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Sample records for martian soils preserved

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Martian Chlorobenzene Identified by Curiosity in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for the Preservation of Organics in a Mudstone on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, P.; Miller, K.; Eigenbrode, J.; Summons, R.; Martin, M.; Franz, H.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; hide

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first sample analyzed by SAM at the Rocknest (RN) aeolian deposit revealed chlorohydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. No conclusive evidence for martian chlorohydrocarbons in the RN sand was found. After RN, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two holes separated by 2.75 m designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone (called Sheepbed) consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Last year at LPSC we reported elevated abundances of chlorobenzene (CBZ) and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons including dichloroalkanes in CB compared to RN, suggesting that martian or meteoritic organic compounds may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we present SAM data from additional analyses of the CB sample and of Confidence Hills (CH), another drill sample collected at the base of Mt. Sharp. This new SAM data along with supporting laboratory analog experiments indicate that most of the chlorobenzene detected in CB is derived from martian organic matter preserved in the mudstone.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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].

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Soil dioxins levels at agriculture sites and natural preserve areas of Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jou, Jin-juh; Lin, Kae-Long; Chung, Jen-Chir; Liaw, Shu-Liang

    2007-08-17

    In this study, agriculture soil in Taiwan has been sampled and analyzed to determine the background level of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/DF) in the agricultural and nature preserve areas. Another objective is to investigate relationship between soil characteristics and air deposition in Taiwan. The results indicate that in nature preserve areas the topsoil shows an extraordinary profile of PCDD/DF compared to that in the air deposition. The PCDD/DF levels of the low-contaminated agricultural soils are compatible with those of the nature preserves soils. However, in the highly-contaminated agricultural soils, there is an abrupt jump in their concentrations, 10-100 times higher. The overall I-TEQ values of the background topsoils range from 0.101 to 15.2 ng I-TEQ/kg. Near industrial/urban areas in Taiwan the PCDD/DF are slightly higher compared to those in the low concentration group. Typically, the PCDD/DF background values found in this survey fall in the 90% confidence interval and can thus, be deemed the background levels in Taiwan. Ninety-five percent of these data are below the European and American soil standard of 10 ng I-TEQ/kg d.w. The PCDD/DF profile with one neighborhood soil sample was shown no significant difference.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, M. B.; Davila, A. F.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Parenteau, M. N.; Jahnke, L. L.; Summons, R. E.; Liu, X.; Wray, J. J.; Stamos, B.; O'Reilly, S. S.; Williams, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at ~2 m depth (~750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of lipid biomarker

  6. Preservation of Lipid Biomarkers Under Prolonged and Extreme Hyperaridity in Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biomarkers are the most direct biosignatures of life on early Earth and a key target in the search for life on Mars. Lipid biomarkers are of particular interest given their ability to survive oxidative degradation and record microbial presence and activity of microorganisms that occurred billions of years ago (Eigenbrode, 2008). Environmental conditions that suspend biotic and abiotic degradative processes prior to lithification can lead to enhanced biomolecular preservation over geological time-scales. The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile offers a unique environment to investigate lipid biomarker taphonomy under extreme and prolonged dryness. We investigated the accumulation and degree of preservation of lipid biomarkers in million-year-old hyperarid soils where primarily abiotic conditions influence their taphonomy. Soils were extracted and free and membrane bound lipids were analyzed across a vertical profile of 2.5 meters in the Yungay hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. Due to the extremely low inventory of biomass in Atacama soils, samples were collected by scientists wearing cleanroom suits to minimize anthropogenic contamination during sampling. Fatty acids were found to be well preserved in Yungay soils, and were most abundant in the clay-rich soils at approx.2 m depth (approx.750 ng of fatty acid methyl ester/g of soil). These buried clays layers were fluvially deposited approximately 2 million years ago, and have been excluded from exposure to rainwater and modern surficial processes since their emplacement (Ewing et al., 2008). Monocarboxylic fatty acid, monohydroxy fatty acid, glycerol tetraether, and n-alkane hydrocarbon content was found to change with depth. Lipid biomarker content in deeper soil layers is suggestive of soils having been formed at a time when environmental conditions were capable of supporting active microbial communities and plants. In short, total lipid extracts reveal a remarkable degree of

  7. 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].

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. JAWS: Just Add Water System - A device for detection of nucleic acids in Martian ice caps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Anders J.; Willerslev, Eske; Mørk, Søren

    2002-01-01

    with a regulation of pH and salt concentrations e.g. the MOD systems and could be installed on a planetary probe melting its way down the Martian ice caps e.g. the NASA Cryobot. JAWS can be used for detection of remains of ancient life preserved in the Martian ice as well as for detection of contamination brought...... to the planet from Earth....

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. Biosignatures on Mars: What, Where, and How? Implications for the Search for Martian Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Foucher, Frédéric; Bost, Nicolas; Bertrand, Marylène; Loizeau, Damien; Vago, Jorge L; Kminek, Gerhard; Gaboyer, Frédéric; Campbell, Kathleen A; Bréhéret, Jean-Gabriel; Gautret, Pascale; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-11-01

    The search for traces of life is one of the principal objectives of Mars exploration. Central to this objective is the concept of habitability, the set of conditions that allows the appearance of life and successful establishment of microorganisms in any one location. While environmental conditions may have been conducive to the appearance of life early in martian history, habitable conditions were always heterogeneous on a spatial scale and in a geological time frame. This "punctuated" scenario of habitability would have had important consequences for the evolution of martian life, as well as for the presence and preservation of traces of life at a specific landing site. We hypothesize that, given the lack of long-term, continuous habitability, if martian life developed, it was (and may still be) chemotrophic and anaerobic. Obtaining nutrition from the same kinds of sources as early terrestrial chemotrophic life and living in the same kinds of environments, the fossilized traces of the latter serve as useful proxies for understanding the potential distribution of martian chemotrophs and their fossilized traces. Thus, comparison with analog, anaerobic, volcanic terrestrial environments (Early Archean >3.5-3.33 Ga) shows that the fossil remains of chemotrophs in such environments were common, although sparsely distributed, except in the vicinity of hydrothermal activity where nutrients were readily available. Moreover, the traces of these kinds of microorganisms can be well preserved, provided that they are rapidly mineralized and that the sediments in which they occur are rapidly cemented. We evaluate the biogenicity of these signatures by comparing them to possible abiotic features. Finally, we discuss the implications of different scenarios for life on Mars for detection by in situ exploration, ranging from its non-appearance, through preserved traces of life, to the presence of living microorganisms. Mars-Early Earth-Anaerobic chemotrophs

  17. 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.

  18. Interim report on the fate of wood preservatives in soils adjacent to in-service utility poles in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, B.B.; Ripp, J.; Sims, R.C.

    1995-06-01

    The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is studying the environmental impact of preservatives associated with in-service utility poles. As part of this endeavor, two EPRI contractors, META Environmental, Inc. (META) and Atlantic Environmental Services, Inc. (Atlantic), have collected soil samples from around wood utility poles nationwide, for various chemical and physical analyses. This report covers the results for 107 pole sites in the US. These pole sites included a range of preservative types, soil types, wood types, pole sizes, and in-service ages. The poles in this study were preserved with one of two types of preservative: pentachlorophenol (PCP) or creosote. Approximately 40 to 50 soil samples were collected from each wood pole site in this study. The soil samples collected from the pole sites were analyzed for chlorinated phenols and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) if the pole was preserved with PCP, or for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) if the pole was preserved with creosote. The soil samples were also analyzed for physical/chemical parameters, such as pH, total organic carbon (TOC), and cationic exchange capacity (CEC). Additional samples were used in studies to determine biological degradation rates, and soil-water distribution and retardation coefficients of PCP in site soils. Methods of analysis followed standard EPA and ASTM methods, with some modifications in the chemical analyses to enable the efficient processing of many samples with sufficiently low detection limits for this study. All chemical, physical, and site-specific data were stored in a relational computer database

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Search for Organic Compounds of Martian Origin in Gale Crater by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument on Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel; Freissinet, Caroline; Mahaffy, Paul; Miller, Kristen; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Summons, Roger; Archer, Douglas, Jr.; Brunner, Anna; Martin, Mildred; Buch, Arrnaud; hide

    2014-01-01

    One of the key objectives of the Mars Science Laboratory rover and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite is to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles in the atmosphere and surface regolith and rocks to help assess the habitability potential of Gale Crater. The SAM instrument on the Curiosity rover can detect volatile organic compounds thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) (Mahaffy et al. 2012). The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest, revealed several chloromethanes and a C4-chlorinated hydrocarbon derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tertbutyldimethylsilyl)- trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background (Glavin et al. 2013). After the analyses at Rocknest, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes in a fluvio-lacustrine sediment (the Sheepbed unit) designated John Klein and Cumberland. Analyses of the drilled materials by both SAM and the CheMin X-Ray Diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of 20 wt% smectite clays (Ming et al. 2013; Vaniman et al. 2013), which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. Oxychlorine compounds were also detected in the Sheepbed mudstone during pyrolysis; however, in contrast to Rocknest, much higher levels of chloromethanes were released from the Sheepbed materials, suggesting an additional, possibly martian source of organic carbon (Ming et al. 2013). In addition, elevated abundances of chlorobenzene and a more diverse suite of chlorinated alkanes including dichloropropane and dichlorobutane detected in Cumberland compared to Rocknest suggest that martian or meteoritic organic carbon sources may be preserved in the mudstone (Freissinet et al. 2013

  2. LAND TREATMENT AND THE TOXICITY RESPONSE OF SOIL CONTAMINATED WITH WOOD PRESERVING WASTE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soils contaminated with wood preserving wastes, including pentachlo-rophenol (PCP) and creosote, are treated at field-scale in an engineered prepared-bed system consisting of two one-acre land treatment units (LTUs). The concentration of selected indicator compounds of treatment ...

  3. Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

    OpenAIRE

    Banham, Steven G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Stack-Morgan, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, James F., III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.

    2018-01-01

    Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the nort...

  4. Martian Water: Are There Extant Halobacteria on Mars?

    OpenAIRE

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    On Earth, life exists in all niches where water exists in liquid form for at least a portion of the year. On Mars, any liquid water would have to be a highly concentrated brine solution. It is likely, therefore, that any present-day Martian microorganisms would be similar to terrestrial halophiles. Even if present-day life is not present on Mars, it is an interesting speculation that ancient bacteria preserved in salt deposits could be retrieved from an era when the climate of Mars was mor...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Amendment of arsenic and chromium polluted soil from wood preservation by iron residues from water treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sanne Skov; Petersen, L. R.; Kjeldsen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    An iron-rich water treatment residue (WTR) consisting mainly of ferrihydrite was used for immobilization of arsenic and chromium in a soil contaminated by wood preservatives. A leaching batch experiment was conducted using two soils, a highly contaminated soil (1033mgkg−1 As and 371mgkg−1 Cr....... Pore water was extracted during 3years from the amended soil and a control site. Pore water arsenic concentrations in the amended soil were more than two orders of magnitude lower than in the control for the upper samplers. An increased release of arsenic was observed during winter in both fields...

  8. Resobio. Management of forest residues: preserving soils and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rantien, Caroline; Charasse, Laurent; Wlerick, Lise; Landmann, Guy; Nivet, Cecile; Jallais, Anais; Augusto, Laurent; Bigot, Maryse; Thivolle Cazat, Alain; Bouget, Christophe; Brethes, Alain; Boulanger, Vincent; Richter, Claudine; Cornu, Sophie; Rakotoarison, Hanitra; Ulrich, Erwin; Deleuze, Christine; Michaud, Daniel; Cacot, Emmanuel; Pousse, Noemie; Ranger, Jacques; Saint-Andre, Laurent; Zeller, Bernd; Achat, David; Cabral, Anne-Sophie; Akroume, Emila; Aubert, Michael; Bailly, Alain; Fraysse, Jean-Yves; Fraud, Benoit; Gardette, Yves-Marie; Gibaud, Gwenaelle; Helou, Tammouz-Enaut; Pitocchi, Sophie; Vivancos, Caroline

    2014-03-01

    The Resobio project (management of forest slash: preservation of soils and biodiversity) aimed at updating knowledge available at the international level (with a focus on temperate areas) on the potential consequences of forest slash sampling on fertility and on biodiversity, and at identifying orientations for recommendations for a revision of the ADEME guide of 2006 on wise collecting of forest slash. The first part of this report is a synthesis report which gives an overview of results about twenty issues dealing with the nature of wood used for energy production and the role of slash, about the consequences of this type of collecting for soil fertility and species productivity, and about impacts on biodiversity. Based on these elements, recommendations are made for slash management and for additional follow-up and research. The second part contains five scientific and technical reports which more deeply analyse the issue of fertility, and technical documents on slash management (guides) published in various countries

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. SOIL ORGANIC MATTER FRACTIONS IN PRESERVED AND DISTURBED WETLANDS OF THE CERRADO BIOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Fernandes de Sousa

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Veredas are humid tropical ecosystems, generally associated to hydromorphic soils and a shallow water table. The soils of these ecosystems are affected by the use of the areas around these veredas. The objective of this study was to determine soil organic matter (SOM fractions in veredas adjacent to preserved (native savanna and disturbed environments (agricultural areas and pastures in the Cerrado biome. Soil samples were collected from the 0-10 and 10-20 cm layers along reference lines drawn along the relief following the upper, middle and lower positions of one of the slopes, in the direction of the draining line of the vereda. The soil analysis determined: total soil OC, total nitrogen and C:N ratio; C and N contents and C:N ratio in particulate and mineral-associated fractions (of SOM; fulvic acids, humic acids and humin fractions and ratio between humic and fulvic acids. The agricultural use around the veredas induced changes in the SOM fractions, more pronounced in the lower part of the slope. In the soil surface of this part, the OC levels in the humic substances and the particulate fraction of SOM, as well as total soil OC were reduced in the vereda next to crop fields.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [Mechanism of nutrient preservation and supply by soil and its regulation. IV. Fertility regulation and improvement of brown earth type vegetable garden soil and their essence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, L; Zhou, L

    2000-08-01

    Pot experiment studies on the fertility regulation and improvement of fertile and infertile brown earth type vegetable garden soils and their functionary essence show that under conditions of taking different soil fertility improvement measures, the nutrient contents in fertile and infertile soils were not always higher than the controls, but the aggregation densities of soil microaggregates were increased, and the proportion of different microaggregates was more rational. There was no significant relationship between soil productivity and soil microaggregates proportion. It is proved that the essence of soil fertility improvement consists in the ultimate change of the preservation and supply capacities of soil nutrients, and the proportion of soil microaggregates could be an integrative index to evaluate the level of soil fertility and the efficiency of soil improvement.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Scientific guidelines for preservation of samples collected from Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gooding, J.L.

    1990-04-01

    The maximum scientific value of Martian geologic and atmospheric samples is retained when the samples are preserved in the conditions that applied prior to their collection. Any sample degradation equates to loss of information. Based on detailed review of pertinent scientific literature, and advice from experts in planetary sample analysis, number values are recommended for key parameters in the environmental control of collected samples with respect to material contamination, temperature, head-space gas pressure, ionizing radiation, magnetic fields, and acceleration/shock. Parametric values recommended for the most sensitive geologic samples should also be adequate to preserve any biogenic compounds or exobiological relics

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  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. Environmental diagnosis of the soil usage and the water resources preservation of Juqueriquerê river’s watershed

    OpenAIRE

    Pinto Neto, José Nunes; Moura, Luciana Machado; Fernandes, Gisele Aparecida; Carvalho, Alessandra Rodrigues de; Figueiredo, Marilu Alcântara de Melo; Faria, Elaine Dias de; Pons, Nívea Adriana Dias

    2013-01-01

    The management of the soil usage and the water resources protection has received more and more attention from society and environmental studies. In this perspective, geo-processing tools can help in the production of more representative diagnosis, reporting the reality of the study fields in a clearer way. This paper aims at performing a diagnosis of the soil usage as well as the state of preservation of the water resources of Juqueriquerê River’s watershed. To create the database and the fin...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Preserved filamentous microbial biosignatures in the Brick Flat gossan, Iron Mountain, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Amy J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Alpers, Charles N.; Karunatillake, Suniti; Hofmann, Beda A

    2015-01-01

    A variety of actively precipitating mineral environments preserve morphological evidence of microbial biosignatures. One such environment with preserved microbial biosignatures is the oxidized portion of a massive sulfide deposit, or gossan, such as that at Iron Mountain, California. This gossan may serve as a mineralogical analogue to some ancient martian environments due to the presence of oxidized iron and sulfate species, and minerals that only form in acidic aqueous conditions, in both environments. Evaluating the potential biogenicity of cryptic textures in such martian gossans requires an understanding of how microbial textures form biosignatures on Earth. The iron-oxide-dominated composition and morphology of terrestrial, nonbranching filamentous microbial biosignatures may be distinctive of the underlying formation and preservation processes. The Iron Mountain gossan consists primarily of ferric oxide (hematite), hydrous ferric oxide (HFO, predominantly goethite), and jarosite group minerals, categorized into in situ gossan, and remobilized iron deposits. We interpret HFO filaments, found in both gossan types, as HFO-mineralized microbial filaments based in part on (1) the presence of preserved central filament lumina in smooth HFO mineral filaments that are likely molds of microbial filaments, (2) mineral filament formation in actively precipitating iron-oxide environments, (3) high degrees of mineral filament bending consistent with a flexible microbial filament template, and (4) the presence of bare microbial filaments on gossan rocks. Individual HFO filaments are below the resolution of the Mars Curiosity and Mars 2020 rover cameras, but sinuous filaments forming macroscopic matlike textures are resolvable. If present on Mars, available cameras may resolve these features identified as similar to terrestrial HFO filaments and allow subsequent evaluation for their biogenicity by synthesizing geochemical, mineralogical, and morphological analyses. Sinuous

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Archer, D.; Brinkerhoff, W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest (RN), revealed chlorinated hydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. Chlorobenzene (CBZ) was also identified by SAM GCMS at RN at trace levels (approx.0.007 nmol) and was attributed to the reaction of chlorine with the Tenax polymers used in the hydrocarbon traps. After the RN analyses, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. In addition, higher abundances and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons in CB compared to RN suggests that martian or meteoritic organic sources may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae: Martian Lacustrine basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David H.; Rice, James W., Jr.; Dohm, James M.; Chapman, Mary G.

    1992-01-01

    Amazonis and Utopia Planitiae are two large (greater than 10(exp 6) sq. km) basins on Mars having morphological features commonly associated with former lakes. The investigation of these areas is an extension of our previous paleolake studies in the Elysium basin. Using Viking images, we are searching for familiar geologic forms commonly associated with standing bodies of water on Earth. Like Elysium, the two basins exhibit terraces and lineations resembling shorelines, etched and infilled floors with channel-like sinuous markings in places, inflow channels along their borders, and other geomorphic indicators believed to be related to the presence of water and ice. In some areas these features are better displayed than in others where they may be very tenuous; their value as indicators can be justified only by their association with related features. Even though these postulated paleolakes are very young in the Martian stratigraphic sequence, their shoreline features are poorly preserved and they are probably much older than large Pleistocene lakes on Earth.

  13. Preservation of labile organic matter in soils of drained thaw lakes in Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Carsten W.; Rethemeyer, Janet; Kao-Kniffin, Jenny; Löppmann, Sebastian; Hinkel, Kenneth; Bockheim, James

    2014-05-01

    A large number of studies predict changing organic matter (OM) dynamics in arctic soils due to global warming. In contrast to rather slowly altering bulk soil properties, single soil organic matter (SOM) fractions can provide a more detailed picture of the dynamics of differently preserved SOM pools in climate sensitive arctic regions. By the study of the chemical composition of such distinctive SOM fractions using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) together with radiocarbon analyses it is possible to evaluate the stability of the major OM pools. Approximately 50-75% of Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain is covered with thaw lakes and drained thaw lakes that follow a 5,000 yr cycle of development (between creation and final drainage), thus forming a natural soil chronosequence. The drained thaw lakes offer the possibility to study SOM dynamics affected by permafrost processes over millennial timescales. In April 2010 we sampled 16 soil cores (including the active and permanent layer) reaching from young drained lakes (0-50 years since drainage) to ancient drained lakes (3000-5500 years since drainage). Air dried soil samples from soil horizons of the active and permanent layer were subjected to density fractionation in order to differentiate particulate OM and mineral associated OM. The chemical composition of the SOM fractions was analyzed by 13C CPMAS NMR spectroscopy. For a soil core of a young and an ancient drained thaw lake basin we also analyzed the 14C content. For the studied soils we can show that up to over 25 kg OC per square meter are stored mostly as labile, easily degradable organic matter rich in carbohydrates. In contrast only 10 kg OC per square meter were sequestered as presumably more stable mineral associated OC dominated by aliphatic compounds. Comparable to soils of temperate regions, we found small POM (dating we could show the stabilization of younger more labile OM at greater depth in buried O horizons. Additionally the study of the

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Forest soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. (Hobie) Perry; Michael C. Amacher

    2009-01-01

    Productive soils are the foundation of sustainable forests throughout the United States. Forest soils are generally subjected to fewer disturbances than agricultural soils, particularly those that are tilled, so forest soils tend to have better preserved A-horizons than agricultural soils. Another major contrast between forest and agricultural soils is the addition of...

  20. 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)...

  1. 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

  2. Properties of volcanic soils in cold climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, Elena

    2017-04-01

    Layers of volcanic ash and the Andosol soils derived from them may play an important role in preserving snow and ice as well as developing permafrost conditions in the immediate vicinity of volcanoes of high elevation or those situated at high latitudes, and land areas, often distant from volcanic activity that are either prone to permafrost or covered by snow and ice, but are affected by the deposition of subaerial ash. The special properties of volcanic ash that are responsible are critically reviewed particularly in relation to recent research in Kamchatka in the Far East of Russia. Of particular importance are the thermal properties and the unfrozen water contents of ash layers and the rate at which the weathering of volcanic glass takes place. Volcanic glass is the most easily weathered component of volcanic ejecta (Shoji et al., 1993; Kimble et al., 2000). There are many specific environmental conditions, including paleoclimate and present-day climate, the composition of volcanic tephra and glaciation history, which cause the differences in weathering and development of volcanic ash soils (Zehetner et al., 2003). The preservation of in situ, unweathered, and unaltered surficial ash-fall deposits in the cold regions has important implications for paleoclimate and glacial history. Ash-fall deposits, which trap and preserve the soils, sediments, and landforms on which they fall, can be used to resolve local climate conditions (temperature and moisture) at the ash site during ash-fall deposition. The preservation of detailed sedimentary features (e.g. bedding in the ash, sharpness of stratigraphic contacts) can tell us about their post-depositional history, whether they have been redeposited by wind or water, or overridden by glaciers (Marchant et al., 1996). Weathering of volcanic glass results in the development of amorphous clay minerals (e.g. allophane, opal, palagonite) but this takes place much slower in cold than under warmer climate conditions. Only few

  3. 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.

  4. Efficacy of copper borax preservative against wood decay

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Abbott; Bessie Woodward; Michael West

    2001-01-01

    In this study, a wood preservative containing active ingredients of 43.5% borax and 3.1% copper hydroxide was evaluated in soil-block tests in accordance with AWPA E10. Results suggested thatthe copper hydroxide was not contributing to fungal toxicity at preservative threshold levels. Thresholds determined for this preservative were very close to those previously...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Environmental diagnosis of the soil usage and the water resources preservation of Juqueriquerê river’s watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Nunes Pinto Neto

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The management of the soil usage and the water resources protection has received more and more attention from society and environmental studies. In this perspective, geo-processing tools can help in the production of more representative diagnosis, reporting the reality of the study fields in a clearer way. This paper aims at performing a diagnosis of the soil usage as well as the state of preservation of the water resources of Juqueriquerê River’s watershed. To create the database and the final production of the maps, the following programs were used: Google Earth Plus, Global Mapper 13 e ArcGis 9.3. The analysis of the data allowed the contrast between the degradation areas which extend from the central area of the basin to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, such as many pasture areas and degraded riparian, which compromises the quality of the water resources.  Safety policies, respect of the soil usage and the proper application of environmental management plans are essential to achieve the correct use of the natural resources.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. Nuclear techniques in soil-plant studies for sustainable agriculture and environmental preservation. Proceedings of an international symposium held in Vienna, 17-21 October 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The papers presented at the symposium have been grouped in 8 Sessions: Recent developments in analytical methods and equipment (3 papers), Fertilizer use and management studies (8 papers), Biological nitrogen fixation in sustainable cropping systems (7 papers), Soil organic matter studies and nutrient cycling (7 papers), Water use and management studies (7 papers), Plant physiological aspects in crop production (8 papers), Environmental pollution and preservation (5 papers), Soil conservation, soil erosion and desertification (3 papers). 25 papers have been presented in a poster session. A separate abstract was prepared for each paper. Refs, figs and tabs

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Errors in Martian paleodischarges skew interpretations of hydrologic history: Case study of the Aeolis Dorsa, Mars, with insights from the Quinn River, NV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, Robert E.; Burr, Devon M.

    2018-03-01

    Changes in Martian fluvial geomorphology with time-stratigraphic age, including decreases in paleochannel widths, suggest waning paleodischarges through time. Where fluvial landforms do not preserve paleochannel widths (e.g., meander deposits), other landform dimensions (i.e., radius of curvature) may be used to estimate paleodischarges. In the Aeolis Dorsa region, topographically inverted and stacked fluvial deposits - wide meander point bars overlain by thin channel fills - preserve ostensible evidence of decreasing paleodischarges through time. However, a robust paleohydraulic analysis of these distinct deposits requires knowledge of the accuracy of a terrestrial-based empirical relationship that estimates channel width from point-bar radius of curvature. We assess the accuracy of this radius-width relationship by applying it to a well-studied terrestrial analog, the Quinn River, Nevada. We find that radii of curvature from the Quinn River exceed the values predicted from the empirical relationship. These anomalously high radii are associated with greater resistance in the channel cut banks, indicating that bank strength is a confounding factor in the radius-width relationship. Some deposits in the Aeolis Dorsa include irregular meander morphologies, suggesting variably resistant channel banks and overestimates of both paleochannel widths and paleodischarges. Furthermore, the morphometry of the overlying thin channel fills suggests their widths have been eroded, such that their paleodischarges are underestimates. These overestimates and underestimates, when considered together, suggest little change in paleodischarge during the stratigraphic transition from meander deposits to channel fills. This work demonstrates the importance of terrestrial analog studies for revealing confounding factors in Martian fluvial systems and cautions against simplistic interpretations of Martian fluvial history. The discovered inaccuracies of paleodischarge estimates expose sources

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Preservation of Reduced Carbon on Mars: Implications for Understanding Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela; Fogel, Marilyn; Steele, Andrew; Summons, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    Upcoming Mars missions (e.g., Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars, Astrobiology Field Laboratory, and Mars Sample Return) will search for evidence of extant and fossil microbial habitats and the potential for future habitation. Understanding the distribution and composition of reduced carbon (or organic carbon) is critical for unraveling the Martian carbon cycle, potential for life, and possible biosignature record. Reduced carbon may be produced from biological, geochemical, or interstellar processes; however, evidence for reduced carbon on Mars is lacking with the exception of parts per billion of atmospheric methane. In contrast, abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide may reflect surface oxidation of reduced carbon and accumulation over geological timescales. This suggests that there is an undetected or lost pool of reduced carbon - a pool that may host molecular biosignatures, a characteristic of extant or extinct habitability. In this presentation, we will evaluate factors influencing the preservation potential for organic molecules in rocks on Earth and Martian. We,draw examples from organic molecules in sulfates, basalts, and ancient shales from Mars-analog settings to show how the distribution of organics and their structural patterns will aid Mars habitability studies.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Martian Ionospheric Observation and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Galindo, Francisco

    2018-02-01

    The Martian ionosphere is a plasma embedded within the neutral upper atmosphere of the planet. Its main source is the ionization of the CO2-dominated Martian mesosphere and thermosphere by the energetic EUV solar radiation. The ionosphere of Mars is subject to an important variability induced by changes in its forcing mechanisms (e.g., the UV solar flux) and by variations in the neutral atmosphere (e.g., the presence of global dust storms, atmospheric waves and tides, changes in atmospheric composition, etc.). Its vertical structure is dominated by a maximum in the electron concentration placed at about 120–140 km of altitude, coincident with the peak of the ionization rate. Below, a secondary peak produced by solar X-rays and photoelectron-impact ionization is observed. A sporadic third layer, possibly of meteoric origin, has been also detected below. The most abundant ion in the Martian ionosphere is O2+, although O+ can become more abundant in the upper ionospheric layers. While below about 180–200 km the Martian ionosphere is dominated by photochemical processes, above those altitudes the dynamics of the plasma become more important. The ionosphere is also an important source of escaping particles via processes such as dissociative recombination of ions or ion pickup. So, characterization of the ionosphere provides or can provide information about such disparate systems and processes as the solar radiation getting to the planet, the neutral atmosphere, the meteoric influx, the atmospheric escape to space, or the interaction of the planet with the solar wind. It is thus not surprising that the interest about this region dates from the beginning of the space era. From the first measurements provided by the Mariner 4 mission in the 1960s to the contemporaneous observations, still ongoing, by the Mars Express and MAVEN orbiters, our current knowledge of this atmospheric region is the consequence of the accumulation of more than 50 years of discontinuous

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. IR SPECTRAL MAPPING OF THE MARTIAN SOUTH POLAR RESIDUAL CAP USING CRISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Campbell

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs are considered to be important in theories of abiogenesis (Allamandola, 2011 . There is evidence that PAHs have been detected on two icy Saturnian satellites using the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS on the Cassini spacecraft (Cruikshank et al., 2007. The hypothesised presence of PAHs in Mars south polar cap has not been systematically examined even though the Mars south polar cap may allow the preservation of organic molecules that are typically destroyed at the Martian surface by UV radiation (Dartnell et al. 2012. This hypothesis is supported by recent analyses of South Polar Residual Cap (SPRC structural evolution (Thomas et al., 2009 that suggest the possibility that seasonal and long term sublimation may excavate dust particles from within the polar ice. Periodic sublimation is believed to be responsible for the formation of so-called “Swiss Cheese Terrain”, a unique surface feature found only in the Martian south polar residual cap consisting of flat floored, circular depressions (Byrne, 2009. We show the first examples of work towards the detection of PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain, using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM, on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO. CRISM is designed to search for mineralogical indications of past and present water, thus providing extensive coverage of the south polar cap. In this work, we discuss whether CRISM infrared spectra can be used to detect PAHs in Swiss Cheese Terrain and demonstrate a number of maps showing shifts in spectral profiles over the SPRC.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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 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.

  17. Martian Dune Ripples as Indicators of Recent Surface Wind Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M.; Zimbelman, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Sand dunes have been shown to preserve the most recent wind patterns in their ripple formations. This investigation continues the manual documentation of ripples on Martian dunes in order to assess surface wind flow. Study sites investigated must have clear HiRISE frames and be able to represent diverse locations across the surface, decided primarily by their spread of latitude and longitude values. Additionally, frames with stereo pairs are preferred because of their ability to create digital terrain models. This will assist in efforts to relate dune slopes and obstacles to ripple patterns. The search and analysis period resulted in 40 study sites with mapped ripples. Lines were drawn perpendicular to ripple crests across three adjacent ripples in order to document both ripple wavelength from line length and inferred wind direction from azimuth. It is not possible to infer a unique wind direction from ripple orientation alone and therefore these inferred directions have a 180 degree ambiguity. Initial results from all study sites support previous observations that the Martian surface has many dune types in areas with adequate sand supply. The complexity of ripple patterns varies greatly across sites as well as within individual sites. Some areas of uniform directionality for hundreds of kilometers suggest a unimodal wind regime while overlapping patterns suggest multiple dominant winds or seasonally varying winds. In most areas, form flow related to dune shape seems to have a large effect on orientation and must be considered along with the dune type. As long as the few steep slip faces on these small dunes are avoided, form flow can be considered the dominant cause of deviation from the regional wind direction. Regional results, wind roses, and comparisons to previous work will be presented for individual sites.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Search for Sustainable Subsurface Habitats on Mars, and the Sampling of Impact Ejecta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Lindgren

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available On Earth, the deep subsurface biosphere of both the oceanic and the continental crust is well known for surviving harsh conditions and environments characterized by high temperatures, high pressures, extreme pHs, and the absence of sunlight. The microorganisms of the terrestrial deep biosphere have an excellent capacity for adapting to changing geochemistry, as the alteration of the crust proceeds and the conditions of their habitats slowly change. Despite an almost complete isolation from surface conditions and the surface biosphere, the deep biosphere of the crustal rocks has endured over geologic time. This indicates that the deep biosphere is a self-sufficient system, independent of the global events that occur at the surface, such as impacts, glaciations, sea level fluctuations, and climate changes. With our sustainable terrestrial subsurface biosphere in mind, the subsurface on Mars has often been suggested as the most plausible place to search for fossil Martian life, or even present Martian life. Since the Martian surface is more or less sterile, subsurface settings are the only place on Mars where life could have been sustained over geologic time. To detect a deep biosphere in the Martian basement, drilling is a requirement. However, near future Mars sample return missions are limited by the mission’s payload, which excludes heavy drilling equipment and restrict the missions to only dig the topmost meter of the Martian soil. Therefore, the sampling and analysis of Martian impact ejecta has been suggested as a way of accessing the deeper Martian subsurface without using heavy drilling equipment. Impact cratering is a natural geological process capable of excavating and exposing large amounts of rock material from great depths up to the surface. Several studies of terrestrial impact deposits show the preservation of pre-impact biosignatures, such as fossilized organisms and chemical biological markers. Therefore, if the Martian

  6. Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, Paul R.; Corbett, Lee B.; Graly, Joseph A.; Neumann, Thomas Allen; Lini, Andrea; Crosby, Benjamin T.; Rood, Dylan H.

    2014-01-01

    Continental ice sheets typically sculpt landscapes via erosion; under certain conditions, ancient landscapes can be preserved beneath ice and can survive extensive and repeated glaciation. We used concentrations of atmospherically produced cosmogenic beryllium-10, carbon, and nitrogen to show that ancient soil has been preserved in basal ice for millions of years at the center of the ice sheet at Summit, Greenland. This finding suggests ice sheet stability through the Pleistocene (i.e., the past 2.7 million years). The preservation of this soil implies that the ice has been non-erosive and frozen to the bed for much of that time, that there was no substantial exposure of central Greenland once the ice sheet became fully established, and that preglacial landscapes can remain preserved for long periods under continental ice sheets

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Preservation of martian organic and environmental records: final report of the Mars biosignature working group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, Roger E; Amend, Jan P; Bish, David; Buick, Roger; Cody, George D; Des Marais, David J; Dromart, Gilles; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Knoll, Andrew H; Sumner, Dawn Y

    2011-03-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has an instrument package capable of making measurements of past and present environmental conditions. The data generated may tell us if Mars is, or ever was, able to support life. However, the knowledge of Mars' past history and the geological processes most likely to preserve a record of that history remain sparse and, in some instances, ambiguous. Physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to biosignature preservation on Earth, especially under conditions early in its history when microbial life predominated, are also imperfectly known. Here, we present the report of a working group chartered by the Co-Chairs of NASA's MSL Project Science Group, John P. Grotzinger and Michael A. Meyer, to review and evaluate potential for biosignature formation and preservation on Mars. Orbital images confirm that layered rocks achieved kilometer-scale thicknesses in some regions of ancient Mars. Clearly, interplays of sedimentation and erosional processes govern present-day exposures, and our understanding of these processes is incomplete. MSL can document and evaluate patterns of stratigraphic development as well as the sources of layered materials and their subsequent diagenesis. It can also document other potential biosignature repositories such as hydrothermal environments. These capabilities offer an unprecedented opportunity to decipher key aspects of the environmental evolution of Mars' early surface and aspects of the diagenetic processes that have operated since that time. Considering the MSL instrument payload package, we identified the following classes of biosignatures as within the MSL detection window: organism morphologies (cells, body fossils, casts), biofabrics (including microbial mats), diagnostic organic molecules, isotopic signatures, evidence of biomineralization and bioalteration, spatial patterns in chemistry, and biogenic gases. Of these, biogenic organic molecules and biogenic atmospheric gases are

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. .

  14. Ma_MISS on ExoMars: Mineralogical Characterization of the Martian Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Altieri, Francesca; Ammannito, Eleonora; Biondi, David; De Angelis, Simone; Meini, Marco; Mondello, Giuseppe; Novi, Samuele; Paolinetti, Riccardo; Soldani, Massimo; Mugnuolo, Raffaele; Pirrotta, Simone; Vago, Jorge L.; Ma_MISS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Ma_MISS (Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies) experiment is the visible and near infrared (VNIR) miniaturized spectrometer hosted by the drill system of the ExoMars 2020 rover. Ma_MISS will perform IR spectral reflectance investigations in the 0.4-2.2 μm range to characterize the mineralogy of excavated borehole walls at different depths (between 0 and 2 m). The spectral sampling is about 20 nm, whereas the spatial resolution over the target is 120 μm. Making use of the drill's movement, the instrument slit can scan a ring and build up hyperspectral images of a borehole. The main goal of the Ma_MISS instrument is to study the martian subsurface environment. Access to the martian subsurface is crucial to our ability to constrain the nature, timing, and duration of alteration and sedimentation processes on Mars, as well as habitability conditions. Subsurface deposits likely host and preserve H2O ice and hydrated materials that will contribute to our understanding of the H2O geochemical environment (both in the liquid and in the solid state) at the ExoMars 2020 landing site. The Ma_MISS spectral range and sampling capabilities have been carefully selected to allow the study of minerals and ices in situ before the collection of samples. Ma_MISS will be implemented to accomplish the following scientific objectives: (1) determine the composition of subsurface materials, (2) map the distribution of subsurface H2O and volatiles, (3) characterize important optical and physical properties of materials (e.g., grain size), and (4) produce a stratigraphic column that will inform with regard to subsurface geological processes. The Ma_MISS findings will help to refine essential criteria that will aid in our selection of the most interesting subsurface formations from which to collect samples.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Electrodialytic Remediation of Soil Polluted with Copper from Wood Preservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottosen, Lisbeth M.; Hansen, Henrik; Laursen, Søren

    1997-01-01

    The principle of electrodialytic soil remediation was tested in six experiments on a copper polluted loamy sand. It was possible to decontaminate from 1360 to below 40 mg of Cu/kg of dry soil......The principle of electrodialytic soil remediation was tested in six experiments on a copper polluted loamy sand. It was possible to decontaminate from 1360 to below 40 mg of Cu/kg of dry soil...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Influence of biochars, compost and iron grit, alone and in combination, on copper solubility and phytotoxicity in a Cu-contaminated soil from a wood preservation site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oustriere, Nadège; Marchand, Lilian; Galland, William; Gabbon, Lunel; Lottier, Nathalie; Motelica, Mikael; Mench, Michel

    2016-10-01

    Two biochars, a green waste compost and iron grit were used, alone and in combination, as amendment to improve soil properties and in situ stabilize Cu in a contaminated soil (964mgCukg(-1)) from a wood preservation site. The pot experiment consisted in 9 soil treatments (% w/w): untreated Cu-contaminated soil (Unt); Unt soil amended respectively with compost (5%, C), iron grit (1%, Z), pine bark-derived biochar (1%, PB), poultry-manure-derived biochar (1%, AB), PB or AB+C (5%, PBC and ABC), and PB or AB+Z (1%, PBZ and ABZ). After a 3-month reaction period, the soil pore water (SPW) was sampled in potted soils and dwarf beans were grown for a 2-week period. In the SPW, all amendments decreased the Cu(2+) concentration, but total Cu concentration increased in all AB-amended soils due to high dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration. No treatment improved root and shoot DW yields, which even decreased in the ABC and ABZ treatments. The PBZ treatment decreased total Cu concentration in the SPW while reducing the gap with common values for root and shoot yields of dwarf bean plants. A field trial is underway before any recommendation for the PB-based treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Evaluation of soil structure in the framework of an overall soil quality rating

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, L; Shepherd, T G; Schindler, U

    2013-01-01

    Soil structure is an important aspect of agricultural soil quality, and its preservation and improvement are key to sustaining soil functions. Methods of overall soil quality assessment which include visual soil structure information can be useful tools for monitoring and managing the global soil...... resource. The aim of the paper is: (i) to demonstrate the role of visual quantification of soil structure within the procedure of the overall soil quality assessment by the Muencheberg Soil Quality Rating (M-SQR), (ii) to quantify the magnitude and variability of soil structure and overall M......-SQR on a number of agricultural research sites and (iii) to analyse the correlations of soil quality rating results with crop yields. We analysed visual soil structure and overall soil quality on a range of 20 experimental sites in seven countries. To assess visual soil structure we utilised the Visual Soil...

  18. 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.

  19. Soil hydrophobicity: comparative study of usual determination methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Saldanha Vogelmann

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Hydrophobic or water repellent soils slowly absorb water because of the low wett ability of the soil particles which are coated with hydrophobic organic substances. These pose significant effects on plant growth, water infiltration and retention, surface runoff and erosion. The objective of this study was to compare the performance of tension micro-infiltrometer(TMI and the water drop penetration time (WDPT methods in the determination of the hydrophobicity index of eighteen soils from southern Brazil. Soil samples were collected from the 0-5cm soil layer to determine particle size distribution, organic matter content, hydrophobicity index of soil aggregates and droplet penetration time of disaggregated and sieved soil samples. For the TMI method the soil samples were subjected to minor changes due to the use of macroaggregates to preserve the distribution of solid constituents in the soil. Due to the homogeneity of the soil samples the WDPT method gave smaller coefficients of variation unlike the TMI method where the soil structure is preserved. However, both methods had low coefficients of variation, and are thus effective for determining the soil hydrophobicity, especially when the log hydrophobicity index or log WDPT is >1.

  20. 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.

  1. Application of Soil Nailing Technique for Protection and Preservation Historical Buildings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczykowski, Marek; Przewłócki, Jarosław; Konarzewska, Bogusława

    2017-10-01

    Soil nailing is one of the recent in situ techniques used for soil improvement and in stabilizing slopes. The process of soil nailing consists of reinforcing the natural ground with relatively small steel bars or metal rods, grouted in the pre-drilled holes. This method has a wide range of applications for stabilizing deep excavations and steep slopes. Soil nailing has recently become a very common method of slope stabilisation especially where situated beneath or adjacent to historical buildings. Stabilisation by nails drilled into existing masonry structures such as failing retaining walls abutments, provide long term stability without demolition and rebuilding costs. Two cases of soil nailing technology aimed at stabilising slopes beneath old buildings in Poland are presented in this paper. The first concerns application of this technology to repair a retaining wall supporting the base of the dam at the historic hydroelectric power plant in Rutki. The second regards a concept of improving the slope of the Castle Hill in Sandomierz. An analysis of the slope stability for the latter case, using stabilisation technique with the piling system and soil nailing was performed. Some advantages of soil nailing especially for protection of historical buildings, are also underlined. And, the main results of an economic comparison analysis are additionally presented.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Detoxification of wood preserving waste under ambient, enhanced and chemical pretreatment conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, M.S.; Brown, K.W.; Dale, B.E.; Donnelly, K.C.; He, L.Y.; Markiewicz, K.V. [Texas A and M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Detoxification of pentachlorophenol-containing wood preserving waste was monitored under ambient, enhanced and chemical pretreatment conditions for genotoxicity and parent compound removal. Samples were collected throughout the treatment periods and sequentially extracted with dichloromethane and methanol with the Tecator Soxtec apparatus. The organic extracts were analyzed on GC/ECD and GC/MS. The extract mutagenic and genotoxic potentials were evaluated with and without metabolic activation with the Salmonella Microsomal and E. coli Prophage Induction assays. The Salmonella mutagenic responses of extracts from Weswood soil amended with wood preserving waste and treated under ambient conditions were 2.0, 34.6 and 2.4 times greater than the solvent control on days 0, 540 and 1,200 respectively. Organic extracts of soil amended with wood preserving waste and treated under enhanced conditions in a solid-phase rotating drum bioreactor had mutagenic potentials of 3.4, 4.9 and 3.5 on days 0, 14 and 30, respectively. Extracts from wood preserving waste sludge treated with potassium polyethylene glycol were shown to have mutagenic potentials of 2.8, 6.1 and 3.8 at 0, 10 and 30 minutes. The results indicate that the initial products of the wood preserving waste detoxification under all treatment conditions appear to have greater genotoxic potentials than the starting material. The results also suggest that a more rapid detoxification occurs under enhanced and chemical pretreatment conditions.

  5. Soil survey of Solid Waste Storage Area 6

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lietzke, D.A.; Lee, S.Y.

    1986-06-01

    An intensive soil survey was made of Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) at a scale of 1:1200. The amount of chemical weathering, the thickness of upland soils, and the depth to unoxidized rock are dependent on slope gradient, water-flow pathways, degree of rock fracturing, and the extent of soil and rock erosion by late Pleistocene and Holocene geomorphic processes. Foot-slope landforms have generally concave slope shapes where sediment accumulates. Colluvium stratigraphy exhibits at least one lithologic discontinuity, but there may be two discontinuities preserved in some thicker colluvia. One or more paleosols, either complete or partially truncated, are preserved in these concave landforms. Alluvial soils were not examined in detail but were separated from colluvial soils because of their wetness. A small area of ancient alluvium was located on a stable upland summit that formed the highest elevation in SWSA-6. On the nearly level summit, a thin loess cap was preserved on the older alluvial soil. Upland and colluvial soils are all highly leached and strongly acid even though they are formed from a calcareous parent rock. The highly fractured rock, being relatively permeable, has been leached free of carbonates in the upper levels so that there is a wide pH gradient from the surface downward. Most of the soils were classified as Ultisols, with minimal areas of Alfisols, Inceptisols, and Entisols. Based on the soil survey, representative landforms and soils will be selected to study physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of the soil and weathered rock. Those properties will be used to predict both the amount and duration of leachate filtration and purification in downward migration to the water table or lateral migration through colluvial and alluvial soils to ground-water seeps

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Using Mid Infrared Spectroscopy to Predict the Decomposability of Soil Organic Matter Stored in Arctic Tundra Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The large amounts of organic matter stored in permafrost-region soils are preserved in a relatively undecomposed state by the cold and wet environmental conditions limiting decomposer activity. With pending climate changes and the potential for warming of Arctic soils, there is a need to better unde...

  2. Biochar for soil fertility and natural carbon sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostad, C.E.; Rutherford, D.W.

    2011-01-01

    Biochar is charcoal (similar to chars generated by forest fires) that is made for incorporation into soils to increase soil fertility while providing natural carbon sequestration. The incorporation of biochar into soils can preserve and enrich soils and also slow the rate at which climate change is affecting our planet. Studies on biochar, such as those cited by this report, are applicable to both fire science and soil science.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Overview of established and emerging treatment technologies for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at wood preserving facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shearon, M.D.

    1992-01-01

    The contamination of soil and groundwater by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is common to wood preserving facilities and manufactured gas plants. Since the inception of RCRA and CERCLA, much attention has been focused upon the remediation of both active and defunct wood preserving facilities. The experiences gleaned from the use of proven technologies, and more importantly, the lessons being learned in the trials of emerging technologies on creosote-derived PAH clean-ups at wood preserving sites, should have direct bearing on the clean-up of similar contaminants at MGP sites. In this paper, a review of several remedial actions using waste removal/disposal, on-site incineration, and bioremediation will be presented. Additionally, emerging technologies for the treatment of PAH-contaminated soil and water will be reviewed. Lastly, recent information on risk assessment results for creosote sites and treated PAH waste will be discussed

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Possible Association of Ferrous Phosphates and Ferric Sulfates in S-rich Soil on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J.; Schroeder, C.; Haderlein, S.

    2012-12-01

    -ray diffraction. Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy measurements to compare to MER miniature thermal emission spectrometer data are planned. We observed differences depending on the heat source during evaporation. The closest match to Martian data on the basis of Mössbauer spectra was achieved with a suspension evaporated at 80°C on a hot plate, i.e. heated from below with a temperature gradient in the bottle. The Fe2+/FeT ratio matched, and ferrous phases were all phosphate. When heated in a water bath, i.e. without a temperature gradient in the bottle, Fe2+/FeT ratios increased and ferrous sulfates precipitated also. These results indicate that the Martian light-toned S-rich deposits formed by evaporation on the surface where temperature gradients would be expected rather than underground. They confirm that ferrous phosphate/ferric sulfate associations are possible on Mars and could be preserved in the oxygen-free Martian atmosphere. References: [1] Morris et al., J.Geophys. Res. 111 (2006) E02S13; [2] Ming et al., J. Geophys. Res. 111 (2006) E02S12; [3] Schröder et al., GSA Annual Meeting 2008, Paper No. 171-3.

  10. 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...

  11. Electrodialytic remediation of suspended soil – Comparison of two different soil fractions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Tian Ran; Ottosen, Lisbeth M.; Jensen, Pernille Erland

    2012-01-01

    Electrodialytic remediation (EDR) can be used for removal of heavy metals from suspended soil, which allows for the soil remediation to be a continuous process. The present paper focused on the processing parameters for remediation of a soil polluted with Cu and As from wood preservation. Six...... electrodialytic treatments lasting from 5 to 22 days with different liquid to solid ratio (L/S) and current intensity were conducted. Among treatments, the highest removal was obtained from the soil fines with 5mA current at L/S 3.5 after 22 days where 96% of Cu and 64% of As were removed. Comparing the removal...... from the original soil and the soil fines in experiments with identical charge transportation, higher removal efficiency was observed from the soil fines. Constant current with 5mA could be maintained at L/S 3.5 for the soil fines while not for the original soil. Doubling current to 10mA could...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. PHYTOREMEDIATION OF SOILS CONTAMINATED WITH WOOD PRESERVATIVES: GREENHOUSE AND FIELD EVALUATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phytoremediation was evaluated as a potential treatment for the creosote-contaminated surface soil at the McCormick and Baxter (M&B) Superfund Site in Portland, OR. Soil a the M&B site is contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP) and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Eight indivi...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. The Rusty Sink: Iron Promotes the Preservation of Organic Matter in Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalonde, K. M.; Mucci, A.; Moritz, A.; Ouellet, A.; Gelinas, Y.

    2011-12-01

    The biogeochemical cycles of iron (Fe) and organic carbon (OC) are strongly interlinked. In oceanic waters, organic ligands have been shown to control the concentration of dissolved Fe [1], whereas in soils, solid Fe phases provide a sheltering and preservative effect for organic matter [2]. Until now however, the role of iron in the preservation of OC in sediments has not been clearly established. Here we show that 21.5 ± 8.6% of the OC in sediments is directly bound to reactive iron phases, which promote the preservation of OC in sediments. Iron-bound OC represents a global mass of 19 to 45 × 10^15 g of OC in surface marine sediments. This pool of OC is different from the rest of sedimentary OC, with 13C and nitrogen-enriched organic matter preferentially bound to Fe which suggests that biochemical fractionation occurs with OC-Fe binding. Preferential binding also affects the recovery of high molecular weight lipid biomarkers and acidic lignin oxidation products, changing the environmental message of proxies derived from these biomarkers. [1] Johnson, K. S., Gordon, R. M. & Coale, K. H. What controls dissolved iron in the world ocean? Marine Chemistry 57, 137-161 (1997). [2] Kaiser, K. & Guggenberger, G. The role of DOM sorption to mineral surfaces in the preservation of organic matter in soils. Organic Geochemistry 31, 711-725 (2000).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. High Throughput Sequencing to Detect Differences in Methanotrophic Methylococcaceae and Methylocystaceae in Surface Peat, Forest Soil, and Sphagnum Moss in Cranesville Swamp Preserve, West Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Evan; Nolan, Edward J.; Dillard, Zachary W.; Dague, Ryan D.; Semple, Amanda L.; Wentzell, Wendi L.

    2015-01-01

    Northern temperate forest soils and Sphagnum-dominated peatlands are a major source and sink of methane. In these ecosystems, methane is mainly oxidized by aerobic methanotrophic bacteria, which are typically found in aerated forest soils, surface peat, and Sphagnum moss. We contrasted methanotrophic bacterial diversity and abundances from the (i) organic horizon of forest soil; (ii) surface peat; and (iii) submerged Sphagnum moss from Cranesville Swamp Preserve, West Virginia, using multiplex sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA (V3 region) gene amplicons. From ~1 million reads, >50,000 unique OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units), 29 and 34 unique sequences were detected in the Methylococcaceae and Methylocystaceae, respectively, and 24 potential methanotrophs in the Beijerinckiaceae were also identified. Methylacidiphilum-like methanotrophs were not detected. Proteobacterial methanotrophic bacteria constitute Sphagnum moss) or co-occurred in both Sphagnum moss and peat. This study provides insights into the structure of methanotrophic communities in relationship to habitat type, and suggests that peat and Sphagnum moss can influence methanotroph community structure and biogeography. PMID:27682082

  6. 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

  7. Soil biota community structure and abundance under agricultural intensification and extensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Postma-Blaauw, M.B.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Bloem, J.; Faber, J.H.; Brussaard, L.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of agricultural intensification and extensification on soil biota communities is useful in order to preserve and restore biological diversity in agricultural soils and enhance the role of soil biota in agroecosystem functioning. Over four consecutive years, we investigated

  8. The Preservation and Detection of Organic Matter within Jarosite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, J. M. T.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; McAdam, A.; Andrejkovicova, S. C.; Knudson, C. A.; Wong, G. M.; Millan, M.; Freissinet, C.; Szopa, C.; Li, X.; Bower, D. M.

    2017-12-01

    Since its arrival at Mt. Sharp in 2014 the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has been examining the mountain's lower stratigraphy, which shows a progression from clay-bearing to sulfate-bearing strata. Clay minerals are known to be effective long-term preservers of organic matter [1], but it is important to also consider the potential for Martian sulfate minerals to host organic molecules. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on board the rover uses pyrolysis to liberate organic fragments from sampled materials [2]. However, the surface of Mars hosts widespread oxychlorine phases, which thermally decompose to release oxygen and chlorine that can degrade and destroy organic signals [3]. Francois et al. (2016) demonstrated that synthetic magnesium sulfate can incorporate phthalic acid and protect it from oxychlorine phases during pyrolysis [4]. Magnesium sulfate as well as calcium sulfate and jarosite have all been observed by instruments on the rover. The addition of organic standards to the starting materials in jarosite synthesis reactions has conclusively demonstrated that jarosite can incorporate organic molecules. The samples were analyzed by SAM-like evolved gas analysis (EGA) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and the influence of perchlorates assessed. Jarosite has been observed by multiple missions to the Martian surface and from orbit, thus the probability of future organic detection missions encountering the mineral is high. Samples from this study were examined by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, which will be utilized by the ExoMars rover and Mars 2020 rover respectively. The data inform the sampling and analysis strategies for sulfate-rich regions of Mars for present and future organic-detection missions. [1] Farmer & Des Marais (1999) JGR: Planets 104, [2] Mahaffy et al., (2012) Space Science Reviews 170 [3] Glavin et al., (2013) JGR: Planets 118 [4] Francois et al., (2016) JGR

  9. Performance of copper-based wood preservatives in soil bed exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stan T. Lebow; Thomas Nilsson; Jeffrey J. Morrell

    Copper-based biocides are widely used to protect wood from biological attack in a variety of environments. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is the dominant copper-based preservative for wood protection (J. T. MICKLEWRIGHT, 1989). First developed in India in the 1930s, CCA contains a very effective combination of materials. Copper provides protection against most...

  10. 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.

  11. 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 and separated from the effects of packing and hydration by measuring the samples as loose powders, packed powders, cemented materials, and disaggregated materials. The results show that the presence of particulate sulfate is best observed in the 4-5 μm region. Soils cemented with sulfate exhibit a pronounced restrahlen band between 8 and 9 μm as well as well-defined absorptions in the 4-5 μm region. Cementation effects are distinct from packing effects and disaggregation of cemented samples rapidly diminishes the strength of the restrahlen bands. The results of this study show that sulfate in loose materials is more detectable in the near infrared (4-5 μm) than in the thermal infrared (8-9 μm). However, cemented materials are easily distinguished from loose mixtures in the thermal infrared because of the high values of their absorption coefficient in this region. Together these results suggest that both wavelength regions are important for determining the spatial extent and physical form of sulfates on the surface of Mars.

  12. Soil Degradation, Land Scarcity and Food Security: Reviewing a Complex Challenge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziano Gomiero

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil health, along with water supply, is the most valuable resource for humans, as human life depends on the soil’s generosity. Soil degradation, therefore, poses a threat to food security, as it reduces yield, forces farmers to use more inputs, and may eventually lead to soil abandonment. Unfortunately, the importance of preserving soil health appears to be overlooked by policy makers. In this paper, I first briefly introduce the present situation concerning agricultural production, natural resources, soil degradation, land use and the challenge ahead, to show how these issues are strictly interwoven. Then, I define soil degradation and present a review of its typologies and estimates at a global level. I discuss the importance of preserving soil capital, and its relationship to human civilization and food security. Trends concerning the availability of arable agricultural land, different scenarios, and their limitations, are analyzed and discussed. The possible relation between an increase in a country’s GNP, population and future availability of arable land is also analyzed, using the World Bank’s database. I argue that because of the many sources of uncertainty in the data, and the high risks at stake, a precautionary approach should be adopted when drawing scenarios. The paper ends with a discussion on the key role of preserving soil organic matter, and the need to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. I also argue that both our relation with nature and natural resources and our lifestyle need to be reconsidered.

  13. Martian seismicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goins, N.R.; Lazarewicz, A.R.

    1979-01-01

    During the Viking mission to Mars, the seismometer on Lander II collected approximately 0.24 Earth years of observations data, excluding periods of time dominated by wind-induced Lander vibration. The ''quiet-time'' data set contains no confirmed seismic events. A proper assessment of the significance of this fact requires quantitative estimates of the expected detection rate of the Viking seismometer. The first step is to calculate the minimum magnitude event detectable at a given distance, including the effects of geometric spreading, anelastic attenuation, seismic signal duration, seismometer frequency response, and possible poor ground coupling. Assuming various numerical quantities and a Martian seismic activity comparable to that of intraplate earthquakes, the appropriate integral gives an expected annual detection rate of 10 events, nearly all of which are local. Thus only two to three events would be expected in the observational period presently on hand and the lack of observed events is not in gross contradiction to reasonable expectations. Given the same assumptions, a seismometer 20 times more sensitive than the present instrument would be expected to detect about 120 events annually

  14. Preservation Benefits Geoscientific Investigations Across the Nation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, L. A.; Latysh, N.

    2017-12-01

    Since 2005, the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has distributed financial grants to state geological surveys to preserve, archive, and make available valuable geoscientific samples and data to researchers and the public. States have cataloged and preserved materials that include geophysical logs, geotechnical reports, fragile historical documents, maps, geologic samples, and legacy aerial and field-investigation photographs. Approximately 3 million metadata records describing preserved data and artifacts are cataloged in the National Digital Catalog, a component of the USGS ScienceBase data management infrastructure. Providing a centralized domain in the National Digital Catalog for uniformly described records has enabled discovery of important geoscientific assets across the Nation. Scientific investigations continue to be informed by preserved materials and data. Tennessee Geological Survey's preserved collection of historical documents describing coal mining activities in the State was used to identify vulnerable areas overlying abandoned underground coal mines, which caused surface collapses and sinkholes in populated areas. Missouri Geological Survey's preserved collection of legacy field notebooks was used to identify thousands of abandoned mines, many of which have significant soil or groundwater lead contamination and are located in areas that now have residential development. The information enabled the evaluation of risk to human health, environment, and infrastructure and identification of needed remedial actions. Information in the field notebooks also assisted the Missouri Department of Transportation responding to highway collapses and assessing collapse potential in abandoned coal mining lands. Digitization of natural gamma ray logs allowed Minnesota Geological Survey staff to directly access well data in the field, accelerating the ability to address geoscientific questions

  15. Calcium Solubility and Cation Exchange Properties in Zeoponic Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiersdorfer, Raymond E.

    1999-01-01

    An important aspect of a regenerative life support system at a Lunar or Martian outpost is the ability to produce food. Essential plant nutrients, as well as a solid support substrate, can be provided by: (1) treated Lunar or Martian regolith; (2) a synthetic soil or (3) some combination of both. A synthetic soil composed of ammonium- and potassium-saturated chinoptlolite (a zeolite mineral) and apatite, can provide slow-release fertilization of plants via dissolution and ion-exchange reactions. Previous equilibrium studies (Beiersdorfer, 1997) on mixtures of synthetic hydroxyapatite and saturated-clinoptilolite indicate that the concentrations of macro-nutrients such as ammonium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are a function of the ratio of chinoptilolite to apatite in the sample and to the ratio of potassium to ammonium on the exchange sites in the clinoptilolite. Potassium, ammonium, phosphorous, and magnesium are available to plants at sufficient levels. However, calcium is deficient, due to the high degree of calcium adsorption by the clinoptilolite. Based on a series of batch-equilibration experiments, this calcium deficiency can be reduced by (1) treating the clinoptilolite with CaNO3 or (2) adding a second Ca-bearing mineral (calcite, dolomite or wollastonite) to the soil. Treating the Cp with CaNO3 results in increased Ca in solution, decreased P in solution and decreased NH4 in solution. Concentrations of K were not effected by the CaNO3 treatment. Additions of Cal, Dol and Wol changed the concentrations of Ca and P in solution in a systematic fashion. Cal has the greatest effect, Dol the least and Wol is intermediate. The changes are consistent with changes expected for a common ion effect with Ca. Higher concentrations of Ca in solution with added Cal, Dol or Wol do not result in changes in K or NH4 concentrations.

  16. Boron enrichment in martian clay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Stephenson

    Full Text Available We have detected a concentration of boron in martian clay far in excess of that in any previously reported extra-terrestrial object. This enrichment indicates that the chemistry necessary for the formation of ribose, a key component of RNA, could have existed on Mars since the formation of early clay deposits, contemporary to the emergence of life on Earth. Given the greater similarity of Earth and Mars early in their geological history, and the extensive disruption of Earth's earliest mineralogy by plate tectonics, we suggest that the conditions for prebiotic ribose synthesis may be better understood by further Mars exploration.

  17. Thermal Evolution and Crystallisation Regimes of the Martian Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, C. J.; Pommier, A.

    2015-12-01

    Though it is accepted that Mars has a sulfur-rich metallic core, its chemical and physical state as well as its time-evolution are still unconstrained and debated. Several lines of evidence indicate that an internal magnetic field was once generated on Mars and that this field decayed around 3.7-4.0 Gyrs ago. The standard model assumes that this field was produced by a thermal (and perhaps chemical) dynamo operating in the Martian core. We use this information to construct parameterized models of the Martian dynamo in order to place constraints on the thermochemical evolution of the Martian core, with particular focus on its crystallization regime. Considered compositions are in the FeS system, with S content ranging from ~10 and 16 wt%. Core radius, density and CMB pressure are varied within the errors provided by recent internal structure models that satisfy the available geodetic constraints (planetary mass, moment of inertia and tidal Love number). We also vary the melting curve and adiabat, CMB heat flow and thermal conductivity. Successful models are those that match the dynamo cessation time and fall within the bounds on present-day CMB temperature. The resulting suite of over 500 models suggest three possible crystallization regimes: growth of a solid inner core starting at the center of the planet; freezing and precipitation of solid iron (Fe- snow) from the core-mantle boundary (CMB); and freezing that begins midway through the core. Our analysis focuses on the effects of core properties that are expected to be constrained during the forthcoming Insight mission.

  18. Biocide Runoff from Building Facades: Degradation Kinetics in Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollmann, Ulla E; Fernández-Calviño, David; Brandt, Kristian K; Storgaard, Morten S; Sanderson, Hans; Bester, Kai

    2017-04-04

    Biocides are common additives in building materials. In-can and film preservatives in polymer-resin render and paint, as well as wood preservatives are used to protect facade materials from microbial spoilage. Biocides leach from the facade material with driving rain, leading to highly polluted runoff water (up to several mg L -1 biocides) being infiltrated into the soil surrounding houses. In the present study the degradation rates in soil of 11 biocides used for the protection of building materials were determined in laboratory microcosms. The results show that some biocides are degraded rapidly in soil (e.g., isothiazolinones: T 1/2 soils; thus, rainfall events control how often new input to the soil occurs. Time intervals between rainfall events in Northern Europe are shorter than degradation half-lives even for many rapidly degraded biocides. Consequently, residues of some biocides are likely to be continuously present due to repeated input and most biocides can be considered as "pseudo-persistent"-contaminants in this context. This was verified by (sub)urban soil screening, where concentrations of up to 0.1 μg g -1 were detected for parent compounds as well as terbutryn degradation products in soils below biocide treated facades.

  19. Optimization of preservation activities and preservation engineering (1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aoki, Takayuki; Mimaki, Hidehito; Oda, Mitsuyuki

    2004-01-01

    In order to deal with the optimization of preservation activities and 'preservation engineering' which makes it possible, the relation between general society and preservation, the content and the structure of preservation activities, and the viewpoint and the approach of the optimization of the preventive preservation are described. The optimization of the preventive preservation is shown respectively in the four stages of planning, implementation, result evaluation and countermeasure. (K. Kato)

  20. 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.

  1. Ammonium citrate as enhancement for electrodialytic soil remediation and investigation of soil solution during the process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dias-Ferreira, Celia; Kirkelund, Gunvor Marie; Ottosen, Lisbeth M.

    2015-01-01

    Seven electrodialytic experiments were conducted using ammonium citrate as enhancing agent to remediate copper and chromium-contaminated soil from a wood-preservation site. The purpose was to investigate the effect of current density (0.2, 1.0 and 1.5 mA cm−2), concentration of enhancing agent (0...... to remediate metal polluted soils at neutral to alkaline pH by choosing a good enhancement solution....

  2. Soil sealing degree as factor influencing urban soil contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mendyk Łukasz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study was to determine role of soil sealing degree as the factor influencing soil contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs. The study area included four sampling sites located within the administrative boundaries of the Toruń city, Poland. Sampling procedure involved preparing soil pits representing three examples of soil sealing at each site: non-sealed soil as a control one (I and two degrees of soil sealing: semi-pervious surface (II and totally impervious surface (III. Together with basic properties defined with standard procedures (particle size distribution, pH, LOI, content of carbonates content of selected PAHs was determined by dichloromethane extraction using gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS. Obtained results show that urban soils in the city of Toruń are contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Soil sealing degree has a strong influence on the soil contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Totally sealed soils are better preserved from atmospheric pollution including PAHs. Combustion of grass/wood/coal was the main source of determined PAHs content in examined soils.

  3. MetNet - In situ observational Network and Orbital platform to investigate the Martian environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Leinonen, Jussi; Merikallio, Sini; Paton, Mark; Haukka, Harri; Polkko, Jouni

    2007-09-01

    MetNet Mars Mission is an in situ observational network and orbital platform mission to investigate the Martian environment and it has been proposed to European Space Agency in response to Call for proposals for the first planning cycle of Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 D/SCI/DJS/SV/val/21851. The MetNet Mars Mission is to be implemented in collaboration with ESA, FMI, LA, IKI and the payload providing science teams. The scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy 16 MetNet Landers (MNLs) on the Martian surface by using inflatable descent system structures accompanied by an atmospheric sounder and data relay onboard the MetNet Orbiter (MNO), which is based on ESA Mars Express satellite platform. The MNLs are attached on the three sides of the satellite and most of the MNLs are deployed to Mars separately a few weeks prior to the arrival to Mars. The MetNet Orbiter will perform continuous atmospheric soundings thus complementing the accurate in situ observations at the Martian ground produced by the MetNet observation network, as well as the orbiter will serve as the primary data relay between the MetNet Landers and the Earth. The MNLs are equipped with a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterisation of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatological cycles, as well as interior investigations, require simultaneous in situ meteorological, seismic and magnetic measurements from networks of stations on the Martian surface. MetNet Mars Mission will also provide a crucial support for the safety of large landing missions in general and manned Mars missions in particular. Accurate knowledge of atmospheric conditions and weather data is essential to guarantee safe landings of the forthcoming Mars mission elements.

  4. Backscattering Moessbauer spectroscopy of Martian dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsen, P.; Madsen, M. B.; Binau, C. S.; Goetz, W.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Hviid, S. F.; Kinch, K. M.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Leer, K.; Madsen, D. E.; Merrison, J.; Olsen, M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2005-01-01

    We report on the determination of the mineralogy of the atmospherically suspended Martian dust particles using backscattering 57 Fe Moessbauer spectroscopy on dust accumulated onto the magnets onboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. The spectra can be interpreted in terms of minerals of igneous origin, and shows only limited, if any, amounts of secondary minerals that may have formed in the presence of liquid water. These findings suggest that the dust has formed in a dry environment over long time in the history of the planet.

  5. Development of a Computerized Penetrometer System for Hazardous Waste Site Soils Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-08-30

    soil to prevent contaminant movement . o To preserve the standard electric cone geometry, i.e., 600 point, 1.4-in. (3.56-cm) OD, 1.54-in. 2 (9.9-cm2...considerable soil movements without cracking or rupturing. The second objective was to preserve the ASTM standard electric cone exterior geometry so as to...electrokinesis, and telluric current phenomena. Of these, the electrochemical and electrokinesis phenomena typically produce the largest voltage magnitude (on

  6. Tracking the Martian Mantle Signature in Olivine-Hosted Melt Inclusions of Basaltic Shergottites Yamato 980459 and Tissint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, T. J.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Usui, T.; Moriwaki, R.; Economos, R.; Schmitt, A.; McKeegan, K.

    2014-01-01

    The Martian shergottite meteorites are basaltic to lherzolitic igneous rocks that represent a period of relatively young mantle melting and volcanism, approximately 600-150 Ma (e.g. [1,2]). Their isotopic and elemental composition has provided important constraints on the accretion, evolution, structure and bulk composition of Mars. Measurements of the radiogenic isotope and trace element concentrations of the shergottite meteorite suite have identified two end-members; (1) incompatible trace element enriched, with radiogenic Sr and negative epsilon Nd-143, and (2) incompatible traceelement depleted, with non-radiogenic Sr and positive epsilon 143-Nd(e.g. [3-5]). The depleted component represents the shergottite martian mantle. The identity of the enriched component is subject to debate, and has been proposed to be either assimilated ancient martian crust [3] or from enriched domains in the martian mantle that may represent a late-stage magma ocean crystallization residue [4,5]. Olivine-phyric shergottites typically have the highest Mg# of the shergottite group and represent near-primitive melts having experienced minimal fractional crystallization or crystal accumulation [6]. Olivine-hosted melt inclusions (MI) in these shergottites represent the most chemically primitive components available to understand the nature of their source(s), melting processes in the martian mantle, and origin of enriched components. We present trace element compositions of olivine hosted melt inclusions in two depleted olivinephyric shergottites, Yamato 980459 (Y98) and Tissint (Fig. 1), and the mesostasis glass of Y98, using Secondary Ionization Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). We discuss our data in the context of understanding the nature and origin of the depleted martian mantle and the emergence of the enriched component.

  7. Cosmogenic nuclides in the Martian surface: constraints for sample recovery and transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Englert, P.A.J.

    1988-01-01

    Stable and radioactive cosmogenic nuclides and radiation damage effects such as cosmic ray tracks can provide information on the surface history of Mars. A recent overview on developments in cosmogenic nuclide research for historical studies of predominantly extraterrestrial materials was published previously. The information content of cosmogenic nuclides and radiation damage effects produced in the Martian surface is based on the different ways of interaction of the primary galactic and solar cosmic radiation (GCR, SCR) and the secondary particle cascade. Generally the kind and extent of interactions as seen in the products depend on the following factors: (1) composition, energy and intensity of the primary SCR and GCR; (2) composition, energy and intensity of the GCR-induced cascade of secondary particles; (3) the target geometry, i.e., the spatial parameters of Martian surface features with respect to the primary radiation source; (4) the target chemistry, i.e., the chemical composition of the Martian surface at the sampling location down to the minor element level or lower; and (5) duration of the exposure. These factors are not independent of each other and have a major influence on sample taking strategies and techniques

  8. Subcritical Water Extraction of Amino Acids from Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amashukeli, Xenia; Pelletier, Christine C.; Kirby, James P.; Grunthaner, Frank J.

    2007-01-01

    Amino acids are considered organic molecular indicators in the search for extant and extinct life in the Solar System. Extraction of these molecules from a particulate solid matrix, such as Martian regolith, will be critical to their in situ detection and analysis. The goals of this study were to optimize a laboratory amino acid extraction protocol by quantitatively measuring the yields of extracted amino acids as a function of liquid water temperature and sample extraction time and to compare the results to the standard HCl vapor- phase hydrolysis yields for the same soil samples. Soil samples from the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert ( Martian regolith analog) were collected during a field study in the summer of 2005. The amino acids ( alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, serine, and valine) chosen for analysis were present in the samples at concentrations of 1 - 70 parts- per- billion. Subcritical water extraction efficiency was examined over the temperature range of 30 - 325 degrees C, at pressures of 17.2 or 20.0 MPa, and for water- sample contact equilibration times of 0 - 30 min. None of the amino acids were extracted in detectable amounts at 30 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), suggesting that amino acids are too strongly bound by the soil matrix to be extracted at such a low temperature. Between 150 degrees C and 250 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), the extraction efficiencies of glycine, alanine, and valine were observed to increase with increasing water temperature, consistent with higher solubility at higher temperatures, perhaps due to the decreasing dielectric constant of water. Amino acids were not detected in extracts collected at 325 degrees C ( at 20.0 MPa), probably due to amino acid decomposition at this temperature. The optimal subcritical water extraction conditions for these amino acids from Atacama Desert soils were achieved at 200 degrees C, 17.2 MPa, and a water- sample contact equilibration time of 10 min.

  9. Advanced concept for a crewed mission to the martian moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Budzyń, Dorota; Burgoyne, Hayden; Fries, Dan; Grulich, Maria; Heizmann, Sören; Jethani, Henna; Lapôtre, Mathieu; Roos, Tobias; Castillo, Encarnación Serrano; Schermann, Marcel; Vieceli, Rhiannon; Wilson, Lee; Wynard, Christopher

    2017-10-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design of the IMaGInE (Innovative Mars Global International Exploration) Mission. The mission's objectives are to deliver a crew of four astronauts to the surface of Deimos and perform a robotic exploration mission to Phobos. Over the course of the 343 day mission during the years 2031 and 2032, the crew will perform surface excursions, technology demonstrations, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of the Martian moons, as well as site reconnaissance for future human exploration of Mars. This mission design makes use of an innovative hybrid propulsion concept (chemical and electric) to deliver a relatively low-mass reusable crewed spacecraft (approximately 100 mt) to cis-martian space. The crew makes use of torpor which minimizes launch payload mass. Green technologies are proposed as a stepping stone towards minimum environmental impact space access. The usage of beamed energy to power a grid of decentralized science stations is introduced, allowing for large scale characterization of the Martian environment. The low-thrust outbound and inbound trajectories are computed through the use of a direct method and a multiple shooting algorithm that considers various thrust and coast sequences to arrive at the final body with zero relative velocity. It is shown that the entire mission is rooted within the current NASA technology roadmap, ongoing scientific investments and feasible with an extrapolated NASA Budget. The presented mission won the 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.

  10. Micro-Raman spectroscopy of plagioclase and maskelynite in Martian meteorites: Evidence of progressive shock metamorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Fritz,Jorg; Greshake,Ansgar; Stoffler,Dieter

    2005-01-01

    We present the first systematic Micro-Raman spectroscopic investigation of plagioclase of different degree of shock metamorphism in Martian meteorites. The equilibrium shock pressure of all plagioclase phases of seventeen unpaired Martian meteorites was determined by measuring the shock-induced reduction of the refractive index. Systematic variations in the recorded Raman spectra of the plagioclase phases correlate with increasing shock pressure. In general, the shock induced deformation of t...

  11. Solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere observed by Mars Global Surveyor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-S. Wang

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Electron density profiles in the Martian ionosphere observed by the radio occultation experiment on board Mars Global Surveyor have been analyzed to determine if the densities are influenced by the solar wind. Evidence is presented that the altitude of the maximum ionospheric electron density shows a positive correlation to the energetic proton flux in the solar wind. The solar wind modulation of the Martian ionosphere can be attributed to heating of the neutral atmosphere by the solar wind energetic proton precipitation. The modulation is observed to be most prominent at high solar zenith angles. It is argued that this is consistent with the proposed modulation mechanism.

  12. Optimization of preservation activities and preservation engineering (2)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aoki, Takayuki; Mimaki, Hidehito; Oda, Mitsuyuki

    2004-01-01

    In order to deal with the optimization of preservation activities and 'preservation engineering' which makes it possible, the viewpoint and the approach of the optimization of the ex post facto preservation and the content to be possessed in 'preservation engineering' are described. The optimization of the ex post facto preservation is shown respectively in the four stages of planning, implementation, result evaluation and countermeasure. (K. Kato)

  13. UV, visible, and near-IR reflectivity data for magnetic soils/rocks from Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vempati, R. K.; Morris, R. V.; Lauer, H. V., Jr.; Coey, J. M. D.

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to obtain UV, visible, and near-IR reflectivity spectra for several magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks and compare them to corresponding data for Mars to see if these materials satisfy both magnetic and spectral constraints for Mars. Selected physical properties of the magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks are presented. In general, the spectral features resulting from ferric crystal-field transitions are much better defined in the spectra of the magnetic Brazilian soils/rocks than in Martian spectral data. Presumably, this results from a relatively higher proportion of crystalline ferric oxides for the former. The apparent masking of the spectral signature of maghemite by hematite or goethite for the Brazilian samples implies the magnetic and spectral constraints for Mars can be decoupled. That is, maghemite may be present in magnetically-significant but optically-insignificant amounts compared to crystalline hematite.

  14. Iron oxide and hydroxide precipitation from ferrous solutions and its relevance to Martian surface mineralogy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Posey-Dowty, J.; Moskowitz, B.; Crerar, D.; Hargraves, R.; Tanenbaum, L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments were performed to examine if the ubiquitousness of a weak magnetic component in all Martian surface fines tested with the Viking Landers can be attributed to ferric iron precipitation in aqueous solution under oxidizing conditions at neutral pH. Ferrous solutions were mixed in deionized water and various minerals were added to separate liquid samples. The iron-bearing additives included hematite, goethite, magnetite, maghemite, lepidocrocite and potassium bromide blank at varying concentrations. IR spectroscopic scans were made to identify any precipitates resulting from bubbling oxygen throughout the solutions; the magnetic properties of the precipitates were also examined. The data indicated that the lepidocrocite may have been preferentially precipitated, then aged to maghemite. The process would account for the presumed thin residue of maghemite on the present Martian surface, long after abundant liquid water on the Martian surface vanished. 40 references

  15. Iron oxide and hydroxide precipitation from ferrous solutions and its relevance to Martian surface mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey-Dowty, J.; Moskowitz, B.; Crerar, D.; Hargraves, R.; Tanenbaum, L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments were performed to examine if the ubiquitousness of a weak magnetic component in all Martian surface fines tested with the Viking Landers can be attributed to ferric iron precipitation in aqueous solution under oxidizing conditions at neutral pH. Ferrous solutions were mixed in deionized water and various minerals were added to separate liquid samples. The iron-bearing additives included hematite, goethite, magnetite, maghemite, lepidocrocite and potassium bromide blank at varying concentrations. IR spectroscopic scans were made to identify any precipitates resulting from bubbling oxygen throughout the solutions; the magnetic properties of the precipitates were also examined. The data indicated that the lepidocrocite may have been preferentially precipitated, then aged to maghemite. The process would account for the presumed thin residue of maghemite on the present Martian surface, long after abundant liquid water on the Martian surface vanished.

  16. An Examination of "The Martian" Trajectory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Laura

    2015-01-01

    This analysis was performed to support a request to examine the trajectory of the Hermes vehicle in the novel "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Weir developed his own tool to perform the analysis necessary to provide proper trajectory information for the novel. The Hermes vehicle is the interplanetary spacecraft that shuttles the crew to and from Mars. It is notionally a Nuclear powered vehicle utilizing VASIMR engines for propulsion. The intent of this analysis was the determine whether the trajectory as it was outlined in the novel is consistent with the rules of orbital mechanics.

  17. Martian Surface as Seen by Phoenix

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This anaglyph, acquired by NASA's Phoenix Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on Sol 36, the 36th Martian day of the mission (July 1, 2008), shows a stereoscopic 3D view of a trench informally called 'Snow White' dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. Phoenix's solar panel is seen in the bottom right corner of the image. 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.

  18. A Subsurface Soil Composition and Physical Properties Experiment to Address Mars Regolith Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.; Sims, M.; Economou, T.; Stoker, C.; Wright, I.; Tokano, T.

    2004-01-01

    Previous in-situ measurements of soil-like materials on the surface of Mars, in particular during the on-going Mars Exploration Rover missions, have shown complex relationships between composition, exposure to the surface environment, texture, and local rocks. In particular, a diversity in both compositional and physical properties could be established that is interpreted to be diagnostic of the complex geologic history of the martian surface layer. Physical and chemical properties vary laterally and vertically, providing insight into the composition of rocks from which soils derive, and environmental conditions that led to soil formation. They are central to understanding whether habitable environments existed on Mars in the distant past. An instrument the Mole for Soil Compositional Studies and Sampling (MOCSS) - is proposed to allow repeated access to subsurface regolith on Mars to depths of up to 1.5 meters for in-situ measurements of elemental composition and of physical and thermophysical properties, as well as for subsurface sample acquisition. MOCSS is based on the compact PLUTO (PLanetary Underground TOol) Mole system developed for the Beagle 2 lander and incorporates a small X-ray fluorescence spectrometer within the Mole which is a new development. Overall MOCSS mass is approximately 1.4 kilograms. Taken together, the MOCSS science data support to decipher the geologic history at the landing site as compositional and textural stratigraphy if they exist - can be detected at a number of places if the MOCSS were accommodated on a rover such as MSL. Based on uncovered stratigraphy, the regional sequence of depositional and erosional styles can be constrained which has an impact on understanding the ancient history of the Martian near-surface layer, considering estimates of Mars soil production rates of 0.5... 1.0 meters per billion years on the one hand and Mole subsurface access capability of approximately 1.5 meters. An overview of the MOCSS, XRS

  19. Bright soil units on Mars determined from ISM imaging spectrometer data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murchie, Scott; Mustard, John

    1993-01-01

    The lithology of bright Martian soil provides evidence for chemical and physical processes that have modified the planet's surface. Data from the ISM imaging spectrometer, which observed much of the equatorial region at a spatial resolution of approximately 22 km, cover the NIR wavelength range critical to ascertaining the presence and abundance of Fe-containing phases, hydroxylated silicates, and H2O in the bright soil. ISM data previously have revealed spatial variations in depth of the 3.0-microns H2O absorption suggesting differences in water content, a weak absorption at 2.2 microns indicative of metal-OH in phyllosilicate, and variations in the 1-micron Fe absorption indicative of differences in Fe mineralogy. This paper summarizes first results of a systematic investigation of spectral heterogeneity in bright soils observed by ISM. At least seven 'units' with distinctive properties were discriminated. Comparison of their spatial distributions with Viking data shows that they generally correspond with previously recognized morphologic, color, and thermal features. These correspondences and the units' spectral attributes provide evidence for lithologic differences between the soils in different geologic settings.

  20. Don’t bust the biological soil crust: Preserving and restoring an important desert resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Steve Warren; Larry St. Clair

    2017-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are a complex of microscopic organisms growing on the soil surface in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems. These crusts perform the important role of stabilizing soil and reducing or eliminating water and wind erosion. One of the largest threats to biological soil crusts in the arid and semi-arid areas of the western United States is mechanical...

  1. Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Burgess

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Since humans worldwide obtain more than 99.7% of their food (calories from the land and less than 0.3% from the oceans and aquatic ecosystems, preserving cropland and maintaining soil fertility should be of the highest importance to human welfare. Soil erosion is one of the most serious threats facing world food production. Each year about 10 million ha of cropland are lost due to soil erosion, thus reducing the cropland available for world food production. The loss of cropland is a serious problem because the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization report that two-thirds of the world population is malnourished. Overall, soil is being lost from agricultural areas 10 to 40 times faster than the rate of soil formation imperiling humanity’s food security.

  2. Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V. I.; Petrova, E. V.; Rodin, A. V.

    Particulate component of the Mars atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds strongly affects the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with τ ≈ 0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data (τ = 0.05-0.2) and measurements from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give the typical “clear” optical depth of τ ≈ 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range showing much more transparent atmosphere, on the other side. Also the relationship between τ9 and the visible optical depth is not well constrained experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  3. Long-term Cu stabilization and biomass yields of Giant reed and poplar after adding a biochar, alone or with iron grit, into a contaminated soil from a wood preservation site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oustriere, Nadège; Marchand, Lilian; Lottier, Nathalie; Motelica, Mikael; Mench, Michel

    2017-02-01

    A 2-year pot experiment was carried out to examine the aging effect of biochar (B), alone or combined with iron grit (Z), on Cu stabilization and plant growth in a contaminated soil (964mg Cu kg -1 ) from a wood preservation site. The experiment consisted in 3 soil treatments, either planted with Arundo donax L. (Ad) or Populus nigra L. (Pn): (1) untreated Cu-contaminated soil (Ad, Pn); (2) Unt+1% (w/w) B (AdB, PnB), and (3) Unt+1% B+1% Z (AdBZ, PnBZ). After 22months, the soil pore water (SPW) was sampled and roots and shoots were harvested. The SPW compositions at 3 and 22months were compared, showing that the SPW Cu 2+ concentration increased again in the PnB and PnBZ soils. Cultivation of A. donax enhanced the dissolved organic matter concentration in the SPW, which decreased its Cu 2+ concentration but promoted its total Cu concentration in the Ad and AdB soils. Adding Z with B reduced both SPW Cu 2+ and Cu concentrations in the pots cultivated by A. donax and P. nigra as compared to B alone. The B and BZ treatments did not enhance root and shoot yields of both plant species as compared to the Unt soil but their shoot Cu concentrations were in the range of common values. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. The Martian polar caps: Stability and water transport at low obliquities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, B. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1992-01-01

    The seasonal cycle of water on Mars is regulated by the two polar caps. In the winter hemisphere, the seasonal CO2 deposits at a temperature near 150 K acts as a cold trap to remove water vapor from the atmosphere. When summer returns, water is pumped back into the atmosphere by a number of mechanisms, including release from the receding CO2 frost, diffusion from the polar regolith, and sublimation from a water-ice residual cap. These processes drive an exchange of water vapor between the polar caps that helps shape the Martian climate. Thus, understanding the behavior of the polar caps is important for interpreting the Martian climate both now and at other epochs. Mars' obliquity undergoes large variations over large time scales. As the obliquity decreases, the poles receive less solar energy so that more CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 condenses from the atmosphere onto the poles. It has been suggested that permanent CO2 caps might form at the poles in response to a feedback mechanism existing between the polar cap albedo, the CO2 pressure, and the dust storm frequency. The year-round presence of the CO2 deposits would effectively dry out the atmosphere, while diffusion of water from the regolith would be the only source of water vapor to the atmosphere. We have reviewed the CO2 balance at low obliquity taking into account the asymmetries which make the north and south hemispheres different. Our analysis linked with a numerical model of the polar caps leads us to believe that one summertime cap will always lose its CO2 cover during a Martian year, although we cannot predict which cap this will be. We conclude that significant amounts of water vapor will sublime from the exposed cap during summer, and the Martian atmosphere will support an active water cycle even at low obliquity.

  6. 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…

  7. Plume Mitigation for Mars Terminal Landing: Soil Stabilization Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has led the efforts for lunar and Martian landing site preparation, including excavation, soil stabilization, and plume damage prediction. There has been much discussion of sintering but until our team recently demonstrated it for the lunar case there was little understanding of the serious challenges. Simplistic sintering creates a crumbly, brittle, weak surface unsuitable for a rocket exhaust plume. The goal of this project is to solve those problems and make it possible to land a human class lander on Mars, making terminal landing of humans on Mars possible for the first time.

  8. Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Apatite in Northwest Africa 7034: A Record of the "Intermediate" H-Isotopic Reservoir in the Martian Crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCubbin, F. M.; Barnes, J. J.; Santos, A. R.; Boyce, J. W.; Anand, M.; Franchi, I. A.; Agee, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 and its pairings comprise a regolith breccia with a basaltic bulk composition [1] that yields a better match than any other martian meteorite to visible-infrared reflectance spectra of the martian surface measured from orbit [2]. The composition of the fine-grained matrix within NWA 7034 bears a striking resemblance to the major element composition estimated for the martian crust, with several exceptions. The NWA 7034 matrix is depleted in Fe, Ti, and Cr and enriched in Al, Na, and P [3]. The differences in Al and Fe are the most substantial, but the Fe content of NWA 7034 matrix falls within the range reported for the southern highlands crust [6]. It was previously suggested by [4] that NWA 7034 was sourced from the southern highlands based on the ancient 4.4 Ga ages recorded in NWA 7034/7533 zircons [4, 5]. In addition, the NWA 7034 matrix material is enriched in incompatible trace elements by a factor of 1.2-1.5 [7] relative to estimates of the bulk martian crust. The La/Yb ratio of the bulk martian crust is estimated to be approximately 3 [7], and the La/Yb of the NWA 7034 matrix materials ranges from approximately 3.9 to 4.4 [3, 8], indicating a higher degree of LREE enrichment in the NWA 7034 matrix materials. This elevated La/Yb ratio and enrichment in incompatible lithophile trace elements is consistent with NWA 7034 representing a more geochemically enriched crustal terrain than is represented by the bulk martian crust, which would be expected if NWA 7034 represents the bulk crust from the southern highlands. Given the similarities between NWA 7034 and the martian crust, NWA 7034 may represent an important sample for constraining the composition of the martian crust, particularly the ancient highlands. In the present study, we seek to constrain the H isotopic composition of the martian crust using Cl-rich apatite in NWA 7034. Usui et al., [9] recently proposed that a H isotopic reservoir exists within the martian crust that has

  9. 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 thermal conductivity. A significant conductivity increase (factor 3-8) is observed for bond fractions of 0.01 to 1% in volume. In the 1 to 15% bond fraction domain, the conductivity increases continuously but less intensely (25-100% conductivity increase compared to a 1% bond system). Beyond 15% of cements, the conductivity increases vigorously and the bulk conductivity rapidly approaches that of bedrock. The composition of the cements (i.e. conductivity) has little influence on the bulk thermal inertia of the soil, especially if the volume of bond thermal inertia (200-600 J s(0.5)/sq m/K) has long been hypothesized to be associated with a 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

  10. Habitable periglacial landscapes in martian mid-latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, M.; Wagner, D.; Hauber, E.; de Vera, J.-P.; Schirrmeister, L.

    2012-05-01

    Subsurface permafrost environments on Mars are considered to be zones where extant life could have survived. For the identification of possible habitats it is important to understand periglacial landscape evolution and related subsurface and environmental conditions. Many landforms that are interpreted to be related to ground ice are located in the martian mid-latitudinal belts. This paper summarizes the insights gained from studies of terrestrial analogs to permafrost landforms on Mars. The potential habitability of martian mid-latitude periglacial landscapes is exemplarily deduced for one such landscape, that of Utopia Planitia, by a review and discussion of environmental conditions influencing periglacial landscape evolution. Based on recent calculations of the astronomical forcing of climate changes, specific climate periods are identified within the last 10 Ma when thaw processes and liquid water were probably important for the development of permafrost geomorphology. No periods could be identified within the last 4 Ma which met the suggested threshold criteria for liquid water and habitable conditions. Implications of past and present environmental conditions such as temperature variations, ground-ice conditions, and liquid water activity are discussed with respect to the potential survival of highly-specialized microorganisms known from terrestrial permafrost. We conclude that possible habitable subsurface niches might have been developed in close relation to specific permafrost landform morphology on Mars. These would have probably been dominated by lithoautotrophic microorganisms (i.e. methanogenic archaea).

  11. Implications of Earth analogs to Martian sulfate-filled Fractures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, R. M.; Powers, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    Sulfate-filled fractures in fine-grained sediments on Mars are interpreted to be the result of fluid movement during deep burial. Fractures in the Dewey Lake (aka Quartermaster) Formation of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas are filled with gypsum that is at least partially synsedimentary. Sulfate in the Dewey Lake takes two principal forms: gypsum cement and gypsum (mainly fibrous) that fills fractures ranging from horizontal to vertical. Apertures are mainly mm-scale, though some are > 1 cm. The gypsum is antitaxial, fibrous, commonly approximately perpendicular to the wall rock, and displays suture lines and relics of the wall rock. Direct evidence of synsedimentary, near-surface origin includes gypsum intraclasts, intraclasts that include smaller intraclasts that contain gypsum clasts, intraclasts of gypsum with suture lines, gypsum concentrated in small desiccation cracks, and intraclasts that include fibrous gypsum-filled fractures that terminate at the eroded clast boundary. Dewey Lake fracture fillings suggest that their Martian analogs may also have originated in the shallow subsurface, shortly following the deposition of Martian sediments, in the presence of shallow aquifers.

  12. Probing the Martian Exosphere and Neutral Escape Using Pickup Ions Measured by MAVEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmati, A.; Larson, D. E.; Cravens, T.; Halekas, J. S.; Lillis, R. J.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Thiemann, E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Dunn, P.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Espley, J. R.; Eparvier, F. G.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Soon after the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft started orbiting Mars in September 2014, the SEP (Solar Energetic Particle), SWIA (Solar Wind Ion Analyzer), and STATIC (Supra-Thermal and Thermal Ion Composition) instruments onboard the spacecraft started detecting planetary pickup ions. SEP can measure energetic (>50 keV) oxygen pickup ions, the source of which is the extended hot oxygen exosphere of Mars. Model results show that these pickup ions originate from tens of Martian radii upstream of Mars and are energized by the solar wind motional electric field as they gyrate back towards Mars. SEP is blind to pickup hydrogen, as the low energy threshold for detection of hydrogen in SEP is 20 keV; well above the maximum pickup hydrogen energy, which is four times the solar wind proton energy. SWIA and STATIC, on the other hand, can detect both pickup oxygen and pickup hydrogen with energies below 30 keV and created closer to Mars. During the times when MAVEN is outside the Martian bow shock and in the upstream undisturbed solar wind, the solar wind velocity measured by SWIA and the solar wind (or interplanetary) magnetic field measured by the MAG (magnetometer) instrument can be used to model pickup oxygen and hydrogen fluxes near Mars. Solar wind flux measurements of the SWIA instrument are used in calculating charge-exchange frequencies, and data from the EUVM (Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor) and SWEA (Solar Wind Electron Analyzer) instruments are also used in calculating photo-ionization and electron impact frequencies of neutral species in the Martian exosphere. By comparing SEP, SWIA, and STATIC measured pickup ion fluxes with model results, the Martian thermal hydrogen and hot oxygen neutral densities can be probed outside the bow shock, which would place constraints on estimates of oxygen and hydrogen neutral escape rates. We will present model-data comparisons of pickup ions measured outside the Martian bow shock. Our analysis reveals an

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Chemical Alteration of Soils on Earth as a Function of Precipitation: Insights Into Weathering Processes Relevant to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amundson, R.; Chadwick, O.; Ewing, S.; Sutter, B.; Owen, J.; McKay, C.

    2004-12-01

    Soils lie at the interface of the atmosphere and lithosphere, and the rates of chemical and physical processes that form them hinge on the availability of water. Here we quantify the effect of these processes on soil volume and mass in different rainfall regimes. We then use the results of this synthesis to compare with the growing chemical dataset for soils on Mars in order to identify moisture regimes on Earth that may provide crude analogues for past Martian weathering conditions. In this synthesis, the rates of elemental gains/losses, and corresponding volumetric changes, were compared for soils in nine soil chronosequences (sequences of soils of differing ages) - sequences formed in climates ranging from ~1 to ~4500 mm mean annual precipitation (MAP). Total elemental chemistry of soils and parent materials were determined via XRF, ICP-MS, and/or ICP-OES, and the absolute elemental gains or losses (and volume changes) were determined by normalizing data to an immobile index element. For the chronosequences examined, the initial stages of soil formation (103^ to 104^ yr), regardless of climate, generally show volumetric expansion due to (1) reduction in bulk density by biological/physical turbation, (2) addition of organic matter, (3) accumulation of water during clay mineral synthesis, and/or (4) accumulation of atmospheric salts and dust. Despite large differences in parent materials (basalt, sandstone, granitic alluvium), there was a systematic relationship between long-term (105^ to 106^ yr) volumetric change and rainfall, with an approximate cross-over point between net expansion (and accumulation of atmospheric solutes and dust) and net collapse (net losses of Si, Al, and alkaline earths and alkali metals) between approximately 20 and 100 mm MAP. Recently published geochemical data of soils at Gusev Crater (Gellert et al. 2004. Science 305:829), when normalized to Ti, show apparent net losses of Si and Al that range between 5 and 50% of values relative to

  16. Mapping the Metal Uptake in Plants from Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve - Oral Presentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lo, Allison [SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)

    2015-08-24

    Serpentine soil originates in the Earth’s mantle and contains high concentrations of potentially toxic transition metals. Although serpentine soil limits plant growth, endemic and adapted plants at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, located behind SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, can tolerate these conditions. Serpentine soil and seeds belonging to native California and invasive plants were collected at Jasper Ridge. The seeds were grown hydroponically and on serpentine and potting soil to examine the uptake and distribution of ions in the roots and shoots using synchrotron micro-focused X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The results were used to determine differences between serpentinetolerant plants. Rye grown on potting soil was enriched in Ni, Fe, Mn, and Cr compared to purple needlegrass grown on serpentine soil. Serpentine vegetation equally suppressed the uptake of Mn, Ni, and Fe in the roots and shoots. The uptake of Ca and Mg affected the uptake of other elements such as K, S, and P.

  17. In Situ Detection of Organic Molecules on the Martian Surface With the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) on Exomars 2018

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiang; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Pinnick, Veronica T; van Amerom, Friso H. W.; Danell, Ryan M.; Arevalo, Ricardo D., Jr.; Getty, Stephanie; Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) investigation on the 2018 ExoMars rover will examine the chemical composition of samples acquired from depths of up to two meters below the martian surface, where organics may be protected from radiative and oxidative degradation. The MOMA instrument is centered around a miniaturized linear ion trap (LIT) that facilitates two modes of operation: i) pyrolysisgas chromatography mass spectrometry (pyrGC-MS); and, ii) laser desorptionionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) at ambient Mars pressures. The LIT also enables the structural characterization of complex molecules via complementary analytical capabilities, such as multi-frequency waveforms (i.e., SWIFT) and tandem mass spectrometry (MSMS). When combined with the complement of instruments in the rovers Pasteur Payload, MOMA has the potential to reveal the presence of a wide range of organics preserved in a variety of mineralogical environments, and to begin to understand the structural character and potential origin of those compounds.

  18. Predicting Potential C Mineralization of Tundra Soils Using Spectroscopy Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    The large amounts of organic matter stored in permafrost-region soils are preserved in a relatively undecomposed state by the cold and wet environmental conditions limiting decomposer activity. With pending climate changes and the potential for warming of Arctic soils, there is a need to better unde...

  19. Ionization rates and profiles of electron concentration in Martian atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Komitov, B.; Spasov, S.; Gogoshev, M.

    1981-01-01

    The ionization and vertical profiles of electron concentration in the Martian atmosphere are calculated as functions of the solar zenith angles varying from O deg to 90 deg. A neutral atmospheric model based on direct mass-spectometric measurements from the Viking-1 landing modul is employed in the calculation. The Earth data of the ionization solar flux at the same level of the solar activity and for the month of the Viking-1 measurements reduced for the Mars orbit are used. The numerical result for the photoionization rates and quasi-equilibrium electron-concentration profiles in the upper Martian atmosphere at different solar zenith angles from 0 deg to 100 deg are presented. It is shown that the maxima of both quantities decrease and move towards the upper atmosphere regions. The calculated electron density at the zenith solar angle of 40 deg are compared to Viking-1 experimental data and a good agreement is achieved

  20. 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.

  1. Statistical analysis of influence of soil source on leaching of arsenic and copper from CCA-C treated wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia Lebow; Richard Ziobro; Linda Sites; Tor Schultz; David Pettry; Darrel Nicholas; Stan Lebow; Pascal Kamdem; Roger Fox; Douglas Crawford

    2006-01-01

    Leaching of wood preservatives affects the long-term efficacy and environmental impact of treated wood. Soil properties and wood characteristicscan affectleaching of woad preservatives, but these effects are not well understood. This paper reports a statistical analysis of the effects of soil and wood properties on leaching of arsenic (As) and copper (Cu) from southern...

  2. MODELING THE VARIATIONS OF DOSE RATE MEASURED BY RAD DURING THE FIRST MSL MARTIAN YEAR: 2012–2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Jingnan; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Heber, Bernd; Köhler, Jan; Appel, Jan K.; Böhm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Lohf, Henning; Martin, Cesar [Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel (Germany); Zeitlin, Cary [Southwest Research Institute, Earth, Oceans and Space Department, Durham, NH (United States); Rafkin, Scot; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent [Southwest Research Institute, Space Science and Engineering Division, Boulder, CO (United States); Posner, Arik [NASA Headquarters, Science Mission Directorate, Washington, DC (United States); Brinza, David E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Kahanpää, H. [Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki (Finland); Reitz, Günther, E-mail: guo@physik.uni-kiel.de [Aerospace Medicine, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Köln (Germany)

    2015-09-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), on board Mars Science Laboratory’s (MSL) rover Curiosity, measures the energy spectra of both energetic charged and neutral particles along with the radiation dose rate at the surface of Mars. With these first-ever measurements on the Martian surface, RAD observed several effects influencing the galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) induced surface radiation dose concurrently: (a) short-term diurnal variations of the Martian atmospheric pressure caused by daily thermal tides, (b) long-term seasonal pressure changes in the Martian atmosphere, and (c) the modulation of the primary GCR flux by the heliospheric magnetic field, which correlates with long-term solar activity and the rotation of the Sun. The RAD surface dose measurements, along with the surface pressure data and the solar modulation factor, are analyzed and fitted to empirical models that quantitatively demonstrate how the long-term influences ((b) and (c)) are related to the measured dose rates. Correspondingly, we can estimate dose rate and dose equivalents under different solar modulations and different atmospheric conditions, thus allowing empirical predictions of the Martian surface radiation environment.

  3. Evaluation of Biological and Enzymatic Activity of Soil in a Tropical Dry Forest: Desierto de la Tatacoa (Colombia) with Potential in Mars Terraforming and Other Similar Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno Moreno, A. N.

    2009-12-01

    Desierto de la Tatacoa has been determined to be a tropical dry forest bioma, which is located at 3° 13" N 75° 13" W. It has a hot thermal floor with 440 msnm of altitude; it has a daily average of 28° C, and a maximum of 40° C, Its annual rainfall total can be upwards of 1250 mm. Its solar sheen has a daily average of 5.8 hours and its relative humidity is between 60% and 65%. Therefore, the life forms presents are very scant, and in certain places, almost void. It was realized a completely random sampling of soil from its surface down to 6 inches deep, of zones without vegetation and with soils highly loaded by oxides of iron in order to determine the number of microorganisms per gram and its subsequent identification. It was measured the soil basal respiration. Besides, it was determined enzymatic activity (catalase, dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease). Starting with the obtained results, it is developes an alternative towards the study of soil genesis in Mars in particular, and recommendations for same process in other planets. Although the information found in the experiments already realized in Martian soil they demonstrate that doesnt exist any enzymatic activity, the knowledge of the same topic in the soil is proposed as an alternative to problems like carbonic fixing of the dense Martian atmosphere of CO2, the degradation of inorganic compounds amongst other in order to prepare the substratum for later colonization by some life form.

  4. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  5. Investigation of bacterial hopanoid inputs to soils from Western Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shunthirasingham, Chubashini; Simpson, Myrna J.

    2006-01-01

    Hopanoids have been widely used as characteristic biomarkers to study inputs of bacterial biomass to sediments because they are preserved in the geologic record. A limited number of studies have been performed on hopanoid biomarkers in soils. The present study examined the distribution and potential preservation of hopanoids in soils that are developed under different climatic conditions and varying vegetative inputs. Solvent extraction and sequential chemical degradation methods were employed to extract both 'free' and 'bound' hopanoids, from three grassland soils, a grassland-forest transition soil, and a forest soil from Western Canada. Identification and quantification of hopanoids in the soil samples were carried out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Methylbishomohopanol, bishomohopanol and bishomohopanoic acid were detected in all solvent extracts. The base hydrolysis and ruthenium tetroxide extracts contained only bishomohopanoic acid at a concentration range of 0.8-8.8 μg/gC and 2.2-28.3 μg/gC, respectively. The acid hydrolysis procedure did not release detectable amounts of hopanoids. The solvent extraction yielded the greatest amounts of 'free' hopanoids in two of the grassland soils (Dark Brown and Black Chernozems) and in the forest soil (Gray Luvisol). In contrast, the chemical degradation methods resulted in higher amounts of 'bound' hopanoids in the third grassland soil (Brown Chernozem) and the transition soil (Dark Gray Chernozem), indicating that more hopanoids exist in the 'bound' form in these soils. Overall, the forest and the transition soils contained more hopanoids than the grassland soils. This is hypothesized to be due to the greater degradation of hopanoids in the grassland soils and or sorption to clay minerals, as compared to the forest and transition soils

  6. Xeropreservation of Functionalized Lipid Biomarkers in Hyperarid Soils in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Davila, Alfonso F.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Parenteau, Mary N.; Jahnke, Linda L.; Liu, Xiao-Lei; Summons, Roger E.; Wray, James J.; Stamos, Brian N.; O'Reilly, Shane S.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of long-term organic matter preservation comes mostly from studies in aquatic systems. In contrast, taphonomic processes in extremely dry environments are relatively understudied and are poorly understood. We investigated the accumulation and preservation of lipid biomarkers in hyperarid soils in the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert. Lipids from seven soil horizons in a 2.5 meter vertical profile were extracted and analyzed using GC-MS ( Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) and LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry). Diagnostic functionalized lipids and geolipids were detected and increased in abundance and diversity with depth. Deeper clay units contain fossil organic matter (radiocarbon dead) that has been protected from rainwater since the onset of hyperaridity. We show that these clay units contain lipids in an excellent state of structural preservation with functional groups and unsaturated bonds in carbon chains. This indicates that minimal degradation of lipids has occurred in these soils since the time of their deposition between more than 40,000 and up to 2 million years ago. The exceptional structural preservation of biomarkers is likely due to the long-term hyperaridity that has minimized microbial and enzymatic activity, a taphonomic process we term xeropreservation (i.e. preservation by drying). The degree of biomarker preservation allowed us to reconstruct major changes in ecology in the Yungay region that reflect a shift in hydrological regime from wet to dry since the early Quaternary. Our results suggest that hyperarid environments, which comprise 7.5 percent of the continental landmass, could represent a rich and relatively unexplored source of paleobiological information on Earth.

  7. "Martian Boneyards": Sustained Scientific Inquiry in a Social Digital Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbell-Clarke, Jordis

    Social digital gaming is an explosive phenomenon where youth and adults are engaged in inquiry for the sake of fun. The complexity of learning evidenced in social digital games is attracting the attention of educators. Martian Boneyards is a proof-of-concept game designed to study how a community of voluntary gamers can be enticed to engage in sustained, high-quality scientific inquiry. Science educators and game designers worked together to create an educational game with the polish and intrigue of a professional-level game, striving to attract a new audience to scientific inquiry. Martian Boneyards took place in the high-definition, massively multiplayer online environment, Blue Mars, where players spent an average of 30 hours in the game over the 4-month implementation period, with some exceeding 200 hours. Most of the players' time was spent in scientific inquiry activities and about 30% of the players' in-game interactions were in the analysis and theory-building phases of inquiry. Female players conducted most of the inquiry, in particular analysis and theory building. The quality of scientific inquiry processes, which included extensive information gathering by players, and the resulting content were judged to be very good by a team of independent scientists. This research suggests that a compelling storyline, a highly aesthetic environment, and the emergent social bonds among players and between players and the characters played by designers were all responsible for sustaining high quality inquiry among gamers in this free-choice experience. The gaming environment developed for Martian Boneyards is seen as an evolving ecosystem with interactions among design, players' activity, and players' progress.

  8. Biopolymers for sample collection, protection, and preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokulova, Iryna; Olsen, Eric; Vodyanoy, Vitaly

    2015-07-01

    One of the principal challenges in the collection of biological samples from air, water, and soil matrices is that the target agents are not stable enough to be transferred from the collection point to the laboratory of choice without experiencing significant degradation and loss of viability. At present, there is no method to transport biological samples over considerable distances safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively without the use of ice or refrigeration. Current techniques of protection and preservation of biological materials have serious drawbacks. Many known techniques of preservation cause structural damages, so that biological materials lose their structural integrity and viability. We review applications of a novel bacterial preservation process, which is nontoxic and water soluble and allows for the storage of samples without refrigeration. The method is capable of protecting the biological sample from the effects of environment for extended periods of time and then allows for the easy release of these collected biological materials from the protective medium without structural or DNA damage. Strategies for sample collection, preservation, and shipment of bacterial, viral samples are described. The water-soluble polymer is used to immobilize the biological material by replacing the water molecules within the sample with molecules of the biopolymer. The cured polymer results in a solid protective film that is stable to many organic solvents, but quickly removed by the application of the water-based solution. The process of immobilization does not require the use of any additives, accelerators, or plastifiers and does not involve high temperature or radiation to promote polymerization.

  9. Modeling of the Martian environment for radiation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Angelis, G.; Wilson, J.W.; Clowdsley, M.S.; Qualls, G.D.; Singleterry, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    A model for the radiation environment to be found on the planet Mars due to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) has been developed. Solar modulated primary particles rescaled for conditions at Mars are transported through the Martian atmosphere down to the surface, with altitude and backscattering patterns taken into account. The altitude to compute the atmospheric thickness profile has been determined by using a model for the topography based on the data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument on board the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. The Mars surface composition has been modeled based on averages over the measurements obtained from orbiting spacecraft and at various landing sites, taking into account the possible volatile inventory (e.g. CO 2 and H 2 O ices) along with its time variations throughout the Martian year. The Mars Radiation Environment Model has been made available worldwide through the Space Ionizing Radiation Effects and Shielding Tools (SIREST) website, a project of NASA Langley Research Center. This site has been developed to provide the scientific and engineering communities with an interactive site containing a variety of environmental models, shield evaluation codes, and radiation response models to allow a thorough assessment of ionizing radiation risk for current and future space missions

  10. Ionization Efficiency in the Dayside Martian Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Wu, X.-S.; Xu, S.-S.; Wang, X.-D.; Wellbrock, A.; Nordheim, T. A.; Cao, Y.-T.; Wang, W.-R.; Sun, W.-Q.; Wu, S.-Q.; Wei, Y.

    2018-04-01

    Combining the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution measurements of neutral atmospheric density, solar EUV/X-ray flux, and differential photoelectron intensity made during 240 nominal orbits, we calculate the ionization efficiency, defined as the ratio of the secondary (photoelectron impact) ionization rate to the primary (photon impact) ionization rate, in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere under a range of solar illumination conditions. Both the CO2 and O ionization efficiencies tend to be constant from 160 km up to 250 km, with respective median values of 0.19 ± 0.03 and 0.27 ± 0.04. These values are useful for fast calculation of the ionization rate in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, without the need to construct photoelectron transport models. No substantial diurnal and solar cycle variations can be identified, except for a marginal trend of reduced ionization efficiency approaching the terminator. These observations are favorably interpreted by a simple scenario with ionization efficiencies, as a first approximation, determined by a comparison between relevant cross sections. Our analysis further reveals a connection between regions with strong crustal magnetic fields and regions with high ionization efficiencies, which are likely indicative of more efficient vertical transport of photoelectrons near magnetic anomalies.

  11. Describing the Components of the Water Transport in the Martian Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montmessin, F.; Haberle, R. M.; forget, F.; Rannou, P.; Cabane, M.

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we examine the meteorological components driving water transport in the Martian atmosphere. A particular emphasis is given to the role of residual mean circulation and water ice clouds in determining the geographical partitioning of water vapor and frost.

  12. Soil Organic Carbon dynamics in agricultural soils of Veneto Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bampa, F. B.; Morari, F. M.; Hiederer, R. H.; Toth, G. T.; Giandon, P. G.; Vinci, I. V.; Montanarella, L. M.; Nocita, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the eight soil threats expressed in the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM (2006)231 final) it's the decline in Soil Organic Matter (SOM). His preservation is recognized as with the objective to ensure that the soils of Europe remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. One of the key goals of the strategy is to maintain and improve Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) levels. As climate change is identified as a common element in many of the soil threats, the European Commission (EC) intends to assess the actual contribution of the soil protection to climate change mitigation and the effects of climate change on the possible depletion of SOM. A substantial proportion of European land is occupied by agriculture, and consequently plays a crucial role in maintaining natural resources. Organic carbon preservation and sequestration in the EU's agricultural soils could have some potential to mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly linked to preventing certain land use changes and maintaining SOC stocks. The objective of this study is to assess the SOC dynamics in agricultural soils (cropland and grassland) at regional scale, focusing on changes due to land use. A sub-objective would be the evaluation of the most used land management practices and their effect on SOC content. This assessment aims to determine the geographical distribution of the potential GHG mitigation options, focusing on hot spots in the EU, where mitigation actions would be particularly efficient and is linked with the on-going work in the JRC SOIL Action. The pilot area is Veneto Region. The data available are coming from different sources, timing and involve different variables as: soil texture, climate, soil disturbance, managements and nutrients. The first source of data is the LUCAS project (Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame statistical Survey). Started in 2001, the LUCAS project aims to monitor changes in land cover/use and

  13. Martian geomorphology and its relation to subsurface volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Rossbacher, Lisa A. (Editor); Zimbelman, James R. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Martian volatile inventory, planetary climatic and atmospheric evolution, and the interpretation of various remote sensing data were discussed. A number of morphologies that were cited as potential indicators of subsurface volatiles were reviewed. Rampart craters and terrain softening were the focus of more in-depth discussion because of the popular attention they have received and the fact that their areal distributions are by far the most extensive of all the proposed indicators.

  14. Comparison of Tissue Preservation using Formalin and Ethanol as Preservative Formula

    OpenAIRE

    See Woan Shian; Arifin Soenggono; Sawkar Vijay Pramod

    2016-01-01

    Background: Tissue preservation can be performed through embalming, by providing the chemical embalming fluid to the human remains. Formalin’s preservative formula is the foundation for modern methods of embalming. Unfortunately, this preservative formula has several disadvantages. While Ethanol’s preservative formula is a considerable agent to replace formalin’s preservative formula. The aim of this study was to compare the tissue preservation using formalin and ethanol as preservative formu...

  15. Wetland Mitigation Monitoring at the Fernald Preserve - 13200

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Powell, Jane [Fernald Preserve Site Manager, DOE Office of Legacy Management, Harrison, Ohio (United States); Bien, Stephanie; Decker, Ashlee; Homer, John [Environmental Scientist, S.M. Stoller Corporation, Harrison, Ohio (United States); Wulker, Brian [Intern, S.M. Stoller Corporation, Harrison, Ohio (United States)

    2013-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for 7.2 hectares (17.8 acres) of mitigation wetland at the Fernald Preserve, Ohio. Remedial activities affected the wetlands, and mitigation plans were incorporated into site-wide ecological restoration planning. In 2008, the Fernald Natural Resource Trustees developed a comprehensive wetland mitigation monitoring approach to evaluate whether compensatory mitigation requirements have been met. The Fernald Preserve Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Plan provided a guideline for wetland evaluations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) wetland mitigation monitoring protocols were adopted as the means for compensatory wetland evaluation. Design, hydrologic regime, vegetation, wildlife, and biogeochemistry were evaluated from 2009 to 2011. Evaluations showed mixed results when compared to the Ohio EPA performance standards. Results of vegetation monitoring varied, with the best results occurring in wetlands adjacent to forested areas. Amphibians, particularly ambystomatid salamanders, were observed in two areas adjacent to forested areas. Not all wetlands met vegetation performance standards and amphibian biodiversity metrics. However, Fernald mitigation wetlands showed substantially higher ratings compared to other mitigated wetlands in Ohio. Also, soil sampling results remain consistent with other Ohio mitigated wetlands. The performance standards are not intended to be 'pass/fail' criteria; rather, they are reference points for use in making decisions regarding future monitoring and maintenance. The Trustees approved the Fernald Preserve Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Report with the provision that long-term monitoring of the wetlands continues at the Fernald Preserve. (authors)

  16. Wetland Mitigation Monitoring at the Fernald Preserve - 13200

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, Jane; Bien, Stephanie; Decker, Ashlee; Homer, John; Wulker, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for 7.2 hectares (17.8 acres) of mitigation wetland at the Fernald Preserve, Ohio. Remedial activities affected the wetlands, and mitigation plans were incorporated into site-wide ecological restoration planning. In 2008, the Fernald Natural Resource Trustees developed a comprehensive wetland mitigation monitoring approach to evaluate whether compensatory mitigation requirements have been met. The Fernald Preserve Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Plan provided a guideline for wetland evaluations. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) wetland mitigation monitoring protocols were adopted as the means for compensatory wetland evaluation. Design, hydrologic regime, vegetation, wildlife, and biogeochemistry were evaluated from 2009 to 2011. Evaluations showed mixed results when compared to the Ohio EPA performance standards. Results of vegetation monitoring varied, with the best results occurring in wetlands adjacent to forested areas. Amphibians, particularly ambystomatid salamanders, were observed in two areas adjacent to forested areas. Not all wetlands met vegetation performance standards and amphibian biodiversity metrics. However, Fernald mitigation wetlands showed substantially higher ratings compared to other mitigated wetlands in Ohio. Also, soil sampling results remain consistent with other Ohio mitigated wetlands. The performance standards are not intended to be 'pass/fail' criteria; rather, they are reference points for use in making decisions regarding future monitoring and maintenance. The Trustees approved the Fernald Preserve Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Report with the provision that long-term monitoring of the wetlands continues at the Fernald Preserve. (authors)

  17. Martian channels and valleys - Their characteristics, distribution, and age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, M. H.; Clow, G. D.

    1981-01-01

    The distribution and ages of Martian channels and valleys, which are generally believed to have been cut by running water, are examined with particular emphasis on the small branching networks referred to as runoff channels or valley networks. Valleys at latitudes from 65 deg S to 65 deg N were surveyed on Viking images at resolutions between 125 and 300 m. Almost all of the valleys are found in the old cratered terrain, in areas characterized by high elevations, low albedos and low violet/red ratios. The networks are deduced to have formed early in the history of the planet, with a formation rate declining rapidly shortly after the decline of the cratering rate 3.9 billion years ago. Two types of outflow channels are distinguished: unconfined, in which broad swaths of terrain are scoured, and confined, in which flow is restricted to discrete channels. Both types start at local sources, and have formed episodically throughout Martian history. Fretted channels, found mainly in two latitude belts characterized by relatively rapid erosion along escarpments, are explained by the lateral enlargement of other channels by mass wasting.

  18. Automated Detection of Craters in Martian Satellite Imagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, C. J.; Paxman, J.; Benedix, G. K.; Tan, T.; Bland, P. A.; Towner, M.

    2018-04-01

    Crater counting is used in determining surface age of planets. We propose improvements to martian Crater Detection Algorithms by implementing an end-to-end detection approach with the possibility of scaling the algorithm planet-wide.

  19. Crystal-Chemical Analysis of Soil at Rocknest, Gale Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, S. M.; Downs, R. T.; Blake, D. F.; Bish, D. L.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Yen, A. S.; Chipera, S. J.; Treiman, A. H.; Vaniman, D. T.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The CheMin instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity performed X-ray diffraction analysis on Martian soil [1] at Rocknest in Gale Crater. In particular, crystalline phases from scoop 5 were identified and analyzed with the Rietveld method [2]. Refined unit-cell parameters are reported in Table 1. Comparing these unit-cell parameters with those in the literature provides an estimate of the chemical composition of the crystalline phases. For instance, Fig. 1 shows the Mg-content of Fa-Fo olivine as a function of the b unit-cell parameter using literature data. Our refined b parameter is indicated by the black triangle.

  20. 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.

  1. Investigation of bacterial hopanoid inputs to soils from Western Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shunthirasingham, Chubashini [Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough College, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ont., M1C1A4 (Canada); Simpson, Myrna J. [Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough College, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ont., M1C1A4 (Canada)]. E-mail: myrna.simpson@utoronto.ca

    2006-06-15

    Hopanoids have been widely used as characteristic biomarkers to study inputs of bacterial biomass to sediments because they are preserved in the geologic record. A limited number of studies have been performed on hopanoid biomarkers in soils. The present study examined the distribution and potential preservation of hopanoids in soils that are developed under different climatic conditions and varying vegetative inputs. Solvent extraction and sequential chemical degradation methods were employed to extract both 'free' and 'bound' hopanoids, from three grassland soils, a grassland-forest transition soil, and a forest soil from Western Canada. Identification and quantification of hopanoids in the soil samples were carried out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Methylbishomohopanol, bishomohopanol and bishomohopanoic acid were detected in all solvent extracts. The base hydrolysis and ruthenium tetroxide extracts contained only bishomohopanoic acid at a concentration range of 0.8-8.8 {mu}g/gC and 2.2-28.3 {mu}g/gC, respectively. The acid hydrolysis procedure did not release detectable amounts of hopanoids. The solvent extraction yielded the greatest amounts of 'free' hopanoids in two of the grassland soils (Dark Brown and Black Chernozems) and in the forest soil (Gray Luvisol). In contrast, the chemical degradation methods resulted in higher amounts of 'bound' hopanoids in the third grassland soil (Brown Chernozem) and the transition soil (Dark Gray Chernozem), indicating that more hopanoids exist in the 'bound' form in these soils. Overall, the forest and the transition soils contained more hopanoids than the grassland soils. This is hypothesized to be due to the greater degradation of hopanoids in the grassland soils and or sorption to clay minerals, as compared to the forest and transition soils.

  2. Soil organic matter stabilization in buried paleosols of the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaopricha, N. T.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Mason, J. A.; Mueller, C. W.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that control soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization is important for understanding how soil carbon is sequestered over millennia, and for predicting how future disturbances may affect soil carbon stocks. We are studying the mechanisms controlling SOM stabilization in the Brady Soil, a buried paleosol in Holocene loess deposits spanning much of the central Great Plains of the United States. The Brady Soil developed 9,000-13,500 years ago during a time of warming and drying that resulted in a shift from C3 to C4 dominated plants. The Brady soil is unusual in that it has very dark coloring, although it contains less than separate particulate organic matter associated with minerals from that within and outside of soil aggregates. We found the largest and darkest amounts of organic C in aggregate-protected SOM greater than 20 µm in diameter. Density and textural fractionation revealed that much of the SOM is bound within aggregates, indicating that protection within aggregates is a major contributor to SOM- stabilization in the Brady Soil. We are conducting a long-term lab soil incubation with soils collected from the modern A horizon and the Brady Soil to determine if the buried SOM becomes microbially available when exposed to the modern atmosphere. We are measuring potential rates of respiration and production of CH4 and N2O. Results so far show respiration rates at field moisture for both modern and buried horizons are limited by water, suggesting dry environmental conditions may have helped to preserve SOM in the Brady Soil. We are investigating the potential for chemical stabilization of the dark SOM preserved in the buried paleosol by characterizing C chemistry using solid-state 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Furthermore, we plan to use lipid analyses and pyrolysis GC/MS to determine likely sources for the SOM: microbial vs plant. Combining information on the physical location of SOM in the soil, its chemical composition, decomposability

  3. Evaluation of conservation-oriented management on grayish brown soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo E. Hernández Rodríguez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Conservation and improvement actions were taken to ensure the soil preservation in agricultural areas affected by erosion on a grayish brown soil of Sarduy farm in Cumanayagua, Cuba. The technology that was used included strip-till, crop rotation, live and/or dead barriers, channel terraces, contour farming and the addition of organic matter and biofertilizers. The implementation of the soil conservation-oriented management had an influence on the yield increase of 10.6% - 20.2%, on the decrease of the erosive processes with a retention of soils to 13.33 t.ha -1, on maintaining the soil pH and on the increment of the assimilable P2O5 contents and soil organic matter.

  4. Open questions on optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, O.; Moroz, V.; Petrova, E.; Rodin, A.

    Particulate component of the atmosphere composed by micron-sized products of soil weathering and water ice clouds that strongly affect the current climate of the planet. In the absence of a dust storm so-called permanent dust haze with0.2 in the atmosphere of Mars determines its thermal structure. Dust loading varies substantially with the season and geographic location, and only the data of mapping instruments are adequate to characterize it, such as TES/MGS and IRTM/Viking. In spite of vast domain of collected data, no model is now capable to explain all observed spectral features of dust aerosol. Several mineralogical and microphysical models of the atmospheric dust have been proposed but they cannot explain the pronounced systematic differences between the IR data and measurem ents from the surface (Viking landers, Pathfinder) which give in the quiet seasons the typical optical depth of? 0.5 from one side, and ground-based observations in the UV-visible range that frequently infer <0.2, on the other side. Also the relationship between9 and the visible optical depth is not well established experimentally so far. Future focused measurements are therefore necessary to study Martian aerosol.

  5. Bright Soil Near 'McCool': Salty Deja Vu?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    While driving eastward toward the northwestern flank of 'McCool Hill,' the wheels of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit churned up the largest amount of bright soil discovered so far in the mission. This image from Spirit's navigation camera, taken on the rover's 787th Martian day, or sol, of exploration (March 21, 2006), shows the strikingly light tone and large extent of the deposit. A few days earlier, Spirit's wheels unearthed a small patch of light-toned material informally named 'Tyrone.' In images from Spirit's panoramic camera, 'Tyrone' strongly resembled both 'Arad' and 'Paso Robles,' two patches of light-toned soils discovered earlier in the mission. Spirit found 'Paso Robles' in 2005 while climbing 'Cumberland Ridge' on the western slope of 'Husband Hill.' In early January 2006, the rover discovered 'Arad' on the basin floor just south of 'Husband Hill.' Spirit's instruments confirmed that those soils had a salty chemistry dominated by iron-bearing sulfates. Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer is analyzing this most recent discovery, and researchers will compare it with those other deposits. These discoveries indicate that light-toned soil deposits might be widely distributed on the flanks and valley floors of the 'Columbia Hills' region in Gusev Crater on Mars. The salts may record the past presence of water, as they are easily mobilized and concentrated in liquid solution.

  6. 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.

  7. A comparative analysis of preservation techniques for the optimal molecular detection of hookworm DNA in a human fecal specimen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilotte, Nils; Baumer, Ben; Grant, Jessica; Asbjornsdottir, Kristjana; Schaer, Fabian; Hu, Yan; Aroian, Raffi; Walson, Judd; Williams, Steven A.

    2018-01-01

    Background Proper collection and storage of fecal samples is necessary to guarantee the subsequent reliability of DNA-based soil-transmitted helminth diagnostic procedures. Previous research has examined various methods to preserve fecal samples for subsequent microscopic analysis or for subsequent determination of overall DNA yields obtained following DNA extraction. However, only limited research has focused on the preservation of soil-transmitted helminth DNA in stool samples stored at ambient temperature or maintained in a cold chain for extended periods of time. Methodology Quantitative real-time PCR was used in this study as a measure of the effectiveness of seven commercially available products to preserve hookworm DNA over time and at different temperatures. Results were compared against “no preservative” controls and the “gold standard” of rapidly freezing samples at -20°C. The preservation methods were compared at both 4°C and at simulated tropical ambient temperature (32°C) over a period of 60 days. Evaluation of the effectiveness of each preservative was based on quantitative real-time PCR detection of target hookworm DNA. Conclusions At 4°C there were no significant differences in DNA amplification efficiency (as measured by Cq values) regardless of the preservation method utilized over the 60-day period. At 32°C, preservation with FTA cards, potassium dichromate, and a silica bead two-step desiccation process proved most advantageous for minimizing Cq value increases, while RNA later, 95% ethanol and Paxgene also demonstrate some protective effect. These results suggest that fecal samples spiked with known concentrations of hookworm-derived egg material can remain at 4°C for 60 days in the absence of preservative, without significant degradation of the DNA target. Likewise, a variety of preservation methods can provide a measure of protection in the absence of a cold chain. As a result, other factors, such as preservative toxicity

  8. A framework of connections between soil and people can help improve sustainability of the food system and soil functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Bruce C; Hargreaves, Paul R; Watson, Christine A

    2018-04-01

    Globally soil quality and food security continue to decrease indicating that agriculture and the food system need to adapt. Improving connection to the soil by knowledge exchange can help achieve this. We propose a framework of three types of connections that allow the targeting of appropriate messages to different groups of people. Direct connection by, for example, handling soil develops soil awareness for management that can be fostered by farmers joining groups on soil-focused farming such as organic farming or no-till. Indirect connections between soil, food and ecosystem services can inform food choices and environmental awareness in the public and can be promoted by, for example, gardening, education and art. Temporal connection revealed from past usage of soil helps to bring awareness to policy workers of the need for the long-term preservation of soil quality for environmental conservation. The understanding of indirect and temporal connections can be helped by comparing them with the operations of the networks of soil organisms and porosity that sustain soil fertility and soil functions.

  9. Martian volcanism: festoon-like ridges on terrestrial basalt flows and implications for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theilig, E.; Greeley, R.

    1987-01-01

    The Fink and Fletcher, and Fink model was used to assess and compare flow rheology for two terrestrial basalt flows and one Martian flow with previous studies. Based on the morphologic similarities between the Martian flows and the Icelandic flows and knowledge of the emplacement of the terrestrial flows, the flows west of Arsia Mons are considered to have been emplaced as large sheet flows from basaltic flood style eruptions. Festoon ridges represent folding of the surface crust in the last stages of emplacement when viscosities would be high due to cooling. Alternatively, the lava may have had a high crystallinity or was erupted at low temperatures. In addition, increased compressive stress behind halted flow fronts or in ponded areas may have contributed to ridge formation

  10. Mars Habitability, Biosignature Preservation, and Mission Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2014-01-01

    Our work has elucidated a new analog for the formation of giant polygons on Mars, involving fluid expulsion in a subaqueous environment. That work is based on three-dimensional (3D) seismic data on Earth that illustrate the mud volcanoes and giant polygons that result from sediment compaction in offshore settings. The description of this process has been published in the journal Icarus, where it will be part of a special volume on Martian analogs. These ideas have been carried further to suggest that giant polygons in the Martian lowlands may be the signature of an ancient ocean and, as such, could mark a region of enhanced habitability. A paper describing this hypothesis has been published in the journal Astrobiology.

  11. Hybrid Food Preservation Program Improves Food Preservation and Food Safety Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Sarah L.

    2014-01-01

    The growing trend in home food preservation raises concerns about whether the resulting food products will be safe to eat. The increased public demand for food preservation information led to the development of the comprehensive food preservation program, Preserve the Taste of Summer (PTTS). PTTS is a comprehensive hybrid food preservation program…

  12. 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.

  13. Tolerance of Serpula lacrymans to copper-based wood preservatives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hastrup, Anne Christine Steenkjær; Green, Frederick; Clausen, Carol A.

    2005-01-01

    construction, but some decay fungi are known to be copper tolerant. In this study, soil-block tests were undertaken to clarify the effect of copper, copper citrate, and alkaline copper quaternary-type D (ACQ-D) on the decay capabilities of S. lacrymans compared with an alternative wood preservative......Serpula lacrymans, the dry rot fungus, is considered the most economically important wood decay fungus in certain temperate regions of the world, namely northern Europe, Japan, and Australia. Previously, copper-based wood preservatives were commonly used for pressure treatment of wood for building...... not containing copper. Twelve isolates of the dry rot fungus S. lacrymans and four other brown-rot species were evaluated for weight loss on wood treated with 1.2% copper citrate, 0.5% ACQ-D, and 0.5% naphthaloylhydroxylamine (NHA). Eleven out of 12 isolates of S. lacrymans were shown to be tolerant towards...

  14. Using synthetic polymers to reduce soil erosion after forest fires in Mediterranean soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lado, Marcos; Ben-Hur, Meni; Inbar, Assaf

    2010-05-01

    Forest fires are a major environmental problem in the Mediterranean region because they result in a loss of vegetation cover, changes in biodiversity, increases in greenhouse gasses emission and a potential increase of runoff and soil erosion. The large increases in runoff and sediment yields after high severity fires have been attributed to several factors, among them: increase in soil water repellency; soil sealing by detached particles and by ash particles, and the loss of a surface cover. The presence of a surface cover increases infiltration, and decreases runoff and erosion by several mechanisms which include: rainfall interception, plant evapotranspiration, preservation of soil structure by increasing soil organic matter, and increasing surface roughness. The loss of vegetation cover as a result of fire leaves the surface of the soil exposed to the direct impact of the raindrops, and therefore the sensitivity of the soil to runoff generation and soil loss increases. In this work, we propose a new method to protect soils against post-fire erosion based on the application of synthetic polymers to the soil. Laboratory rainfall simulations and field runoff plots were used to analyze the suitability of the application of synthetic polymers to reduce soil erosion and stabilize soil structure in Mediterranean soils. The combination of these two processes will potentially favor a faster recovery of the vegetation structure. This method has been successfully applied in arable land, however it has not been tested in burnt forests. The outcome of this study may provide important managerial tools for forest management following fires.

  15. Software preservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadej Vodopivec

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Comtrade Ltd. covers a wide range of activities related to information and communication technologies; its deliverables include web applications, locally installed programs,system software, drivers, embedded software (used e.g. in medical devices, auto parts,communication switchboards. Also the extensive knowledge and practical experience about digital long-term preservation technologies have been acquired. This wide spectrum of activities puts us in the position to discuss the often overlooked aspect of the digital preservation - preservation of software programs. There are many resources dedicated to digital preservation of digital data, documents and multimedia records,but not so many about how to preserve the functionalities and features of computer programs. Exactly these functionalities - dynamic response to inputs - render the computer programs rich compared to documents or linear multimedia. The article opens the questions on the beginning of the way to the permanent digital preservation. The purpose is to find a way in the right direction, where all relevant aspects will be covered in proper balance. The following questions are asked: why at all to preserve computer programs permanently, who should do this and for whom, when we should think about permanent program preservation, what should be persevered (such as source code, screenshots, documentation, and social context of the program - e.g. media response to it ..., where and how? To illustrate the theoretic concepts given the idea of virtual national museum of electronic banking is also presented.

  16. Soil reinforcement with geosynthetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bessaim Mohammed Mustapha

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The proportionality of existence of land with good bearing to erect any building or building is very small, to remedy this deficiency it is necessary to resort to techniques of reinforcement of the soils which can constitute a very important development. Among these methods of remediation, there is reinforcement by the geosynthetics which constitute an effective solution to these constraints. This process tends to stabilize the soil in question with increased load bearing capacity in civil engineering and geotechnical works such as embankments, slopes, embankments and hydraulic structures, with an inestimable gain in time, economy and durability while preserving the natural and environmental aspect.

  17. Coastal geomorphology of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Timothy J.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Saunders, Stephen R.; Pieri, David C.; Schneeberger, Dale M.

    1993-01-01

    The paper considers the question of the formation of the outflow channels and valley networks discovered on the Martian northern plains during the Mariner 9 mission. Parker and Saunders (1987) and Parker et al. (1987, 1989) data are used to describe key features common both in the lower reaches of the outflow channels and within and along the margins of the entire northern plains. It is suggested, that of the geological processes capable of producing similar morphologies on earth, lacustrine or marine deposition and subsequent periglacial modification offer the simplest and most consistent explanation for the suit of features found on Mars.

  18. 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.

  19. Adaptive management for soil ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birge, Hannah E.; Bevans, Rebecca A.; Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.; Baer, Sara G.; Wall, Diana H.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by soil include regulation of the atmosphere and climate, primary (including agricultural) production, waste processing, decomposition, nutrient conservation, water purification, erosion control, medical resources, pest control, and disease mitigation. The simultaneous production of these multiple services arises from complex interactions among diverse aboveground and belowground communities across multiple scales. When a system is mismanaged, non-linear and persistent losses in ecosystem services can arise. Adaptive management is an approach to management designed to reduce uncertainty as management proceeds. By developing alternative hypotheses, testing these hypotheses and adjusting management in response to outcomes, managers can probe dynamic mechanistic relationships among aboveground and belowground soil system components. In doing so, soil ecosystem services can be preserved and critical ecological thresholds avoided. Here, we present an adaptive management framework designed to reduce uncertainty surrounding the soil system, even when soil ecosystem services production is not the explicit management objective, so that managers can reach their management goals without undermining soil multifunctionality or contributing to an irreversible loss of soil ecosystem services.

  20. 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 conductivity. A significant conductivity increase (factor 3-8) is observed for bond fractions of 0.01 to 1% in volume. In the 1 to 15% bond fraction domain, the conductivity increases continuously but less intensely (25-100% conductivity increase compared to a 1% bond system). Beyond 15% of cements, the conductivity increases vigorously and the bulk conductivity rapidly approaches that of bedrock. The composition of the cements (i.e. conductivity) has little influence on the bulk thermal inertia of the soil, especially if the volume of bond <10%. These results indicate that temperature measurements are sufficient to detect cemented soils and quantify the amount of cementing phase, but the mineralogical nature of the bonds and the typical grain size are unlikely to be determined from orbit. On Mars, a widespread surface unit characterized by a medium albedo (0.19-0.26) and medium/high thermal inertia (200-600 J s(0.5)/sq m/K) has long been hypothesized to be associated with a 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

  1. Soil water retention as affected by tillage and residue management in semiarid Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bescansa, P.; Imaz, M.J.; Virto, I.; Enrique, A.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation tillage preserves soil water and this has been the main reason for its rapid dissemination in rainfed agriculture in semiarid climates. We determined the effects of conservation versus conventional tillage on available soil water capacity (AWC) and related properties at the end of 5

  2. Assessing the Biohazard Potential of Putative Martian Organisms for Exploration Class Human Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warmflash, David; Larios-Sanz, Maia; Jones, Jeffrey; Fox, George E.; McKay, David S.

    2007-01-01

    Exploration Class missions to Mars will require precautions against potential contamination by any native microorganisms that may be incidentally pathogenic to humans. While the results of NASA's Viking biology experiments of 1976 have been generally interpreted as inconclusive for surface organisms, the possibility of native surface life has never been ruled out and more recent studies suggest that the case for biological interpretation of the Viking Labeled Release data may now be stronger than it was when the experiments were originally conducted. It is possible that, prior to the first human landing on Mars, robotic craft and sample return missions will provide enough data to know with certainty whether or not future human landing sites harbor extant life forms. However, if native life is confirmed, it will be problematic to determine whether any of its species may present a medical risk to astronauts. Therefore, it will become necessary to assess empirically the risk that the planet contains pathogens based on terrestrial examples of pathogenicity and to take a reasonably cautious approach to bio-hazard protection. A survey of terrestrial pathogens was conducted with special emphasis on those pathogens whose evolution has not depended on the presence of animal hosts. The history of the development and implementation of Apollo anticontamination protocol and recent recommendations of the NRC Space Studies Board regarding Mars were reviewed. Organisms can emerge in nature in the absence of indigenous animal hosts and both infectious and non-infectious human pathogens are theoretically possible on Mars. The prospect of Martian surface life, together with the existence of a diversity of routes by which pathogenicity has emerged on Earth, suggests that the possibility of human pathogens on Mars, while low, is not zero. Since the discovery and study of Martian life can have long-term benefits for humanity, the risk that Martian life might include pathogens should not

  3. Oxygen in the Martian atmosphere: Regulation of PO2 by the deposition of iron formations on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Roger G.

    1992-01-01

    During Earth's early history, and prior to the evolution of its present day oxygenated atmosphere, extensive iron rich siliceous sedimentary rocks were deposited, consisting of alternating layers of silica (chert) and iron oxide minerals (hematite and magnetite). The banding in iron formations recorded changes of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions near sea level in the ancient ocean, which induced the oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, precipitation of insoluble ferric oxides and silica, and regulation of oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere. Similarities between the Archean Earth and the composition of the present day atmosphere on Mars, together with the pervasive presence of ferric oxides in the Martian regolith suggest that iron formation might also have been deposited on Mars and influenced the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere. Such a possibility is discussed here with a view to assessing whether the oxygen content of the Martian atmosphere has been regulated by the chemical precipitation of iron formations on Mars.

  4. Changes in Ocular Surface Characteristics after Switching from Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Latanoprost to Preservative-Free Tafluprost or Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Tafluprost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoto Tokuda

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of switching from Latanoprost ophthalmic solution containing a preservative to preservative-free Tafluprost ophthalmic solution or Tafluprost containing a preservative on ocular surfaces. Materials and Methods. Forty patients (40 eyes with glaucoma (mean age: 62.0 ± 10.9 years using Latanoprost with preservative for six months or longer were assigned either to a Tafluprost-containing-preservative group (20 eyes or preservative-free-Tafluprost group (20 eyes. The intraocular pressure, corneal epithelial barrier function (fluorescein uptake concentration with fluorophotometer FL-500, superficial punctate keratopathy (AD classification, and tear film breakup time (TBUT were assessed before switching and at 12 weeks after switching. Results. No significant differences in intraocular pressure were noted after switching in either group. Corneal epithelial barrier function was improved significantly after switching in both the Tafluprost-containing-preservative and the preservative-free-Tafluprost groups. There were no significant differences in AD scores after switching in the Tafluprost-containing-preservative group, but significant improvements were noted in the preservative-free-Tafluprost group. No significant differences in TBUT were noted in the Tafluprost-containing-preservative or preservative-free-Tafluprost groups after switching. Conclusion. After switching from preservative Latanoprost to Tafluprost containing-preservative or preservative-free Tafluprost, corneal epithelial barrier function was improved while the intraocular pressure reduction was retained.

  5. Changes in Ocular Surface Characteristics after Switching from Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Latanoprost to Preservative-Free Tafluprost or Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Tafluprost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokuda, Naoto; Kitaoka, Yasushi; Matsuzawa, Akiko; Tsukamoto, Ayaka; Sase, Kana; Sakae, Shinsuke; Takagi, Hitoshi

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of switching from Latanoprost ophthalmic solution containing a preservative to preservative-free Tafluprost ophthalmic solution or Tafluprost containing a preservative on ocular surfaces. Forty patients (40 eyes) with glaucoma (mean age: 62.0 ± 10.9 years) using Latanoprost with preservative for six months or longer were assigned either to a Tafluprost-containing-preservative group (20 eyes) or preservative-free-Tafluprost group (20 eyes). The intraocular pressure, corneal epithelial barrier function (fluorescein uptake concentration with fluorophotometer FL-500), superficial punctate keratopathy (AD classification), and tear film breakup time (TBUT) were assessed before switching and at 12 weeks after switching. No significant differences in intraocular pressure were noted after switching in either group. Corneal epithelial barrier function was improved significantly after switching in both the Tafluprost-containing-preservative and the preservative-free-Tafluprost groups. There were no significant differences in AD scores after switching in the Tafluprost-containing-preservative group, but significant improvements were noted in the preservative-free-Tafluprost group. No significant differences in TBUT were noted in the Tafluprost-containing-preservative or preservative-free-Tafluprost groups after switching. After switching from preservative Latanoprost to Tafluprost containing-preservative or preservative-free Tafluprost, corneal epithelial barrier function was improved while the intraocular pressure reduction was retained.

  6. Clay mineral formation under oxidized conditions and implications for paleoenvironments and organic preservation on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainey, Seth R; Hausrath, Elisabeth M; Adcock, Christopher T; Tschauner, Oliver; Hurowitz, Joel A; Ehlmann, Bethany L; Xiao, Yuming; Bartlett, Courtney L

    2017-11-01

    Clay mineral-bearing locations have been targeted for martian exploration as potentially habitable environments and as possible repositories for the preservation of organic matter. Although organic matter has been detected at Gale Crater, Mars, its concentrations are lower than expected from meteoritic and indigenous igneous and hydrothermal reduced carbon. We conducted synthesis experiments motivated by the hypothesis that some clay mineral formation may have occurred under oxidized conditions conducive to the destruction of organics. Previous work has suggested that anoxic and/or reducing conditions are needed to synthesize the Fe-rich clay mineral nontronite at low temperatures. In contrast, our experiments demonstrated the rapid formation of Fe-rich clay minerals of variable crystallinity from aqueous Fe 3+ with small amounts of aqueous Mg 2+ . Our results suggest that Fe-rich clay minerals such as nontronite can form rapidly under oxidized conditions, which could help explain low concentrations of organics within some smectite-containing rocks or sediments on Mars.

  7. Clay mineral formation under oxidized conditions and implications for paleoenvironments and organic preservation on Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gainey, Seth R.; Hausrath, Elisabeth M.; Adcock, Christopher T.; Tschauner, Oliver; Hurowitz, Joel A.; Ehlmann, Bethany L.; Xiao, Yuming; Bartlett, Courtney L. (CIW); (UNLV); (CIT); (SBU)

    2017-11-01

    Clay mineral-bearing locations have been targeted for martian exploration as potentially habitable environments and as possible repositories for the preservation of organic matter. Although organic matter has been detected at Gale Crater, Mars, its concentrations are lower than expected from meteoritic and indigenous igneous and hydrothermal reduced carbon. We conducted synthesis experiments motivated by the hypothesis that some clay mineral formation may have occurred under oxidized conditions conducive to the destruction of organics. Previous work has suggested that anoxic and/or reducing conditions are needed to synthesize the Fe-rich clay mineral nontronite at low temperatures. In contrast, our experiments demonstrated the rapid formation of Fe-rich clay minerals of variable crystallinity from aqueous Fe3+ with small amounts of aqueous Mg2+. Our results suggest that Fe-rich clay minerals such as nontronite can form rapidly under oxidized conditions, which could help explain low concentrations of organics within some smectite-containing rocks or sediments on Mars.

  8. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  9. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  10. North-Polar Martian Cap as Habitat for Elementary Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, J. T.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    2008-09-01

    on a Myr timescale, though secondary craters from excavated material surely contribute to mobilising cm-deep crusts. The formation and fragmentation of crusts that contained micro-organisms would contribute a biological component to martian soils in the polar regions, that could potentially reach the location of the Phoenix probe (at 68°N). One might expect these to be distinguishable via the onboard microscopy. References [1] Wallis M.K. (1995) Adv. Space Res. 15(4), 113-6. [2] Schorghofer N. (2007) Nature 449, 192-195. [3] Milkovich S.M., Head J.W., Neukum G. and the HRSC Co-Investigator Team (2008) Planet. Space Sci. 56, 266-288. [4] Pelletier J.D. (2004) Geology 32, 365-367 & 384. [5] Skorov Yu.V., Markiewicz W.J., Basilevsky A.T. and Keller H.U. (2001) Planet. Space Sci. 49, 59-63. [6] Schorghofer N. and Aharonson O. (2005) J.Geophys. Res., 110, E05003, 1-16. [7] Wallis M.K., Wickramasinghe N.C. and Wickramasinghe J.T. (2005) 5th EANA Workshop on Astrobiology, p.37, Budapest; Wickramasinghe J.T. (2007) The Role of Comets in Panspermia, Ph D. Thesis, Cardiff University [8] McKay C.P. (2003) Third Mars Polar Sci. Conf. 8056. [9] Hoover R.B., et al. (2004) in SPIE 5163, 191-202 (www.astrobiology.cf.ac.uk/SPIE2004.pdf). [10] Tung H.C., Bramhall N.E. & Price P.B. (2005) Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 102, 18292-18296. [11] Hartmann W.K. (2005) Icarus 174, 294-320.

  11. Periodic orbits around areostationary points in the Martian gravity field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaodong; Baoyin Hexi; Ma Xingrui

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the problem of areostationary orbits around Mars in three-dimensional space. Areostationary orbits are expected to be used to establish a future telecommunication network for the exploration of Mars. However, no artificial satellites have been placed in these orbits thus far. The characteristics of the Martian gravity field are presented, and areostationary points and their linear stability are calculated. By taking linearized solutions in the planar case as the initial guesses and utilizing the Levenberg-Marquardt method, families of periodic orbits around areostationary points are shown to exist. Short-period orbits and long-period orbits are found around linearly stable areostationary points, but only short-period orbits are found around unstable areostationary points. Vertical periodic orbits around both linearly stable and unstable areostationary points are also examined. Satellites in these periodic orbits could depart from areostationary points by a few degrees in longitude, which would facilitate observation of the Martian topography. Based on the eigenvalues of the monodromy matrix, the evolution of the stability index of periodic orbits is determined. Finally, heteroclinic orbits connecting the two unstable areostationary points are found, providing the possibility for orbital transfer with minimal energy consumption.

  12. From Process Understanding Via Soil Functions to Sustainable Soil Management - A Systemic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollschlaeger, U.; Bartke, S.; Bartkowski, B.; Daedlow, K.; Helming, K.; Kogel-Knabner, I.; Lang, B.; Rabot, E.; Russell, D.; Stößel, B.; Weller, U.; Wiesmeier, M.; Rabot, E.; Vogel, H. J.

    2017-12-01

    Fertile soils are central resources for the production of biomass and the provision of food and energy. A growing world population and latest climate targets lead to an increasing demand for both, food and bio-energy, which requires preserving and improving the long-term productivity of soils as a bio-economic resource. At the same time, other soil functions and ecosystem services need to be maintained: filter for clean water, carbon sequestration, provision and recycling of nutrients, and habitat for biological activity. All these soil functions result from the interaction of a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that are not yet sufficiently understood. In addition, we lack understanding about the interplay between the socio-economic system and the soil system and how soil functions benefit human wellbeing. Hence, a solid and integrated assessment of soil quality requires the consideration of the ensemble of soil functions and its relation to soil management to finally be able to develop site-specific options for sustainable soil management. We present an integrated modeling approach that investigates the influence of soil management on the ensemble of soil functions. It is based on the mechanistic relationships between soil functional attributes, each explained by a network of interacting processes as derived from scientific evidence. As the evidence base required for feeding the model is for the most part stored in the existing scientific literature, another central component of our work is to set up a public "knowledge-portal" providing the infrastructure for a community effort towards a comprehensive knowledge base on soil processes as a basis for model developments. The connection to the socio-economic system is established using the Drivers-Pressures-Impacts-States-Responses (DPSIR) framework where our improved understanding about soil ecosystem processes is linked to ecosystem services and resource efficiency via the soil functions.

  13. Establishing a tracer-based sediment budget to preserve wetlands in Mediterranean mountain agroecosystems (NE Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navas, Ana, E-mail: anavas@eead.csic.es [Department of Soil and Water, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, EEAD-CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain); López-Vicente, Manuel, E-mail: mvicente@eead.csic.es [Department of Soil and Water, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, EEAD-CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain); Gaspar, Leticia, E-mail: leticia.gaspar@plymouth.ac.uk [School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science, Plymouth University, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA (United Kingdom); Palazón, Leticia, E-mail: lpalazon@eead.csic.es [Department of Soil and Water, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, EEAD-CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain); Quijano, Laura, E-mail: lquijano@eead.cisc.es [Department of Soil and Water, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, EEAD-CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain)

    2014-10-15

    Mountain wetlands in Mediterranean regions are particularly threatened in agricultural environments due to anthropogenic activity. An integrated study of source-to-sink sediment fluxes was carried out in an agricultural catchment that holds a small permanent lake included in the European NATURA 2000 Network. More than 1000 yrs of human intervention and the variety of land uses pose a substantial challenge when attempting to estimate sediment fluxes which is the first requirement to protect fragile wetlands. To date, there have been few similar studies and those that have been carried out have not addressed such complex terrain. Geostatistical interpolation and GIS tools were used to derive the soil spatial redistribution from point {sup 137}Cs inventories, and to establish the sediment budget in a catchment located in the Southern Pyrenees. The soil redistribution was intense and soil erosion predominated over soil deposition. On the areas that maintained natural vegetation the median soil erosion and deposition rates were moderate, ranging from 2.6 to 6 Mg ha yr{sup −1} and 1.5 to 2.1 Mg ha yr{sup −1}, respectively. However, in cultivated fields both erosion and deposition were significantly higher (ca. 20 Mg ha yr{sup −1}), and the maximum rates were always associated with tillage practices. Farming activities in the last part of the 20th century intensified soil erosion, as evidenced by the 1963 {sup 137}Cs peaks in the lake cores and estimates from the sediment budget indicated a net deposition of 671 Mg yr{sup −1}. Results confirm a siltation risk for the lake and provide a foundation for designing management plans to preserve this threatened wetland. This comprehensive approach provides information useful for understanding processes that influence the patterns and rates of soil transfer and deposition within fragile Mediterranean mountain wetlands subjected to climate and anthropogenic stresses. - Highlights: • Soil erosion threatens long

  14. 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.

  15. [Effects of understory removal on soil greenhouse gas emissions in Carya cathayensis stands].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Juan; Chen, Xue-shuang; Wu, Jia-sen; Jiang, Pei-kun; Zhou, Guo-mo; Li, Yong-fu

    2015-03-01

    CO2, N2O and CH4 are important greenhouse gases, and soils in forest ecosystems are their important sources. Carya cathayensis is a unique tree species with seeds used for high-grade dry fruit and oil production. Understory vegetation management plays an important role in soil greenhouse gases emission of Carya cathayensis stands. A one-year in situ experiment was conducted to study the effects of understory removal on soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions in C. cathayensis plantation by closed static chamber technique and gas chromatography method. Soil CO2 flux had a similar seasonal trend in the understory removal and preservation treatments, which was high in summer and autumn, and low in winter and spring. N2O emission occurred mainly in summer, while CH4 emission showed no seasonal trend. Understory removal significantly decreased soil CO, emission, increased N2O emission and CH4 uptake, but had no significant effect on soil water soluble organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon. The global warming potential of soil greenhouse gases emitted in the understory removal. treatment was 15.12 t CO2-e . hm-2 a-1, which was significantly lower than that in understory preservation treatment (17.04 t CO2-e . hm-2 . a-1).

  16. Formation of martian araneiforms by gas-driven erosion of granular material

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Villiers, S.; Nermoen, A.; Jamtveit, B.

    2012-01-01

    Sublimation at the lower surface of a seasonal sheet of translucent CO2 ice at high southern latitudes during the Martian spring, and rapid outflow of the CO2 gas generated in this manner through holes in the ice, has been proposed as the origin of dendritic 100 m–1 km scale branched channels known...

  17. A global spectral library to characterize the world's soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    A. Viscarra Rossel, Raphael; Behrens, T.; Ben Dor, E.

    2016-01-01

    to sustainably manage and preserve it for future generations. To this end, we developed and analyzed a global soil visible–near infrared (vis–NIR) spectral library. It is currently the largest and most diverse database of its kind. We show that the information encoded in the spectra can describe soil composition...... help to deal with the shortage of data on soil to better understand it and to meet the growing demand for information to assess andmonitor soil at scales ranging fromregional to global.New contributions to the library are encouraged so that this work and our collaboration might progress to develop......Soil provides ecosystemservices, supports human health and habitation, stores carbon and regulatesemissions of greenhouse gases. Unprecedented pressures on soil from degradation and urbanization are threatening agroecological balances and food security. It is important that we learn more about soil...

  18. Intensities of the Martian N2 electron-impact excited dayglow emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jane L.; Hać, Nicholas E. F.

    2013-06-01

    The first N2 emissions in the Martian dayglow were detected by the SPICAM UV spectrograph on board the Mars Express spacecraft. Intensities of the (0,5) and (0,6) Vegard-Kaplan bands were found to be about one third of those predicted more than 35 years ago. The Vegard-Kaplan band system arises from the transition from the lowest N2 triplet state (A3Σu+;v') to the electronic ground state (X1Σg+;v″). It is excited in the Martian dayglow by direct electron-impact excitation of the ground N2(X) state to the A state and by excitation to higher triplet states that populate the A state by cascading. Using revised data, we compute here updated intensities of several of the bands in the N2 triplet systems and those involving the a1Πg state, the upper state of the Lyman-Birge-Hopfield bands. We find that the predicted limb intensities for the (0,5) and (0,6) Vegard-Kaplan bands are consistent with the measured values.

  19. Multiscale soil moisture estimates using static and roving cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    McJannet, David; Hawdon, Aaron; Baker, Brett; Renzullo, Luigi; Searle, Ross

    2017-12-01

    Soil moisture plays a critical role in land surface processes and as such there has been a recent increase in the number and resolution of satellite soil moisture observations and the development of land surface process models with ever increasing resolution. Despite these developments, validation and calibration of these products has been limited because of a lack of observations on corresponding scales. A recently developed mobile soil moisture monitoring platform, known as the rover, offers opportunities to overcome this scale issue. This paper describes methods, results and testing of soil moisture estimates produced using rover surveys on a range of scales that are commensurate with model and satellite retrievals. Our investigation involved static cosmic-ray neutron sensors and rover surveys across both broad (36 × 36 km at 9 km resolution) and intensive (10 × 10 km at 1 km resolution) scales in a cropping district in the Mallee region of Victoria, Australia. We describe approaches for converting rover survey neutron counts to soil moisture and discuss the factors controlling soil moisture variability. We use independent gravimetric and modelled soil moisture estimates collected across both space and time to validate rover soil moisture products. Measurements revealed that temporal patterns in soil moisture were preserved through time and regression modelling approaches were utilised to produce time series of property-scale soil moisture which may also have applications in calibration and validation studies or local farm management. Intensive-scale rover surveys produced reliable soil moisture estimates at 1 km resolution while broad-scale surveys produced soil moisture estimates at 9 km resolution. We conclude that the multiscale soil moisture products produced in this study are well suited to future analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals and finer-scale soil moisture models.

  20. Soil Pore Network Visualisation and Quantification using ImageJ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garbout, Amin; Pajor, Radoslaw; Otten, Wilfred

    Abstract Soil is one of the most complex materials on the earth, within which many biological, physical and chemical processes that support life and affect climate change take place. A much more detailed knowledge of the soil system is required to improve our ability to develop soil management...... strategies to preserve this limited resource. Many of those processes occur at micro scales. For long our ability to study soils non-destructively at microscopic scales has been limited, but recent developments in the use of X-ray Computed Tomography has offered great opportunities to quantify the 3-D...... geometry of soil pores. In this study we look at how networks that summarize the geometry of pores in soil are affected by soil structure. One of the objectives is to develop a robust and reproducible image analysis technique to produce quantitative knowledge on soil architecture from high resolution 3D...

  1. Some consequences of a liquid water saturated regolith in early Martian history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, A. O.; Hargraves, R. B.

    1978-01-01

    Flooding of low-lying areas of the Martian regolith may have occurred early in the planet's history when a comparatively dense primitive atmosphere existed. If this model is valid, the following are some pedogenic and mineralogical consequences to be expected. Fluctuation of the water table in response to any seasonal or longer term causes would have resulted in precipitation of ferric oxyhydroxides with the development of a vesicular duricrust (or hardpan). Disruption of such a crust by scarp undercutting or frost heaving accompanied by wind deflation of fines could account for the boulders visible on Utopia Planitia in the vicinity of the second Viking lander site. Laboratory and field evidence on earth suggests that under weakly oxidizing conditions lepidocrocite (rather than goethite) would have preferentially formed in the Martian regolith from the weathering of ferrous silicates, accompanied by montmorillonite, nontronite, and cronstedtite. Maghemite may have formed as a low-temperature dehydrate of lepidocrocite or directly from ferrous precursors.

  2. Soils of postpyrogenic larch stands in Central Siberia: Morphology, physicochemical properties, and specificity of soil organic matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Startsev, V. V.; Dymov, A. A.; Prokushkin, A. S.

    2017-08-01

    Morphological features, physicochemical properties, and specific characteristics of the organic matter of cryozems (Cryosols) under postpyrogenic larch forests affected by fires 2, 6, 22, 55, and 116 years ago are considered. The morphological changes in the soils affected by fires are manifested by the burning of the upper organic horizons with preservation of pyrogenic features in the soils for more than a century after the fire. In the first years (2 and 6 years) after the fire, the acidity of the organic horizons and their base saturation become lower. The postpyrogenic soils are characterized by the smaller contribution of the organic horizons to the total pools of soil organic carbon. In the studied cryozems, the organic carbon content is correlated with the contents of oxalate-extractable iron and aluminum. A decrease in the content of water-soluble organic compounds in the soils is observed after the fires; gradually, their content increases upon restoration of the ground cover.

  3. Prototype detector development for measurement of high altitude Martian dust using a future orbiter platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabari, Jayesh; Patel, Darshil; Chokhawala, Vimmi; Bogavelly, Anvesh

    2016-07-01

    Dust devils mostly occur during the mid of Southern hemisphere summer on Mars and play a key role in the background dust opacity. Due to continuous bombardment of micrometeorites, secondary ejecta come out from the Moons of the Mars and can easily escape. This phenomenon can contribute dust around the Moons and therefore, also around the Mars. Similar to the Moons of the Earth, the surfaces of the Martian Moons get charged and cause the dust levitation to occur, adding to the possible dust source. Also, interplanetary dust particles may be able to reach the Mars and contribute further. It is hypothesized that the high altitude Martian dust could be in the form of a ring or tori around the Mars. However, no such rings have been detected to the present day. Typically, width and height of the dust torus is ~5 Mars radii wide (~16950 km) in both the planes as reported in the literature. Recently, very high altitude dust at about 1000 km has been found by MAVEN mission and it is expected that the dust may be concentrated at about 150 to 500 km. However, a langmuir probe cannot explain the source of such dust particles. It is a puzzling question to the space scientist how dust has reached to such high altitudes. A dedicated dust instrument on future Mars orbiter may be helpful to address such issues. To study origin, abundance, distribution and seasonal variation of Martian dust, a Mars Orbit Dust Experiment (MODEX) is proposed. In order to measure the Martian dust from a future orbiter, design of a prototype of an impact ionization dust detector has been initiated at PRL. This paper presents developmental aspects of the prototype dust detector and initial results. The further work is underway.

  4. MGS Radio Science Electron Density Profiles: Interannual Variability and Implications for the Martian Neutral Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.; Engel, S.; Hinson, D. P.; Murphy, J. R.

    2004-01-01

    Martian electron density profiles provided by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Radio Science (RS) experiment over the 95-200 km altitude range indicate what the height of the electron peak and the longitudinal structure of the peak height are sensitive indicators of the physical state of the Mars lower and upper atmospheres. The present analysis is carried out on five sets of occultation profiles, all at high solar zenith angles (SZA). Variations spanning 2 Martian years are investigated near aphelion conditions at high northern latitudes (64.7 - 77.6 N) making use of four of these data sets. A mean ionospheric peak height of 133.5 - 135 km is obtained near SZA = 78 - 82 deg.; a corresponding mean peak density of 7.3 - 8.5 x l0(exp 4)/ qu cm is also measured during solar moderate conditions at Mars. Strong wave number 2 - 3 oscillations in peak heights are consistently observed as a function of longitude over the 2 Martian years. These observed ionospheric features are remarkably similar during aphelion conditions 1 Martian year apart. This year-to-year repeatability in the thermosphere-ionosphere structure is consistent with that observed in multiyear aphelion temperature data of the Mars lower atmosphere. Coupled Mars general circulation model (MGCM) and Mars thermospheric general circulation model (MTGCM) codes are run for Mars aphelion conditions, yielding mean and longitude variable ionospheric peak heights that reasonably match RS observations. A tidal decomposition of MTGCM thermospheric densities shows that observed ionospheric wave number 3 features are linked to a non-migrating tidal mode with semidiurnal period (sigma = 2) and zonal wave number 1 (s = -1) characteristics. The height of this photochemically determined ionospheric peak should be monitored regularly.

  5. 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

  6. Review of the Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005, Plus Pairings, Martian Meteorite from Al Wusta, Oman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Al Wusta is a desert area in the Sultanate of Oman which is famous due to the discovery of a number of Martian and Lunar meteorites since the start of the present millennium. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin database, 137 approved Martian meteorites have been found worldwide, including 17 from Oman (4 from Zufar, 13 from Al Wusta region. Interestingly 11 finds in the last 15 years have been of Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU 005 and its pairings. These finds (estimated mass = 11.2 kg are linked to 10 search expeditions carried out between November 26, 1999 and March 2, 2014 by the Swiss group from the University of Bern and several anonymous meteorite hunters. The bulk of these meteorites (~97% is in the possession of anonymous collectors, negatively affecting Oman’s natural heritage and denying further research opportunities, given their associated scientific value. SaU 005 and its pairings belong to the shergottite group of the Shergotty-Nakhla-Chassigny (SNC meteorites, originating from various depths within the Martian mantle. We discuss the recently published oxygen isotope data of bulk and mineral fractions of SaU 008 recovered during the very first expedition in 1999 in the context of other shergottites found in Oman. The bulk oxygen isotope data of SaU 008 and Dhofar 019, another Martian meteorite from Oman, show a narrow range in δ18O values. Their Δ17O values are remarkably close to identical and fall linearly on a Martian fractionation line above the terrestrial fractionation line (TFL by + 0.32‰, suggesting that Mars’ mantle is homogeneous in oxygen isotopes. Petrographic and mineralogical data of SaU 005 and other pairings published in the Meteoritical Bulletin are compiled, and it is noted that all the meteorites are identical and are likely paired. The story behind these rare extra-terrestrial specimens demands a local meteorite museum and preliminary testing laboratory at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU to protect this treasure

  7. Microbial Indicators of Soil Quality under Different Land Use Systems in Subtropical Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maharjan, M.

    2016-12-01

    Land-use change from native forest to intensive agricultural systems can negatively impact numerous soil parameters. Understanding the effects of forest ecosystem transformations on markers of long-term soil health is particularly important in rapidly developing regions such as Nepal, where unprecedented levels of agriculturally-driven deforestation have occurred in recent decades. However, the effects of widespread land use changes on soil quality in this region have yet to be properly characterized. Microbial indicators (soil microbial biomass, metabolic quotient and enzymes activities) are particularly suited to assessing the consequences of such ecosystem disturbances, as microbial communities are especially sensitive to environmental change. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of land use system; i.e. forest, organic and conventional farming, on soil quality in Chitwan, Nepal using markers of microbial community size and activity. Total organic C and N contents were higher in organic farming compared with conventional farming and forest, suggesting higher nutrient retention and soil preservation with organic farming practices compared to conventional. These differences in soil composition were reflected in the health of the soil microbial communities: Organic farm soil exhibited higher microbial biomass C, elevated β-glucosidase and chitinase activities, and a lower metabolic quotient relative to other soils, indicating a larger, more active, and less stressed microbial community, respectively. These results collectively demonstrate that application of organic fertilizers and organic residues positively influence nutrient availability, with subsequent improvements in soil quality and productivity. Furthermore, the sensitivity of microbial indicators to different management practices demonstrated in this study supports their use as effective markers of ecosystem disturbance in subtropical soils.

  8. Self-preserving cosmetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varvaresou, A; Papageorgiou, S; Tsirivas, E; Protopapa, E; Kintziou, H; Kefala, V; Demetzos, C

    2009-06-01

    Preservatives are added to products for two reasons: first, to prevent microbial spoilage and therefore to prolong the shelf life of the product; second, to protect the consumer from a potential infection. Although chemical preservatives prevent microbial growth, their safety is questioned by a growing segment of consumers. Therefore, there is a considerable interest in the development of preservative-free or self-preserving cosmetics. In these formulations traditional/chemical preservatives have been replaced by other cosmetic ingredients with antimicrobial properties that are not legislated as preservatives according to the Annex VI of the Commission Directive 76/768/EEC and the amending directives (2003/15/EC, 2007/17/EC and 2007/22/EC). 'Hurdle Technology', a technology that has been used for the control of product safety in the food industry since 1970s, has also been applied for the production of self-preserving cosmetics. 'Hurdle Technology' is a term used to describe the intelligent combination of different preservation factors or hurdles to deteriorate the growth of microorganisms. Adherence to current good manufacturing practice, appropriate packaging, careful choice of the form of the emulsion, low water activity and low or high pH values are significant variables for the control of microbial growth in cosmetic formulations. This paper describes the application of the basic principles of 'Hurdle Technology' in the production of self-preserving cosmetics. Multifunctional antimicrobial ingredients and plant-derived essential oils and extracts that are used as alternative or natural preservatives and are not listed in Annex VI of the Cosmetic Directive are also reported.

  9. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The following paper reports on a design study of a novel space transportation concept known as a ''NIMF'' (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel.) The NIMF is a ballistic vehicle which obtains its propellant out of the Martian air by compression and liquefaction of atmospheric CO 2 . This propellant is subsequently used to generate rocket thrust at a specific impulse of 264 s by being heated to high temperature (2800 K) gas in the NIMFs' nuclear thermal rocket engines. The vehicle is designed to provide surface to orbit and surface to surface transportation, as well as housing, for a crew of three astronauts. It is capable of refueling itself for a flight to its maximum orbit in less than 50 days. The ballistic NIMF has a mass of 44.7 tonnes and, with the assumed 2800 K propellant temperature, is capable of attaining highly energetic (250 km by 34000 km elliptical) orbits. This allows it to rendezvous with interplanetary transfer vehicles which are only very loosely bound into orbit around Mars. If a propellant temperature of 2000 K is assumed, then low Mars orbit can be attained; while if 3100 K is assumed, then the ballistic NIMF is capable of injecting itself onto a minimum energy transfer orbit to Earth in a direct ascent from the Martian surface

  10. Northwest Africa 8159: An approximately 2.3 Billion Year Old Martian Olivine-Bearing Augite Basalt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, J. I.; Peters, T. J.; Tappa, M. J.; Agee, C. B.

    2014-01-01

    Based on petrology, mineralogy, and bulk composition, the new NWA 8159 martian meteorite is distinct from all known samples from Mars. In particular, the augite compositional trends are unique, but most similar to those of nakhite intercumulus. Whether NWA 8159 represents a new lithology or is related to a known meteorite group remains to be determined. Sr and Nd isotopic analyses will allow comparison of source characteristics with SNC and other new ungrouped meteorites (e.g., NWA 7635). Here we report initial Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic results for NWA 8159 with the objective to determine its formation age and to potentially identify similarities and potential source affinities with other martian rocks.

  11. 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.

  12. Soil protection strategies in Brandenburg - management of waste recycling on devastated areas subject to recultivation (soil protection in recultivation areas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, M.; Bannick, C.G.

    1996-01-01

    The article reflects on consideration in the Land (Federal State) Brandenburg in the preliminary stages of a Land regulation on the recycling of wastes on devasted brown coal mining areas from the viewpoint of soil protection. Within the framework of a proposed recultivation, the benefit and harmlessness of recycling shall be examined. The benefits are derived from the preservation, improvement and restoration of soil functions without detrimental effects on other soil functions. In order to make full use of the benefits, a graduated, site-specific system for the main nutrients is presented. For pollutants, different approaches for limitation of the input are discussed. 36 refs., 1 fig., 12 tabs

  13. Microbial populations in Antarctic permafrost: biodiversity, state, age, and implication for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D A; Wilson, G S; Friedmann, E I; McKay, C P; Sletten, R S; Rivkina, E M; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Erokhina, L G; Ivanushkina, N E; Kochkina, G A; Shcherbakova, V A; Soina, V S; Spirina, E V; Vorobyova, E A; Fyodorov-Davydov, D G; Hallet, B; Ozerskaya, S M; Sorokovikov, V A; Laurinavichyus, K S; Shatilovich, A V; Chanton, J P; Ostroumov, V E; Tiedje, J M

    2007-04-01

    Antarctic permafrost soils have not received as much geocryological and biological study as has been devoted to the ice sheet, though the permafrost is more stable and older and inhabited by more microbes. This makes these soils potentially more informative and a more significant microbial repository than ice sheets. Due to the stability of the subsurface physicochemical regime, Antarctic permafrost is not an extreme environment but a balanced natural one. Up to 10(4) viable cells/g, whose age presumably corresponds to the longevity of the permanently frozen state of the sediments, have been isolated from Antarctic permafrost. Along with the microbes, metabolic by-products are preserved. This presumed natural cryopreservation makes it possible to observe what may be the oldest microbial communities on Earth. Here, we describe the Antarctic permafrost habitat and biodiversity and provide a model for martian ecosystems.

  14. Isotope ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the martian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R; Mahaffy, Paul R; Flesch, Gregory J; Niles, Paul B; Jones, John H; Leshin, Laurie A; Atreya, Sushil K; Stern, Jennifer C; Christensen, Lance E; Owen, Tobias; Franz, Heather; Pepin, Robert O; Steele, Andrew; Achilles, Cherie; Agard, Christophe; Alves Verdasca, José Alexandre; Anderson, Robert; Anderson, Ryan; Archer, Doug; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Arvidson, Ray; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Aubrey, Andrew; Baker, Burt; Baker, Michael; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Baratoux, David; Baroukh, Julien; Barraclough, Bruce; Bean, Keri; Beegle, Luther; Behar, Alberto; Bell, James; Bender, Steve; Benna, Mehdi; Bentz, Jennifer; Berger, Gilles; Berger, Jeff; Berman, Daniel; Bish, David; Blake, David F; Blanco Avalos, Juan J; Blaney, Diana; Blank, Jen; Blau, Hannah; Bleacher, Lora; Boehm, Eckart; Botta, Oliver; Böttcher, Stephan; Boucher, Thomas; Bower, Hannah; Boyd, Nick; Boynton, Bill; Breves, Elly; Bridges, John; Bridges, Nathan; Brinckerhoff, William; Brinza, David; Bristow, Thomas; Brunet, Claude; Brunner, Anna; Brunner, Will; Buch, Arnaud; Bullock, Mark; Burmeister, Sönke; Cabane, Michel; Calef, Fred; Cameron, James; Campbell, John; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Caride Rodríguez, Javier; Carmosino, Marco; Carrasco Blázquez, Isaías; Charpentier, Antoine; Chipera, Steve; Choi, David; Clark, Benton; Clegg, Sam; Cleghorn, Timothy; Cloutis, Ed; Cody, George; Coll, Patrice; Conrad, Pamela; Coscia, David; Cousin, Agnès; Cremers, David; Crisp, Joy; Cros, Alain; Cucinotta, Frank; d'Uston, Claude; Davis, Scott; Day, Mackenzie; de la Torre Juarez, Manuel; DeFlores, Lauren; DeLapp, Dorothea; DeMarines, Julia; DesMarais, David; Dietrich, William; Dingler, Robert; Donny, Christophe; Downs, Bob; Drake, Darrell; Dromart, Gilles; Dupont, Audrey; Duston, Brian; Dworkin, Jason; Dyar, M Darby; Edgar, Lauren; Edgett, Kenneth; Edwards, Christopher; Edwards, Laurence; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ehresmann, Bent; Eigenbrode, Jen; Elliott, Beverley; Elliott, Harvey; Ewing, Ryan; Fabre, Cécile; Fairén, Alberto; Farley, Ken; Farmer, Jack; Fassett, Caleb; Favot, Laurent; Fay, Donald; Fedosov, Fedor; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Fisk, Marty; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Floyd, Melissa; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Forni, Olivier; Fraeman, Abby; Francis, Raymond; François, Pascaline; Freissinet, Caroline; French, Katherine Louise; Frydenvang, Jens; Gaboriaud, Alain; Gailhanou, Marc; Garvin, James; Gasnault, Olivier; Geffroy, Claude; Gellert, Ralf; Genzer, Maria; Glavin, Daniel; Godber, Austin; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Golovin, Dmitry; Gómez Gómez, Felipe; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Gondet, Brigitte; Gordon, Suzanne; Gorevan, Stephen; Grant, John; Griffes, Jennifer; Grinspoon, David; Grotzinger, John; Guillemot, Philippe; Guo, Jingnan; Gupta, Sanjeev; Guzewich, Scott; Haberle, Robert; Halleaux, Douglas; Hallet, Bernard; Hamilton, Vicky; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Harpold, Daniel; Harri, Ari-Matti; Harshman, Karl; Hassler, Donald; Haukka, Harri; Hayes, Alex; Herkenhoff, Ken; Herrera, Paul; Hettrich, Sebastian; Heydari, Ezat; Hipkin, Victoria; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Hudgins, Judy; Huntress, Wesley; Hurowitz, Joel; Hviid, Stubbe; Iagnemma, Karl; Indyk, Steve; Israël, Guy; Jackson, Ryan; Jacob, Samantha; Jakosky, Bruce; Jensen, Elsa; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Johnson, Jeffrey; Johnson, Micah; Johnstone, Steve; Jones, Andrea; Joseph, Jonathan; Jun, Insoo; Kah, Linda; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kahre, Melinda; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kasprzak, Wayne; Kauhanen, Janne; Keely, Leslie; Kemppinen, Osku; Keymeulen, Didier; Kim, Myung-Hee; Kinch, Kjartan; King, Penny; Kirkland, Laurel; Kocurek, Gary; Koefoed, Asmus; Köhler, Jan; Kortmann, Onno; Kozyrev, Alexander; Krezoski, Jill; Krysak, Daniel; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Lacour, Jean Luc; Lafaille, Vivian; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Lee, Ella Mae; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Lees, David; Lefavor, Matthew; Lemmon, Mark; Lepinette Malvitte, Alain; Léveillé, Richard; Lewin-Carpintier, Éric; Lewis, Kevin; Li, Shuai; Lipkaman, Leslie; Little, Cynthia; Litvak, Maxim; Lorigny, Eric; Lugmair, Guenter; Lundberg, Angela; Lyness, Eric; Madsen, Morten; Maki, Justin; Malakhov, Alexey; Malespin, Charles; Malin, Michael; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gérard; Manning, Heidi; Marchand, Geneviève; Marín Jiménez, Mercedes; Martín García, César; Martin, Dave; Martin, Mildred; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Mauchien, Patrick; Maurice, Sylvestre; McAdam, Amy; McCartney, Elaina; McConnochie, Timothy; McCullough, Emily; McEwan, Ian; McKay, Christopher; McLennan, Scott; McNair, Sean; Melikechi, Noureddine; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Meyer, Michael; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Miller, Hayden; Miller, Kristen; Milliken, Ralph; Ming, Douglas; Minitti, Michelle; Mischna, Michael; Mitrofanov, Igor; Moersch, Jeff; Mokrousov, Maxim; Molina Jurado, Antonio; Moores, John; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Morookian, John Michael; Morris, Richard; Morrison, Shaunna; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Muller, Jan-Peter; Muñoz Caro, Guillermo; Nachon, Marion; Navarro López, Sara; Navarro-González, Rafael; Nealson, Kenneth; Nefian, Ara; Nelson, Tony; Newcombe, Megan; Newman, Claire; Newsom, Horton; Nikiforov, Sergey; Nixon, Brian; Noe Dobrea, Eldar; Nolan, Thomas; Oehler, Dorothy; Ollila, Ann; Olson, Timothy; de Pablo Hernández, Miguel Ángel; Paillet, Alexis; Pallier, Etienne; Palucis, Marisa; Parker, Timothy; Parot, Yann; Patel, Kiran; Paton, Mark; Paulsen, Gale; Pavlov, Alex; Pavri, Betina; Peinado-González, Verónica; Peret, Laurent; Perez, Rene; Perrett, Glynis; Peterson, Joe; Pilorget, Cedric; Pinet, Patrick; Pla-García, Jorge; Plante, Ianik; Poitrasson, Franck; Polkko, Jouni; Popa, Radu; Posiolova, Liliya; Posner, Arik; Pradler, Irina; Prats, Benito; Prokhorov, Vasily; Purdy, Sharon Wilson; Raaen, Eric; Radziemski, Leon; Rafkin, Scot; Ramos, Miguel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Raulin, François; Ravine, Michael; Reitz, Günther; Rennó, Nilton; Rice, Melissa; Richardson, Mark; Robert, François; Robertson, Kevin; Rodriguez Manfredi, José Antonio; Romeral-Planelló, Julio J; Rowland, Scott; Rubin, David; Saccoccio, Muriel; Salamon, Andrew; Sandoval, Jennifer; Sanin, Anton; Sans Fuentes, Sara Alejandra; Saper, Lee; Sarrazin, Philippe; Sautter, Violaine; Savijärvi, Hannu; Schieber, Juergen; Schmidt, Mariek; Schmidt, Walter; Scholes, Daniel; Schoppers, Marcel; Schröder, Susanne; Schwenzer, Susanne; Sebastian Martinez, Eduardo; Sengstacken, Aaron; Shterts, Ruslan; Siebach, Kirsten; Siili, Tero; Simmonds, Jeff; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Slavney, Susie; Sletten, Ronald; Smith, Michael; Sobrón Sánchez, Pablo; Spanovich, Nicole; Spray, John; Squyres, Steven; Stack, Katie; Stalport, Fabien; Stein, Thomas; Stewart, Noel; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Stoiber, Kevin; Stolper, Ed; Sucharski, Bob; Sullivan, Rob; Summons, Roger; Sumner, Dawn; Sun, Vivian; Supulver, Kimberley; Sutter, Brad; Szopa, Cyril; Tan, Florence; Tate, Christopher; Teinturier, Samuel; ten Kate, Inge; Thomas, Peter; Thompson, Lucy; Tokar, Robert; Toplis, Mike; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Trainer, Melissa; Treiman, Allan; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; VanBommel, Scott; Vaniman, David; Varenikov, Alexey; Vasavada, Ashwin; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Vicenzi, Edward; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Voytek, Mary; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Ward, Jennifer; Weigle, Eddie; Wellington, Danika; Westall, Frances; Wiens, Roger Craig; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Williams, Amy; Williams, Joshua; Williams, Rebecca; Williams, Richard B; Wilson, Mike; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Wolff, Mike; Wong, Mike; Wray, James; Wu, Megan; Yana, Charles; Yen, Albert; Yingst, Aileen; Zeitlin, Cary; Zimdar, Robert; Zorzano Mier, María-Paz

    2013-07-19

    Stable isotope ratios of H, C, and O are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes, and for Mars they reveal the record of loss of its atmosphere and subsequent interactions with its surface such as carbonate formation. We report in situ measurements of the isotopic ratios of D/H and (18)O/(16)O in water and (13)C/(12)C, (18)O/(16)O, (17)O/(16)O, and (13)C(18)O/(12)C(16)O in carbon dioxide, made in the martian atmosphere at Gale Crater from the Curiosity rover using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)'s tunable laser spectrometer (TLS). Comparison between our measurements in the modern atmosphere and those of martian meteorites such as ALH 84001 implies that the martian reservoirs of CO2 and H2O were largely established ~4 billion years ago, but that atmospheric loss or surface interaction may be still ongoing.

  15. Degradation of hydrocarbons in soil samples analyzed within accepted analytical holding times

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, J.; Thomey, N.; Dietlein, L.F.

    1992-01-01

    Samples which are collected in conjunction with subsurface investigations at leaking petroleum storage tank sites and petroleum refineries are routinely analyzed for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes (BTEX), and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). Water samples are preserved by the addition of hydrochloric acid and maintained at four degrees centigrade prior to analysis. This is done to prevent bacterial degradation of hydrocarbons. Chemical preservation is not presently performed on soil samples. Instead, the samples are cooled and maintained at four degrees centigrade. This study was done to measure the degree of degradation of hydrocarbons in soil samples which are analyzed within accepted holding times. Soil samples were collected and representative subsamples were prepared from the initial sample. Subsamples were analyzed in triplicate for BTEX and TPH throughout the length of the approved holding times to measure the extent of sample constituent degradation prior to analysis. Findings imply that for sandy soils, BTEX and TPH concentrations can be highly dependent upon the length of time which elapses between sample collection and analysis

  16. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  17. The Modern Near-Surface Martian Climate: A Review of In-situ Meteorological Data from Viking to Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, G. M.; Newman, C. N.; De Vicente-Retortillo, A.; Fischer, E.; Renno, N. O.; Richardson, M. I.; Fairén, A. G.; Genzer, M.; Guzewich, S. D.; Haberle, R. M.; Harri, A.-M.; Kemppinen, O.; Lemmon, M. T.; Smith, M. D.; de la Torre-Juárez, M.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-10-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to today's Curiosity rover to review our understanding of the modern near-surface climate of Mars, with focus on the dust, CO2 and H2O cycles and their impact on the radiative and thermodynamic conditions near the surface. In particular, we provide values of the highest confidence possible for atmospheric opacity, atmospheric pressure, near-surface air temperature, ground temperature, near-surface wind speed and direction, and near-surface air relative humidity and water vapor content. Then, we study the diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability of these quantities over a span of more than twenty Martian years. Finally, we propose measurements to improve our understanding of the Martian dust and H2O cycles, and discuss the potential for liquid water formation under Mars' present day conditions and its implications for future Mars missions. Understanding the modern Martian climate is important to determine if Mars could have the conditions to support life and to prepare for future human exploration.

  18. Pizza or Pancake? Formation Models of Gas Escape Biosignatures in Terrestrial and Martian Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaccorsi, R.; Fairen, A. G.; Baker, L.; McKay, C. P.; Willson, D.

    2016-05-01

    Fine-grained sedimentary hollowed structures were imaged in Gale Crater, but no biomarkers identified to support biology. Our observation-based (gas escape) terrestrial model could inform on possible martian paleoenvironments at time of formation.

  19. Soil and public health: invisible bridges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachepsky, Yakov

    2017-04-01

    Public health institutions, as ancient as civilizations itself, are intrinsically connected with soils. The massive body of the empirical knowledge about this connection has been accumulated. Recently unraveling the underlying mechanisms of this link has begun, and many of them appear to have the microbiological origin. The impressive progress in understanding the nexus between soil and health has been achieved by experimentation with preserved soil microbial systems functioning along with the metagenomic characterization. The objective of this work is to present an overview of some recent onsets. In the food safety arena, survival of human pathogens in soils has been related to the degree of soil eutrophication and/or related structure of soil microbial communities. Soil microbial systems affect the affinity of plants to internalizing pathogenic organisms. Pharmaceutical arsenals benefit from using field soil environment for developing antibiotics. Enzyme production by soil bacteria is used as the signal source for drug activation. Sanitary functions of sols are dependent on soil microbial system workings. The healthy living can be enhanced by the human immune system training received from direct contact with soils. The hygiene hypothesis considers the microbial input due to exposure to soil as the essential ecosystem service. The invisible links between soil and public health result in large-scale consequences. Examples of concurrent degradation of soil and public health are worth scrutinizing. Public health records can provide valuable sources of 'soil-public health' interactions. It may be worthwhile to examine current assessments of soil health from the public health standpoint. Soil management can be an efficient instrument of public health control.

  20. Structural parallels between terrestrial microbialites and Martian sediments: are all cases of `Pareidolia'?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cantasano, Nicola

    2017-10-01

    The study analyses possible parallels of the microbialite-known structures with a set of similar settings selected by a systematic investigation from the wide record and data set of images shot by NASA rovers. Terrestrial cases involve structures both due to bio-mineralization processes and those induced by bacterial metabolism, that occur in a dimensional field longer than 0.1 mm, at micro, meso and macro scales. The study highlights occurrence on Martian sediments of widespread structures like microspherules, often organized into some higher-order settings. Such structures also occur on terrestrial stromatolites in a great variety of `Microscopic Induced Sedimentary Structures', such as voids, gas domes and layer deformations of microbial mats. We present a suite of analogies so compelling (i.e. different scales of morphological, structural and conceptual relevance), to make the case that similarities between Martian sediment structures and terrestrial microbialites are not all cases of `Pareidolia'.

  1. MarsSI: Martian surface data processing information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantin-Nataf, C.; Lozac'h, L.; Thollot, P.; Loizeau, D.; Bultel, B.; Fernando, J.; Allemand, P.; Dubuffet, F.; Poulet, F.; Ody, A.; Clenet, H.; Leyrat, C.; Harrisson, S.

    2018-01-01

    MarsSI (Acronym for Mars System of Information, https://emars.univ-lyon1.fr/MarsSI/, is a web Geographic Information System application which helps managing and processing martian orbital data. The MarsSI facility is part of the web portal called PSUP (Planetary SUrface Portal) developed by the Observatories of Paris Sud (OSUPS) and Lyon (OSUL) to provide users with efficient and easy access to data products dedicated to the martian surface. The portal proposes 1) the management and processing of data thanks to MarsSI and 2) the visualization and merging of high level (imagery, spectral, and topographic) products and catalogs via a web-based user interface (MarsVisu). The portal PSUP as well as the facility MarsVisu is detailed in a companion paper (Poulet et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to describe the facility MarsSI. From this application, users are able to easily and rapidly select observations, process raw data via automatic pipelines, and get back final products which can be visualized under Geographic Information Systems. Moreover, MarsSI also contains an automatic stereo-restitution pipeline in order to produce Digital Terrain Models (DTM) on demand from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) or CTX (Context Camera) pair-images. This application is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) (ERC project eMars, No. 280168) and has been developed in the scope of Mars, but the design is applicable to any other planetary body of the solar system.

  2. Mg-Sulfate Salts as Possible Water Reservoirs in Martian Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Carey, J. W.; Feldman, W. C.

    2003-12-01

    analysis of this amorphous solid shows that it contains ˜26% H2O (compared with 47% in crystalline hexahydrite), and its observed macroscopic expansion behavior suggests that it can reversibly hydrate and dehydrate. Although neither epsomite nor hexahydrite is likely to be stable near the surface of Mars, their amorphous derivatives or crystalline forms of the lower hydrates might be present (preliminary thermogravimetric data indicate that kieserite is likely to be stable). However, the limited rehydration of structurally degraded hexahydrite indicates that unrealistically large amounts ( ˜50%) would be required in the upper meter of regolith to account for the higher water contents ( ˜13%) suggested for some martian equatorial regions; even larger amounts of kieserite ( ˜100%) would be required. A more important role for sulfates may be in the formation of a low-permeability salt crust that could restrict dewatering of underlying soil horizons.

  3. Comparison of contamination rates between preserved and preservative-free fluoroquinolone eyedrops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Mo Sae; Kim, Hong Kyun; Kim, Joon Mo; Choi, Chul Young

    2013-03-01

    To evaluate the antimicrobial effectiveness of preservative-free fluoroquinolone products compared with benzalkonium chloride containing fluoroquinolones using the challenge test provided by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and the in-use test. 1. Challenge test: to compare the growth of microorganisms between different fluoroquinolone preparations, four test organisms, including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger were chosen among five microorganisms listed by USP 2004. The inoculated products were sampled for microbial survivors at days 7, 14, and 28 following initial inoculation at room temperature. The number of surviving organisms were calculated as a Log10 reduction from the original inocula. 2. In-use test: a total of 100 bottles were collected after instillation of preservative-free fluoroquinolone eyedrops in volunteer patients after 1 week of use. The remaining fluid and tips of the bottles were cultured. Colonies on the plates were counted at the end of the incubation period. All microorganisms were identified by Gram staining and biochemical assays. 1. Challenge test: preservative-free gatifloxacin and levofloxacin demonstrated a lower log reduction against A. niger than preserved fluoroquinolones and preservative-free moxifloxacin at all time points. 2. In-use test: There was no contamination identified on plates inoculated by preservative-free quinolone bottles after 1 week of use in this study. Physicians should be aware of the lower antifungal preservative effectiveness of some preservative-free fluoroquinolone preparations than preserved ones.

  4. Earthworms in tropical tree plantations: effects of management and relations with soil carbon and nutrient use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    X Zou; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2001-01-01

    With the vast amount of abandoned tropical land due to non- sustainable farming practices, tropical tree-plantations become an effective means in restoring soil productivity and preserving ecosystem biodiversity. Because earthworms are the dominant soil fauna in moist tropical regions and play an important role in improving soil fertility, understanding the mechanisms...

  5. A balloon-borne experiment to investigate the Martian magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwingenschuh, K.; Feldhofer, H.; Koren, W.; Jernej, I.; Stachel, M.; Riedler, W.; Slamanig, H.; Auster, H.-U.; Rustenbach, J.; Fornacon, H. K.; Schenk, H. J.; Hillenmaier, O.; Haerendel, G.; Yeroshenko, Ye.; Styashkin, V.; Zaroutzky, A.; Best, A.; Scholz, G.; Russell, C. T.; Means, J.; Pierce, D.; Luhmann, J. G.

    1996-03-01

    The Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy, of Sciences (Graz, Austria) in cooperation with MPE (Berlin, Germany), GFZ Potsdam (Obs. Niemegk, Germany) IZMIRAN/IOFAN (Moscow, Russian) and IGPP/UCLA (Los Angeles, USA) is designing the magnetic field experiment MAGIBAL (MAGnetic field experiment aboard a martian BALloon) to investigate the magnetic field on the surface of Mars. The dual sensor fluxgate magnetometer is part of the MARS-98/MARS-TOGETHER balloon payload. During a ten days period the balloon will float over a distance of about 2000 km at altitudes between 0 and 4 km. Due to the limited power and telemetry allocation the magnetometer can transmit only one vector per ten seconds and spectral information in the frequency range from 2 - 25 Hz. The dynamic range is +/- 2000 nT. The main scientific objectives of the experiment are: • Determination of the magnetism of the Martian rocks • Investigation of the leakage of the solar wind induced magnetosphere using the correlation between orbiter and balloon observations • Measurement of the magnetic field profile between the orbiter and the surface of Mars during the descent phase of the balloon. Terrestrial test flights with a hot air balloon were performed in order to test the original MAGIBAL equipment under balloon flight conditions.

  6. TDEM for Martian in situ resource prospecting missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Tacconi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a TDEM (Time Domain Electromagnetic Methods application, addressed to the search for water on Mars. In this context, the opportunities for a TDEM system as payload in a future mission are investigated for different in situ exploration scenarios. The TDEM sounding capability is evaluated with respect to the expected Martian environment, and some considerations are made about the many unknown variables (above all the background EM noise and the subsoil composition altogether with the limited resources availability (mission constraints in mass, time and power and the way they could represent an obstacle for operations and measurements.

  7. 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.

  8. Wood preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin Archer; Stan Lebow

    2006-01-01

    Wood preservation can be interpreted to mean protection from fire, chemical degradation, mechanical wear, weathering, as well as biological attack. In this chapter, the term preservation is applied more restrictively to protection from biological hazards.

  9. 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

  10. Bright Soil Churned by Spirit's Sol 1861 Drive

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit drove 22.7 meters (74 feet) toward the southwest on the 1,861st Martian day, or sol, of Spirit's mission on Mars (March 28, 2009). After the drive, the rover took this image with its front hazard-avoidance camera, looking back at the tracks from the drive. As usual since losing the use of its right-front wheel in 2006, Spirit drove backwards. The immobile right-front wheel churned up a long stripe of bright soil during this drive. Where Spirit has found such bright soil in the past, subsequent analysis of the composition found concentrations of sulfur or silica that testified to past action of water at the site. When members of the rover team saw the large quantity of bright soil exposed by the Sol 1861 drive, they quickly laid plans to investigate the composition with Spirit's alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The Sol 1861 drive took the rover past the northwest corner of the low plateau called 'Home Plate,' making progress on a route around the western side of Home Plate. The edge of Home Plate forms the horizon on the right side of this image. Husband Hill is on the horizon on the left side. For scale, the parallel rover wheel tracks are about 1 meter (40 inches) apart. The rover's hazard-avoidance cameras take 'fisheye' wide-angle images.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.)

  13. Changes in Ocular Surface Characteristics after Switching from Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Latanoprost to Preservative-Free Tafluprost or Benzalkonium Chloride-Preserved Tafluprost

    OpenAIRE

    Tokuda, Naoto; Kitaoka, Yasushi; Matsuzawa, Akiko; Tsukamoto, Ayaka; Sase, Kana; Sakae, Shinsuke; Takagi, Hitoshi

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of switching from Latanoprost ophthalmic solution containing a preservative to preservative-free Tafluprost ophthalmic solution or Tafluprost containing a preservative on ocular surfaces. Materials and Methods. Forty patients (40 eyes) with glaucoma (mean age: 62.0 ± 10.9 years) using Latanoprost with preservative for six months or longer were assigned either to a Tafluprost-containing-preservative group (20 eyes) or preservativ...

  14. Luminescence dating on Mars: OSL characteristics of Martian analogue materials and GCR dosimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jain, M.; Andersen, C.E.; Bøtter-Jensen, L.

    2006-01-01

    , and sedimentary precipitates such as sulphates and chlorides. We present here a preliminary investigation of the luminescence characteristics (sensitivity, dose response, fading) of some Martian analogue mineral and rock samples. These materials are likely to be zeroed by the solar UV light (200-300nm) under sub...

  15. Preservation in the Age of Google: Digitization, Digital Preservation, and Dilemmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Paul

    2010-01-01

    The cultural heritage preservation community now functions largely within the environment of digital technologies. This article begins by juxtaposing definitions of the terms "digitization for preservation" and "digital preservation" within a sociotechnical environment for which Google serves as a relevant metaphor. It then reviews two reports…

  16. An Open-source Low-cost Portable Apparatus for Soil Fauna Sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daliakopoulos, Ioannis; Wagner, Karl; Grillakis, Manolis; Apostolakis, Antonios; Tsanis, Ioannis

    2016-04-01

    A low-cost apparatus for the extraction of living soil animals from soil or litter samples is presented. The main unit consists of a modular bank system with three horizontal shelves designed to accommodate lamps and soil samples over funnel and jar systems for animal collection, thus serving as a practical and standardized modification of the well-documented Berlese-Tullgren funnel. Shelves are vertically adjustable, sliding on 5 mm threaded rods and securing with wing nuts for easy assembly/disassembly and stability. Shelf material is 4 mm plywood (or similar), laser-cut (or similar) to accommodate lamp sockets, tubes and funnels at respective levels. Soil samples are inserted in 10 cm tubes from standard Ø50 mm PVC piping that can also function as direct collection corers for softer soils. Tubes are fitted in the tube bank shelf, each directly under a 25 W reflector lamp and over a funnel and jar system. Lamps are located 25 mm over the tubes' top creating a relatively constant 10 oC temperature gradient that drives soil animals away from heat and light, and towards the bottom end of the tube which is fitted with a suitable fabric mesh. Standard 106 ml panelled jars, filled with a safe-to-handle preservative (e.g. propylene glycol) to the lower end of the funnel fitted in them, trap and preserve soil organisms until identification. The apparatus offers flat-pack portability and scalability using low-cost standard material. Design specifications and Drawing eXchange Format (dxf) files for apparatus reproduction are provided.

  17. 'Rosy Red' Soil in Phoenix's Scoop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image shows fine-grained material inside the Robotic Arm scoop as seen by the Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on June 25, 2008, the 30th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The image shows fine, fluffy, red soil particles collected in a sample called 'Rosy Red.' The sample was dug from the trench named 'Snow White' in the area called 'Wonderland.' Some of the Rosy Red sample was delivered to Phoenix's Optical Microscope and Wet Chemistry Laboratory for analysis. The RAC provides its own illumination, so the color seen in RAC images is color as seen on Earth, not color as it would appear on Mars. 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.

  18. Global charcoal mobilization from soils via dissolution and riverine transport to the oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf Jaffe; Yan Ding; Jutta Niggemann; Anssi V. Vahatalo; Aron Stubbins; Robert G. M. Spencer; John Campbell; Thorsten Dittmar

    2013-01-01

    Global biomass burning generates 40 million to 250 million tons of charcoal every year, part of which is preserved for millennia in soils and sediments. We have quantified dissolution products of charcoal in a wide range of rivers worldwide and show that globally, a major portion of the annual charcoal production is lost from soils via dissolution and subsequent...

  19. Thermal infrared properties of the Martian atmosphere 4. Predictions of the presence of dust and ice clouds from Viking IRTM spectral measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, G.E.

    1979-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the response of the Martian atmosphere at the wavelengths measured by the Viking infrared thermal mapper instrument (IRTM) to the presence of varying amounts of dust and water ice clouds. A detailed radiative transfer study is represented to show that these IRTM measurements at channels centered at 7, 9, 11, and 20 μm may be used to differentiate between the presence of dust and water ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. They show further that these measurements may also be used to provide some information on the structure of the lower atmosphere. The use of the IRTM measurements in the manner we describe can provide information associated with the thermal characteristics of Martian dust storms

  20. Diversity of the Arthropod edaphic fauna in preserved and managed with pasture areas in Teresina-Piauí-Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RA. Luz

    Full Text Available The soil fauna plays an important function over the processes of organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, ground aeration and fertility. Thus, studies on the composition and structure of such communities are important, considering moreover the lack of information in different regions of Brazil and mainly related to the state of Piauí. This study aimed to evaluate the density and diversity of the soil arthropod fauna in a Cerrado area in preservation conditions and in a pasture area. Both are situated in the city of Teresina, capital of the state of Piauí. Pitfall traps were used for sampling. Five stations with four traps were placed in each area. The traps were constituted by a 500 mL plastic cup containing a preserving solution made with 70% alcohol and 40% formalin. The traps were weekly changed by occasion of the collections. Eight samples were performed in the period between March and April 2007. The results were evaluated using the following variables: number of orders, number of families, total of species and total number of individuals. Evaluation of the Diversity Index and Similarity Coefficient were also performed. As result, the variables and diversity indices were slightly higher in the preserved area. However, the similarity coefficient showed only 10% similarity between both areas.

  1. Interactions of calcium sulfite with soils and plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritchey, K.D.; Kinraide, T.B.; Wendell, R.R.

    1995-01-01

    CaSO 3 is a by-product formed by several of the processes used for scrubbing SO 2 from flue gas produced by coal-burning power generators. Using CaSO 3 to improve the calcium status of acid soils would be a beneficial alternative to disposal in landfills. CaSO 3 has biocidal properties and is used as disinfectant and food and drink preservative. It is important to evaluate under what conditions application to soils would not harm plant growth. Laboratory experiments confirmed that two transformations of CaSO 3 occurred in soil systems: (1) decomposition to produce SO 2 gas, and (2) oxidation to calcium suflate. Conversion to SO 2 occurred in solution and soil at low pH, and acid soils treated with CaSO 3 were initially toxic to seedling root growth. The degree of toxicity was time-dependent, with reduction in toxicity occurring as CaSO 3 oxidized to calcium sulfate. Soil reaction also influenced toxicity, and at soil pH levels above 6, little seeding toxicity was evident

  2. Effect of Soil Physical State on the Earthworms in Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Birkas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Hungarian authors have long been discussing the role of earthworms in improving soil productivity. Earthworm counts in our higher quality soils are similar to those found in soils where more attention is paid to earthworm activity. Negative impacts that are independent of farming—such as sustained dry spells in the summer—also affect earthworm counts. Negative impacts that definitely depend on farming include land use causing soil moisture loss, deep stubble treatment leaving the soil without cover, and ploughing in the summer without subsequent pressing. The climate change is having both positive and negative impacts. Weather patterns are causing losses but adopting climate mitigating tillage are generating benefits. In the trials results so far show that tillage focusing on preserving soil moisture, structure, and organic materials, covering the surface in the critical months as well as adequate soil loosening are fundamental pre-requisites for making the soil a favourable habitat for earthworms.

  3. Effect of Soil Physical State on the Earthworms in Hungary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkas, M.; Bottlik, L.; Stingli, A.; Gyuricza, C.; Jolankai, M.

    2010-01-01

    Hungarian authors have long been discussing the role of earthworms in improving soil productivity. Earthworm counts in our higher quality soils are similar to those found in soils where more attention is paid to earthworm activity. Negative impacts that are independent of farming such as sustained dry spells in the summer also affect earthworm counts. Negative impacts that definitely depend on farming include land use causing soil moisture loss, deep stubble treatment leaving the soil without cover, and ploughing in the summer without subsequent pressing. The climate change is having both positive and negative impacts. Weather patterns are causing losses but adopting climate mitigating tillage are generating benefits. In the trials results so far show that tillage focusing on preserving soil moisture, structure, and organic materials, covering the surface in the critical months as well as adequate soil loosening are fundamental pre-requisites for making the soil a favourable habitat for earthworms.

  4. Digital preservation

    CERN Document Server

    Deegan, Marilyn

    2013-01-01

    Digital preservation is an issue of huge importance to the library and information profession right now. With the widescale adoption of the internet and the rise of the world wide web, the world has been overwhelmed by digital information. Digital data is being produced on a massive scale by individuals and institutions: some of it is born, lives and dies only in digital form, and it is the potential death of this data, with its impact on the preservation of culture, that is the concern of this book. So how can information professionals try to remedy this? Digital preservation is a complex iss

  5. 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.

  6. Silver contents and Cu/Ag ratios in Martian meteorites and the implications for planetary differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zaicong; Becker, Harry

    2017-11-01

    Silver and Cu show very similar partitioning behavior in sulfide melt-silicate melt and metal-silicate systems at low and high pressure-temperature (P-T) experimental conditions, implying that mantle melting, fractional crystallization and core-mantle differentiation have at most modest (within a factor of 3) effects on Cu/Ag ratios. For this reason, it is likely that Cu/Ag ratios in mantle-derived magmatic products of planetary bodies reflect that of the mantle and, in some circumstances, also the bulk planet composition. To test this hypothesis, new Ag mass fractions and Cu/Ag ratios in different groups of Martian meteorites are presented and compared with data from chondrites and samples from the Earth's mantle. Silver contents in lherzolitic, olivine-phyric and basaltic shergottites and nakhlites range between 1.9 and 12.3 ng/g. The data display a negative trend with MgO content and correlate positively with Cu contents. In spite of displaying variable initial Ɛ143Nd values and representing a diverse spectrum of magmatic evolution and physiochemical conditions, shergottites and nakhlites display limited variations of Cu/Ag ratios (1080 ± 320, 1 s, n = 14). The relatively constant Cu/Ag suggests limited fractionation of Ag from Cu during the formation and evolution of the parent magmas, irrespectively of whether sulfide saturation was attained or not. The mean Cu/Ag ratio of Martian meteorites thus reflects that of the Martian mantle and constrains its Ag content to 1.9 ± 0.7 ng/g (1 s). Carbonaceous and enstatite chondrites display a limited range of Cu/Ag ratios of mostly 500-2400. Ordinary chondrites show a larger scatter of Cu/Ag up to 4500, which may have been caused by Ag redistribution during parent body metamorphism. The majority of chondrites have Cu/Ag ratios indistinguishable from the Martian mantle value, indicating that Martian core formation strongly depleted Cu and Ag contents, but probably did not significantly change the Cu/Ag ratio of the

  7. 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

  8. Perennial grasses as the ecological link for preserving the fertility of the peat soils polluted by radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Podolyak, A.G.; Saraseko, E.G.; Arastovich, T.V.; Suzko, O.V.; Tagaj, S.A.; Lasko, T.V.; Goloveshkin, V.V.

    2011-01-01

    The problem of degradation of peat soils polluted with 137Cs and 90Sr and cultivation of the crop production on them is considered. Distribution of grasslands and pastures on polluted peat soils by the regions of the Republic of Belarus is presented. Characteristics of the peat soils are shown. Coefficients of migration of radionuclides in perennial grasses' hay depending on mobile potassium availability (for 137Cs) and soil reaction pHkci (for 90sr) are evaluated. Inadequacy of the hay, harvested on polluted territories, to the main quality characteristics is presented and analyzed. Crop mixtures recommended for grasslands and pastures reseeding on polluted territories are suggested. The list of cultivars suitable for the conditions of over wetting is offered. It is recommended to use shallow peat soils as grasslands. Permanent cereal grasses restore organic matter of these soils and provide economic efficiency of agricultural use. According the results of the research the transfer factors of 137Cs and 90Sr to plants are relatively low. This fact is explained by the time that has passed since the accident on Chernobyl nuclear power plant and by the variations of mobile potassium and exchangeable acidity in peat soils

  9. The engineering of a nuclear thermal landing and ascent vehicle utilizing indigenous Martian propellant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert M.

    1990-01-01

    A design study of a novel space transportation concept called NIMF (Nuclear rocket using Indigenous Martian Fuel) is reported. In this concept, Martian CO2 gas, which constitutes 95 percent of the atmosphere, is liquified by simple compression to about 100 psi and remains stable without refrigeration. When heated and exhausted out of a rocket nozzle, a specific impulse of about 264 s can be achieved, sufficient for flights from the surface to highly energetic orbits or from one point on the surface to any other point. The propellant acquisition system can travel with the vehicle, allowing it to refuel itself each time it lands. The concept offers unequalled potential to achieve planetwide mobility, allowing complete global access for the exploration of Mars. By eliminating the necessity of transporting ascent propellant to Mars, the NIMF can also significantly reduce the initial mass in LEO and of a manned Mars mission.

  10. 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

  11. Soil inoculation with microbial communities - can this become a useful tool in soil remediation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krug, Angelika; Wang, Fang; Dörfler, Ulrike; Munch, Jean Charles; Schroll, Reiner

    2010-05-01

    We artificially loaded different type of agricultural soils with model 14C-labelled chemicals, and we inoculated such soils with different microbial communities as well as isolated strains to enhance the mineralization of such chemicals. Inocula were introduced by different approaches: (i) soil inocula, (ii) application of isolated strain as well as microbial community via media, (iii) isolated strain as well as microbial community attached to a carrier material. Most of the inoculation experiments were conducted in laboratory but we also tested one of these approaches under real environmental conditions in lysimeters and we could show that the approach was successful. We already could show that inoculating soils with microbial communities attached on a specific carrier material shows the highest mineralization effectiveness and also the highest sustainability. Microbes attached on clay particles preserved their function over a long time period even if the specific microbial substrate was already degraded or at least not detectable any more. Additionally we already could show that in specific cases some soil parameters might reduce the effectiveness of such an approach. Results on isoproturon as a model for phenylurea-herbicides and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene as an example for an industrially used chemical as well as the corresponding chemicals` degrading microbial communities and isolated strain will be presented.

  12. Soil functional types: surveying the biophysical dimensions of soil security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cécillon, Lauric; Barré, Pierre

    2015-04-01

    climate) for a particular soil-provided ecosystem service (e.g. climate regulation)". One SFT can thus include several soil types having the same functionality for a particular soil-provided ES. Another consequence is that SFT maps for two different ES may not superimpose over the same area, since some soils may fall in the same SFT for a service and in different SFT for another one. Soil functional types could be assessed and monitored in space and time by a combination of soil functional traits that correspond to inherent and manageable properties of soils. Their metrology would involve either classic (pedological observations) or advanced (molecular ecology, spectrometry, geophysics) tools. SFT could be studied and mapped at all scales, depending on the purpose of the soil security assessment (e.g. global climate modeling, land planning and management, biodiversity conservation). Overall, research is needed to find a pathway from soil pedological maps to SFT maps which would yield important benefits towards the assessment and monitoring of soil security. Indeed, this methodology would allow (i) reducing the spatial uncertainty on the assessment of ES; (ii) identifying and mapping multifunctional soils, which may be the most important soil resource to preserve. References [1] McBratney et al., 2014. Geoderma 213:203-213. [2] Droogers P, Bouma J, 1997. SSSAJ 61:1704-1710.

  13. Mud Volcanoes - Analogs to Martian Cones and Domes (by the Thousands!)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Oehler, Dorothy

    2010-01-01

    Mud volcanoes are mounds formed by low temperature slurries of gas, liquid, sediments and rock that erupt to the surface from depths of meters to kilometers. They are common on Earth, with estimates of thousands onshore and tens of thousands offshore. Mud volcanoes occur in basins with rapidly-deposited accumulations of fine-grained sediments. Such settings are ideal for concentration and preservation of organic materials, and mud volcanoes typically occur in sedimentary basins that are rich in organic biosignatures. Domes and cones, cited as possible mud volcanoes by previous authors, are common on the northern plains of Mars. Our analysis of selected regions in southern Acidalia Planitia has revealed over 18,000 such features, and we estimate that more than 40,000 occur across the area. These domes and cones strongly resemble terrestrial mud volcanoes in size, shape, morphology, associated flow structures and geologic setting. Geologic and mineralogic arguments rule out alternative formation mechanisms involving lava, ice and impacts. We are studying terrestrial mud volcanoes from onshore and submarine locations. The largest concentration of onshore features is in Azerbaijan, near the western edge of the Caspian Sea. These features are typically hundreds of meters to several kilometers in diameter, and tens to hundreds of meters in height. Satellite images show spatial densities of 20 to 40 eruptive centers per 1000 square km. Many of the features remain active, and fresh mud flows as long as several kilometers are common. A large field of submarine mud volcanoes is located in the Gulf of Cadiz, off the Atlantic coasts of Morocco and Spain. High-resolution sonar bathymetry reveals numerous km-scale mud volcanoes, hundreds of meters in height. Seismic profiles demonstrate that the mud erupts from depths of several hundred meters. These submarine mud volcanoes are the closest morphologic analogs yet found to the features in Acidalia Planitia. We are also conducting

  14. 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

  15. Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

    KAUST Repository

    Atwood, Trisha B.

    2017-06-26

    Mangrove soils represent a large sink for otherwise rapidly recycled carbon (C). However, widespread deforestation threatens the preservation of this important C stock. It is therefore imperative that global patterns in mangrove soil C stocks and their susceptibility to remineralization are understood. Here, we present patterns in mangrove soil C stocks across hemispheres, latitudes, countries and mangrove community compositions, and estimate potential annual CO2 emissions for countries where mangroves occur. Global potential CO2 emissions from soils as a result of mangrove loss were estimated to be ~7.0 Tg CO2e yr−1. Countries with the highest potential CO2 emissions from soils are Indonesia (3,410 Gg CO2e yr−1) and Malaysia (1,288 Gg CO2e yr−1). The patterns described serve as a baseline by which countries can assess their mangrove soil C stocks and potential emissions from mangrove deforestation.

  16. The Use of Returned Martian Samples to Evaluate the Possibility of Extant Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    iMOST Team; ten Kate, I. L.; Mackelprang, R.; Rettberg, P.; Smith, C. L.; Altieri, F.; Amelin, Y.; Ammannito, E.; Anand, M.; Beaty, D. W.; Benning, L. G.; Bishop, J. L.; Borg, L. E.; Boucher, D.; Brucato, J. R.; Busemann, H.; Campbell, K. A.; Carrier, B. L.; Czaja, A. D.; Debaille, V.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dixon, M.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Farmer, J. D.; Fernandez-Remolar, D. C.; Fogarty, J.; Glavin, D. P.; Goreva, Y. S.; Grady, M. M.; Hallis, L. J.; Harrington, A. D.; Hausrath, E. M.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Humayun, M.; Kleine, T.; Kleinhenz, J.; Mangold, N.; Mayhew, L. E.; McCoy, J. T.; McCubbin, F. M.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Moser, D. E.; Moynier, F.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Ori, G. G.; Raulin, F.; Rucker, M. A.; Schmitz, N.; Sefton-Nash, E.; Sephton, M. A.; Shaheen, R.; Shuster, D. L.; Siljestrom, S.; Spry, J. A.; Steele, A.; Swindle, T. D.; Tosca, N. J.; Usui, T.; Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Wadhwa, M.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Westall, F.; Wheeler, R. M.; Zipfel, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2018-04-01

    The astrobiological community is highly interested in interrogating returned martian samples for evidence of extant life. A single observation with one method will not constitute evidence of extant life — it will require a suite of investigations.

  17. Modes of fossil preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  18. Visualization of physico-chemical properties and microbial distribution in soil and root microenvironments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eickhorst, Thilo; Schmidt, Hannes

    2016-04-01

    Plant root development is influenced by soil properties and environmental factors. In turn plant roots can also change the physico-chemical conditions in soil resulting in gradients between roots and the root-free bulk soil. By releasing a variety of substances roots facilitate microbial activities in their direct vicinity, the rhizosphere. The related microorganisms are relevant for various ecosystem functions in the root-soil interface such as nutrient cycling. It is therefore important to study the impact and dynamics of microorganisms associated to different compartments in root-soil interfaces on a biologically meaningful micro-scale. The analysis of microorganisms in their habitats requires microscopic observations of the respective microenvironment. This can be obtained by preserving the complex soil structure including the root system by resin impregnation resulting in high quality thin sections. The observation of such sections via fluorescence microscopy, SEM-EDS, and Nano-SIMS will be highlighted in this presentation. In addition, we will discuss the combination of this methodological approach with other imaging techniques such as planar optodes or non-invasive 3D X-ray CT to reveal the entire spatial structure and arrangement of soil particles and roots. When combining the preservation of soil structure via resin impregnation with 16S rRNA targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) single microbial cells can be visualized, localized, and quantified in the undisturbed soil matrix including the root-soil interfaces. The simultaneous use of multiple oligonucleotide probes thereby provides information on the spatial distribution of microorganisms belonging to different phylogenetic groups. Results will be shown for paddy soils, where management induced physico-chemical dynamics (flooding and drying) as well as resulting microbial dynamics were visualized via correlative microscopy in resin impregnated samples.

  19. Climatically driven loss of calcium in steppe soil as a sink for atmospheric carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.G. Lapenis; G.B. Lawrence; S.W. Bailey; B.F. Aparin; A.I. Shiklomanov; N.A. Speranskaya; M.S. Torn; M. Calef

    2008-01-01

    During the last several thousand years the semi-arid, cold climate of the Russian steppe formed highly fertile soils rich in organic carbon and calcium (classified as Chernozems in the Russian system). Analysis of archived soil samples collected in Kemannaya Steppe Preserve in 1920, 1947, 1970, and fresh samples collected in 1998 indicated that the native steppe...

  20. Mapping the metal uptake in plants from Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve using synchrotron micro-focused X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lo, Allison [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    2015-08-20

    Serpentine soil originates in the Earth’s mantle and contains high concentrations of potentially toxic transition metals. Although serpentine soil limits plant growth, endemic and adapted plants at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, located behind SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, can tolerate these conditions. Serpentine soil and seeds belonging to native California and invasive plants were collected at Jasper Ridge. The seeds were grown hydroponically and on serpentine and potting soil to examine the uptake and distribution of ions in the roots and shoots using synchrotron micro-focused X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The results were used to determine differences between serpentine-tolerant plants. Rye grown on potting soil was enriched in Ni, Fe, Mn, and Cr compared to purple needlegrass grown on serpentine soil. Serpentine vegetation equally suppressed the uptake of Mn, Ni, and Fe in the roots and shoots. The uptake of Ca and Mg affected the uptake of other elements such as K, S, and P.

  1. C-14/I-29 Preservation and Hold Time Survey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kitchen, S. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2015-04-08

    Preservation and hold time of radionuclides must account for both nuclear half-lives and nonnuclear loss mechanisms, but variations in the latter are often neglected. Metals-based defaults are inappropriate for long-lived non-metals C-14 and I-129, which are vulnerable to chemical and biological volatilization. Non-acidification is already widely practiced for them. Recommended addition measures from radiological and chemical literature include glass containers where possible, water filtration where possible, headspace minimization, light shielding, cold (4°C) storage and unfiltered water hold time of 28 days. Soil hold time may need to be shortened when water-logged, excessively sandy, or still adjusting to significant new contamination.

  2. Preserving Digital Materials

    CERN Document Server

    Harvey, Ross

    2011-01-01

    This book provides a single-volume introduction to the principles, strategies and practices currently applied by librarians and recordkeeping professionals to the critical issue of preservation of digital information. It incorporates practice from both the recordkeeping and the library communities, taking stock of current knowledge about digital preservation and describing recent and current research, to provide a framework for reflecting on the issues that digital preservation raises in professional practice.

  3. Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banham, Steve G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, Jame F. III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Stein, Nathan T.; Rivera-Hernandez, Frances; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2018-01-01

    Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and its implications for Gale crater geological history and regional palaeoclimate. Whilst exploring the sedimentary succession cropping out on the northern flank of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity encountered a decametre‐thick sandstone succession, named the Stimson formation, unconformably overlying lacustrine deposits of the Murray formation. The sandstone contains sand grains characterized by high roundness and sphericity, and cross‐bedding on the order of 1 m in thickness, separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops. The cross‐beds are composed of uniform thickness cross‐laminations interpreted as wind‐ripple strata. Cross‐sets are separated by sub‐horizontal bounding surfaces traceable for tens of metres across outcrops that are interpreted as dune migration surfaces. Grain characteristics and presence of wind‐ripple strata indicate deposition of the Stimson formation by aeolian processes. The absence of features characteristic of damp or wet aeolian sediment accumulation indicate deposition in a dry aeolian system. Reconstruction of the palaeogeomorphology suggests that the Stimson dune field was composed largely of simple sinuous crescentic dunes with a height of ca10 m, and wavelengths of ca 150 m, with local development of complex dunes. Analysis of cross‐strata dip‐azimuths indicates that the general dune migration direction and hence net sediment transport was towards the north‐east. The juxtaposition of a dry aeolian system unconformably above the lacustrine Murray formation represents starkly

  4. Impact of direct seeding on soil water retention in semi-arid area ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , twentyfive years after the first of zero tillage farming experiences, this new method was named crop conservation agriculture because it helps preserve soil nutrients, water absorption enhancing and infiltration and biodiversity by maintaining ...

  5. Paddys Run Streambank Stabilization Project at the Fernald Preserve, Harrison, OH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooten, Gwendolyn [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Legacy Management; Hertel, Bill [Navarro Research and Engineering; Homer, John [Navarro Research and Engineering

    2016-03-01

    The Fernald Preserve is a former uranium-processing plant that underwent extensive remediation pursuant to CERCLA and is now managed by the US DOE Office of Legacy Management. While remediation of buildings and soil contamination was completed in 2006, aquifer remediation is ongoing. Paddys Run is a second-order stream that runs to the south along the western side of the Fernald Preserve. The Paddys Run watershed encompasses nearly 41 km2 (16 mi2), including most of the Fernald site. Field personnel conducting routine site inspections in March 2014 observed that Paddys Run was migrating east via bank erosion into the “Pit 3 Swale,” an area of known surface-water contamination. The soil there was certified pursuant to site regulatory agreements and meets all final remediation levels. However, weekly surface-water monitoring is conducted from two puddles within the swale area, when water that exceeds the final remediation levels is present. Paddys Run had migrated east approximately 4 m (13 ft) in 2 years and was approximately 29 m (95 ft) from the sample location. This rapid migration threatened existing conditions that allowed for continued monitoring of the swale area and also threatened Paddys Run water quality. Therefore, DOE and regulators determined that the east bank of Paddys Run required stabilization. This was accomplished with a design that included the following components: relocation of approximately 145 m (475 ft) of streambed 9 m (30 ft) west, installation of a rock toe along the east bank, installation of two cross-vane in-stream grade-control structures, stabilization of a portion of the east bank using soil encapsulated lifts, and regrading, seeding, and planting within remaining disturbed areas. In an effort to take advantage of low-flow conditions in Paddys Run, construction was initiated in September 2014. Weather delays and subsurface flow within the Paddys Run streambed resulted in an interim shutdown of the project area in December 2014

  6. Water-Searchers: A Reconfigurable and Self Sustaining Army of Subsurface Exploration Robots Searching for Water/Ice Using Multiple Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youk, G. U.; Whittaker, W. (Red); Volpe, R.

    2000-01-01

    Perhaps the most promising site for extant life on Mars today is where subsurface water has been maintained. Therefore, searching for underground water will provide a good chance to find evidence of life on Mars. The following are scientific/engineering questions that we want to answer using our approach: (1) Is there subsurface water/ice? How deep is it? How much is there? Is it frozen? (2) What kinds of underground layers exist in the Martian crust? (3) What is the density of Martian soil or regolith? Can we dig into it? Should we drill into it? (4) Can a sudden release of underground water occur if a big asteroid hits Mars? Our approach provides essential information to answer these questions. Moreover, dependence on the water content and depth in soil, not only resultant scientific conclusions but also proper digging/drilling methods, are suggested. 'How much water is in the Martian soil?' There can be several possibilities: (1) high water content that is enough to form permafrost; (2) low water content that is not enough to form permafrost; or (3) different layers with different moisture contents. 'How deep should a rover dig into soil to find water/ice?' The exact size-frequency distribution has not been measured for the soil particles. On-board sensors can provide not only the water content but also the density (or porosity) of Martian soil as a function of depth.

  7. EFFECTS OF LEACHING MEDIUM ON LEACHABILITY OF WOOD PRESERVING N'N-HYDROXYNAPTHALIMIDE (NHA)

    OpenAIRE

    Evren Terzi,; Dilek Dogu,; Feyza Kurt,; S. Nami Kartal,; Frederick Green

    2012-01-01

    Laboratory leaching test procedures usually call for the use of distilled or deionized water; however, treated wood is generally exposed to different types of water, soil, and weather conditions. Thus, factors such as salinity, hardness, pH, temperature etc. might be important in the release of different amounts of biocide compounds. This study evaluates the release of the sodium salt of the calcium precipitating and wood preserving agent N’N-hydroxynapthalimide (NHA) from treated wood specim...

  8. A simplified model of the Martian atmosphere - Part 2: a POD-Galerkin analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Whitehouse

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In Part I of this study Whitehouse et al. (2005 performed a diagnostic analysis of a simplied model of the Martian atmosphere, in which topography was absent and in which heating was modelled as Newtonian relaxation towards a zonally symmetric equilibrium temperature field. There we derived a reduced-order approximation to the vertical and the horizonal structure of the baroclinically unstable Martian atmosphere, retaining only the barotropic mode and the leading order baroclinic modes. Our objectives in Part II of the study are to incorporate these approximations into a Proper Orthogonal Decomposition-Galerkin expansion of the spherical quasi-geostrophic model in order to derive hierarchies of nonlinear ordinary differential equations for the time-varying coefficients of the spatial structures. Two different vertical truncations are considered, as well as three different norms and 3 different Galerkin truncations. We investigate each in turn, using tools from bifurcation theory, to determine which of the systems most closely resembles the data for which the original diagnostics were performed.

  9. 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.

  10. Re-Os Isotopic Constraints on the Chemical Evolution and Differentiation of the Martian Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Alan D.; Walker, Richard J.

    2002-01-01

    The (187)Re-187Os isotopic systematics of SNC meteorites, thought to be from Mars, provide valuable information regarding the chemical processes that affected the Martian mantle, particularly with regard to the relative abundances of highly siderophile elements (HSE). Previously published data (Birck and Allegre 1994, Brandon et al. 2000), and new data obtained since these studies, indicate that the HSE and Os isotopic composition of the Martian mantle was primarily set in its earliest differentiation history. If so, then these meteorites provide key constraints on the processes that lead to variation in HSE observed in not only Mars, but also Earth, the Moon and other rocky bodies in the Solar System. Processes that likely have an effect on the HSE budgets of terrestrial mantles include core formation, magma ocean crystallization, development of juvenile crust, and the addition of a late veneer. Each of these processes will result in different HSE variation and the isotopic composition of mantle materials and mantle derived lavas. Two observations on the SNC data to present provide a framework for which to test the importance of each of these processes. First, the concentrations of Re and Os in SNC meteorites indicate that they are derived from a mantle that has similar concentrations to the Earth's mantle. Such an observation is consistent with a model where a chondritic late veneer replenished the Earth and Martian mantles subsequent to core formation on each planet. Alternative models to explain this observation do exist, but will require additional data to test the limitations of each. Second, Re-Os isotopic results from Brandon et al. (2000) and new data presented here, show that initial yos correlates with variations in the short-lived systems of (182)Hf- (182)W and (142)Sm-142Nd in the SNC meteorites (epsilon(sub W) and epsilon(sub 142Nd)). These systematics require an isolation of mantle reservoirs during the earliest differentiation history of Mars, and

  11. Mineralogy, stratigraphy, and provenance of soil coverbeds in the Kumara district, Westland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neall, V.E.; Stewart, R.B.; Wallace, R.C.; Williams, M.C.; Mew, G.

    2001-01-01

    The sand and silt mineralogy of four soils preserved on fluvioglacial outwash terraces at Kumara indicates that the main soil body is developed in up to 1 m of loessial coverbeds that accumulated subsequent to cessation of gravel terrace formation. Oxygen isotope abundances of the dominant mineral quartz in these soils show a higher temperature origin for the >250 micro-m fraction, consistent with derivation from local granodiorites. Finer quartz is of a mixed provenance origin consistent with the variety of rock types in the region. The finest quartz, <5 micro-m, of aerosolic origin, can be used as a proxy time record for the coverbed accumulations. The widespread 22 590 yr BP Aokautere Ash chronohorizon is preserved in three of the profiles, whilst wind redeposition of the glass shards is responsible for traces of rhyolitic glass in all subsequent horizons. Widespread landscape erosion is postulated either immediately before or during deposition of the K-1 terrace, so that similar subsequent coverbed sequences ae preserved on the K-1 and all older terraces in this district. Magnetic mineral assemblages in the profiles indicate a slightly different loessial provenance for the Cockeye, K-1, and K-2.1 profiles, but the K-2.2 is significantly different from the rest. This is probably a function of aeolian winnowing and variablity of source materials. In the past, different mountain catchments have connected with different lower river reaches, due to transcurrent movement on the Alpine Fault. This is interpreted as having led to changing provenance of river sediment supplying loess to local soils. (author). 39 refs.,10 figs., 4 tabs

  12. Constraining the Source Craters of the Martian Meteorites: Implications for Prioritiziation of Returned Samples from Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herd, C. D. K.; Tornabene, L. L.; Bowling, T. J.; Walton, E. L.; Sharp, T. G.; Melosh, H. J.; Hamilton, J. S.; Viviano, C. E.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2018-04-01

    We have made advances in constraining the potential source craters of the martian meteorites to a relatively small number. Our results have implications for Mars chronology and the prioritization of samples for Mars Sample Return.

  13. Geochemical evidence for mixing of three components in martian orthopyroxenite ALH 84001. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Lindstrom, M. M.

    1994-01-01

    ALH 84001, a ferroan martian orthopyroxenite, originally consisted of three petrographically defined components: a cumulus assemblage of orthopyroxene + chromite, a trapped melt assemblage of orthopyroxene(?) + chromite + maskelynite + apatite + augite +/- pyrite, and a metasomatic assemblage of carbonate +/- pyrite. We present the results of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) study of five bulk samples of ALH 84001, combined with Scanning Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) data on the orthopyroxene, in order to attempt to set limits on the geochemical characteristics of the latter two components, and therefore on the petrogenesis of ALH 84001. The INAA data support the petrographic observations, suggesting that there are at least three components in ALH 84001. We will assume that each of the three geochemically required components can be equated with one of the petrographically observed components. Both trapped melt and metasomatic components in ALH 84001 have higher Na than orthopyroxene based on compositions of maskelynite, apatite, and carbonate. For the metasomatic component, we will assume its Na content is that of carbonate, while for a trapped melt component, we will use a typical Na content inferred for martian meteorite parent melts, approximately 1 wt% Na2O. Under these assumptions, we can set limits on the Light Rare Earth Elements/Heavy Rare Earth Elements (LREE/HREE) ratios of the components, and use this information to compare the petrogenesis of ALH 84001 with other martian meteorites. The above calculations assume that the bulk samples are representative of different portions of ALH 84001. We will also evaluate the possible heterogeneous distribution of mineral phases in the bulk samples as the cause of compositional heterogeneity in our samples.

  14. Nitrogen and Martian Habitability: Insights from Five Years of Curiosity Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, J. C.; Sutter, B.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; McKay, C.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Archer, D., Jr.; Franz, H. B.; Freissinet, C.; Jackson, W. A.; Conrad, P. G.; Glavin, D. P.; Trainer, M. G.; Malespin, C.; McAdam, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Teinturier, S.; Manning, C.

    2017-12-01

    The detection of "fixed" N on Mars in the form of nitrate by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover [1] has major implications for martian habitability. "Follow the nitrogen" has been proposed as a strategy in the search for both extant and extinct life on Mars [e.g., 2]. Nitrogen is so crucial to life on Earth that life developed metabolic pathways to break the triple bond of N2 and "fix" atmospheric nitrogen to more biologically available molecules for use in proteins and informational polymers. Sequestration of nitrate in regolith has long been predicted to contribute to the removal of N from the martian atmosphere [e.g., 3], and our detections confirm that nitrogen fixation was occurring on ancient Mars. Detections of fixed nitrogen, particularly within the context of the habitable environment in Yellowknife Bay characterized by the MSL payload, are an important tool to assess whether life ever could have existed on ancient Mars. We present 5 years of analyses and interpretation of nitrate in solid martian drilled and scooped samples by SAM on MSL. Nitrate abundance reported by SAM in situ measurements ranges from non-detection to 681 ± 304 mg/kg [1,4] in the samples examined to date. The measured abundances are consistent with nitrogen fixation via impact generated thermal shock on ancient Mars and/or dry deposition from photochemistry of thermospheric NO. We review the integration of SAM data with terrestrial Mars analog work in order to better understand the timing of nitrogen fixation and mobility of nitrogen on Mars, and thus its availability to putative biology. In particular, the relationship between nitrate and other soluble salts, such as perchlorate, may help reveal the timing of nitrogen fixation and post-depositional behavior of nitrate on Mars [4]. Finally, we present a comparison of isotopic composition (δ15N) of nitrate with δ15N of atmospheric nitrogen (δ15N ≈ 574‰, [5

  15. Sleep stability and cognitive function in an Arctic Martian analogue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gríofa, Marc O; Blue, Rebecca S; Cohen, Kenneth D; O'Keeffe, Derek T

    2011-04-01

    Human performance is affected by sleep disruption and sleep deprivation can critically affect mission outcome in both spaceflight and other extreme environments. In this study, the seven-person crew (four men, three women) lived a Martian sol (24.65 h) for 37 d during a long-term stay at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Devon Island, Canada. Crewmembers underwent cardiopulmonary monitoring for signs of circadian disruption and completed a modified Pittsburgh Sleep Diary to monitor subjective fatigue. Crewmembers underwent cognitive testing to identify the effects, if any, of sleep disruption upon cognitive skill. A Martian sol was implemented for 37 d during the Arctic mission. Each crewmember completed an adapted version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary in tandem with electrocardiograph (ECG) cardiopulmonary monitoring of sleep by the Cardiac Adapted Sleep Parameters Electrocardiogram Recorder (CASPER). Crewmembers also underwent cognitive testing during this time period. Sleep diary data indicate improvement in alertness with the onset of the sol (fatigue decreasing from 5.1 to 4.0, alertness increasing from 6.1 to 7.0). Cardiopulmonary data suggest sleep instability, though trends were not statistically significant. Crewmember decision speed time scores improved from pre-Mars to Mars (average improving from 66.5 to 84.0%), though the remainder of cognitive testing results were not significant. While subjective data demonstrate improved sleep and alertness during the sol, objective data demonstrate no significant alteration of sleep patterns. There was no apparent cognitive decline over the course of the mission.

  16. Qualification of Fiber Optic Cables for Martian Extreme Temperature Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesham, Rajeshuni; Lindensmith, Christian A.; Roberts, William T.; Rainen, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    Means have been developed for enabling fiber optic cables of the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer instrument to survive ground operations plus the nominal 670 Martian conditions that include Martian summer and winter seasons. The purpose of this development was to validate the use of the rover external fiber optic cabling of ChemCam for space applications under the extreme thermal environments to be encountered during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Flight-representative fiber optic cables were subjected to extreme temperature thermal cycling of the same diurnal depth (or delta T) as expected in flight, but for three times the expected number of in-flight thermal cycles. The survivability of fiber optic cables was tested for 600 cumulative thermal cycles from -130 to +15 C to cover the winter season, and another 1,410 cumulative cycles from -105 to +40 C to cover the summer season. This test satisfies the required 3 times the design margin that is a total of 2,010 thermal cycles (670 x 3). This development test included functional optical transmission tests during the course of the test. Transmission of the fiber optic cables was performed prior to and after 1,288 thermal cycles and 2,010 thermal cycles. No significant changes in transmission were observed on either of the two representative fiber cables subject through the 3X MSL mission life that is 2,010 thermal cycles.

  17. Stratigraphy of the Martian northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.

    1993-01-01

    The northern plains of Mars are roughly defined as the large continuous region of lowlands that lies below Martian datum, plus higher areas within the region that were built up by volcanism, sedimentation, tectonism, and impacts. These northern lowlands span about 50 x 10(exp 6) km(sup 2) or 35 percent of the planet's surface. The age and origin of the lowlands continue to be debated by proponents of impact and tectonic explanations. Geologic mapping and topical studies indicate that volcanic, fluvial, and eolian deposition have played major roles in the infilling of this vast depression. Periglacial, glacial, fluvial, eolian, tectonic, and impact processes have locally modified the surface. Because of the northern plains' complex history of sedimentation and modification, much of their stratigraphy was obscured. Thus the stratigraphy developed is necessarily vague and provisional: it is based on various clues from within the lowlands as well as from highland areas within and bordering the plains. The results are summarized.

  18. Hydrogen Isotopes Record the History of the Martian Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, T.; Simon, J. I.; Jones, J. H.; Kurokawa, H.; Sato, M.; Alexander, C. M. O'D; Wang, J.

    2015-01-01

    The surface geology and geomorphology of Mars indicates that it was once warm enough to maintain a large body of liquid water on its surface, though such a warm environment might have been transient. The transition to the present cold and dry Mars is closely linked to the history of surface water, yet the evolution of surficial water is poorly constrained. This study presents insights from hydrogen isotopes for the origin and evolution of Martian water reservoirs.

  19. Root-soil relationships and terroir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasi, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Soil features, along with climate, are among the most important determinants of a succesful grape production in a certain area. Most of the studies, so far, investigated the above-ground vine response to differente edaphic and climate condition, but it is clearly not sufficient to explain the vine whole behaviour. In fact, roots represent an important part of the terroir system (soil-plant-atmosphere-man), and their study can provide better comprehension of vine responses to different environments. The root density and distribution, the ability of deep-rooting and regenerating new roots are good indicators of root well-being, and represents the basis for an efficient physiological activity of the root system. Root deepening and distribution are strongly dependent and sensitive on soil type and soil properties, while root density is affected mostly by canopy size, rootstock and water availability. According to root well-being, soil management strategies should alleviate soil impediments, improving aeration and microbial activity. Moreover, agronomic practices can impact root system performance and influence the above-ground growth. It is well known, for example, that the root system size is largely diminished by high planting densities. Close vine spacings stimulate a more effective utilization of the available soil, water and nutrients, but if the competition for available soil becomes too high, it can repress vine growth, and compromise vineyard longevity, productivity and reaction to growing season weather. Development of resilient rootstocks, more efficient in terms of water and nutrient uptake and capable of dealing with climate and soil extremes (drought, high salinity) are primary goals fore future research. The use of these rootstocks will benefit a more sustainable use of the soil resources and the preservation and valorisation of the terroir.

  20. Meridional Martian water abundance profiles during the 1988-1989 season

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rizk, B.; Wells, W.K.; Hunten, D.M.; Stoker, C.R.; Freedman, R.S.; Roush, T.; Pollack, J.B.; Haberle, R.M.

    1991-01-01

    The Martian southern hemisphere atmospheric water vapor column abundance measurements reported agree with Viking Orbiter atmospheric water detectors during early southern spring and southern autumnal equinox; profiles obtained in southern mid- and late summer, however, indicate the presence of twice as much water both in the southern hemisphere and planetwide. This discrepancy is accounted for by the high optical depths created by two global dust storms during the Viking year, while the present observations were obtained in the case of the relatively dust-free atmosphere of the 1988-1989 opposition. 29 refs

  1. Electrodialytic Remediation of Soil Slurry-Removal of Cu, Cr, and As

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ottosen, Lisbeth M.; Jensen, Pernille Erland; Hansen, Henrik K.

    2009-01-01

    Severe soil contamination is often found at old wood preservation sites and a common combination of pollutants is Cu, Cr, and As. In the present work it is tested if simultaneous removal of Cu, Cr, and As can be obtained in an electrodialytic cell where the polluted soil is remediated as a stirred...... experiments; an experiment where the soil was suspended in distilled water and the remediation lasted 3 weeks with 2.5 mA and an experiment with acidification of the soil suspension with HNO3 to pH about 1.0 (2 weeks and 5 mA). The best separation of pollutants and soil was obtained in the experiment...... with suspension in distilled water. Based on soil concentrations, good Cu removal (95%) was obtained in both experiments. Removal of Cr was most efficient from the acidified soil suspension (74%). Both Cu and Cr concentrations were below the limiting values after the remediation. The As concentration, however...

  2. SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE ROLE OF COSMIC ENVIRONMENT IN SOIL GENESIS AND EVOLUTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Munteanu

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The present day concept of soil is strongly connected to the terrestrial environment. Among the cosmic factors of soil genesis the energy (as light and heat provided by the Sun is by far the most important. The other outer space possible agents e.g. meteorites, comets, cosmic radiation and cosmic dust, are usually neglected or scarcely mentioned. The advancing of cosmic exploration spurred soil scientists to extend their interest upon the extraterrestrial regoliths of Earth-like planets (Mars, Venus and Moon. The concept of “Universal soil” in whose genesis the biotic factor and water are not mandatory, has been recently advanced. The first papers about “lunar soils” are already quoted in soil science literature; some also speak about “Martian soil” or “Venusian soil”. Although these seem to be mere regoliths quite different from the “terrestrial soil” (by absence of life and water one believes that they may give information about impact upon lithological material of severe environment of these planets. This paper tries to outline the cosmic destiny of the soil, to enlarge its meaning and to reveal the hidden connections that the soil has with some planetary and cosmic parameters. In cosmic vision the “soil” – either “lunar”, “martian”, or “terrestrial” – can be viewed as the interface of energy and matter exchange between the land masses of these celestial body and their cosmic environment. The role of the solar activity, extragalactic events, distance from the Sun, obliquity (tilt of Earth’s rotation axis and Earth’s orbit circularity are analyzed in connection with Quaternary glaciations and their influences upon the development of terrestrial soils. The influence of Moon is emphasized as being very important in shaping the zonal geography of the terrestrial soils.

  3. Functioning of metal contaminated garden soil after remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jelusic, Masa; Grcman, Helena; Vodnik, Dominik; Suhadolc, Metka; Lestan, Domen

    2013-01-01

    The effect of remediation using three EDTA doses (10, 30, 60 mmol kg −1 ) on soil functioning was assessed using column experiment and Brassica rapa. Soil washing removed up to 77, 29 and 72% of metals from soil contaminated with 1378, 578 and 8.5 mg kg −1 of Pb, Zn and Cd, respectively. Sequential extraction indicated removal from the carbonate soil fraction. Metal oral-accessibility from the stomach phase was reduced by up to 75 and from the small intestine by up to 79% (Pb). Part of metals (up to 0.8% Cd) was lost due to leaching from columns. Remediation reduced toxic metal soil-root transfer by up to 61% but did not prevent metal accumulation in leaves. The fitness of plants grown on EDTA washed soils (gas exchange, fluorescence) was not compromised. Remediation initially reduced the soil DNA content (up to 29%, 30 mmol kg −1 EDTA) and changed the structure of microbial population. -- Highlights: ► Toxic metals contaminated garden soil was remediated in a pilot-scale. ► EDTA washing reduced soil Pb, Zn and Cd content and bioavailability. ► Remediated soil preserved the function of plant and microbial substrate. ► Remediation didn't prevent the accumulation of toxic metals in the test plant. -- EDTA soil washing effectively removed toxic metals and reduced their transfer from the soil to plant roots but did not prevent their accumulation in leaves

  4. Architectural concepts of Martian bases built: of domes, around greenhouses and into slopes -the human aspect and the technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozicki, Janek; Kozicka, Joanna

    Human missions to Mars are a special kind of space missions due to their long duration. The human aspect of such missions becomes as important as the technological one. The need for a human friendly and comfortable habitat arises. Studies of human behavior in ICEs have shown that larger groups of people mean a lower occurrence of conflicts. However, for a larger crew a larger habitat has to be designed -a Martian base. The research deals with psychological, sociological and technological aspects influencing the architectural design of a Martian Base. Extreme conditions present on Mars demand a partic-ular approach to technological and architectural design. To reduce the cost of building a bigger habitat, low cost solutions have been inquired into. A series of analyses has been performed to identify the best architectural solutions for a Martian base. A review of existing technologies and extreme condition habitats (both terrestrial and extraterrestrial) has revealed solutions that are the most reliable and efficient ones. Additionally, innovative technologies have been analyzed in search of the best candidates for actual base construction. Low cost solutions have been prioritized in the process. An in-depth study of architectural problems inherent in the design of a Martian base has resulted in a number of guidelines for the architect. The main ones are introduced in this review. Based on them, several concepts have been drafted as examples of user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing habitats. They are discussed in the following order: habitats made of domes, those built around greenhouses and those situated in sloping terrain. One of them is presented in detail, including interior design.

  5. LOW COST SOLIDIFICATION/STABILIZATION TREATMENT FOR SOILS CONTAMINATED WITH DIOXIN, PCP AND CREOSOTE

    Science.gov (United States)

    The USEPA's NRMRL conducted successful treatability tests of innovative solidification/stabilization (S/S) formulations to treat soils contaminated with dioxins, pentachlorophenol (PCP), and creosote from four wood preserving sites. Formulations developed during these studies wer...

  6. Estimating Carbon Stocks Along Depressional Wetlands Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in the Disney Wilderness Preserve (Orlando, Florida)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, M. D.; Comas, X.; Wright, W. J.; Mount, G. J.

    2014-12-01

    Peat soils store a large fraction of the global carbon (C) in soil. It is estimated that 95% of carbon in peatlands is stored in the peat soil, while less than 5% occurs in the vegetation. The majority of studies related to C stocks in peatlands have taken place in northern latitudes leaving the tropical and subtropical latitudes clearly understudied. In this study we use a combination of indirect non-invasive geophysical methods (mainly ground penetrating radar, GPR) as well as direct measurements (direct coring) to calculate total C stocks within subtropical depressional wetlands in the Disney Wilderness Preserve (DWP, Orlando, FL). A set of three-dimensional (3D) GPR surveys were used to detect variability of the peat layer thickness and the underlying peat-sand mix layer across several depressional wetlands. Direct samples collected at selected locations were used to confirm depth of each interface and to estimate C content in the laboratory. Layer thickness estimated from GPR and direct C content were used to estimate total peat volume and C content for the entire depressional wetland. Through the use of aerial photos a relationship between surface area along the depressional wetlands and total peat thickness (and thus C content) was established for the depressions surveyed and applied throughout the entire preserve. This work shows the importance of depressional wetlands as critical contributors of the C budget at the DWP.

  7. Ammonium citrate as enhancement for electrodialytic soil remediation and investigation of soil solution during the process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias-Ferreira, Celia; Kirkelund, Gunvor M; Ottosen, Lisbeth M

    2015-01-01

    Seven electrodialytic experiments were conducted using ammonium citrate as enhancing agent to remediate copper and chromium-contaminated soil from a wood-preservation site. The purpose was to investigate the effect of current density (0.2, 1.0 and 1.5 mA cm(-2)), concentration of enhancing agent (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 M) and remediation times (21, 42 and 117 d) for the removal of Cu and Cr from a calcareous soil. To gain insight on metal behavior, soil solution was periodically collected using suction cups. It was seen that current densities higher than 1.0 mA cm(-2) did not increase removal and thus using too high current densities can be a waste of energy. Desorption rate is important and both remediation time and ammonium citrate concentration are relevant parameters. It was possible to collect soil solution samples following an adaptation of the experimental set-up to ensure continuous supply of ammonium citrate to the soil in order to keep it saturated during the remediation. Monitoring soil solution gives valuable information on the evolution of remediation and helps deciding when the soil is remediated. Final concentrations in the soil ranged from 220 to 360 mg Cu kg(-1) (removals: 78-86%) and 440-590 mg Cr kg(-1) (removals: 35-51%), being within the 500 mg kg(-1) limit for a clean soil only for Cu. While further optimization is still required for Cr, the removal percentages are the highest achieved so far, for a real Cu and Cr-contaminated, calcareous soil. The results highlight EDR potential to remediate metal polluted soils at neutral to alkaline pH by choosing a good enhancement solution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Preservation and Significance of Extracellular DNA in Ferruginous Sediments from Lake Towuti, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurèle Vuillemin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular DNA is ubiquitous in soil and sediment and constitutes a dominant fraction of environmental DNA in aquatic systems. In theory, extracellular DNA is composed of genomic elements persisting at different degrees of preservation produced by processes occurring on land, in the water column and sediment. Extracellular DNA can be taken up as a nutrient source, excreted or degraded by microorganisms, or adsorbed onto mineral matrices, thus potentially preserving information from past environments. To test whether extracellular DNA records lacustrine conditions, we sequentially extracted extracellular and intracellular DNA from anoxic sediments of ferruginous Lake Towuti, Indonesia. We applied 16S rRNA gene Illumina sequencing on both fractions to discriminate exogenous from endogenous sources of extracellular DNA in the sediment. Environmental sequences exclusively found as extracellular DNA in the sediment originated from multiple sources. For instance, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Acidobacteria derived from soils in the catchment. Limited primary productivity in the water column resulted in few sequences of Cyanobacteria in the oxic photic zone, whereas stratification of the water body mainly led to secondary production by aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophs. Chloroflexi and Planctomycetes, the main degraders of sinking organic matter and planktonic sequences at the water-sediment interface, were preferentially preserved during the initial phase of burial. To trace endogenous sources of extracellular DNA, we used relative abundances of taxa in the intracellular DNA to define which microbial populations grow, decline or persist at low density with sediment depth. Cell lysis became an important additional source of extracellular DNA, gradually covering previous genetic assemblages as other microbial genera became more abundant with depth. The use of extracellular DNA as nutrient by active microorganisms led to selective removal of

  10. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  11. Chronopolis Digital Preservation Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Minor

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The Chronopolis Digital Preservation Initiative, one of the Library of Congress’ latest efforts to collect and preserve at-risk digital information, has completed its first year of service as a multi-member partnership to meet the archival needs of a wide range of domains.Chronopolis is a digital preservation data grid framework developed by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC at UC San Diego, the UC San Diego Libraries (UCSDL, and their partners at the National Center for