density improvement are well kept, except slight cracks emerge on the magnified surface for the 25wt.% Nd 2 O 3 -containing sample. Moreover, all the vitrified forms exhibit excellent chemical durability, and the leaching rates of Nd are kept as ∼10 -4 -10 -6 g/(m 2 day) within 42days. This demonstrates a potential application of microwave sintering in radioactive contaminated soil disposal. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Evidence of martian perchlorate, chlorate, and nitrate in Mars meteorite EETA79001: Implications for oxidants and organics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kounaves, Samuel P.; Carrier, Brandi L.; O'Neil, Glen D.; Stroble, Shannon T.; Claire, Mark W.

    2014-02-01

    The results from the Viking mission in the mid 1970s provided evidence that the martian surface contained oxidants responsible for destroying organic compounds. In 2008 the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Lab (WCL) found perchlorate (ClO4-) in three soil samples at concentrations from 0.5 to 0.7 wt%. The detection of chloromethane (CH3Cl) and dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) by the Viking pyrolysis gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) may have been a result of ClO4- at that site oxidizing either terrestrial organic contaminates or, if present, indigenous organics. Recently, the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity directly measured the presence of CH3Cl, CH2Cl2 and, along with measurements of HCl and oxygen, indirectly indicate the presence of ClO4-. However, except for Phoenix, no other direct measurement of the ClO4- anion in martian soil or rock has been made. We report here ion chromatographic (IC) and isotopic analyses of a unique sawdust portion of the martian meteorite EETA79001 that show the presence by mass of 0.6 ± 0.1 ppm ClO4-, 1.4 ± 0.1 ppm ClO3-, and 16 ± 0.2 ppm NO3- at a quantity and location within the meteorite that is difficult to reconcile with terrestrial contamination. The sawdust sample consists of basaltic material with a minor salt-rich inclusion in a mass ratio of ∼300:1, thus the salts may be 300 times more concentrated within the inclusion than the whole sample. The molar ratios of NO3-:ClO4- and Cl:ClO4-, are very different for EETA79001 at ∼40:1 and 15:1, respectively, than the Antarctic soils and ice near where the meteorite was recovered at ∼10,000:1 and 5000:1, respectively. In addition, the isotope ratios for EETA79001 with δ15N = -10.48 ± 0.32‰ and δ18O = +51.61 ± 0.74‰ are significantly different from that of the nearby Miller Range blue ice with δ15N = +102.80 ± 0.14‰ and δ18O = +43.11 ± 0.64‰. This difference is notable, because if the meteorite had been

  13. Assessment of SMAP soil moisture for global simulation of gross primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Liming; Chen, Jing M.; Liu, Jane; Bélair, Stéphane; Luo, Xiangzhong

    2017-07-01

    In this study, high-quality soil moisture data derived from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite measurements are evaluated from a perspective of improving the estimation of the global gross primary production (GPP) using a process-based ecosystem model, namely, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS). The SMAP soil moisture data are assimilated into BEPS using an ensemble Kalman filter. The correlation coefficient (r) between simulated GPP from the sunlit leaves and Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) measured by Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 is used as an indicator to evaluate the performance of the GPP simulation. Areas with SMAP data in low quality (i.e., forests), or with SIF in low magnitude (e.g., deserts), or both are excluded from the analysis. With the assimilated SMAP data, the r value is enhanced for Africa, Asia, and North America by 0.016, 0.013, and 0.013, respectively (p r appears in single-cropping agricultural land where the irrigation is not considered in the model but well captured by SMAP (e.g., 0.09 in North America, p < 0.05). With the assimilation of SMAP, areas with weak model performances are identified in double or triple cropping cropland (e.g., part of North China Plain) and/or mountainous area (e.g., Spain and Turkey). The correlation coefficient is enhanced by 0.01 in global average for shrub, grass, and cropland. This enhancement is small and insignificant because nonwater-stressed areas are included.

  14. Numerical Simulation of Hysteretic Live Load Effect in a Soil-Steel Bridge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sobótka Maciej

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents numerical simulation of hysteretic live load effect in a soil-steel bridge. The effect was originally identified experimentally by Machelski [1], [2]. The truck was crossing the bridge one way and the other in the full-scale test performed. At the same time, displacements and stress in the shell were measured. The major conclusion from the research was that the measured quantities formed hysteretic loops. A numerical simulation of that effect is addressed in the present work. The analysis was performed using Flac finite difference code. The methodology of solving the mechanical problems implemented in Flac enables us to solve the problem concerning a sequence of load and non-linear mechanical behaviour of the structure. The numerical model incorporates linear elastic constitutive relations for the soil backfill, for the steel shell and the sheet piles, being a flexible substructure for the shell. Contact zone between the shell and the soil backfill is assumed to reflect elastic-plastic constitutive model. Maximum shear stress in contact zone is limited by the Coulomb condition. The plastic flow rule is described by dilation angle ψ = 0. The obtained results of numerical analysis are in fair agreement with the experimental evidence. The primary finding from the performed simulation is that the slip in the interface can be considered an explanation of the hysteresis occurrence in the charts of displacement and stress in the shell.

  15. Effects of simulated acid rain on microbial characteristics in a lateritic red soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hua-qin; Zhang, Jia-en; Ouyang, Ying; Lin, Ling; Quan, Guo-ming; Zhao, Ben-liang; Yu, Jia-yu

    2015-11-01

    A laboratory experiment was performed to examine the impact of simulated acid rain (SAR) on nutrient leaching, microbial biomass, and microbial activities in a lateritic red soil in South China. The soil column leaching experiment was conducted over a 60-day period with the following six SAR pH treatments (levels): 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 and one control treatment (pH = 7). Compared with the control treatment, the concentrations of soil organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total potassium, soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), and average well color density (AWCD) in the Ecoplates were all significantly decreased by leaching with SAR at different pH levels. The decrease in MBC and MBN indicated that acid rain reduced the soil microbial population, while the decrease in AWCD revealed that acid rain had a negative effect on soil bacterial metabolic function. Soil basal respiration increased gradually from pH 4.0 to 7.0 but decreased dramatically from pH 2.5 to 3.0. The decrease in soil nutrient was the major reason for the change of soil microbial functions. A principal component analysis showed that the major carbon sources used by the bacteria were carbohydrates and carboxylic acids.

  16. Microwave Palaeointensity Experiments On Terrestrial and Martian Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, J.; Hill, M.; Gratton, M.

    The microwave palaeointensity technique was developed in Liverpool University (Walton et al 1996) and has successfully been applied to archaeological ceramics and recent lavas (Shaw et al 1996, 1999.; Hill et al 1999,2000). These published results show that microwave analysis provides accurate palaeointensity determinations com- bined with a very high success rate. Most recently the technique has been successfully applied to Martian material (Shaw et al, 2001) to look for the existence of an internal Martian dynamo early in Martian history. New experiments have been carried out us- ing microwaves to demagnetise synthetic muti-component TRM's and new palaeoin- tensity experiments providing a comparison between microwave analysis of laboratory TRM's and conventional thermal Thellier analysis of microwave generated mTRM's. These experiments demonstrate the equivalence of microwave and thermally gener- ated TRM's. D. Walton, S Snape, T.C. Rolph, J. Shaw and J.A. Share, Application of ferromagnetic resonance heating to palaeointensity determinations.1996, Phys Earth Planet Int,94, 183-186. J. Shaw, D. Walton, S Yang, T.C.Rolph, and J.A. Share. Microwave Archaeointensities from Peruvian Ceramics. 1996, Geophys. J. Int,124,241-244 J. Shaw, S. Yang, T. C. Rolph, and F. Y. Sun. A comparison of archaeointensity results from Chinese ceramics using Microwave and conventional ThellierSs and ShawSs methods.,1999, G J Int.136, 714-718 M. Hill, and J. Shaw, 1999, Palaeointensity results for Historic Lavas from Mt. Etna using microwave demagnetisation/remagnetisation in a modified Thellier type exper- iment. G. J. Int, 139, 583-590 M. J. Hill, and J. Shaw, 2000. Magnetic field intensity study of the 1960 Kilauea lava flow, Hawaii, using the microwave palaeointensity technique, Geophys. J. Int., 142, 487-504. J. Shaw, M. Hill, and S. J. Openshaw, 2001, Investigating the ancient Martian magnetic field using microwaves, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 190 (2001) 103-109

  17. Simulating soil N2O emissions and heterotrophic CO2 respiration in arabe systems using FASSET and MoBiLE-DNDC

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirinda, Ngonidzashe; Kracher, Daniele; Lægdsmand, Mette

    2011-01-01

    Modelling of soil emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) is complicated by complex interactions between processes and factors influencing their production, consumption and transport. In this study N2O emissions and heterotrophic CO2 respiration were simulated from soils under w...... mineral nitrogen, which seemed to originate from deficiencies in simulating degradation of soil organic matter, incorporated residues of catch crops and organic fertilizers. To improve the performance of the models, organic matter decomposition parameters need to be revised.......Modelling of soil emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) is complicated by complex interactions between processes and factors influencing their production, consumption and transport. In this study N2O emissions and heterotrophic CO2 respiration were simulated from soils under...... winter wheat grown in three different organic and one inorganic fertilizer-based cropping system using two different models, i.e., MoBiLE-DNDC and FASSET. The two models were generally capable of simulating most seasonal trends of measured soil heterotrophic CO2 respiration and N2O emissions. Annual soil...

  18. Wind-Eroded Silicate as a Source of Hydrogen Peroxide on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, E. N.; Merrison, J. P.; Jensen, S. K.; Nørnberg, P.; Finster, K.

    2014-07-01

    Laboratory simulations show that wind-eroded silicate can be a source of hydrogen peroxide. The ubiquitous, fine-grained silicate dust might thus explain the oxidizing properties of the martian soil and affect the preservation of organic compounds.

  19. Simulating soil C stability with mechanistic systems models: a multisite comparison of measured fractions and modelled pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andy; Schipanski, Meagan; Sherrod, Lucretia; Ma, Liwang; Ahuja, Lajpat; McNamara, Niall; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture, covering more than 30% of global land area, has an exciting opportunity to help combat climate change by effectively managing its soil to promote increased C sequestration. Further, newly sequestered soil carbon (C) through agriculture needs to be stored in more stable forms in order to have a lasting impact on reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. While land uses in different climates and soils require different management strategies, the fundamental mechanisms that regulate C sequestration and stabilisation remain the same. These mechanisms are used by a number of different systems models to simulate C dynamics, and thus assess the impacts of change in management or climate. To evaluate the accuracy of these model simulations, our research uses a multidirectional approach to compare C stocks of physicochemical soil fractions collected at two long-term agricultural sites. Carbon stocks for a number of soil fractions were measured at two sites (Lincoln, UK; Colorado, USA) over 8 and 12 years, respectively. Both sites represent managed agricultural land but have notably different climates and levels of disturbance. The measured soil fractions act as proxies for varying degrees of stability, with C contained within these fractions relatable to the C simulated within the soil pools of mechanistic systems models1. Using stable isotope techniques at the UK site, specific turnover times of C within the different fractions were determined and compared with those simulated in the pools of 3 different models of varying complexity (RothC, DayCent and RZWQM2). Further, C dynamics and N-mineralisation rates of the measured fractions at the US site were assessed and compared to results of the same three models. The UK site saw a significant increase in C stocks within the most stable fractions, with topsoil (0-30cm) sequestration rates of just over 0.3 tC ha-1 yr-1 after only 8 years. Further, the sum of all fractions reported C sequestration rates of nearly 1

  20. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: storm electric fields and electron dissociative attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delory, Gregory T; Farrell, William M; Atreya, Sushil K; Renno, Nilton O; Wong, Ah-San; Cummer, Steven A; Sentman, Davis D; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and desert field tests indicate that aeolian dust transport can generate atmospheric electricity via contact electrification or "triboelectricity." In convective structures such as dust devils and dust storms, grain stratification leads to macroscopic charge separations and gives rise to an overall electric dipole moment in the aeolian feature, similar in nature to the dipolar electric field generated in terrestrial thunderstorms. Previous numerical simulations indicate that these storm electric fields on Mars can approach the ambient breakdown field strength of approximately 25 kV/m. In terrestrial dust phenomena, potentials ranging from approximately 20 to 160 kV/m have been directly measured. The large electrostatic fields predicted in martian dust devils and storms can energize electrons in the low pressure martian atmosphere to values exceeding the electron dissociative attachment energy of both CO2 and H2O, which results in the formation of the new chemical products CO/O- and OH/H-, respectively. Using a collisional plasma physics model, we present calculations of the CO/O- and OH/H- reaction and production rates. We demonstrate that these rates vary geometrically with the ambient electric field, with substantial production of dissociative products when fields approach the breakdown value of approximately 25 kV/m. The dissociation of H2O into OH/H- provides a key ingredient for the generation of oxidants; thus electrically charged dust may significantly impact the habitability of Mars.

  1. Radio Emissions from Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.; Schulter, T.; White, L.

    2017-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, event rate, and the strength of the generated electric fields. The detection and characterization of electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for habitability, and preparations for human exploration of the red planet. Furthermore, electrostatic discharges may be linked to local chemistry and plays an important role in the predicted global electrical circuit. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is the only facility in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity from large scale convective dust storms at Mars. We will describe a newly inaugurated program at NASA's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex to carry out a long-term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The ground-based detections will also have important implications for the design of a future instrument that could make similar in-situ measurements from orbit or from the surface of Mars, with far greater sensitivity and duty cycle, opening up a new window in our understanding of the Martian environment.

  2. Evaluating the performance of coupled snow-soil models in SURFEXv8 to simulate the permafrost thermal regime at a high Arctic site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrere, Mathieu; Domine, Florent; Decharme, Bertrand; Morin, Samuel; Vionnet, Vincent; Lafaysse, Matthieu

    2017-09-01

    Climate change projections still suffer from a limited representation of the permafrost-carbon feedback. Predicting the response of permafrost temperature to climate change requires accurate simulations of Arctic snow and soil properties. This study assesses the capacity of the coupled land surface and snow models ISBA-Crocus and ISBA-ES to simulate snow and soil properties at Bylot Island, a high Arctic site. Field measurements complemented with ERA-Interim reanalyses were used to drive the models and to evaluate simulation outputs. Snow height, density, temperature, thermal conductivity and thermal insulance are examined to determine the critical variables involved in the soil and snow thermal regime. Simulated soil properties are compared to measurements of thermal conductivity, temperature and water content. The simulated snow density profiles are unrealistic, which is most likely caused by the lack of representation in snow models of the upward water vapor fluxes generated by the strong temperature gradients within the snowpack. The resulting vertical profiles of thermal conductivity are inverted compared to observations, with high simulated values at the bottom of the snowpack. Still, ISBA-Crocus manages to successfully simulate the soil temperature in winter. Results are satisfactory in summer, but the temperature of the top soil could be better reproduced by adequately representing surface organic layers, i.e., mosses and litter, and in particular their water retention capacity. Transition periods (soil freezing and thawing) are the least well reproduced because the high basal snow thermal conductivity induces an excessively rapid heat transfer between the soil and the snow in simulations. Hence, global climate models should carefully consider Arctic snow thermal properties, and especially the thermal conductivity of the basal snow layer, to perform accurate predictions of the permafrost evolution under climate change.

  3. Improving streamflow simulations and forecasting performance of SWAT model by assimilating remotely sensed soil moisture observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Amol; Ramsankaran, RAAJ

    2017-12-01

    This article presents a study carried out using EnKF based assimilation of coarser-scale SMOS soil moisture retrievals to improve the streamflow simulations and forecasting performance of SWAT model in a large catchment. This study has been carried out in Munneru river catchment, India, which is about 10,156 km2. In this study, an EnkF based new approach is proposed for improving the inherent vertical coupling of soil layers of SWAT hydrological model during soil moisture data assimilation. Evaluation of the vertical error correlation obtained between surface and subsurface layers indicates that the vertical coupling can be improved significantly using ensemble of soil storages compared to the traditional static soil storages based EnKF approach. However, the improvements in the simulated streamflow are moderate, which is due to the limitations in SWAT model in reflecting the profile soil moisture updates in surface runoff computations. Further, it is observed that the durability of streamflow improvements is longer when the assimilation system effectively updates the subsurface flow component. Overall, the results of the present study indicate that the passive microwave-based coarser-scale soil moisture products like SMOS hold significant potential to improve the streamflow estimates when assimilating into large-scale distributed hydrological models operating at a daily time step.

  4. Viking orbiter imaging observations of dust in the Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Baum, W.A.; Barnes, J.

    1979-01-01

    More than 20 local Martian dust clouds and two global dust storms were observed with the Viking orbiter camera. Sixteen of the local clouds were imaged in two colors or were observed with other instruments confirming their identification as dust clouds. These Viking results are compared with earth-based observations of Martian dust storms and with Mariner 9 data. Most of the dust activity seen by Viking occurred during southern hemisphere spring and early summer, when Mars was near perihelion and isolation was near maximum. About half the local clouds occurred near the edge of the southern polar cap, where winds are presumably enhanced by a strong regional temperature gradient. The other half occurred mainly in the southern hemisphere near regions where circulation models incorporating topography predict positive vertical velocities. Although dust clouds observed from earth show a similar partial correlation with models, some ambiguity exists concerning interpretation of regions near Hellespontus that have spawned the most spectacular Martian dust storms on record

  5. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2017-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Strawman Scientific Payload The strawman payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: - MetBaro Pressure device - MetHumi Humidity device - MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: - PanCam Panoramic - MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer - DS Dust sensor Composition and Structure Devices: Tri-axial magnetometer MOURA Tri-axial System Accelerometer The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis

  6. Dynamic Modeling and Soil Mechanics for Path Planning of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian; Arvidson, Raymond; Lindemann, Randel; Bennett, Keith; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine; Van Dyke, Lauren

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting tool, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using MSC-Adams dynamic modeling software. Newly modeled terrain-rover interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, using the classical Bekker-Wong implementation of compaction resistances and bull-dozing effects. The paper presents the details and implementation of the model with two case studies based on actual MER telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

  7. Blending Satellite Observed, Model Simulated, and in Situ Measured Soil Moisture over Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijian Zeng

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The inter-comparison of different soil moisture (SM products over the Tibetan Plateau (TP reveals the inconsistency among different SM products, when compared to in situ measurement. It highlights the need to constrain the model simulated SM with the in situ measured data climatology. In this study, the in situ soil moisture networks, combined with the classification of climate zones over the TP, were used to produce the in situ measured SM climatology at the plateau scale. The generated TP scale in situ SM climatology was then used to scale the model-simulated SM data, which was subsequently used to scale the SM satellite observations. The climatology-scaled satellite and model-simulated SM were then blended objectively, by applying the triple collocation and least squares method. The final blended SM can replicate the SM dynamics across different climatic zones, from sub-humid regions to semi-arid and arid regions over the TP. This demonstrates the need to constrain the model-simulated SM estimates with the in situ measurements before their further applications in scaling climatology of SM satellite products.

  8. Potential Antifreeze Compounds in Present-Day Martian Seepage Groundwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiin-Shuh Jean

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Is the recently found seepage groundwater on Mars pure H2O, or mixed with salts and other antifreeze compounds? Given the surface conditions of Mars, it is unlikely that pure water could either exist in its liquid state or have shaped Mars¡¦ fluid erosional landforms (gullies, channels, and valley networks. More likely is that Mars¡¦ seepage groundwater contains antifreeze and salt compounds that resist freezing and suppress evaporation. This model better accounts for Mars¡¦ enigmatic surface erosion. This paper suggests 17 antifreeze compounds potentially present in Martian seepage groundwater. Given their liquid state and physical properties, triethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, and 1,3-propylene glycol are advanced as the most likely candidate compounds. This paper also explores how a mixing of glycol or glycerol with salts in the Martian seepage groundwater may have lowered water¡¦s freezing point and raised its boiling point, with consequences that created fluid gully and channel erosion. Ethylene glycol and related hydrocarbon compounds have been identified in Martian and other interstellar meteorites. We suggest that these compounds and their proportions to water be included for detection in future explorations.

  9. Powerful Software to Simulate Soil Consolidation Problems with Prefabricated Vertical Drains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo García-Ros

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The present work describes the program Simulation of Consolidation with Vertical Drains (SICOMED_2018, a tool for the solution of consolidation processes in heterogeneous soils, with totally or partially penetrating prefabricated vertical drains (PVD and considering both the effects of the smear zone, generated when introducing the drain into the ground, and the limitation in the discharge capacity of the drain. In order to provide a completely free program, the code Next-Generation Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (Ngspice has been used as a numerical tool while the Matrix Laboratory (MATLAB code was used to program and create an interface with the user through interactive screens. In this way, SICOMED_2018 is presented as an easy-to-use and intuitive program, with a simple graphical interface that allows the user to enter all the soil properties and geometry of the problem without having to resort to a complex software package that requires programming. Illustrative applications describe both the versatility of the program and the reliability of its numerical solutions.

  10. Response of soil fauna to simulated nitrogen deposition: a nursery experiment in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Guo-Liang; Mo, Jiang-Ming; Fu, Sheng-Lei; Gundersen, Per; Zhou, Guo-Yi; Xue, Jing-Hua

    2007-01-01

    We studied the responses of soil fauna to a simulated nitrogen deposition in nursery experimental plots in Subtropical China. Dissolved NH4NO3 was applied to the soil by spraying twice per month for 16 months, starting in January 2003 with treatments of 0, 5, 10, 15 and 30 gN/(m2 x a). Soil fauna was sampled after 6, 9, 13 and 16 months of treatment in three soil depths (0-5 cm, 5-10 cm, 10-15 cm). Soil available N increased in correspondence with the increasing N treatment, whereas soil pH decreased. Bacterial and fungal densities were elevated by the N treatment. Soil fauna increased in the lower nitrogen treatments but decreased in the higher N treatments, which might indicate that there was a threshold around 10 gN/(m2 x a) for the stimulating effects of N addition. The N effects were dependent on the soil depth and sampling time. The data also suggested that the effects of the different N treatments were related to the level of N saturation, especially the concentration of NO3- in the soil.

  11. Connecting Returned Apollo Soils and Remote Sensing: Application to the Diviner Lunar Radiometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhagen, B. T.; DonaldsonHanna, K. L.; Thomas, I. R.; Bowles, N. E.; Allen, Carlton C.; Pieters, C. M.; Paige, D. A.

    2014-01-01

    The Diviner Lunar Radiometer, onboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, has produced the first global, high resolution, thermal infrared observations of an airless body. The Moon, which is the most accessible member of this most abundant class of solar system objects, is also the only body for which we have extraterrestrial samples with known spatial context, returned Apollo samples. Here we present the results of a comprehensive study to reproduce an accurate simulated lunar environment, evaluate the most appropriate sample and measurement conditions, collect thermal infrared spectra of a representative suite of Apollo soils, and correlate them with Diviner observations of the lunar surface. It has been established previously that thermal infrared spectra measured in simulated lunar environment (SLE) are significantly altered from spectra measured under terrestrial or martian conditions. The data presented here were collected at the University of Oxford Simulated Lunar Environment Chamber (SLEC). In SLEC, we simulate the lunar environment by: (1) pumping the chamber to vacuum pressures (less than 10-4 mbar) sufficient to simulate lunar heat transport processes within the sample, (2) cooling the chamber with liquid nitrogen to simulate radiation to the cold space environment, and (3) heating the samples with heaters and lamp to set-up thermal gradients similar to those experienced in the upper hundreds of microns of the lunar surface. We then conducted a comprehensive suite of experiments using different sample preparation and heating conditions on Apollo soils 15071 (maria) and 67701 (highland) and compared the results to Diviner noontime data to select the optimal experimental conditions. This study includes thermal infrared SLE measurements of 10084 (A11 - LM), 12001 (A12 - LM), 14259 (A14 - LM), 15071 (A15 - S1), 15601 (A15 - S9a), 61141 (A16 - S1), 66031 (A16 - S6), 67701 (A16 - S11), and 70181 (A17 - LM). The Diviner dataset includes all six Apollo sites

  12. Simulation of water movement and isoproturon behaviour in a heavy clay soil using the MACRO model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Besien

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the dual-porosity MACRO model has been used to investigate methods of reducing leaching of isoproturon from a structured heavy clay soil. The MACRO model was applied to a pesticide leaching data-set generated from a plot scale experiment on a heavy clay soil at the Oxford University Farm, Wytham, England. The field drain was found to be the most important outflow from the plot in terms of pesticide removal. Therefore, this modelling exercise concentrated on simulating field drain flow. With calibration of field-saturated and micropore saturated hydraulic conductivity, the drain flow hydrographs were simulated during extended periods of above average rainfall, with both the hydrograph shape and peak flows agreeing well. Over the whole field season, the observed drain flow water budget was well simulated. However, the first and second drain flow events after pesticide application were not simulated satisfactorily. This is believed to be due to a poor simulation of evapotranspiration during a period of low rainfall around the pesticide application day. Apart from an initial rapid drop in the observed isoproturon soil residue, the model simulated isoproturon residues during the 100 days after pesticide application reasonably well. Finally, the calibrated model was used to show that changes in agricultural practice (deep ploughing, creating fine consolidated seed beds and organic matter applications could potentially reduce pesticide leaching to surface waters by up to 60%.

  13. The consumption of atmospheric methane by soil in a simulated future climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. L. Curry

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available A recently developed model for the consumption of atmospheric methane by soil (Curry, 2007 is used to investigate the global magnitude and distribution of methane uptake in a simulated future climate. In addition to solving the one-dimensional diffusion-reaction equation, the model includes a parameterization of biological CH4 oxidation that is sensitive to soil temperature and moisture content, along with specified reduction factors for land cultivation and wetland fractional coverage. Under the SRES emission scenario A1B, the model projects an 8% increase in the global annual mean CH4 soil sink by 2100, over and above the 15% increase expected from increased CH4 concentration alone. While the largest absolute increases occur in cool temperate and subtropical forest ecosystems, the largest relative increases in consumption (>40% are seen in the boreal forest, tundra and polar desert environments of the high northern latitudes. Methane uptake at mid- to high northern latitudes increases year-round in 2100, with a 68% increase over present-day values in June. This increase is primarily due to enhanced soil diffusivity resulting from lower soil moisture produced by increased evaporation and reduced snow cover. At lower latitudes, uptake is enhanced mainly by elevated soil temperatures and/or reduced soil moisture stress, with the dominant influence determined by the local climate.

  14. Use of the vacuum ultraviolet spectral region for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy-based Martian geology and exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radziemski, Leon; Cremers, David A.; Benelli, Katharine; Khoo, Cynthia; Harris, Ronny D.

    2005-01-01

    Several elements important to planetary geology (e.g. Br, C, Cl, P, S) and the human exploration of Mars (e.g. toxic elements such as As) have strong emission lines in the purge and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectral region (100-200 nm). This spectral region has not been extensively studied for space applications using geological samples. We studied emissions from the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) plasma in this region using a sample chamber filled with 7 torr (930 Pa) of CO 2 to simulate the Martian atmosphere. Pressures down to 0.02 torr were also used to evaluate the effect of the residual CO 2 on the spectra and to begin investigating the use of VUV-LIBS for airless bodies such as asteroids and the Moon. Spectra were recorded using a 0.3-m vacuum spectrometer with an intensified CCD (ICCD) camera. The effects of time delay and laser energy on LIBS detection at reduced pressure were examined. The effect of ambient CO 2 on the detection of C in soil was also evaluated. Lines useful for the spectrochemical analysis of As, Br, C, Cl, P, and S were determined and calibration curves were prepared for these elements. Although LIBS is being developed for stand-off analysis at many meters distance, the experiments reported here were aimed at in-situ (close-up) analysis

  15. Semi-automated operation of Mars Climate Simulation chamber - MCSC modelled for biological experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasashvili, M. V.; Sabashvili, Sh. A.; Tsereteli, S. L.; Aleksidze, N. D.; Dalakishvili, O.

    2017-10-01

    The Mars Climate Simulation Chamber (MCSC) (GEO PAT 12 522/01) is designed for the investigation of the possible past and present habitability of Mars, as well as for the solution of practical tasks necessary for the colonization and Terraformation of the Planet. There are specific tasks such as the experimental investigation of the biological parameters that allow many terrestrial organisms to adapt to the imitated Martian conditions: chemistry of the ground, atmosphere, temperature, radiation, etc. MCSC is set for the simulation of the conduction of various biological experiments, as well as the selection of extremophile microorganisms for the possible Settlement, Ecopoesis and/or Terraformation purposes and investigation of their physiological functions. For long-term purposes, it is possible to cultivate genetically modified organisms (e.g., plants) adapted to the Martian conditions for future Martian agriculture to sustain human Mars missions and permanent settlements. The size of the chamber allows preliminary testing of the functionality of space-station mini-models and personal protection devices such as space-suits, covering and building materials and other structures. The reliability of the experimental biotechnological materials can also be tested over a period of years. Complex and thorough research has been performed to acquire the most appropriate technical tools for the accurate engineering of the MCSC and precious programmed simulation of Martian environmental conditions. This paper describes the construction and technical details of the equipment of the MCSC, which allows its semi-automated, long-term operation.

  16. Simulating maize yield and bomass with spatial variability of soil field capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Liwang; Ahuja, Lajpat; Trout, Thomas; Nolan, Bernard T.; Malone, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Spatial variability in field soil properties is a challenge for system modelers who use single representative values, such as means, for model inputs, rather than their distributions. In this study, the root zone water quality model (RZWQM2) was first calibrated for 4 yr of maize (Zea mays L.) data at six irrigation levels in northern Colorado and then used to study spatial variability of soil field capacity (FC) estimated in 96 plots on maize yield and biomass. The best results were obtained when the crop parameters were fitted along with FCs, with a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 354 kg ha–1 for yield and 1202 kg ha–1 for biomass. When running the model using each of the 96 sets of field-estimated FC values, instead of calibrating FCs, the average simulated yield and biomass from the 96 runs were close to measured values with a RMSE of 376 kg ha–1 for yield and 1504 kg ha–1 for biomass. When an average of the 96 FC values for each soil layer was used, simulated yield and biomass were also acceptable with a RMSE of 438 kg ha–1 for yield and 1627 kg ha–1 for biomass. Therefore, when there are large numbers of FC measurements, an average value might be sufficient for model inputs. However, when the ranges of FC measurements were known for each soil layer, a sampled distribution of FCs using the Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) might be used for model inputs.

  17. Land Surface Model and Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm Based on the Model-Optimization Method for Improving Soil Moisture Simulation in a Semi-Arid Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Improving the capability of land-surface process models to simulate soil moisture assists in better understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. In semi-arid regions, due to limited near-surface observational data and large errors in large-scale parameters obtained by the remote sensing method, there exist uncertainties in land surface parameters, which can cause large offsets between the simulated results of land-surface process models and the observational data for the soil moisture. In this study, observational data from the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL) station in the semi-arid loess plateau of China were divided into three datasets: summer, autumn, and summer-autumn. By combing the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and the land-surface process model SHAW (Simultaneous Heat and Water), the soil and vegetation parameters that are related to the soil moisture but difficult to obtain by observations are optimized using three datasets. On this basis, the SHAW model was run with the optimized parameters to simulate the characteristics of the land-surface process in the semi-arid loess plateau. Simultaneously, the default SHAW model was run with the same atmospheric forcing as a comparison test. Simulation results revealed the following: parameters optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm in all simulation tests improved simulations of the soil moisture and latent heat flux; differences between simulated results and observational data are clearly reduced, but simulation tests involving the adoption of optimized parameters cannot simultaneously improve the simulation results for the net radiation, sensible heat flux, and soil temperature. Optimized soil and vegetation parameters based on different datasets have the same order of magnitude but are not identical; soil parameters only vary to a small degree, but the variation range of vegetation parameters is large.

  18. Extrapolating effects of conservation tillage on yield, soil moisture and dry spell mitigation using simulation modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mkoga, Z. J.; Tumbo, S. D.; Kihupi, N.; Semoka, J.

    There is big effort to disseminate conservation tillage practices in Tanzania. Despite wide spread field demonstrations there has been some field experiments meant to assess and verify suitability of the tillage options in local areas. Much of the experiments are short lived and thus long term effects of the tillage options are unknown. Experiments to study long term effects of the tillage options are lacking because they are expensive and cannot be easily managed. Crop simulation models have the ability to use long term weather data and the local soil parameters to assess long term effects of the tillage practices. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) crop simulation model; was used to simulate long term production series of soil moisture and grain yield based on the soil and weather conditions in Mkoji sub-catchment of the great Ruaha river basin in Tanzania. A 24 year simulated maize yield series based on conventional tillage with ox-plough, without surface crop residues (CT) treatment was compared with similar yield series based on conservation tillage (ox-ripping, with surface crop residues (RR)). Results showed that predicted yield averages were significantly higher in conservation tillage than in conventional tillage ( P APSIM simulation model, showed that average soil moisture in the conservation tillage was significantly higher ( P < 0.05) (about 0.29 mm/mm) than in conventional tillage (0.22 mm/mm) treatment during the seasons which received rainfall between 468 and 770 mm. Similarly the conservation tillage treatment recorded significantly higher yields (4.4 t/ha) ( P < 0.01) than the conventional tillage (3.6 t/ha) treatment in the same range of seasonal rainfall. On the other hand there was no significant difference in soil moisture for the seasons which received rainfall above 770 mm. In these seasons grain yield in conservation tillage treatment was significantly lower (3.1 kg/ha) than in the conventional tillage treatment (4.8 kg

  19. Polygons in Martian Frost

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-428, 21 July 2003This June 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a polygonal pattern developed in seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the martian southern hemisphere. The frost accumulated during the recent southern winter; it is now spring, and the carbon dioxide frost is subliming away. This image is located near 80.4oS, 200.2oW; it is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left, and covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) across.

  20. Evaluation of the Tindouf Basin Region in Southern Morocco as an Analog Site for Soil Geochemistry on Noachian Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlin, Elizabeth A; Claire, Mark W; Kounaves, Samuel P

    2018-02-09

    Locations on Earth that provide insights into processes that may be occurring or may have occurred throughout martian history are often broadly deemed "Mars analog environments." As no single locale can precisely represent a past or present martian environment, it is important to focus on characterization of terrestrial processes that produce analogous features to those observed in specific regions of Mars or, if possible, specific time periods during martian history. Here, we report on the preservation of ionic species in soil samples collected from the Tindouf region of Morocco and compare them with the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the martian meteorite EETA79001, and the in situ Mars analyses from the Phoenix Wet Chemistry Laboratory (WCL). The Moroccan samples show the greatest similarity with those from Victoria Valley, Beacon Valley, and the Atacama, while being consistently depleted compared to University Valley and enriched compared to Taylor Valley. The NO 3 /Cl ratios are most similar to Victoria Valley and Atacama, while the SO 4 /Cl ratios are similar to those from Beacon Valley, Victoria Valley, and the Atacama. While perchlorate concentrations in the Moroccan samples are typically lower than those found in samples of other analog sites, conditions in the region are sufficiently arid to retain oxychlorines at detectable levels. Our results suggest that the Tindouf Basin in Morocco can serve as a suitable analogue for the soil geochemistry and subsequent aridification of the Noachian epoch on Mars. Key Words: Mars analogues-Antarctica-Morocco-Oxyanions-Perchlorate-Nitrate. Astrobiology 18, xxx-xxx.

  1. Simulating the effect of land use and climate change on upland soil carbon stock of Wales using ECOSSE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani Nayak, Dali; Gottschalk, Pia; Evans, Chris; Smith, Pete; Smith, Jo

    2010-05-01

    Within Wales soils hold between 400-500 MtC, over half of this carbon is stored in organic and organo-mineral soil which cover less than 20% of the land area of Wales. It has been predicted that climate change will increasingly have an impact on the C stock of soils in Wales. Higher temperatures will increase the rate of decomposition of organic matter, leading to increased C losses. However increased net primary production (NPP), leading to increased inputs of organic matter, may offset this. Land use plays a major role in determining the level of soil C and the direction of change in status (soil as a source or sink). We present here an assessment of the effect of land use change and climate change on the upland soil carbon stock of Wales in 3 different catchments i.e. Migneint, Plynlimon and Pontbren using a process-based model of soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, ECOSSE. The uncertainties introduced in the simulations by using only the data available at national scale are determined. The ECOSSE model (1,2) has been developed to simulate greenhouse gas emissions from both organic and mineral soils. ECOSSE was derived from RothC (3) and SUNDIAL (4,5) and predicts the impacts of changes in land use and climate on emissions and soil carbon stock. Simulated changes in soil C are dependent on the type of land use change, the soil type where the land use change is occurring, and the C content of soil under the initial and final land uses. At Migneint and Plynlimon, the major part of the losses occurs due to the conversion of semi-natural land to grassland. Reducing the land use change from semi-natural to grassland is the main measure needed to mitigate losses of soil C. At Pontbren, the model predicts a net gain in soil C with the predicted land use change, so there is no need to mitigate. Simulations of future changes in soil C to 2050 showed very small changes in soil C due to climate compared to changes due to land use change. At the selected catchments, changes

  2. Establishing temporally and spatially variable soil hydraulic data for use in a runoff simulation in a loess region of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolte, J.; Ritsema, C.J.; Veerman, G.J.; Hamminga, W.

    1996-01-01

    Soil hydraulic functions for run-off simulation were collected in catchment areas in a loess region. Each soil horizon was sampled and water retention and hydraulic conductivity characteristics were determined. Run-off generation during standard rain events was quantified by simulation. Based on the

  3. Development of a simulated earthworm gut for determining bioaccessible arsenic, copper, and zinc from soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Wai K; Smith, Ben A; Stephenson, Gladys L; Siciliano, Steven D

    2009-07-01

    Soil physicochemical characteristics and contamination levels alter the bioavailability of metals to terrestrial invertebrates. Current laboratory-derived benchmark concentrations used to estimate risk do not take into account site-specific conditions, such as contaminant sequestration, and site-specific risk assessment requires a battery of time-consuming and costly toxicity tests. The development of an in vitro simulator for earthworm bioaccessibility would significantly shorten analytical time and enable site managers to focus on areas of greatest concern. The simulated earthworm gut (SEG) was developed to measure the bioaccessibility of metals in soil to earthworms by mimicking the gastrointestinal fluid composition of earthworms. Three formulations of the SEG (enzymes, microbial culture, enzymes and microbial culture) were developed and used to digest field soils from a former industrial site with varying physicochemical characteristics and contamination levels. Formulations containing enzymes released between two to 10 times more arsenic, copper, and zinc from contaminated soils compared with control and 0.01 M CaCl2 extractions. Metal concentrations in extracts from SEG formulation with microbial culture alone were not different from values for chemical extractions. The mechanism for greater bioaccessible metal concentrations from enzyme-treated soils is uncertain, but it is postulated that enzymatic digestion of soil organic matter might release sequestered metal. The relevance of these SEG results will need validation through further comparison and correlation with bioaccumulation tests, alternative chemical extraction tests, and a battery of chronic toxicity tests with invertebrates and plants.

  4. [Effects of simulated acid rain on decomposition of soil organic carbon and crop straw].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xue-Zhu; Huang, Yao; Yang, Xin-Zhong

    2009-02-01

    To evaluate the effects of acid rain on the organic carbon decomposition in different acidity soils, a 40-day incubation test was conducted with the paddy soils of pH 5.48, 6.70 and 8.18. The soils were amended with 0 and 15 g x kg(-1) of rice straw, adjusted to the moisture content of 400 g x kg(-1) air-dried soil by using simulated rain of pH 6.0, 4.5, and 3.0, and incubated at 20 degrees C. The results showed that straw, acid rain, and soil co-affected the CO2 emission from soil system. The amendment of straw increased the soil CO2 emission rate significantly. Acid rain had no significant effects on soil organic carbon decomposition, but significantly affected the straw decomposition in soil. When treated with pH 3.0 acid rain, the amount of decomposed straw over 40-day incubation in acid (pH 5.48) and alkaline (pH 8.18) soils was 8% higher, while that in neutral soil (pH 6.70) was 15% lower, compared to the treatment of pH 6.0 rain. In the treatment of pH 3.0 acid rain, the decomposition rate of soil organic C in acid (pH 5.48) soil was 43% and 50% (P pH 6.70) and alkaline (pH 8.18) soils, while the decomposition rate of straw in neutral soil was 17% and 16% (P < 0.05) lower than that in acid and alkaline soils, respectively.

  5. Testing the Effect of Cropping Practices on Soil Erosion Rates - Application of Field Rainfall Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dostál, Tomáš; Zumr, David; Krása, Josef; Kavka, Petr; Strouhal, Luděk

    2017-04-01

    C factor, the protection effect of the vegetation cover, is a key parameter which is introduced in the basic empirical soil erosion relationships (e.g. USLE). The C factor values for various crops in various grow stages are usually estimated based on the catalogue values. As these values often do not fit to the observed data from the plot experiments or do not represent actually grown crops, we decided to validate and extend the database. We present a methodology and primary results of tens of the field rainfall simulation experiments conducted on several agricultural crops with different BBCH. The rainfall simulations were done with the mobile field rainfall simulator of the Czech Technical University. The tested plots of the size 2 x 8,7 m were repeatedly exposed to the artificial rainfalls with intensity of 60 mm/h and duration of 30 to 60 minutes. The experiments were always performed twice on a bare soil and twice on the vegetated plots (to mimic dry and wet initial soil conditions). The tests were done on several slopes in the Czech Republic, the soils were mostly Cambisols with various organic matter content and stoniness. Based on the results we will be able to correct and validate the C factor values for the currently most widely grown crops in the conditions of the Central Europe. The presentation is funded by Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (research project QJ1530181) and an internal student CTU grant.

  6. Martian Methane From a Cometary Source: A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.; hide

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, methane in the martian atmosphere has been detected by Earth-based spectroscopy, the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer on the ESA Mars Express mission, and the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. The methane's origin remains a mystery, with proposed sources including volcanism, exogenous sources like impacts and interplanetary dust, aqueous alteration of olivine in the presence of carbonaceous material, release from ancient deposits of methane clathrates, and/or biological activity. An additional potential source exists: meteor showers from the emission of large comet dust particles could generate martian methane via UV pyrolysis of carbon-rich infall material. We find a correlation between the dates of Mars/cometary orbit encounters and detections of methane on Mars. We hypothesize that cometary debris falls onto Mars during these interactions, generating methane via UV photolysis.

  7. Transfer of radionuclides in soil-plant systems following aerosol simulation of accidental release: design and first results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rauret, G.; Real, J.

    1995-01-01

    The behaviour of 134 Cs, 110m Ag and 85 Sr was studied in different soil-plant systems, using two types of Mediterranean soil with contrasting properties (sandy and sandy-loam soils). The plant species used was lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Contamination was induced at different stages of plant growth, using a synthetic aerosol which simulated a distant contamination source. Characterisation of aerosol and soils, interception factors in the various growth stages, foliar and root uptake, leaching from leaves by irrigation and distribution and migration of radionuclides of soils were studied, in an attempt to understand the key factors involving radionuclide soil-to-plant transferance. (author)

  8. Transfer of radionuclides in soil-plant systems following aerosol simulation of accidental release: design and first results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rauret, G. [Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Dept. of Quimica Analitica; Vallejo, V.R. [Universitat de barcelona (Spain). Dept. of Biologia Vegetal; Cancio, D. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas (CIEMAT), Madrid (Spain); Real, J. [CEA Centre d`Etudes de Fontenay-aux-Roses, 92 (France). Inst. de Protection et de Surete Nucleaire

    1995-12-31

    The behaviour of {sup 134}Cs, {sup 110m}Ag and {sup 85}Sr was studied in different soil-plant systems, using two types of Mediterranean soil with contrasting properties (sandy and sandy-loam soils). The plant species used was lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Contamination was induced at different stages of plant growth, using a synthetic aerosol which simulated a distant contamination source. Characterisation of aerosol and soils, interception factors in the various growth stages, foliar and root uptake, leaching from leaves by irrigation and distribution and migration of radionuclides of soils were studied, in an attempt to understand the key factors involving radionuclide soil-to-plant transferance. (author).

  9. The Viking X ray fluorescence experiment - Sampling strategies and laboratory simulations. [Mars soil sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, A. K.; Castro, A. J.; Clark, B. C.; Toulmin, P., III; Rose, H., Jr.; Keil, K.; Gooding, J. L.

    1977-01-01

    Ten samples of Mars regolith material (six on Viking Lander 1 and four on Viking Lander 2) have been delivered to the X ray fluorescence spectrometers as of March 31, 1977. An additional six samples at least are planned for acquisition in the remaining Extended Mission (to January 1979) for each lander. All samples acquired are Martian fines from the near surface (less than 6-cm depth) of the landing sites except the latest on Viking Lander 1, which is fine material from the bottom of a trench dug to a depth of 25 cm. Several attempts on each lander to acquire fresh rock material (in pebble sizes) for analysis have yielded only cemented surface crustal material (duricrust). Laboratory simulation and experimentation are required both for mission planning of sampling and for interpretation of data returned from Mars. This paper is concerned with the rationale for sample site selections, surface sampler operations, and the supportive laboratory studies needed to interpret X ray results from Mars.

  10. EFFECT OF SOIL TILLAGE AND PLANT RESIDUE ON SURFACE ROUGHNESS OF AN OXISOL UNDER SIMULATED RAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elói Panachuki

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Surface roughness of the soil is formed by mechanical tillage and is also influenced by the kind and amount of plant residue, among other factors. Its persistence over time mainly depends on the fundamental characteristics of rain and soil type. However, few studies have been developed to evaluate these factors in Latossolos (Oxisols. In this study, we evaluated the effect of soil tillage and of amounts of plant residue on surface roughness of an Oxisol under simulated rain. Treatments consisted of the combination of the tillage systems of no-tillage (NT, conventional tillage (CT, and minimum tillage (MT with rates of plant residue of 0, 1, and 2 Mg ha-1 of oats (Avena strigosa Schreb and 0, 3, and 6 Mg ha-1 of maize (Zea mays L.. Seven simulated rains were applied on each experimental plot, with intensity of 60±2 mm h-1 and duration of 1 h at weekly intervals. The values of the random roughness index ranged from 2.94 to 17.71 mm in oats, and from 5.91 to 20.37 mm in maize, showing that CT and MT are effective in increasing soil surface roughness. It was seen that soil tillage operations carried out with the chisel plow and the leveling disk harrow are more effective in increasing soil roughness than those carried out with the heavy disk harrow and leveling disk harrow. The roughness index of the soil surface decreases exponentially with the increase in the rainfall volume applied under conditions of no tillage without soil cover, conventional tillage, and minimum tillage. The oat and maize crop residue present on the soil surface is effective in maintaining the roughness of the soil surface under no-tillage.

  11. Simulation of granular soil behaviour using the bullet physics library

    OpenAIRE

    Izadi, Ehsan; Bezuijen, Adam

    2015-01-01

    A physics engine is computer software which provides a simulation of certain physical systems, such as rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics and fluid dynamics. Physics engines were firstly developed for using in animation and gaming industry ; nevertheless, due to fast calculation speed they are attracting more and more attetion from researchers of the engineering fields. Since physics engines are capable of performing fast calculations on multibody rigid dynamic systems, soil particles ca...

  12. A massive hydrogen-rich Martian greenhouse recorded in D/H

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahlevan, K.; Schaefer, L. K.; Desch, S. J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2017-12-01

    The deuterium-to-hydrogen (D/H) ratio in Martian atmospheric water ( 6x standard mean ocean water, SMOW) [1,2] is higher than that of known sources [3,4] alluding to a planetary enrichment process. A recent measurement by the Curiosity rover of Hesperian clays yields a D/H value 3x higher than SMOW [5], demonstrating that most enrichment occurred early in planetary history, buttressing the conclusions of Martian meteorite studies [6,7]. Extant models of the isotopic evolution of the Martian hydrosphere have not incorporated primordial H2, despite its likely abundance on early Mars. Here, we report the first 1D climate calculations with an atmospheric composition determined via degassing from a reducing magma ocean to study Martian climate during an early water ocean stage. A reducing Martian magma ocean is expected based on experimental petrology [8], the degassing of which gives rise to an H2-rich steam atmosphere [9] with strong attendant greenhouse warming [10,11] even after the removal of steam via condensation. At the pressures and temperatures prevailing in such a degassed greenhouse, we find that isotopic exchange in the fluid envelope is rapid, strongly concentrating deuterium in water molecules over molecular hydrogen [12]. The subsequent loss of the isotopically light H2-rich atmosphere results in a 2x D/H enrichment in the oceans via isotopic equilibration alone. These calculations suggest that most of the D/H enrichment observed in the first billion years of Martian history is produced by the evolution of a massive ( 100 bar) H2-rich greenhouse in the aftermath of magma ocean crystallization. The proposed link between early planetary process and modern isotopic observable opens a new window into the earliest history of Mars. [1] Owen, T. et al. Science 240, 1767-1770 (1988). [2] Webster, C. R. et al. Science 341, 260-263 (2013). [3] Lunine, J. I. et al. Icarus 165, 1-8, (2003). [4] Marty, B. et al. EPSL 441, 91-102, (2016). [5] Mahaffy, P. et al

  13. Bacillus subtilis spore survival and expression of germination-induced bioluminescence after prolonged incubation under simulated Mars atmospheric pressure and composition: implications for planetary protection and lithopanspermia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2005-01-01

    Bacterial endospores in the genus Bacillus are considered good models for studying interplanetary transfer of microbes by natural or human processes. Although spore survival during transfer itself has been the subject of considerable study, the fate of spores in extraterrestrial environments has received less attention. In this report we subjected spores of a strain of Bacillus subtilis, containing luciferase resulting from expression of an sspB-luxAB gene fusion, to simulated martian atmospheric pressure (7-18 mbar) and composition (100% CO(2)) for up to 19 days in a Mars simulation chamber. We report here that survival was similar between spores exposed to Earth conditions and spores exposed up to 19 days to simulated martian conditions. However, germination-induced bioluminescence was lower in spores exposed to simulated martian atmosphere, which suggests sublethal impairment of some endogenous spore germination processes.

  14. Flight Simulation of ARES in the Mars Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, P. Sean; Croom, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    A report discusses using the Aerial Regional- scale Environmental Survey (ARES) light airplane as an observation platform on Mars in order to gather data. It would have to survive insertion into the atmosphere, fly long enough to meet science objectives, and provide a stable platform. The feasibility of such a platform was tested using the Langley Standard Real- Time Simulation in C++. The unique features of LaSRS++ are: full, six-degrees- of-freedom flight simulation that can be used to evaluate the performance of the aircraft in the Martian environment; capability of flight analysis from start to finish; support of Monte Carlo analysis of aircraft performance; and accepting initial conditions from POST results for the entry and deployment of the entry body. Starting with a general aviation model, the design was tweaked to maintain a stable aircraft under expected Martian conditions. Outer mold lines were adjusted based on experience with the Martian atmosphere. Flight control was modified from a vertical acceleration control law to an angle-of-attack control law. Navigation was modified from a vertical acceleration control system to an alpha control system. In general, a pattern of starting with simple models with well-understood behaviors was selected and modified during testing.

  15. Evaluation of a simple, point-scale hydrologic model in simulating soil moisture using the Delaware environmental observing system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legates, David R.; Junghenn, Katherine T.

    2018-04-01

    Many local weather station networks that measure a number of meteorological variables (i.e. , mesonetworks) have recently been established, with soil moisture occasionally being part of the suite of measured variables. These mesonetworks provide data from which detailed estimates of various hydrological parameters, such as precipitation and reference evapotranspiration, can be made which, when coupled with simple surface characteristics available from soil surveys, can be used to obtain estimates of soil moisture. The question is Can meteorological data be used with a simple hydrologic model to estimate accurately daily soil moisture at a mesonetwork site? Using a state-of-the-art mesonetwork that also includes soil moisture measurements across the US State of Delaware, the efficacy of a simple, modified Thornthwaite/Mather-based daily water balance model based on these mesonetwork observations to estimate site-specific soil moisture is determined. Results suggest that the model works reasonably well for most well-drained sites and provides good qualitative estimates of measured soil moisture, often near the accuracy of the soil moisture instrumentation. The model exhibits particular trouble in that it cannot properly simulate the slow drainage that occurs in poorly drained soils after heavy rains and interception loss, resulting from grass not being short cropped as expected also adversely affects the simulation. However, the model could be tuned to accommodate some non-standard siting characteristics.

  16. MAVEN observations of magnetic reconnection in the Martian magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C. X.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J. R.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field topology and converts magnetic energy into particle energy. Although reconnection may play a key role in controlling ion escape processes at Mars, the fundamental properties of local physics and global dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the Martian environment remain unclear owing to the lack of simultaneous measurements of ions, electrons, and magnetic fields by modern instrumentation. Here we present comprehensive MAVEN observations of reconnection signatures in the near-Mars magnetotail. The observed reconnection signatures include (i) Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, (ii) counterstreaming ion beams along the current sheet normal direction, (iii) Hall magnetic fields, and (iv) trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones. The measured velocity distribution functions of different ion species exhibit mass-dependent characteristics which are qualitatively consistent with previous multi-species kinetic simulations and terrestrial tail observations. The MAVEN observations demonstrate that the near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

  17. Simulating the mobility of meteoric 10Be in the landscape through a coupled soil-hillslope model (Be2D)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campforts, Benjamin; Vanacker, Veerle; Vanderborght, Jan; Baken, Stijn; Smolders, Erik; Govers, Gerard

    2016-04-01

    Meteoric 10Be allows for the quantification of vertical and lateral soil fluxes over long time scales (103-105 yr). However, the mobility of meteoric 10Be in the soil system makes a translation of meteoric 10Be inventories into erosion and deposition rates complex. Here, we present a spatially explicit 2D model simulating the behaviour of meteoric 10Be on a hillslope. The model consists of two parts. The first component deals with advective and diffusive mobility of meteoric 10Be within the soil profile, and the second component describes lateral soil and meteoric 10Be fluxes over the hillslope. Soil depth is calculated dynamically, accounting for soil production through weathering as well as downslope fluxes of soil due to creep, water and tillage erosion. Synthetic model simulations show that meteoric 10Be inventories can be related to erosion and deposition across a wide range of geomorphological and pedological settings. Our results also show that meteoric 10Be can be used as a tracer to detect human impact on soil fluxes for soils with a high affinity for meteoric 10Be. However, the quantification of vertical mobility is essential for a correct interpretation of the observed variations in meteoric 10Be profiles and inventories. Application of the Be2D model to natural conditions using data sets from the Southern Piedmont (Bacon et al., 2012) and Appalachian Mountains (Jungers et al., 2009; West et al., 2013) allows to reliably constrain parameter values. Good agreement between simulated and observed meteoric 10Be concentrations and inventories is obtained with realistic parameter values. Furthermore, our results provide detailed insights into the processes redistributing meteoric 10Be at the soil-hillslope scale.

  18. [Using sequential indicator simulation method to define risk areas of soil heavy metals in farmland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Song, Ying Qiang; Hu, Yue Ming; Chen, Fei Xiang; Zhang, Rui

    2018-05-01

    The heavy metals in soil have serious impacts on safety, ecological environment and human health due to their toxicity and accumulation. It is necessary to efficiently identify the risk area of heavy metals in farmland soil, which is of important significance for environment protection, pollution warning and farmland risk control. We collected 204 samples and analyzed the contents of seven kinds of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg) in Zengcheng District of Guangzhou, China. In order to overcame the problems of the data, including the limitation of abnormal values and skewness distribution and the smooth effect with the traditional kriging methods, we used sequential indicator simulation method (SISIM) to define the spatial distribution of heavy metals, and combined Hakanson index method to identify potential ecological risk area of heavy metals in farmland. The results showed that: (1) Based on the similar accuracy of spatial prediction of soil heavy metals, the SISIM had a better expression of detail rebuild than ordinary kriging in small scale area. Compared to indicator kriging, the SISIM had less error rate (4.9%-17.1%) in uncertainty evaluation of heavy-metal risk identification. The SISIM had less smooth effect and was more applicable to simulate the spatial uncertainty assessment of soil heavy metals and risk identification. (2) There was no pollution in Zengcheng's farmland. Moderate potential ecological risk was found in the southern part of study area due to enterprise production, human activities, and river sediments. This study combined the sequential indicator simulation with Hakanson risk index method, and effectively overcame the outlier information loss and smooth effect of traditional kriging method. It provided a new way to identify the soil heavy metal risk area of farmland in uneven sampling.

  19. Facing the scaling problem: A multi-methodical approach to simulate soil erosion at hillslope and catchment scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmengler, A. C.; Vlek, P. L. G.

    2012-04-01

    Modelling soil erosion requires a holistic understanding of the sediment dynamics in a complex environment. As most erosion models are scale-dependent and their parameterization is spatially limited, their application often requires special care, particularly in data-scarce environments. This study presents a hierarchical approach to overcome the limitations of a single model by using various quantitative methods and soil erosion models to cope with the issues of scale. At hillslope scale, the physically-based Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP)-model is used to simulate soil loss and deposition processes. Model simulations of soil loss vary between 5 to 50 t ha-1 yr-1 dependent on the spatial location on the hillslope and have only limited correspondence with the results of the 137Cs technique. These differences in absolute soil loss values could be either due to internal shortcomings of each approach or to external scale-related uncertainties. Pedo-geomorphological soil investigations along a catena confirm that estimations by the 137Cs technique are more appropriate in reflecting both the spatial extent and magnitude of soil erosion at hillslope scale. In order to account for sediment dynamics at a larger scale, the spatially-distributed WaTEM/SEDEM model is used to simulate soil erosion at catchment scale and to predict sediment delivery rates into a small water reservoir. Predicted sediment yield rates are compared with results gained from a bathymetric survey and sediment core analysis. Results show that specific sediment rates of 0.6 t ha-1 yr-1 by the model are in close agreement with observed sediment yield calculated from stratigraphical changes and downcore variations in 137Cs concentrations. Sediment erosion rates averaged over the entire catchment of 1 to 2 t ha-1 yr-1 are significantly lower than results obtained at hillslope scale confirming an inverse correlation between the magnitude of erosion rates and the spatial scale of the model. The

  20. Correlations Between Surficial Sulfur and a REE Crustal Assimilation Signature in Martian Shergottites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, J. H.; Franz, H. B.

    2015-01-01

    Compared to terrestrial basalts, the Martian shergottite meteorites have an extraordinary range of Sr and Nd isotopic signatures. In addition, the S isotopic compositions of many shergottites show evidence of interaction with the Martian surface/ atmosphere through mass-independent isotopic fractionations (MIF, positive, non-zero delta(exp 33)S) that must have originated in the Martian atmosphere, yet ultimately were incorporated into igneous sulfides (AVS - acid-volatile sulfur). These positive delta(exp 33)S signatures are thought to be governed by solar UV photochemical processes. And to the extent that S is bound to Mars and not lost to space from the upper atmosphere, a positive delta(exp 33)S reservoir must be mass balanced by a complementary negative reservoir.

  1. Transient Liquid Water as a Mechanism for Induration of Soil Crusts on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, G. A.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.; Clark, B. C.; Farmer, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Greeley, R.; McLennan, S. M.; Richter, L.; Yen, A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer tagged as "duricrust". A hypothesis to explain the formation of duricrust on Mars should address not only the potential mechanisms by which these materials become cemented, but also the textural and compositional components of cemented Martian soils. Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content of up to 4%, and chlorine content of up to 1%. This is consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. . For comparison, the rock "Adirondack" at the MER site, after the exterior layer was removed, had nearly five times lower sulfur and chlorine content , and the Martian meteorites have ten times lower sulfur and chlorine content, showing that the soil is highly enriched in the saltforming elements compared with rock.Here we propose two alternative models to account for the origin of these crusts, each requiring the action of transient liquid water films to mediate adhesion and cementation of grains. Two alternative versions of the transient water hypothesis are offered, a top down hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a bottom up alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water.

  2. Parameterization of Rocket Dust Storms on Mars in the LMD Martian GCM: Modeling Details and Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Forget, François; Bertrand, Tanguy; Spiga, Aymeric; Millour, Ehouarn; Navarro, Thomas

    2018-04-01

    The origin of the detached dust layers observed by the Mars Climate Sounder aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is still debated. Spiga et al. (2013, https://doi.org/10.1002/jgre.20046) revealed that deep mesoscale convective "rocket dust storms" are likely to play an important role in forming these dust layers. To investigate how the detached dust layers are generated by this mesoscale phenomenon and subsequently evolve at larger scales, a parameterization of rocket dust storms to represent the mesoscale dust convection is designed and included into the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Martian Global Climate Model (GCM). The new parameterization allows dust particles in the GCM to be transported to higher altitudes than in traditional GCMs. Combined with the horizontal transport by large-scale winds, the dust particles spread out and form detached dust layers. During the Martian dusty seasons, the LMD GCM with the new parameterization is able to form detached dust layers. The formation, evolution, and decay of the simulated dust layers are largely in agreement with the Mars Climate Sounder observations. This suggests that mesoscale rocket dust storms are among the key factors to explain the observed detached dust layers on Mars. However, the detached dust layers remain absent in the GCM during the clear seasons, even with the new parameterization. This implies that other relevant atmospheric processes, operating when no dust storms are occurring, are needed to explain the Martian detached dust layers. More observations of local dust storms could improve the ad hoc aspects of this parameterization, such as the trigger and timing of dust injection.

  3. Comparison between SAR Soil Moisture Estimates and Hydrological Model Simulations over the Scrivia Test Site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Pistocchi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the results of a comparison between the soil moisture content (SMC estimated from C-band SAR, the SMC simulated by a hydrological model, and the SMC measured on ground are presented. The study was carried out in an agricultural test site located in North-west Italy, in the Scrivia river basin. The hydrological model used for the simulations consists of a one-layer soil water balance model, which was found to be able to partially reproduce the soil moisture variability, retaining at the same time simplicity and effectiveness in describing the topsoil. SMC estimates were derived from the application of a retrieval algorithm, based on an Artificial Neural Network approach, to a time series of ENVISAT/ASAR images acquired over the Scrivia test site. The core of the algorithm was represented by a set of ANNs able to deal with the different SAR configurations in terms of polarizations and available ancillary data. In case of crop covered soils, the effect of vegetation was accounted for using NDVI information, or, if available, for the cross-polarized channel. The algorithm results showed some ability in retrieving SMC with RMSE generally <0.04 m3/m3 and very low bias (i.e., <0.01 m3/m3, except for the case of VV polarized SAR images: in this case, the obtained RMSE was somewhat higher than 0.04 m3/m3 (≤0.058 m3/m3. The algorithm was implemented within the framework of an ESA project concerning the development of an operative algorithm for the SMC retrieval from Sentinel-1 data. The algorithm should take into account the GMES requirements of SMC accuracy (≤5% in volume, spatial resolution (≤1 km and timeliness (3 h from observation. The SMC estimated by the SAR algorithm, the SMC estimated by the hydrological model, and the SMC measured on ground were found to be in good agreement. The hydrological model simulations were performed at two soil depths: 30 and 5 cm and showed that the 30 cm simulations indicated, as expected, SMC

  4. Effect of nontronite smectite clay on the chemical evolution of several organic molecules under simulated martian surface ultraviolet radiation conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Jaber, Maguy; Stalport, Fabien; Nowak, Sophie; Georgelin, Thomas; Lambert, Jean-François; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2015-03-01

    Most of the phyllosilicates detected at the surface of Mars today are probably remnants of ancient environments that sustained long-term bodies of liquid water at the surface or subsurface and were possibly favorable for the emergence of life. Consequently, phyllosilicates have become the main mineral target in the search for organics on Mars. But are phyllosilicates efficient at preserving organic molecules under current environmental conditions at the surface of Mars? We monitored the qualitative and quantitative evolutions of glycine, urea, and adenine in interaction with the Fe(3+)-smectite clay nontronite, one of the most abundant phyllosilicates present at the surface of Mars, under simulated martian surface ultraviolet light (190-400 nm), mean temperature (218 ± 2 K), and pressure (6 ± 1 mbar) in a laboratory simulation setup. We tested organic-rich samples that were representative of the evaporation of a small, warm pond of liquid water containing a high concentration of organics. For each molecule, we observed how the nontronite influences its quantum efficiency of photodecomposition and the nature of its solid evolution products. The results reveal a pronounced photoprotective effect of nontronite on the evolution of glycine and adenine; their efficiencies of photodecomposition were reduced by a factor of 5 when mixed at a concentration of 2.6 × 10(-2) mol of molecules per gram of nontronite. Moreover, when the amount of nontronite in the sample of glycine was increased by a factor of 2, the gain of photoprotection was multiplied by a factor of 5. This indicates that the photoprotection provided by the nontronite is not a purely mechanical shielding effect but is also due to stabilizing interactions. No new evolution product was firmly identified, but the results obtained with urea suggest a particular reactivity in the presence of nontronite, leading to an increase of its dissociation rate.

  5. Biological life support systems for martian missions: some problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Kovaleva, N. P.; Lasseur, C.

    Taking into account the experience of scientific researches obtained during experiments in the BIOS - 3 of the Institute of Biophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science (IBP SB RAS) and the MELISSA program (ESA), approaches in creation biological life support systems for a flight period and a fixed-site base of Martian mission are considered. Various alternate variants of designing of elements of BLSS based on use of Chlorella and/or Spirulina, and also greenhouses with higher plants for the flight period of Martian mission are analyzed. For this purpose construction of BLSS ensuring full closure of matter turnover according to gas exchange and water and partial closure on the human's exometabolites is supposed. For the fixed site Martian station BLSS based on use of higher plants with a various degree of closure of internal mass exchange are suggested. Various versions of BLSS configuration and degree of closure of mass exchange depending on duration of Martian mission, the diet type of a crew and some other conditions are considered. Special attention is given to problems of reliability and tolerance of matter turnover processes in BLSS which maintenance is connected, in particular, with additional oxygen reproduction inside a system. Technologies for realization of BLSS of various configurations are offered and justified. The auxiliary role of the physicochemical methods in BLSS functioning both for the flight period and for the crew stay on Mars is justified.

  6. Effect of simulated tillage on microbial autotrophic CO2 fixation in paddy and upland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Tida; Wu, Xiaohong; Liu, Qiong; Zhu, Zhenke; Yuan, Hongzhao; Wang, Wei; Whiteley, A. S.; Wu, Jinshui

    2016-01-01

    Tillage is a common agricultural practice affecting soil structure and biogeochemistry. To evaluate how tillage affects soil microbial CO2 fixation, we incubated and continuously labelled samples from two paddy soils and two upland soils subjected to simulated conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) treatments. Results showed that CO2 fixation (14C-SOC) in CT soils was significantly higher than in NT soils. We also observed a significant, soil type- and depth-dependent effect of tillage on the incorporation rates of labelled C to the labile carbon pool. Concentrations of labelled C in the carbon pool significantly decreased with soil depth, irrespective of tillage. Additionally, quantitative PCR assays revealed that for most soils, total bacteria and cbbL-carrying bacteria were less abundant in CT versus NT treatments, and tended to decrease in abundance with increasing depth. However, specific CO2 fixation activity was significantly higher in CT than in NT soils, suggesting that the abundance of cbbL-containing bacteria may not always reflect their functional activity. This study highlights the positive effect of tillage on soil microbial CO2 fixation, and the results can be readily applied to the development of sustainable agricultural management. PMID:26795428

  7. Measured and simulated soil water evaporation from four Great Plains soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The amount of soil water lost during stage one and stage two soil water evaporation is of interest to crop water use modelers. The ratio of measured soil surface temperature (Ts) to air temperature (Ta) was tested as a signal for the transition in soil water evaporation from stage one to stage two d...

  8. Flank tectonics of Martian volcanoes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.J.; Squyres, S.W.; Carr, M.H.

    1990-01-01

    On the flanks of Olympus Mons is a series of terraces, concentrically distributed around the caldera. Their morphology and location suggest that they could be thrust faults caused by compressional failure of the cone. In an attempt to understand the mechanism of faulting and the possible influences of the interior structure of Olympus Mons, the authors have constructed a numerical model for elastic stresses within a Martian volcano. In the absence of internal pressurization, the middle slopes of the cone are subjected to compressional stress, appropriate to the formation of thrust faults. These stresses for Olympus Mons are ∼250 MPa. If a vacant magma chamber is contained within the cone, the region of maximum compressional stress is extended toward the base of the cone. If the magma chamber is pressurized, extensional stresses occur at the summit and on the upper slopes of the cone. For a filled but unpressurized magma chamber, the observed positions of the faults agree well with the calculated region of high compressional stress. Three other volcanoes on Mars, Ascraeus Mons, Arsia Mons, and Pavonis Mons, possess similar terraces. Extending the analysis to other Martian volcanoes, they find that only these three and Olympus Mons have flank stresses that exceed the compressional failure strength of basalt, lending support to the view that the terraces on all four are thrust faults

  9. Martian Radiative Transfer Modeling Using the Optimal Spectral Sampling Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eluszkiewicz, J.; Cady-Pereira, K.; Uymin, G.; Moncet, J.-L.

    2005-01-01

    The large volume of existing and planned infrared observations of Mars have prompted the development of a new martian radiative transfer model that could be used in the retrievals of atmospheric and surface properties. The model is based on the Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) method [1]. The method is a fast and accurate monochromatic technique applicable to a wide range of remote sensing platforms (from microwave to UV) and was originally developed for the real-time processing of infrared and microwave data acquired by instruments aboard the satellites forming part of the next-generation global weather satellite system NPOESS (National Polarorbiting Operational Satellite System) [2]. As part of our on-going research related to the radiative properties of the martian polar caps, we have begun the development of a martian OSS model with the goal of using it to perform self-consistent atmospheric corrections necessary to retrieve caps emissivity from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) spectra. While the caps will provide the initial focus area for applying the new model, it is hoped that the model will be of interest to the wider Mars remote sensing community.

  10. Lava Tubes as Martian Analog sites on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Christian; Hamilton, J. C.; Adams, M.

    2013-10-01

    The existence of geologic features similar to skylights seen in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HIRISE imagery suggest Martian lava tube networks. Along with pit craters, these features are evidence of a past era of vulcanism. If these were contemporary with the wet Mars eras, then it is suggestive that any Martian life may have retreated into these subsurface oases. Hawaii island has numerous lava tubes of differing ages, humidity, lengths and sizes that make ideal analog test environments for future Mars exploration. PISCES has surveyed multiple candidate sites during the past summer with a team of University of Hawaii at Hilo student interns. It should be noted that Lunar features have also been similarly discovered via Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC imagery.

  11. Crater size-frequency distributions and a revised Martian relative chronology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barlow, N.G.

    1988-01-01

    A relative plotting technique is applied to Viking 1:2M photomosaics of 25,826 Martian craters of diameter greater than 8 km and age younger than that of the Martian surface. The size-frequency distribution curves are calculated and analyzed in detail, and the results are presented in extensive tables and maps. It is found that about 60 percent of the crater-containing lithologic units, including many small volcanoes and the ridged planes, were formed during the heavy-bombardment period (HBP), while 40 percent arose after the HBP. Wide region-to-region variation in the crater density is noted, and localized age estimates are provided. 42 references

  12. Strategies for Distinguishing Abiotic Chemistry from Martian Biochemistry in Samples Returned from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D. P.; Burton, A. S.; Callahan, M. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Stern, J. C.; Dworkin, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    A key goal in the search for evidence of extinct or extant life on Mars will be the identification of chemical biosignatures including complex organic molecules common to all life on Earth. These include amino acids, the monomer building blocks of proteins and enzymes, and nucleobases, which serve as the structural basis of information storage in DNA and RNA. However, many of these organic compounds can also be formed abiotically as demonstrated by their prevalence in carbonaceous meteorites [1]. Therefore, an important challenge in the search for evidence of life on Mars will be distinguishing between abiotic chemistry of either meteoritic or martian origin from any chemical biosignatures from an extinct or extant martian biota. Although current robotic missions to Mars, including the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the planned 2018 ExoMars rovers, will have the analytical capability needed to identify these key classes of organic molecules if present [2,3], return of a diverse suite of martian samples to Earth would allow for much more intensive laboratory studies using a broad array of extraction protocols and state-of-theart analytical techniques for bulk and spatially resolved characterization, molecular detection, and isotopic and enantiomeric compositions that may be required for unambiguous confirmation of martian life. Here we will describe current state-of-the-art laboratory analytical techniques that have been used to characterize the abundance and distribution of amino acids and nucleobases in meteorites, Apollo samples, and comet- exposed materials returned by the Stardust mission with an emphasis on their molecular characteristics that can be used to distinguish abiotic chemistry from biochemistry as we know it. The study of organic compounds in carbonaceous meteorites is highly relevant to Mars sample return analysis, since exogenous organic matter should have accumulated in the martian regolith over the last several billion years and the

  13. The investigation of active Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jungrack; Kim, Younghwi; Park, Minseong

    2016-10-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has succeeded only a very few times—for example, in the Nili Patera study (Bridges et al. 2012) using change-detection algorithms and orbital imagery. Therefore, in this study, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution orbital imagery specifically using a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE time-series images over several Martian dune fields. Dune migrations were iteratively processed both spatially and volumetrically, and the results were integrated to be compared to the Martian climate model. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). As a result, a number of measurements over dune fields in the Mars Global Dune Database (Hayward et al. 2014) covering polar areas and mid-latitude will be demonstrated

  14. Dust emission and soil loss due to anthropogenic activities by wind erosion simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katra, Itzhak; Swet, Nitzan; Tanner, Smadar

    2017-04-01

    Wind erosion is major process of soil loss and air pollution by dust emission of clays, nutrients, and microorganisms. Many soils throughout the world are currently or potentially associated with dust emissions, especially in dryland zones. The research focuses on wind erosion in semi-arid soils (Northern Negev, Israel) that are subjected to increased human activities of urban development and agriculture. A boundary-layer wind tunnel has been used to study dust emission and soil loss by simulation and quantification of high-resolution wind processes. Field experiments were conducted in various surface types of dry loess soils. The experimental plots represent soils with long-term and short term influences of land uses such as agriculture (conventional and organic practices), grazing, and natural preserves. The wind tunnel was operated under various wind velocities that are above the threshold velocity of aeolian erosion. Total soil sediment and particulate matter (PM) fluxes were calculated. Topsoil samples from the experimental plots were analysed in the laboratory for physical and chemical characteristics including aggregation, organic matter, and high-resolution particle size distribution. The results showed variations in dust emission in response to surface types and winds to provide quantitative estimates of soil loss over time. Substantial loss of particulate matter that is < 10 micrometer in diameter, including clays and nutrients, was recorded in most experimental conditions. Integrative analyses of the topsoil properties and dust experiment highlight the significant implications for soil nutrient resources and management strategies as well as for PM loading to the atmosphere and air pollution.

  15. Numerical simulation of geomorphic, climatic and anthropogenic drivers of soil distribution on semi-arid hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willgoose, G. R.; Cohen, S.; Svoray, T.; Sela, S.; Hancock, G. R.

    2010-12-01

    Numerical models are an important tool for studying landscape processes as they allow us to isolate specific processes and drivers and test various physics and spatio-temporal scenarios. Here we use a distributed physically-based soil evolution model (mARM4D) to describe the drivers and processes controlling soil-landscape evolution on a field-site at the fringe between the Mediterranean and desert regions of Israel. This study is an initial effort in a larger project aimed at improving our understanding of the mechanisms and drivers that led to the extensive removal of soils from the loess covered hillslopes of this region. This specific region is interesting as it is located between the Mediterranean climate region in which widespread erosion from hillslopes was attributed to human activity during the Holocene and the arid region in which extensive removal of loess from hillslopes was shown to have been driven by climatic changes during the late-Pleistocene. First we study the sediment transport mechanism of the soil-landscape evolution processes in our study-site. We simulate soil-landscape evolution with only one sediment transport process (fluvial or diffusive) at a time. We find that diffusive sediment transport is likely the dominant process in this site as it resulted in soil distributions that better corresponds to current observations. We then simulate several realistic climatic/anthropogenic scenarios (based on the literature) in order to quantify the sensitivity of the soil-landscape evolution process to temporal fluctuations. We find that this site is relatively insensitive to short term (several thousands of years) sharp, changes. This suggests that climate, rather then human activity, was the main driver for the extensive removal of loess from the hillslopes.

  16. Mobility of Pb, Cu, and Zn in the phosphorus-amended contaminated soils under simulated landfill and rainfall conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xinde; Liang, Yuan; Zhao, Ling; Le, Huangying

    2013-09-01

    Phosphorus-bearing materials have been widely applied in immobilization of heavy metals in contaminated soils. However, the study on the stability of the initially P-induced immobilized metals in the contaminated soils is far limited. This work was conducted to evaluate the mobility of Pb, Cu, and Zn in two contrasting contaminated soils amended with phosphate rock tailing (PR) and triple superphosphate fertilizer (TSP), and their combination (P + T) under simulated landfill and rainfall conditions. The main objective was to determine the stability of heavy metals in the P-treated contaminated soils in response to the changing environment conditions. The soils were amended with the P-bearing materials at a 2:1 molar ratio of P to metals. After equilibrated for 2 weeks, the soils were evaluated with the leaching procedures. The batch-based toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) was conducted to determine the leachability of heavy metals from both untreated and P-treated soils under simulated landfill condition. The column-based synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP) were undertaken to measure the downward migration of metals from untreated and P-treated soils under simulated rainfall condition. Leachability of Pb, Cu, and Zn in the TCLP extract followed the order of Zn > Cu > Pb in both soils, with the organic-C- and clay-poor soil showing higher metal leachability than the organic-C- and clay-rich soil. All three P treatments reduced leachability of Pb, Cu, and Zn by up to 89.2, 24.4, and 34.3 %, respectively, compared to the untreated soil, and TSP revealed more effectiveness followed by P + T and then PR. The column experiments showed that Zn had the highest downward migration upon 10 pore volumes of SPLP leaching, followed by Pb and then Cu in both soils. However, migration of Pb and Zn to subsoil and leachate were inhibited in the P-treated soil, while Cu in the leachate was enhanced by P treatment in the organic

  17. Reclamation research for the future at Syncrude Canada Ltd. : soil simulation-revegetation studies on tailings sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fedkenheuer, A W; Browne, J

    1979-12-01

    In response to the rising demand for energy in today's world, oil extracted from oil sands has become a viable energy source. Syncrude Canada Ltd. is a 2.2 billion dollar oil sands surface mining and processing venture situated in the Athabasca oil sands of northeastern Alberta. It is located near the town of Fort McMurray approximately 420 km north of Edmonton. During its planned 25 years of mine life, Syncrude expects to produce more than 1 billion barrels of oil from a 2800 ha mine area. Syncrude is committed to reclaiming this immense mine area. The reclamation objective is to return the disturbed site to a vegetative cover having a productivity which is equal to or greater than that which existed prior to disturbance. The reclaimed area must also be compatible with the neighboring natural areas. To accomplish this the vast quantities of tailings sand (that is, the leftover sand from which the oil has been extracted) must be reformed into a soil which is capable of supporting native plant communities. Researchers at Syncrude are looking for ways to use indigenous materials with the tailings sand to simulate a naturally-formed soil. Native plant species are being tested to see how well they will grow in such simulated soils and to evaluate their potential for use in large scale reclamation projects. This brochure describes the soil simulation-revegetation experiments going on at Syncrude.

  18. The effect of simulated acid rain on the stabilization of cadmium in contaminated agricultural soils treated with stabilizing agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hao; Wu, Chunfa; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Xumei

    2018-04-16

    Stabilization technology is one of widely used remediation technologies for cadmium (Cd)-contaminated agricultural soils, but stabilized Cd in soil may be activated again when external conditions such as acid rain occurred. Therefore, it is necessary to study the effect of acid rain on the performance of different stabilizing agents on Cd-polluted agriculture soils. In this study, Cd-contaminated soils were treated with mono-calcium phosphate (MCP), mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP), and artificial zeolite (AZ) respectively and incubated 3 months. These treatments were followed by two types of simulated acid rain (sulfuric acid rain and mixed acid rain) with three levels of acidity (pH = 3.0, 4.0, and 5.6). The chemical forms of Cd in the soils were determined by Tessier's sequential extraction procedure, and the leaching toxicities of Cd in the soils were assessed by toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). The results show that the three stabilizing agents could decrease the mobility of Cd in soil to some degree with or without simulated acid rain (SAR) treatment. The stabilization performances followed the order of AZ stabilized soil, and both anion composition and pH of acid rain were two important factors that influenced the stabilization effect of Cd.

  19. Martian crustal dichotomy: product of accretion and not a specific event?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frey, H.; Schultz, R.A.; Maxwell, T.A.

    1987-01-01

    Attempts to explain the fundamental crustal dichotomy on Mars range from purely endogenic to extreme exogenic processes, but to date no satisfactory theory has evolved. What is accepted is: (1) the dichotomy is an ancient feature of the Martian crust, and (2) the boundary between the cratered highlands and northern plains which marks the dichotomy in parts of Mars has undergone significant and variable modification during the observable parts of Martian history. Some ascribe it to a single mega-impact event, essentially an instantaneous rearrangement of the crustal structures (topography and lithospheric thickness). Others prefer an internal mechanism: a period of vigorous convection subcrustally erodes the northern one third of Mars, causing foundering and isostatic lowering of that part of Mars. The evidence for each theory is reviewed, with the conclusion that there is little to recommend either. An alternative is suggested: the formation of the crustal dichotomy on Mars was not a specific tectonic event but a byproduct of the accretionary process and therefore a primordial characteristic of the Martian crust, predating the oldest recognizable landforms

  20. Asymmetry of the Martian Current Sheet in a Multi-fluid MHD Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panoncillo, S. G.; Egan, H. L.; Dong, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Brain, D. A.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The solar wind carries interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines toward Mars, where they drape around the planet's conducting ionosphere, creating a current sheet behind the planet where the magnetic field has opposite polarity on either side. In its simplest form, the current sheet is often thought of as symmetric, extending behind the planet along the Mars-Sun line. Observations and model simulations, however, demonstrate that this idealized representation is only an approximation, and the actual scenario is much more complex. The current sheet can have 3D structure, move back and forth, and be situated dawnward or duskward of the Mars-Sun line. In this project, we utilized a library of global plasma model results for Mars consisting of a collection of multi-fluid MHD simulations where solar max/min, sub-solar longitude, and the orbital position of Mars are varied individually. The model includes Martian crustal fields, and was run for identical steady solar wind conditions. This library was created for the purpose of comparing model results to MAVEN data; we looked at the results of this model library to investigate current sheet asymmetries. By altering one variable at a time we were able to measure how these variables influence the location of the current sheet. We found that the current sheet is typically shifted toward the dusk side of the planet, and that modeled asymmetries are especially prevalent during solar min. Previous model studies that lack crustal fields have found that, for a Parker spiral IMF, the current sheet will shift dawnward, while our results typically show the opposite. This could expose certain limitations in the models used, or it could reveal an interaction between the solar wind and the plasma environment of Mars that has not yet been explored. MAVEN data may be compared to the model results to confirm the sense of the modeled asymmetry. These results help us to probe the physics controlling the Martian magnetotail and atmospheric

  1. Orbital evolution and origin of the Martian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szeto, A.M.K.

    1983-01-01

    The orbital evolution of the Martian satellites is considered from a dynamical point of view. Celestial mechanics relevant to the calculation of satellite orbital evolution is introduced and the physical parameters to be incorporated in the modeling of tidal dissipation are discussed. Results of extrapolating the satellite orbits backward and forward in time are presented and compared with those of other published work. Collision probability calculations and results for the Martian satellite system are presented and discussed. The implications of these calculations for the origin scenarios of the satellites are assessed. It is concluded that Deimos in its present form could not have been captured, for if it had been, it would have collided with Phobos at some point. An accretion model is therefore preferred over capture, although such a model consistent with the likely carbonaceous chondritic composition of the satellites has yet to be established. 91 references

  2. Alteration of the Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Composition in the Martian Surface Rocks Due to Cosmic Ray Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A. A.; Pavlov, A. K.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Vasilyev, G. I.; Mahaffy, P.; Steele, A.

    2014-01-01

    C-13/C-12 and N-15/N-14 isotopic ratios are pivotal for our understanding of the Martian carbon cycle, history of the Martian atmospheric escape, and origin of the organic compounds on Mars. Here we demonstrate that the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of the surface rocks on Mars can be significantly altered by the continuous exposure of Martian surface to cosmic rays. Cosmic rays can effectively produce C-13 and N-15 isotopes via spallation nuclear reactions on oxygen atoms in various Martian rocks. We calculate that in the top meter of the Martian rocks, the rates of production of both C-13 and N-15 due to galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) exposure can vary within 1.5-6 atoms/cm3/s depending on rocks' depth and chemical composition. We also find that the average solar cosmic rays can produce carbon and nitrogen isotopes at a rate comparable to GCRs in the top 5-10 cm of the Martian rocks. We demonstrate that if the total carbon content in a surface Martian rock is <10 ppm, then the "light," potentially "biological" C-13/C-12 ratio would be effectively erased by cosmic rays over 3.5 billion years of exposure. We found that for the rocks with relatively short exposure ages (e.g., 100 million years), cosmogenic changes in N-15/N-14 ratio are still very significant. We also show that a short exposure to cosmic rays of Allan Hills 84001 while on Mars can explain its high-temperature heavy nitrogen isotopic composition (N-15/N-14). Applications to Martian meteorites and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission are discussed.

  3. Recent advances of numerical simulation studies for radioactive cesium adsorption on soil materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okumura, Masahiko; Nakamura, Hiroki; Machida, Masahiko

    2013-01-01

    Radiocesium (Cesium 134 and 137) emitted from destroyed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Production Station is known mostly to remain for a long time on earth's surfaces and to become sources of radiation exposure to habitants. Large scale decontamination work carried out by national and local governments inevitably produces tremendous amount of radioactive wastes of soils whose volume must be effectively and economically reduced based on a scientifically reliable technique. This paper employs the atomic and molecular simulation method applied to adsorption mechanism of soils and cesium ions and presents the examples of proposals with the results of this field. (S. Ohno)

  4. Assessment the effect of homogenized soil on soil hydraulic properties and soil water transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohawesh, O.; Janssen, M.; Maaitah, O.; Lennartz, B.

    2017-09-01

    Soil hydraulic properties play a crucial role in simulating water flow and contaminant transport. Soil hydraulic properties are commonly measured using homogenized soil samples. However, soil structure has a significant effect on the soil ability to retain and to conduct water, particularly in aggregated soils. In order to determine the effect of soil homogenization on soil hydraulic properties and soil water transport, undisturbed soil samples were carefully collected. Five different soil structures were identified: Angular-blocky, Crumble, Angular-blocky (different soil texture), Granular, and subangular-blocky. The soil hydraulic properties were determined for undisturbed and homogenized soil samples for each soil structure. The soil hydraulic properties were used to model soil water transport using HYDRUS-1D.The homogenized soil samples showed a significant increase in wide pores (wCP) and a decrease in narrow pores (nCP). The wCP increased by 95.6, 141.2, 391.6, 3.9, 261.3%, and nCP decreased by 69.5, 10.5, 33.8, 72.7, and 39.3% for homogenized soil samples compared to undisturbed soil samples. The soil water retention curves exhibited a significant decrease in water holding capacity for homogenized soil samples compared with the undisturbed soil samples. The homogenized soil samples showed also a decrease in soil hydraulic conductivity. The simulated results showed that water movement and distribution were affected by soil homogenizing. Moreover, soil homogenizing affected soil hydraulic properties and soil water transport. However, field studies are being needed to find the effect of these differences on water, chemical, and pollutant transport under several scenarios.

  5. A Study of Mars Dust Environment Simulation at NASA Johnson Space Center Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuan-Liang Albert

    1999-01-01

    The dust environment on Mars is planned to be simulated in a 20 foot thermal-vacuum chamber at the Johnson Space Center, Energy Systems Test Area Resource Conversion Test Facility in Houston, Texas. This vacuum chamber will be used to perform tests and study the interactions between the dust in Martian air and ISPP hardware. This project is to research, theorize, quantify, and document the Mars dust/wind environment needed for the 20 foot simulation chamber. This simulation work is to support the safety, endurance, and cost reduction of the hardware for the future missions. The Martian dust environment conditions is discussed. Two issues of Martian dust, (1) Dust Contamination related hazards, and (2) Dust Charging caused electrical hazards, are of our interest. The different methods of dust particles measurement are given. The design trade off and feasibility were studied. A glass bell jar system is used to evaluate various concepts for the Mars dust/wind environment simulation. It was observed that the external dust source injection is the best method to introduce the dust into the simulation system. The dust concentration of 30 Mg/M3 should be employed for preparing for the worst possible Martian atmosphere condition in the future. Two approaches thermal-panel shroud for the hardware conditioning are discussed. It is suggested the wind tunnel approach be used to study the dust charging characteristics then to be apply to the close-system cyclone approach. For the operation cost reduction purpose, a dehumidified ambient air could be used to replace the expensive CO2 mixture for some tests.

  6. The Development of 3d Sub-Surface Mapping Scheme and its Application to Martian Lobate Debris Aprons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baik, H.; Kim, J.

    2017-07-01

    The Shallow Subsurface Radar (SHARAD), a sounding radar equipped on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has produced highly valuable information about the Martian subsurface. In particular, the complicated substructures of Mars such as polar deposit, pedestal crater and the other geomorphic features involving possible subsurface ice body has been successfully investigated by SHARAD. In this study, we established a 3D subsurface mapping strategy employing the multiple SHARAD profiles. A number of interpretation components of SHARAD signals were integrated into a subsurface mapping scheme using radargram information and topographic data, then applied over a few mid latitude Lobate Debris Aprons (LDAs). From the identified subsurface layers of LDA, and the GIS data base incorporating the other interpretation outcomes, we are expecting to trace the origin of LDAs. Also, the subsurface mapping scheme developed in this study will be further applied to other interesting Martian geological features such as inter crater structures, aeolian deposits and fluvial sediments. To achieve higher precision sub-surface mapping, the clutter simulation employing the high resolution topographic data and the upgraded clustering algorithms assuming multiple sub-surface layers will be also developed.

  7. Plasma Extraction of Oxygen from Martian Atmosphere, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Plasma techniques are proposed for the extraction of oxygen from the abundant carbon dioxide contained in the Martian atmosphere (96 % CO2). In this process, CO2 is...

  8. Effects of simulated acid rain on soil and soil solution chemistry in a monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Qingyan; Wu, Jianping; Liang, Guohua; Liu, Juxiu; Chu, Guowei; Zhou, Guoyi; Zhang, Deqiang

    2015-05-01

    Acid rain is an environmental problem of increasing concern in China. In this study, a laboratory leaching column experiment with acid forest soil was set up to investigate the responses of soil and soil solution chemistry to simulated acid rain (SAR). Five pH levels of SAR were set: 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 (as a control, CK). The results showed that soil acidification would occur when the pH of SAR was ≤3.5. The concentrations of NO₃(-)and Ca(2+) in the soil increased significantly when the pH of SAR fell 3.5. The concentration of SO₄(2-) in the soil increased significantly when the pH of SAR was soil solution chemistry became increasingly apparent as the experiment proceeded (except for Na(+) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC)). The net exports of NO₃(-), SO₄(2-), Mg(2+), and Ca(2+) increased about 42-86% under pH 2.5 treatment as compared to CK. The Ca(2+) was sensitive to SAR, and the soil could release Ca(2+) through mineral weathering to mitigate soil acidification. The concentration of exchangeable Al(3+) in the soil increased with increasing the acidity of SAR. The releases of soluble Al and Fe were SAR pH dependent, and their net exports under pH 2.5 treatment were 19.6 and 5.5 times, respectively, higher than that under CK. The net export of DOC was reduced by 12-29% under SAR treatments as compared to CK. Our results indicate the chemical constituents in the soil are more sensitive to SAR than those in the soil solution, and the effects of SAR on soil solution chemistry depend not only on the intensity of SAR but also on the duration of SAR addition. The soil and soil solution chemistry in this region may not be affected by current precipitation (pH≈4.5) in short term, but the soil and soil leachate chemistry may change dramatically if the pH of precipitation were below 3.5 and 3.0, respectively.

  9. Simulation of Soil Water content and Nitrate under Different Fertigation Strategies for Sweet Pepper in Isfahan by EU-ROTATE-N Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    forough fazel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: World's population growth and limited water resources and needing to more food production led to interest farmers to use nitrogen fertilizer more than soil requires and subsequently Nitrate leaching causes groundwater and environmental pollution. Therefore, researches has concentrated on improvement of nitrogen use efficiency, which numerical simulation is the effective solutions to optimize the management of water and fertilizer in the field in order to achieve the maximal yield and minimal nitrate pollution of soil, groundwater and drainage in water deficiency crisis condition. For this reason, the evaluation of new user friendly models in correct estimation of soil moisture and nitrogen content distribution and recognition of water and solutes movement in the soil and choosing the best management option for increasing productivity and economic performance and also reduction of nitrate pollution of soil and ground water source with the least limitations and high accuracy is necessary. The Eu-Rotate-N model has been developed for simulation of nitrogen use and specifically for optimization of nitrogen use in variation of vegetables in a wide range of conditions, which without the need to calibration has presented satisfactory results in many areas. So this study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of Eu-Rate-N model in assessment of moisture and nitrogen distribution and yield under different nitrogen fertigation management for pepper plant. Materials and Methods: Sweet pepper was planted at density of 8.33plant per m2 in a row planting method. 150kg per hectare per year of fertilizer was used during the season. Crop yield, soil water and nitrogen content were measured on a regular basis. The treatments consisted of three fertilizer level: zero (N0, the ratio of ammonium to nitrate 20:80 (N1 and 40:60 (N2, which was conducted in a completely randomized block with three replications in Isfahan. Irrigation based on daily

  10. Effect of Downscaled Forcings and Soil Texture Properties on Hyperresolution Hydrologic Simulations in a Regional Basin in Northwest Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, A.; Mascaro, G.; Vivoni, E. R.

    2017-12-01

    Hyper-resolution ( 10 km) scales. In this study, we address some of the challenges by applying a parallel version of the Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN)-based Real Time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) to the Rio Sonora Basin (RSB) in northwest Mexico. The RSB is a large, semiarid watershed ( 21,000 km2) characterized by complex topography and a strong seasonality in vegetation conditions, due to the North American monsoon. We conducted simulations at an average spatial resolution of 88 m over a decadal (2004-2013) period using spatially-distributed forcings from remotely-sensed and reanalysis products. Meteorological forcings were derived from the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) at the original resolution of 12 km and were downscaled at 1 km with techniques accounting for terrain effects. Two grids of soil properties were created from different sources, including: (i) CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad) at 6 km resolution; and (ii) ISRIC (International Soil Reference Information Centre) at 250 m. Time-varying vegetation parameters were derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) composite products. The model was first calibrated and validated through distributed soil moisture data from a network of 20 soil moisture stations during the monsoon season. Next, hydrologic simulations were conducted with five different combinations of coarse and downscaled forcings and soil properties. Outputs in the different configurations were then compared with independent observations of soil moisture, and with estimates of land surface temperature (1 km, daily) and evapotranspiration (1 km, monthly) from MODIS. This study is expected to support the community involved in hyper-resolution hydrologic modeling by identifying the crucial factors that, if available at higher resolution, lead to the largest improvement of the simulation prognostic capability.

  11. Effects of the Phoenix Lander descent thruster plume on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plemmons, D. H.; Mehta, M.; Clark, B. C.; Kounaves, S. P.; Peach, L. L.; Renno, N. O.; Tamppari, L.; Young, S. M. M.

    2008-08-01

    The exhaust plume of Phoenix's hydrazine monopropellant pulsed descent thrusters will impact the surface of Mars during its descent and landing phase in the northern polar region. Experimental and computational studies have been performed to characterize the chemical compounds in the thruster exhausts. No undecomposed hydrazine is observed above the instrument detection limit of 0.2%. Forty-five percent ammonia is measured in the exhaust at steady state. Water vapor is observed at a level of 0.25%, consistent with fuel purity analysis results. Moreover, the dynamic interactions of the thruster plumes with the ground have been studied. Large pressure overshoots are produced at the ground during the ramp-up and ramp-down phases of the duty cycle of Phoenix's pulsed engines. These pressure overshoots are superimposed on the 10 Hz quasi-steady ground pressure perturbations with amplitude of about 5 kPa (at touchdown altitude) and have a maximum amplitude of about 20-40 kPa. A theoretical explanation for the physics that causes these pressure perturbations is briefly described in this article. The potential for soil erosion and uplifting at the landing site is also discussed. The objectives of the research described in this article are to provide empirical and theoretical data for the Phoenix Science Team to mitigate any potential problem. The data will also be used to ensure proper interpretation of the results from on-board scientific instrumentation when Martian soil samples are analyzed.

  12. Assessing extraterrestrial regolith material simulants for in-situ resource utilization based 3D printing

    OpenAIRE

    Goulas, A; Binner, JGP; Harris, RA; Friel, RJ

    2017-01-01

    This research paper investigates the suitability of ceramic multi-component materials, which are found on the Martian and Lunar surfaces, for 3D printing (aka Additive Manufacturing) of solid structures. 3D printing is a promising solution as part of the cutting edge field of future in situ space manufacturing applications. 3D printing of physical assets from simulated Martian and Lunar regolith was successfully performed during this work by utilising laser-based powder bed fusion equipment. ...

  13. Simulating the Fate and Transport of Coal Seam Gas Chemicals in Variably-Saturated Soils Using HYDRUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirk Mallants

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The HYDRUS-1D and HYDRUS (2D/3D computer software packages are widely used finite element models for simulating the one-, and two- or three-dimensional movement of water, heat, and multiple solutes in variably-saturated media, respectively. While the standard HYDRUS models consider only the fate and transport of individual solutes or solutes subject to first-order degradation reactions, several specialized HYDRUS add-on modules can simulate far more complex biogeochemical processes. The objective of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the HYDRUS models and their add-on modules, and to demonstrate possible applications of the software to the subsurface fate and transport of chemicals involved in coal seam gas extraction and water management operations. One application uses the standard HYDRUS model to evaluate the natural soil attenuation potential of hydraulic fracturing chemicals and their transformation products in case of an accidental release. By coupling the processes of retardation, first-order degradation and convective-dispersive transport of the biocide bronopol and its degradation products, we demonstrated how natural attenuation reduces initial concentrations by more than a factor of hundred in the top 5 cm of the soil. A second application uses the UnsatChem module to explore the possible use of coal seam gas produced water for sustainable irrigation. Simulations with different irrigation waters (untreated, amended with surface water, and reverse osmosis treated provided detailed results regarding chemical indicators of soil and plant health, notably SAR, EC and sodium concentrations. A third application uses the HP1 module to analyze trace metal transport involving cation exchange and surface complexation sorption reactions in a soil leached with coal seam gas produced water following some accidental water release scenario. Results show that the main process responsible for trace metal migration in soil is complexation of

  14. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for space exploration applications: Influence of the ambient pressure on the calibration curves prepared from soil and clay samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salle, Beatrice; Cremers, David A.; Maurice, Sylvestre; Wiens, Roger C.

    2005-01-01

    Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique for stand-off detection of geological samples for use on landers and rovers to Mars, and for other space applications. For space missions, LIBS analysis capabilities must be investigated and instrumental development is required to take into account constraints such as size, weight, power and the effect of environmental atmosphere (pressure and ambient gas) on flight instrument performance. In this paper, we study the in-situ LIBS method at reduced pressure (7 Torr CO 2 to simulate the Martian atmosphere) and near vacuum (50 mTorr in air to begin to simulate the Moon or asteroids' pressure) as well as at atmospheric pressure in air (for Earth conditions and comparison). Here in-situ corresponds to distances on the order of 150 mm in contrast to stand-off analysis at distance of many meters. We show the influence of the ambient pressure on the calibration curves prepared from certified soil and clay pellets. In order to detect simultaneously all the elements commonly observed in terrestrial soils, we used an Echelle spectrograph. The results are discussed in terms of calibration curves, measurement precision, plasma light collection system efficiency and matrix effects

  15. Experimental Demonstration of the Formation of Liquid Brines under Martian Polar Conditions in the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Erik; Martinez, German; Elliott, Harvey; Borlina, Caue; Renno, Nilton

    2014-05-01

    Liquid water is one of the necessary ingredients for the development of life as we know it. The behavior of various liquid states of H2O such as liquid brine, undercooled liquid interfacial water, subsurface melt water and ground water [1] needs to be understood in order to address the potential habitability of Mars for microbes and future human exploration. It has been shown thermodynamically that liquid brines can exist under Martian polar conditions [2, 3]. We have developed the Michigan Mars Environmental Chamber (MMEC) to simulate the entire range of Martian surface and shallow subsurface conditions with respect to temperature, pressure, relative humidity, solar radiation and soil wetness at equatorial and polar latitudes. Our experiments in the MMEC show that deliquescence of NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 and Ca(ClO4)2 occurs diurnally under the environmental conditions of the Phoenix landing site when these salts get in contact with water ice. Since Phoenix detected these salts and water ice at the landing site, including frost formation, it is extremely likely that deliquescence occurs at the Phoenix landing site. By layering NaClO4, Mg(ClO4)2 or Ca(ClO4)2 on top of a pure water ice slab at 800 Pa and 190 K and raising the temperature stepwise across the eutectic temperature of the perchlorate salts, we observe distinct changes in the Raman spectra of the samples when deliquescence occurs. When crossing the eutectic temperatures of NaClO4 (236 K), Mg(ClO4)2 (205 K) and Ca(ClO4)2 (199 K) [4, 5], the perchlorate band of the Raman spectrum shows a clear shift from 953 cm-1 to 936 cm-1. Furthermore, the appearance of a broad O-H vibrational stretching spectrum between 3244 cm-1 and 3580 cm-1 is another indicator of deliquescence. This process of deliquescence occurs on the order of seconds when the perchlorate salt is in contact with water ice. On the contrary, when the perchlorate salt is only subjected to water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, deliquescence was not

  16. Clouds in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Määttänen, Anni; Montmessin, Franck

    2018-01-01

    Although resembling an extremely dry desert, planet Mars hosts clouds in its atmosphere. Every day somewhere on the planet a part of the tiny amount of water vapor held by the atmosphere can condense as ice crystals to form cirrus-type clouds. The existence of water ice clouds has been known for a long time, and they have been studied for decades, leading to the establishment of a well-known climatology and understanding of their formation and properties. Despite their thinness, they have a clear impact on the atmospheric temperatures, thus affecting the Martian climate. Another, more exotic type of clouds forms as well on Mars. The atmospheric temperatures can plunge to such frigid values that the major gaseous component of the atmosphere, CO2, condenses as ice crystals. These clouds form in the cold polar night where they also contribute to the formation of the CO2 ice polar cap, and also in the mesosphere at very high altitudes, near the edge of space, analogously to the noctilucent clouds on Earth. The mesospheric clouds are a fairly recent discovery and have put our understanding of the Martian atmosphere to a test. On Mars, cloud crystals form on ice nuclei, mostly provided by the omnipresent dust. Thus, the clouds link the three major climatic cycles: those of the two major volatiles, H2O and CO2; and that of dust, which is a major climatic agent itself.

  17. Modification of the RothC model to simulate soil C mineralization of exogenous organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondini, Claudio; Cayuela, Maria Luz; Sinicco, Tania; Fornasier, Flavio; Galvez, Antonia; Sánchez-Monedero, Miguel Angel

    2017-07-01

    The development of soil organic C (SOC) models capable of producing accurate predictions for the long-term decomposition of exogenous organic matter (EOM) in soils is important for the effective management of organic amendments. However, reliable C modeling in amended soils requires specific optimization of current C models to take into account the high variability in EOM origin and properties. The aim of this work was to improve the prediction of C mineralization rates in amended soils by modifying the RothC model to encompass a better description of EOM quality. The standard RothC model, involving C input to the soil only as decomposable (DPM) or resistant (RPM) organic material, was modified by introducing additional pools of decomposable (DEOM), resistant (REOM) and humified (HEOM) EOM. The partitioning factors and decomposition rates of the additional EOM pools were estimated by model fitting to the respiratory curves of amended soils. For this task, 30 EOMs from 8 contrasting groups (compost, anaerobic digestates, sewage sludge, agro-industrial waste, crop residues, bioenergy by-products, animal residues and meat and bone meals) were added to 10 soils and incubated under different conditions. The modified RothC model was fitted to C mineralization curves in amended soils with great accuracy (mean correlation coefficient 0.995). In contrast to the standard model, the EOM-optimized RothC was able to better accommodate the large variability in EOM source and composition, as indicated by the decrease in the root mean square error of the simulations for different EOMs (from 29.9 to 3.7 % and 20.0 to 2.5 % for soils amended with bioethanol residue and household waste compost, respectively). The average decomposition rates for DEOM and REOM pools were 89 and 0.4 yr-1, higher than the standard model coefficients for DPM (10 yr-1) and RPM (0.3 yr-1). The results indicate that the explicit treatment of EOM heterogeneity enhances the model ability to describe amendment

  18. Soil nitrogen balance under wastewater management: Field measurements and simulation results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sophocleous, M.; Townsend, M.A.; Vocasek, F.; Ma, Liwang; KC, A.

    2009-01-01

    The use of treated wastewater for irrigation of crops could result in high nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in the vadose zone and ground water. The goal of this 2-yr field-monitoring study in the deep silty clay loam soils south of Dodge City, Kansas, was to assess how and under what circumstances N from the secondary-treated, wastewater-irrigated corn reached the deep (20-45 m) water table of the underlying High Plains aquifer and what could be done to minimize this problem. We collected 15.2-m-deep soil cores for characterization of physical and chemical properties; installed neutron probe access tubes to measure soil-water content and suction lysimeters to sample soil water periodically; sampled monitoring, irrigation, and domestic wells in the area; and obtained climatic, crop, irrigation, and N application rate records for two wastewater-irrigated study sites. These data and additional information were used to run the Root Zone Water Quality Model to identify key parameters and processes that influence N losses in the study area. We demonstrated that NO3-N transport processes result in significant accumulations of N in the vadose zone and that NO3-N in the underlying ground water is increasing with time. Root Zone Water Quality Model simulations for two wastewater-irrigated study sites indicated that reducing levels of corn N fertilization by more than half to 170 kg ha-1 substantially increases N-use efficiency and achieves near-maximum crop yield. Combining such measures with a crop rotation that includes alfalfa should further reduce the accumulation and downward movement of NO3-N in the soil profile. Copyright ?? 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  19. Simulations of water, heat, and solute transport in partially frozen soils

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Mousong; Jansson, Per-Erik; Tan, Xiao; Huang, Jiesheng; Wu, Jingwei

    2016-01-01

    Experiments for soil freezing/thawing were conducted in two seasonally frozen agricultural fields in northern China during 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 wintertime, respectively. Mass balance was checked based on measured data at various depths. Simulation work was conducted by combining CoupModel with Monte-Carlo sampling method to achieve parameter sets with equally good performance. Uncertainties existed in both measurements and model due to complexity in freezing/thawing processes as well as in...

  20. Powerful Software to Simulate Soil Consolidation Problems with Prefabricated Vertical Drains

    OpenAIRE

    Gonzalo García-Ros; Iván Alhama; Manuel Cánovas

    2018-01-01

    The present work describes the program Simulation of Consolidation with Vertical Drains (SICOMED_2018), a tool for the solution of consolidation processes in heterogeneous soils, with totally or partially penetrating prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) and considering both the effects of the smear zone, generated when introducing the drain into the ground, and the limitation in the discharge capacity of the drain. In order to provide a completely free program, the code Next-Generation Simulat...

  1. Collaboration support system for "Phobos-Soil" space mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazarov, V.; Nazirov, R.; Zakharov, A.

    2009-04-01

    Rapid development of communication facilities leads growth of interactions done via electronic means. However we can see some paradox in this segment in last times: Extending of communication facilities increases collaboration chaos. And it is very sensitive for space missions in general and scientific space mission particularly because effective decision of this task provides successful realization of the missions and promises increasing the ratio of functional characteristic and cost of mission at all. Resolving of this problem may be found by using respective modern technologies and methods which widely used in different branches and not in the space researches only. Such approaches as Social Networking, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 look most prospective in this context. The primary goal of the "Phobos-Soil" mission is an investigation of the Phobos which is the Martian moon and particularly its regolith, internal structure, peculiarities of the orbital and proper motion, as well as a number of different scientific measurements and experiments for investigation of the Martian environment. A lot of investigators involved in the mission. Effective collaboration system is key facility for information support of the mission therefore. Further to main goal: communication between users of the system, modern approaches allows using such capabilities as self-organizing community, user generated content, centralized and federative control of the system. Also it may have one unique possibility - knowledge management which is very important for space mission realization. Therefore collaboration support system for "Phobos-Soil" mission designed on the base of multilayer model which includes such levels as Communications, Announcement and Information, Data sharing and Knowledge management. The collaboration support system for "Phobos-Soil" mission will be used as prototype for prospective Russian scientific space missions and the presentation describes its architecture

  2. Set-up and calibration of an indoor nozzle-type rainfall simulator for soil erosion studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassu, T.; Seeger, M.

    2012-04-01

    Rainfall simulation is one of the most prevalent methods used in soil erosion studies on agricultural land. In-situ simulators have been used to relate soil surface characteristics and management to runoff generation, infiltration and erosion, eg. the influence of different cultivation systems, and to parameterise erosion models. Laboratory rainfall simulators have been used to determine the impact of the soil surface characteristics such as micro-topography, surface roughness, and soil chemistry on infiltration and erosion rates, and to elucidate the processes involved. The purpose of the following study is to demonstrate the set-up and the calibration of a large indoor, nozzle-type rainfall simulator (RS) for soil erosion, surface runoff and rill development studies. This RS is part of the Kraijenhoff van de Leur Laboratory for Water and Sediment Dynamics in Wageningen University. The rainfall simulator consists from a 6 m long and 2,5 m wide plot, with metal lateral frame and one open side. Infiltration can be collected in different segments. The plot can be inclined up to 15.5° slope. From 3,85 m height above the plot 2 Lechler nozzles 460.788 are sprinkling the water onto the surface with constant intensity. A Zehnder HMP 450 pump provides the constant water supply. An automatic pressure switch on the pump keeps the pressure constant during the experiments. The flow rate is controlled for each nozzle by independent valves. Additionally, solenoid valves are mounted at each nozzle to interrupt water flow. The flow is monitored for each nozzle with flow meters and can be recorded within the computer network. For calibration of the RS we measured the rainfall distribution with 60 gauges equally distributed over the plot during 15 minutes for each nozzle independently and for a combination of 2 identical nozzles. The rainfall energy was recorded on the same grid by measuring drop size distribution and fall velocity with a laser disdrometer. We applied 2 different

  3. Insights into the Martian Regolith from Martian Meteorite Northwest Africa 7034

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, Francis M.; Boyce, Jeremy W.; Szabo, Timea; Santos, Alison R.; Domokos, Gabor; Vazquez, Jorge; Moser, Desmond E.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Keller, Lindsay P.; Tartese, Romain

    2015-01-01

    Everything we know about sedimentary processes on Mars is gleaned from remote sensing observations. Here we report insights from meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, which is a water-rich martian regolith breccia that hosts both igneous and sedimentary clasts. The sedimentary clasts in NWA 7034 are poorly-sorted clastic siltstones that we refer to as protobreccia clasts. These protobreccia clasts record aqueous alteration process that occurred prior to breccia formation. The aqueous alteration appears to have occurred at relatively low Eh, high pH conditions based on the co-precipitation of pyrite and magnetite, and the concomitant loss of SiO2 from the system. To determine the origin of the NWA 7034 breccia, we examined the textures and grain-shape characteristics of NWA 7034 clasts. The shapes of the clasts are consistent with rock fragmentation in the absence of transport. Coupled with the clast size distribution, we interpret the protolith of NWA 7034 to have been deposited by atmospheric rainout resulting from pyroclastic eruptions and/or asteroid impacts. Cross-cutting and inclusion relationships and U-Pb data from zircon, baddelleyite, and apatite indicate NWA 7034 lithification occurred at 1.4-1.5 Ga, during a short-lived hydrothermal event at 600-700 C that was texturally imprinted upon the submicron groundmass. The hydrothermal event caused Pb-loss from apatite and U-rich metamict zircons, and it caused partial transformation of pyrite to submicron mixtures of magnetite and maghemite, indicating the fluid had higher Eh than the fluid that caused pyrite-magnetite precipitation in the protobreccia clasts. NWA 7034 also hosts ancient 4.4 Ga crustal materials in the form of baddelleyites and zircons, providing up to a 2.9 Ga record of martian geologic history. This work demonstrates the incredible value of sedimentary basins as scientific targets for Mars sample return missions, but it also highlights the importance of targeting samples that have not been

  4. Designing laboratory rainfall simulation experiments to examine the effects of a layer of vegetative ash on soil hydrology in Mediterranean areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodí, Merche B.; Cerdà, Artemi; Doerr, Stefan H.; Mataix-Solera, Jorge

    2010-05-01

    Vegetative ash formed during forest wildfires often blankets the ground. Some studies have found the ash layer to increases infiltration by storing rainfall and protecting the underlying soil from sealing (Cerdà, and Doerr, 2008; Woods and Balfour, 2008), but at the same time, others identified it as a potential cause of increased overland flow due to sealing the soil pores or crusting (Mallik et al., 1984; Onda et al., 2008). The variability in the effects of ash depends mainly on the ash type and temperature of combustion, ash thickness and soil type (Kinner and Moody, 2007; Larsen et al., 2009). In order to study the effect of the ash layer on the soil hydrology and soil erosion under i) intense thunderstorms, ii) wettable and water repellent soil and iii) different ash thicknesses, rainfall simulation experiments were performed in a small plot (0.09 m2) in order to reach the highest accuracy. The simulator comprises a constant head tank of 40x40 cm with 190 hypodermic needles of 0.5 mm. A randomization screen served to break up the raindrops and ensure random drop landing positions (Kamphorst, 1987). The average of the intensities applied in the experiment was 82.5 ± 4.13 mm h-1 during 40 minutes. In order to verify the constancy of the intensity it was measured before and after each simulation. The rainfall was conducted in a metal box of 30x30 cm within 1 m of distance from the randomization screen. The slope of the box was set at 10° (17%). It is designed to collect overland flow and subsurface flow through the soil. Each rainfall simulation was conducted on 3 cm of both wettable and water repellent soil (WDPT>7200s). They are the same soil but one transformed into hydrophobic. The treatments carried out are: a) bare soil, b) 5 mm of ash depth, c) 15 mm of ash depth and d) 30 mm of ash depth, with three replicates. The ash was collected from a wildfire and the thicknesses are in the range of the reported in the literature. The first replicate was used for

  5. Soil loss prediction in Guaraíra river experimental basin, Paraíba, Brazil based on two erosion simulation models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Flávio Cazé B. da Costa Silva

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, two hydrological models to estimate soil losses and sediment yield due to sheet and channel erosion, at the basin outlet, are applied to Guaraíra River Experimental Basin, located in Paraíba State, northeastern Brazil. The soil erosion models are (a the classical Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE, which is used to simulate annual and monthly soil losses; and (b Kineros model, which is used to simulate the sediment yield within the basin. Kineros model is a physically-based distributed model that uses a cascade of planes and channels to represent the basin and to describe the processes of interception, infiltration, surface runoff and erosion within the basin. The USLE is computed using land use, soil erodibility, topographic digital maps, as well as observed rainfall data. It was found that Guaraíra river experimental basin has a low potential for soil losses; however, specific areas which are susceptible to the erosion process in the basin could be detected by the modeling techniques coupled to a GIS (Geographic Information System.

  6. The mineralogic evolution of the Martian surface through time: Implications from chemical reaction path modeling studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ridley, W. I.; Debraal, J. D.; Reed, M. H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical reaction path calculations were used to model the minerals that might have formed at or near the Martian surface as a result of volcano or meteorite impact driven hydrothermal systems; weathering at the Martian surface during an early warm, wet climate; and near-zero or sub-zero C brine-regolith reactions in the current cold climate. Although the chemical reaction path calculations carried out do not define the exact mineralogical evolution of the Martian surface over time, they do place valuable geochemical constraints on the types of minerals that formed from an aqueous phase under various surficial and geochemically complex conditions.

  7. The physics of Martian weather and climate: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Read, P L; Mulholland, D P; Lewis, S R

    2015-01-01

    The planet Mars hosts an atmosphere that is perhaps the closest in terms of its meteorology and climate to that of the Earth. But Mars differs from Earth in its greater distance from the Sun, its smaller size, its lack of liquid oceans and its thinner atmosphere, composed mainly of CO 2 . These factors give Mars a rather different climate to that of the Earth. In this article we review various aspects of the martian climate system from a physicist’s viewpoint, focusing on the processes that control the martian environment and comparing these with corresponding processes on Earth. These include the radiative and thermodynamical processes that determine the surface temperature and vertical structure of the atmosphere, the fluid dynamics of its atmospheric motions, and the key cycles of mineral dust and volatile transport. In many ways, the climate of Mars is as complicated and diverse as that of the Earth, with complex nonlinear feedbacks that affect its response to variations in external forcing. Recent work has shown that the martian climate is anything but static, but is almost certainly in a continual state of transient response to slowly varying insolation associated with cyclic variations in its orbit and rotation. We conclude with a discussion of the physical processes underlying these long- term climate variations on Mars, and an overview of some of the most intriguing outstanding problems that should be a focus for future observational and theoretical studies. (review)

  8. The C-simulator as a tool to investigate the potential of household waste compost to increase soil organic matter in Flanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tits, Mia; Hermans, Inge; Elsen, Annemie; Vandendriessche, Hilde

    2010-05-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) is an important parameter of the quality of arable land. At the global scale, agricultural soils are considered to be a major sink of carbon dioxide. Results of thousands of soil analyses carried out annually by the Soil Service of Belgium have shown that carbon stocks in Flemish agricultural land have dwindled in the past decades, and this in spite of the increased use of animal manure from intensive livestock holdings. In the framework of the improvement of the SOM content and at the same time the idea of organic waste recycling ("cradle to cradle"-principle), a long-term field experiment with household waste compost (HWC) was set up in 1997 by the Soil Service of Belgium. In this trial different HWC application rates and timings were realized yearly, in order to investigate its nutritive value for arable crops, its effect on crop yield and its long-term effect on soil fertility, pH and soil organic matter content. Yearly data on crop rotation, crop development and yield as well as soil and HWC analyses were obtained for each trial treatment. Climatic data were obtained from nearby weather stations. Also in the context of the SOM-problem, the Soil Service of Belgium and the University of Ghent have developed, at the request of the Flemish government, the C-simulator, a simple but efficient interactive tool to assist farmers with the carbon stock management on their arable land. By providing input on the current carbon status of a particular field, the crop rotation and the (organic) fertiliser plan, the program calculates the expected evolution of the soil organic carbon over a thirty year period. By consulting comparative lists of characteristics of different crops and organic manures the farmer can adjust his strategy for a more efficient organic matter management. The calculations of the C-simulator are based on the RothC model, which was calibrated for Flemish conditions through an extensive literature study. Specific data on the

  9. An investigation of Martian and terrestrial dust devils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringrose, Timothy John

    2004-10-01

    It is the purpose of this work to provide an insight into the theoretical and practical dynamics of dust devils and how they are detected remotely from orbit or in situ on planetary surfaces. There is particular interest in the detection of convective vortices on Mars; this has been driven by involvement in the development of the Beagle 2 Environmental Sensor Suite. This suite of sensors is essentially a martian weather station and will be the first planetary lander experiment specifically looking for the presence of dust devils on Mars. Dust devils are characterised by their visible dusty core and intense rotation. The physics of particle motion, including dust lofting and the rotational dynamics within convective vortices are explained and modelled. This modelling has helped in identifying dust devils in meteorological data from both terrestrial and martian investigations. An automated technique for dust devil detection using meteorological data has been developed. This technique searches data looking for the specific vortex signature as well as detecting other transient events. This method has been tested on both terrestrial and martian data with surprising results. 38 possible convective vortices were detected in the first 60 sols of the Viking Lander 2 meteorological data. Tests were also carried out on data from a terrestrial dust devil campaign, which provided conclusive evidence from visual observations of the reliability of this technique. A considerable amount of this work does focus on terrestrial vortices. This is to aid in the understanding of dust devils, specifically how, why and when they form. Both laboratory and terrestrial fieldwork is investigated, providing useful data on the general structure of dust devils.

  10. The impact of radiatively active water-ice clouds on Martian mesoscale atmospheric circulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiga, A.; Madeleine, J.-B.; Hinson, D.; Navarro, T.; Forget, F.

    2014-04-01

    Background and Goals Water ice clouds are a key component of the Martian climate [1]. Understanding the properties of the Martian water ice clouds is crucial to constrain the Red Planet's climate and hydrological cycle both in the present and in the past [2]. In recent years, this statement have become all the more true as it was shown that the radiative effects of water ice clouds is far from being as negligible as hitherto believed; water ice clouds plays instead a key role in the large-scale thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere [3, 4, 5]. Nevertheless, the radiative effect of water ice clouds at lower scales than the large synoptic scale (the so-called meso-scales) is still left to be explored. Here we use for the first time mesoscale modeling with radiatively active water ice clouds to address this open question.

  11. Integration of electromagnetic induction sensor data in soil sampling scheme optimization using simulated annealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barca, E; Castrignanò, A; Buttafuoco, G; De Benedetto, D; Passarella, G

    2015-07-01

    Soil survey is generally time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. Optimization of sampling scheme allows one to reduce the number of sampling points without decreasing or even increasing the accuracy of investigated attribute. Maps of bulk soil electrical conductivity (EC a ) recorded with electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensors could be effectively used to direct soil sampling design for assessing spatial variability of soil moisture. A protocol, using a field-scale bulk EC a survey, has been applied in an agricultural field in Apulia region (southeastern Italy). Spatial simulated annealing was used as a method to optimize spatial soil sampling scheme taking into account sampling constraints, field boundaries, and preliminary observations. Three optimization criteria were used. the first criterion (minimization of mean of the shortest distances, MMSD) optimizes the spreading of the point observations over the entire field by minimizing the expectation of the distance between an arbitrarily chosen point and its nearest observation; the second criterion (minimization of weighted mean of the shortest distances, MWMSD) is a weighted version of the MMSD, which uses the digital gradient of the grid EC a data as weighting function; and the third criterion (mean of average ordinary kriging variance, MAOKV) minimizes mean kriging estimation variance of the target variable. The last criterion utilizes the variogram model of soil water content estimated in a previous trial. The procedures, or a combination of them, were tested and compared in a real case. Simulated annealing was implemented by the software MSANOS able to define or redesign any sampling scheme by increasing or decreasing the original sampling locations. The output consists of the computed sampling scheme, the convergence time, and the cooling law, which can be an invaluable support to the process of sampling design. The proposed approach has found the optimal solution in a reasonable computation time. The

  12. Martian Pyroxenes in the Shergottite Meteorites; Zagami, SAU005, DAG476 and EETA79001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, N.; Benedix, G. K.; Bland, P.; Hamilton, V. E.

    2010-12-01

    The geology and surface mineralogy of Mars is characterised using remote sensing techniques such as thermal emission spectroscopy (TES) from instruments on a number of spacecraft currently orbiting Mars or gathered from roving missions on the Martian surface. However, the study of Martian meteorites is also important in efforts to further understand the geological history of Mars or to interpret mission data as they are believed to be the only available samples that give us direct clues as to Martian igneous processes [1]. We have recently demonstrated that the spectra of Martian-specific minerals can be determined using micro-spectroscopy [2] and that these spectra can be reliably obtained from thin sections of Martian meteorites [3]. Accurate modal mineralogy of these meteorites is also important [4]. In this study we are using a variety of techniques to build upon previous studies of these particular samples in order to fully characterise the nature of the 2 common pyroxenes found in Martian Shergottites; pigeonite and augite [5], [6]. Previous studies have shown that the Shergottite meteorites are dominated by pyroxene (pigeonite and augite in varying quantities) [4], [5], commonly but not always olivine, plagioclase or maskelynite/glass and also hydrous minerals, which separate the Martian meteorites from other achondrites [7]. Our microprobe study of meteorites Zagami, EETA79001, SAU005 and DAG476 in thin-section at the Natural History Museum, London shows a chemical variability within both the pigeonite and augite composition across individual grains in all thin sections; variation within either Mg or Ca concentration varies from core to rim within the grains. This variation can also be seen in modal mineralogy maps using SEM-derived element maps and the Photoshop® technique previously described [4], and in new micro-spectroscopy data, particularly within the Zagami meteorite. New mineral spectra have been gathered from the Shergottite thin-sections by

  13. Root Development of Transplanted Cotton and Simulation of Soil Water Movement under Different Irrigation Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zhang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Winter wheat and cotton are the main crops grown on the North China Plain (NCP. Cotton is often transplanted after the winter wheat harvest to solve the competition for cultivated land between winter wheat and cotton, and to ensure that both crops can be harvested on the NCP. However, the root system of transplanted cotton is distorted due to the restrictions of the seedling aperture disk before transplanting. Therefore, the investigation of the deformed root distribution and water uptake in transplanted cotton is essential for simulating soil water movement under different irrigation methods. Thus, a field experiment and a simulation study were conducted during 2013–2015 to explore the deformed roots of transplanted cotton and soil water movement using border irrigation (BI and surface drip irrigation (SDI. The results showed that SDI was conducive to root growth in the shallow root zone (0–30 cm, and that BI was conducive to root growth in the deeper root zone (below 30 cm. SDI is well suited for producing the optimal soil water distribution pattern for the deformed root system of transplanted cotton, and the root system was more developed under SDI than under BI. Comparisons between experimental data and model simulations showed that the HYDRUS-2D model described the soil water content (SWC under different irrigation methods well, with root mean square errors (RMSEs of 0.023 and 0.029 cm3 cm−3 and model efficiencies (EFs of 0.68 and 0.59 for BI and SDI, respectively. Our findings will be very useful for designing an optimal irrigation plan for BI and SDI in transplanted cotton fields, and for promoting the wider use of this planting pattern for cotton transplantation.

  14. Numerical Simulation Of The Treatment Of Soil Swelling Using Grid Geocell Columns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fattah Mohammed Y.

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a method for the treatment of the swelling of expansive soil is numerically simulated. The method is simply based on the embedment of a geogrid (or a geomesh in the soil. The geogrid is extended continuously inside the volume of the soil where the swell is needed to be controlled and orientated towards the direction of the swell. Soils with different swelling potentials are employed: bentonite base-Na and bentonite base-Ca samples in addition to kaolinite mixed with bentonite. A numerical analysis was carried out by the finite element method to study the swelling soil's behavior and investigate the distribution of the stresses and pore water pressures around the geocells beneath the shallow footings. The ABAQUS computer program was used as a finite element tool, and the soil is represented by the modified Drucker-Prager/cap model. The geogrid surrounding the geocell is assumed to be a linear elastic material throughout the analysis. The soil properties used in the modeling were experimentally obtained. It is concluded that the degree of saturation and the matric suction (the negative pore water pressure decrease as the angle of friction of the geocell column material increases due to the activity of the sand fill in the dissipation of the pore water pressure and the acceleration of the drainage through its function as a drain. When the plasticity index and the active depth (the active zone is considered to be equal to the overall depth of the clay model increase, the axial movement (swelling movement and matric suction, as a result of the increase in the axial forces, vary between this maximum value at the top of the layer and the minimum value in the last third of the active depth and then return to a consolidation at the end of the depth layer.

  15. The investigation of Martian dune fields using very high resolution photogrammetric measurements and time series analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Park, M.; Baik, H. S.; Choi, Y.

    2016-12-01

    At the present time, arguments continue regarding the migration speeds of Martian dune fields and their correlation with atmospheric circulation. However, precisely measuring the spatial translation of Martian dunes has rarely conducted only a very few times Therefore, we developed a generic procedure to precisely measure the migration of dune fields with recently introduced 25-cm resolution High Resolution Imaging Science Experimen (HIRISE) employing a high-accuracy photogrammetric processor and sub-pixel image correlator. The processor was designed to trace estimated dune migration, albeit slight, over the Martian surface by 1) the introduction of very high resolution ortho images and stereo analysis based on hierarchical geodetic control for better initial point settings; 2) positioning error removal throughout the sensor model refinement with a non-rigorous bundle block adjustment, which makes possible the co-alignment of all images in a time series; and 3) improved sub-pixel co-registration algorithms using optical flow with a refinement stage conducted on a pyramidal grid processor and a blunder classifier. Moreover, volumetric changes of Martian dunes were additionally traced by means of stereo analysis and photoclinometry. The established algorithms have been tested using high-resolution HIRISE images over a large number of Martian dune fields covering whole Mars Global Dune Database. Migrations over well-known crater dune fields appeared to be almost static for the considerable temporal periods and were weakly correlated with wind directions estimated by the Mars Climate Database (Millour et al. 2015). Only over a few Martian dune fields, such as Kaiser crater, meaningful migration speeds (>1m/year) compared to phtotogrammetric error residual have been measured. Currently a technical improved processor to compensate error residual using time series observation is under developing and expected to produce the long term migration speed over Martian dune

  16. Predicting Soil-Air and Soil-Water Transport Properties During Soil Vapor Extraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Tjalfe

    Increased application of in-situ technology for control and removal of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the subsurface has made the understanding of soil physical properties and their impact upon contaminant transport even more important. Knowledge of contaminant transport is important when...... properties of undisturbed soil from more easily measurable soil properties are developed. The importance of soil properties with respect to contaminant migration during remediation by soil vapor extraction (SVE) in the unsaturated zone was investigated using numerical simulations....

  17. Simulation with models of increasing complexity of CO2 emissions and nitrogen mineralisation, after soil application of labelled pig slurry and maize stalks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechini, Luca; Marino Gallina, Pietro; Geromel, Gabriele; Corti, Martina; Cavalli, Daniele

    2015-04-01

    High amounts of nitrogen are available per unit area in regions with intensive livestock operations. In swine farms, pig slurries are frequently incorporated in the soil together with maize stalks. Simulation models may help to understand nitrogen dynamics associated with animal manure and crop residue decomposition in the soil, and to support the definition of best management practices. The objective of this work was to test the ability of different models to simulate CO2 emissions and nitrogen mineralisation during a laboratory incubation (under optimal soil water content and constant temperature) of maize stalks (ST) and pig slurry (PS). A loam soil was amended with labelled (15N) or unlabelled maize stalks and pig slurries, in the presence of ammonium sulphate (AS). These treatments were established: unfertilised soil; ST15 + AS + PS; ST + AS15 + PS; and ST + AS + PS15. During 180 days, we measured CO2 emissions; microbial biomass C, N, and 15N; and soil mineral N (SMN and SM-15N). Three models of increasing complexity were calibrated using measured data. The models were two modifications of ICBM 2B/N (Kätterer and Andrén, 2001) and CN-SIM (Petersen et al., 2005). The three models simulated rather accurately the emissions of CO2 throughout the incubation period (Relative Root Mean Squared Error, RRMSE = 8-25). The simplest model (with one pool for ST and one for PS) strongly overestimated SMN immobilisation from day 3 to day 21, both in the treatments with AS15 and PS15 (RRMSE = 27-30%). The other two models represented rather well the dynamics of SMN in the soil (RRMSE = 21-25%), simulating a fast increase of nitrate concentration in the first days, and slower rates of nitrification thereafter. Worse performances were obtained with all models for the simulation of SM-15N in the treatment with ST15 (RRMSE = 64-104%): experimental data showed positive mineralization of stalk-derived N from the beginning of the incubation, while models strongly underestimated

  18. Trajectories of martian habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2014-02-01

    Beginning from two plausible starting points-an uninhabited or inhabited Mars-this paper discusses the possible trajectories of martian habitability over time. On an uninhabited Mars, the trajectories follow paths determined by the abundance of uninhabitable environments and uninhabited habitats. On an inhabited Mars, the addition of a third environment type, inhabited habitats, results in other trajectories, including ones where the planet remains inhabited today or others where planetary-scale life extinction occurs. By identifying different trajectories of habitability, corresponding hypotheses can be described that allow for the various trajectories to be disentangled and ultimately a determination of which trajectory Mars has taken and the changing relative abundance of its constituent environments.

  19. Spectroscopy of Loose and Cemented Sulfate-Bearing Soils: Implications for Duricrust on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Christopher D.; Mustard, John F.

    2002-07-01

    The goal of this work is to determine the spectroscopic properties of sulfate in martian soil analogs over the wavelength range 0.3 to 25 μm (which is relevant to existing and planned remotely sensed data sets for Mars). Sulfate is an abundant component of martian soil (up to 9% SO 3 by weight) and apparently exists as a particulate in the soil but also as a cement. Although previous studies have addressed the spectroscopic identity of sulfates on Mars, none have used laboratory mixtures of materials with sulfates at the abundances measured by landed spacecraft, nor have any works considered the effect of salt-cementation on spectral properties of soil materials. For this work we created mixtures of a palagonitic soil (JSC Mars-1) and sulfates (MgSO 4 and CaSO 4·2H 2O). The effects of cementation were determined