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Sample records for martian surface geochemistry

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. On the chemistry of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keil, K.

    1978-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Scratching the Surface of Martian Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Pamela G.

    2014-01-01

    Earth and Mars, though formed at the same time from the same materials, look very different today. Early in their histories they evolved through some of the same processes, but at some point their evolutionary paths diverged, sending them in perhaps irrevocably different directions. Knowledge of the factors that contributed to such different outcomes will help to determine how planets become habitable and how common habitable planets may be. The Mars surface environment is harsh today, but in situ measurements of ancient sedimentary rock by Mars Science Laboratory reveal chemical and mineralogical evidence of past conditions that might have been more favorable for life to exist. But chemistry is only part of what is required to make an environment habitable. Physical conditions constrain the chemical reactions that underlie life processes; the chemical and physical characteristics that make planets habitable are thus entangled.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Distribution of small channels on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieri, D.

    1976-01-01

    The distribution of small channels on Mars has been mapped from Mariner 9 images at the 1:5,000,000 scale. The small channels referred to here are small valleys ranging in width from the resolution limit of the Mariner 9 wide-angle images (about 1 km) to about 10 km. The greatest density of small channels occurs in dark cratered terrain. This dark zone forms a broad subequatorial band around the planet. The observed distribution may be the result of decreased small-channel visibility in bright areas due to obscuration by a high albedo dust or sediment mantle. Crater densities within two small-channel segments show crater size-frequency distributions consistent with those of the oldest of the heavily cratered plains units. Such crater densities coupled with the almost exclusive occurrence of small channels in old cratered terrain and the generally degraded appearance of small channels in the high-resolution images (about 100 m) imply a major episode of small-channel formation early in Martian geologic history.

  3. 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.

  4. Study on surface geochemistry and microbiology for hydrocarbon exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    The test results of the experimental device for extraction of dissolved gases from water show that the device can be utilized for the gas geochemistry of water. The device is capable of determining hydrocarbon gases in water to the concentration of less than 5 x 10{sup -4} ml/l of water. According to the results of microbiological studies, the plate count technique can be a useful supplementary method for hydrocarbon exploration. This is based on the facts that the average survival rate to hydrocarbons (pentane, hexane) for heterotrophs is higher in the area known as containing considerable hydrocarbon gases than other areas in the Pohang region. However, it is still necessary to develop techniques to treat the bacteria with gaseous hydrocarbons. (author). 2 figs., 41 tabs.

  5. Proceedings of the 3. Brazilian Congress on Geochemistry; 1. Congress on Geochemistry from Portuguese Language Countries - Abstracts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This congress presents topics about geochemistry, including litho-geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, hydro-geochemistry and surface geochemistry. Works on geochronology and nuclear methods in rocks and minerals are also described. (C.G.C.)

  6. 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

  7. A diffuse radar scattering model from Martian surface rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin, W. M.; Jakosky, B. M.; Christensen, P. R.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing of Mars has been done with a variety of instrumentation at various wavelengths. Many of these data sets can be reconciled with a surface model of bonded fines (or duricrust) which varies widely across the surface and a surface rock distribution which varies less so. A surface rock distribution map from -60 to +60 deg latitude has been generated by Christensen. Our objective is to model the diffuse component of radar reflection based on this surface distribution of rocks. The diffuse, rather than specular, scattering is modeled because the diffuse component arises due to scattering from rocks with sizes on the order of the wavelength of the radar beam. Scattering for radio waves of 12.5 cm is then indicative of the meter scale and smaller structure of the surface. The specular term is indicative of large scale surface undulations and should not be causally related to other surface physical properties. A simplified model of diffuse scattering is described along with two rock distribution models. The results of applying the models to a planet of uniform fractional rock coverage with values ranging from 5 to 20% are discussed.

  8. Effects of mass transfer between Martian satellites on surface geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-21

    suspected. Published by Elsevier Inc.1. Introduction Several features about the surface geology on the moons of Mars remain poorly understood. The grooves on...Deimos may have an effect on Phobos’ geology ; we shall attempt to estimate the magnitude of that effect in Section 4. For impacts with Mars, Phobos or...global surface geology , particularly in the 100+ Ma since the last Voltaire-sized impact. Therefore we believe it unlikely that the red veneer of

  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. Planetary SUrface Portal (PSUP): a tool for easy visualization and analysis of Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulet, Francois; Quantin-Nataf, Cathy; Ballans, Hervé; Lozac'h, Loic; Audouard, Joachim; Carter, John; Dassas, karin; Malapert, Jean-Christophe; Marmo, Chiara; Poulleau, Gilles; Riu, Lucie; Séjourné, antoine

    2016-10-01

    PSUP is two software application platforms for working with raster, vector, DTM, and hyper-spectral data acquired by various space instruments analyzing the surface of Mars from orbit. The first platform of PSUP is MarsSI (Martian surface data processing Information System, http://emars.univ-lyon1.fr). It provides data analysis functionalities to select and download ready-to-use products or to process data though specific and validated pipelines. To date, MarsSI handles CTX, HiRISE and CRISM data of NASA/MRO mission, HRSC and OMEGA data of ESA/MEx mission and THEMIS data of NASA/ODY mission (Lozac'h et al., EPSC 2015). The second part of PSUP is also open to the scientific community and can be visited at http://psup.ias.u-psud.fr/. This web-based user interface provides access to many data products for Mars: image footprints and rasters from the MarsSI tool; compositional maps from OMEGA and TES; albedo and thermal inertia from OMEGA and TES; mosaics from THEMIS, Viking, and CTX; high level specific products (defined as catalogues) such as hydrated mineral sites derived from CRISM and OMEGA data, central peaks mineralogy,… In addition, OMEGA C channel data cubes corrected for atmospheric and aerosol contributions can be downloaded. The architecture of PSUP data management and visualization is based on SITools2 and MIZAR, two CNES generic tools developed by a joint effort between CNES and scientific laboratories. SITools2 provides a self-manageable data access layer deployed on the PSUP data, while MIZAR is 3D application in a browser for discovering and visualizing geospatial data. Further developments including the addition of high level products of Mars (regional geological maps, new global compositional maps,…) are foreseen. Ultimately, PSUP will be adapted to other planetary surfaces and space missions in which the French research institutes are involved.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moehlmann, D.; Kochan, H.

    1992-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Geochemistry and Organic Chemistry on the Surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J. I.; Beauchamp, P.; Beauchamp, J.; Dougherty, D.; Welch, C.; Raulin, F.; Shapiro, R.; Smith, M.

    2001-01-01

    Titan's atmosphere produces a wealth of organic products from methane and nitrogen. These products, deposited on the surface in liquid and solid form, may interact with surface ices and energy sources to produce compounds of exobiological interest. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. The Martian surface as imaged, sampled, and analyzed by the Viking landers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arvidson, R.E.; Gooding, J.L.; Moore, H.J.

    1989-01-01

    Data collected by two Viking landers are analyzed. Attention is given to the characteristics of the surface inferred from Lander imaging and meteorology data, physical and magnetic properties experiments, and both inorganic and organic analyses of Martian samples. Viking Lander 1 touched down on Chryse Planitia on July 20, 1976 and continued to operate for 2252 sols, until November 20, 1982. Lander 2 touched down about 6500 km away from Lander 1, on Utopia Planitia on September 3, 1976. The chemical compositions of sediments at the two landing sites are similar, suggesting an aeolian origin. The compositions suggest an iron-rich rock an are matched by various clays and salts. 89 refs

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of Mina Ratones (Albala, Caceres) in surface and ground waters: hydro geochemistry modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Gonzalez, P.

    2002-01-01

    Weathering of rock materials, tailings and mine dumps produce acidic and metal-enriched waters that contaminate surface and groundwaters. The understanding and quantification of the environmental impact of the Ratones old uranium mine (Albala, Caceres) are the main objectives of this work. For this purpose, the hydro geochemistry around the mine has been studied based on a precise knowledge of the structure and hydrogeology of the zone. The hydrochemical study aims to establish the chemical phases that control the concentration of the possible contaminants of the groundwaters. (Author)

  20. Hybrid Heat Pipes for Lunar and Martian Surface and High Heat Flux Space Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ababneh, Mohammed T.; Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Farmer, Jeffery T.; Alvarez-Hernandez, Angel R.

    2016-01-01

    Novel hybrid wick heat pipes are developed to operate against gravity on planetary surfaces, operate in space carrying power over long distances and act as thermosyphons on the planetary surface for Lunar and Martian landers and rovers. These hybrid heat pipes will be capable of operating at the higher heat flux requirements expected in NASA's future spacecraft and on the next generation of polar rovers and equatorial landers. In addition, the sintered evaporator wicks mitigate the start-up problems in vertical gravity aided heat pipes because of large number of nucleation sites in wicks which will allow easy boiling initiation. ACT, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Johnson Space Center, are working together on the Advanced Passive Thermal experiment (APTx) to test and validate the operation of a hybrid wick VCHP with warm reservoir and HiK"TM" plates in microgravity environment on the ISS.

  1. A model to calculate solar radiation fluxes on the Martian surface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicente-Retortillo Álvaro

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a new comprehensive radiative transfer model to study the solar irradiance that reaches the surface of Mars in the spectral range covered by MetSIS, a sensor aboard the Mars MetNet mission that will measure solar irradiance in several bands from the ultraviolet (UV to the near infrared (NIR. The model includes up-to-date wavelength-dependent radiative properties of dust, water ice clouds, and gas molecules. It enables the characterization of the radiative environment in different spectral regions under different scenarios. Comparisons between the model results and MetSIS observations will allow for the characterization of the temporal variability of atmospheric optical depth and dust size distribution, enhancing the scientific return of the mission. The radiative environment at the Martian surface has important implications for the habitability of Mars as well as a strong impact on its atmospheric dynamics and climate.

  2. Martian aeolian activity at the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater: The view from the surface and orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, N. T.; Sullivan, R.; Newman, C. E.; Navarro, S.; van Beek, J.; Ewing, R. C.; Ayoub, F.; Silvestro, S.; Gasnault, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lapotre, M. G. A.; Rapin, W.

    2017-10-01

    The first in situ investigation of an active dune field on another planetary surface occurred in 2015-2016 when the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover investigated the Bagnold Dunes on Mars. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment images show clear seasonal variations that are in good agreement with atmospheric model predictions of intra-annual sand flux and migration directions that together indicate that the campaign occurred during a period of low wind activity. Curiosity surface images show that limited changes nevertheless occurred, with movement of large grains, particularly on freshly exposed surfaces, two occurrences of secondary grain flow on the slip face of Namib Dune, and a slump on a freshly exposed surface of a large ripple. These changes are seen at Martian solar day (sol)-to-sol time scales. Grains on a rippled sand deposit and unconsolidated dump piles show limited movement of large grains over a few hours during which mean friction speeds are estimated at 0.3-0.4 m s-1. Overall, the correlation between changes and peak Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) winds is moderate, with high wind events associated with changes in some cases, but not in others, suggesting that other factors are also at work. The distribution of REMS 1 Hz wind speeds shows a significant tail up to the current 20 m s-1 calibration limit, indicating that even higher speed winds occur. Nonaeolian triggering mechanisms are also possible. The low activity period at the dunes documented by Curiosity provides clues to processes that dominated in the Martian past under conditions of lower obliquity.

  3. Comparison of oxygen liquefaction methods for use on the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, W. L.; Hauser, D. M.; Plachta, D. W.; Wang, X.-Y. J.; Banker, B. F.; Desai, P. S.; Stephens, J. R.; Swanger, A. M.

    2018-03-01

    In order to use oxygen that is produced on the surface of Mars from In-Situ production processes in a chemical propulsion system, the oxygen must first be converted from vapor phase to liquid phase and then stored within the propellant tanks of the propulsions system. There are multiple ways that this can be accomplished, from simply attaching a liquefaction system onto the propellant tanks to carrying separate tanks for liquefaction and storage of the propellant and loading just prior to launch (the way that traditional rocket launches occur on Earth). A study was done into these various methods by which the oxygen (and methane) could be liquefied and stored on the Martian surface. Five different architectures or cycles were considered: Tube-on-Tank (also known as Broad Area Cooling or Distributed Refrigeration), Tube-in-Tank (also known as Integrated Refrigeration and Storage), a modified Linde open liquefaction/refrigeration cycle, the direct mounting of a pulse tube cryocooler onto the tank, and an in-line liquefier at ambient pressure. Models of each architecture were developed to give insight into the performance and losses of each of the options. The results were then compared across eight categories: Mass, Power (both input and heat rejection), Operability, Cost, Manufacturability, Reliability, Volume-ility, and Scalability. The result was that Tube-on-Tank and Tube-in-Tank architectures were the most attractive solutions, with NASA's engineering management choosing to pursue tube on tank development rather than further differentiate the two. As a result NASA is focusing its Martian surface liquefaction activities and technology development on Tube-on-Tank liquefaction cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, 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.; hide

    2017-01-01

    We analyze the complete set of in-situ meteorological data obtained from the Viking landers in the 1970s to todays 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Observations of Martian surface winds at the Viking Lander 1 site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, J.R.; Leovy, C.B.; Tillman, J.E.

    1990-01-01

    Partial failure of the wind instrumentation on the Viking Lander 1 (VL1) in the Martian subtropics (22.5 degree N) has limited previous analyses of meteorological data for this site. The authors describe a method for reconstructing surface winds using data from the partially failed sensor and present and analyze a time series of wind, pressure, and temperature at the site covering 350 Mars days (sols). At the beginning of the mission during early summer, winds were controlled by regional topography, but they soon underwent a transition to a regime controlled by the Hadley circulation. Diurnal and semidiurnal wind oscillations and synoptic variations have been analyzed and compared with the corresponding variations at the Viking Lander 2 middle latitude site (48 degree N). Diurnal wind oscillations were controlled primarily by regional topography and boundary layer forcing, although a global mode may have been influencing them during two brief episodes. Semidiurnal wind oscillations were controlled by the westward propagating semidiurnal tide from sol 210 onward. Comparison of the synoptic variations at the two sites suggests that the same eastward propagating wave trains were present at both sites, at least following the first 1977 great dust storm, but discordant inferred zonal wave numbers and phase speeds at the two sites cast doubt on the zonal wave numbers deduced from analyses of combined wind and pressure data, particularly at the VL1 site where the signal to noise ratio of the dominant synoptic waves is relatively small

  8. 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.

  9. Use of chemical explosives for emergency solar flare shelter construction and other excavations on the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dick, R.D.; Blacic, J.D.; Pettitt, D.R.

    1985-01-01

    The necessity to shelter people on the Martian surface from solar flare particles at short notice and the need for long-term habitats with thick cosmic ray shielding suggests that explosives could be used effectively for excavation of such structures. Modern insensitive high explosives are safe, efficient, and reliable for rock breakage and excavation. Extensive Earth-bound experience leads us to propose several strategies for explosively-constructed shelters based on tunneling, cratering, and rock casting techniques

  10. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  11. Adsorption of methane and CO2 onto olivine surfaces in Martian dust conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escamilla-Roa, Elizabeth; Martin-Torres, Javier; Sainz-Díaz, C. Ignacio

    2018-04-01

    Methane has been detected on all planets of our Solar System, and most of the larger moons, as well as in dwarf-planets like Pluto and Eric. The presence of this molecule in rocky planets is very interesting because its presence in the Earth's atmosphere is mainly related to biotic processes. Space instrumentation in orbiters around Mars has detected olivine on the Martian soil and dust. On the other hand the measurements of methane from the Curiosity rover report detection of background levels of atmospheric methane with abundance that is lower than model estimates of ultraviolet degradation of accreted interplanetary dust particles or carbonaceous chondrite material. Additionally, elevated levels of methane about this background have been observed implying that Mars is episodically producing methane from an additional unknown source, making the reasons of these temporal fluctuations of methane a hot topic in planetary research. The goal of this study is to investigate at atomic level the interactions during the adsorption processes of methane and other Mars atmospheric species (CO2, H2O) on forsterite surfaces, through electronic structure calculations based on the Density Functional Theory (DFT). We propose two models to simulate the interaction of adsorbates with the surface of dust mineral, such as binary mixtures (5CH4+5H2O/5CH4+5CO2) and as a semi-clathrate adsorption. We have obtained interesting results of the adsorption process in the mixture 5CH4+5CO2. Associative and dissociative adsorptions were observed for water and CO2 molecules. The methane molecules were only trapped and held by water or CO2 molecules. In the dipolar surface, the adsorption of CO2 molecules produced new species: one CO from a CO2 dissociation, and, two CO2 molecules chemisorbed to mineral surface forming in one case a carbonate group. Our results suggest that CO2 has a strong interaction with the mineral surface when methane is present. These results could be confirmed after the

  12. Viking landing sites, remote-sensing observations, and physical properties of Martian surface materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, H.J.; Jakosky, B.M.

    1989-01-01

    Important problems that confront future scientific exploration of Mars include the physical properties of Martian surface materials and the geologic processes that formed the materials. The design of landing spacecraft, roving vehicles, and sampling devices and the selection of landing sites, vehicle traverses, and sample sites will be, in part, guided by the physical properties of the materials. Four materials occur in the sample fields of the Viking landers: (1) drift, (2) crusty to cloddy, (3) blocky, and (4) rock. The first three are soillike. Drift materials is weak, loose, and porous. We estimate that it has a dielectric constant near 2.4 and a thermal inertia near 1 ?? 10-3 to 3 ?? 10-3 (cal cm-2 sec 1 2 K-1) because of its low bulk density, fine grain size, and small cohesion. Crusty to cloddy material is expected to have a dielectric constant near 2.8 and a thermal inertia near 4 ?? 10-3 to 7 ?? 10-3 because of its moderate bulk density and cementation of grains. Blocky material should have a dielectric constant near 3.3 and a thermal inertia near 7 ?? 10-3 to 9 ?? 10-3 because of its moderate bulk density and cementation. Common basaltic rocks have dielectric constans near 8 and thermal inertias near 30 ?? 10-3 to 60 ?? 10-3. Comparisons of estimated dielectric constants and thermal inertias of the materials at the landing sites with those obtained remotely by Earth-based radars and Viking Orbiter thermal sensors suggest that the materials at the landing sites are good analogs for materials elsewhere on Mars. Correlation of remotely estimated dielectric constant and thermal inertias indicates two modal values for paired values of dielectric constants and thermal inertias near (A) 2 and 2 ?? 10-3 and (B) 3 and 6 ?? 10-3, respectively. These two modes are comparable to the dielectric constants and thermal inertias for drift and crusty to cloddy material, respectively. Dielectric constants and thermal inertias for blocky material are larger but conistent

  13. 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.

  14. Hydrology and geochemistry of a surface coal mine in northwestern Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R.S.; Clark, G.M.

    1994-01-01

    The hydrology and geochemistry of a reclaimed coal mine in northwestern Colorado were monitored during water years 1988 and 1989. Some data also were collected in water years 1987 and 1990. This report describes (1) the sources of hydrologic recharge to and discharge from reclaimed spoil, (2) the relative contributions of recharge to the reclaimed spoil aquifer from identified source waters and the rate of water movement from those sources to the reclaimed spoil, and (3) the geochemical reactions that control water quality in reclaimed spoil. The study area was at a dip-slope coal mine encompassing about 7 square miles with land slopes of varying aspect. The area was instrumented and monitored at five sites; two sites had unmined and reclaimed- spoil areas adjacent to each other and three sites were unmined. The mined areas had been reclaimed. Instrumentation at the study sites included 1 climate station, 3 rain gages, 19 soil-water access tubes, 2 lysimeters, 18 wells completed in bedrock, 7 wells completed in reclaimed spoil, and 2 surface- water gaging stations. The results of the study indicate that the reclaimed spoil is recharged from surface recharge and underburden aquifers. Discharge, as measured by lysimeters, was about 3 inches per year and occurred during and after snowmelt. Hydraulic-head measurements indicated a potential for ground-water movement from deeper to shallower aquifers. Water levels rose in the reclaimed-spoil aquifer and spring discharge at the toe of the spoil slopes increased rapidly in response to snowmelt. Water chemistry, stable isotopes, geochemical models, and mass-balance calculations indicate that surface recharge and the underburden aquifers each contribute about 50 percent of the water to the reclaimed-spoil aquifers. Geochemical information indicates that pyrite oxidation and dissolution of carbonate and efflorescent sulfate minerals control the water chemistry of the reclaimed-spoil aquifer.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sedimentological Investigations of the Martian Surface using the Mars 2001 Robotic Arm Camera and MECA Optical Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, J. W., Jr.; Smith, P. H.; Marshall, J. R.

    1999-01-01

    The first microscopic sedimentological studies of the Martian surface will commence with the landing of the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) December 3, 1999. The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) has a resolution of 25 um/p which will permit detailed micromorphological analysis of surface and subsurface materials. The Robotic Ann will be able to dig up to 50 cm below the surface. The walls of the trench will also be inspected by RAC to look for evidence of stratigraphic and / or sedimentological relationships. The 2001 Mars Lander will build upon and expand the sedimentological research begun by the RAC on MPL. This will be accomplished by: (1) Macroscopic (dm to cm): Descent Imager, Pancam, RAC; (2) Microscopic (mm to um RAC, MECA Optical Microscope (Figure 2), AFM This paper will focus on investigations that can be conducted by the RAC and MECA Optical Microscope.

  18. The Development of 3d Sub-Surface Mapping Scheme and its Application to Martian Lobate Debris Aprons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baik, H.; Kim, J.

    2017-07-01

    The Shallow Subsurface Radar (SHARAD), a sounding radar equipped on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has produced highly valuable information about the Martian subsurface. In particular, the complicated substructures of Mars such as polar deposit, pedestal crater and the other geomorphic features involving possible subsurface ice body has been successfully investigated by SHARAD. In this study, we established a 3D subsurface mapping strategy employing the multiple SHARAD profiles. A number of interpretation components of SHARAD signals were integrated into a subsurface mapping scheme using radargram information and topographic data, then applied over a few mid latitude Lobate Debris Aprons (LDAs). From the identified subsurface layers of LDA, and the GIS data base incorporating the other interpretation outcomes, we are expecting to trace the origin of LDAs. Also, the subsurface mapping scheme developed in this study will be further applied to other interesting Martian geological features such as inter crater structures, aeolian deposits and fluvial sediments. To achieve higher precision sub-surface mapping, the clutter simulation employing the high resolution topographic data and the upgraded clustering algorithms assuming multiple sub-surface layers will be also developed.

  19. Halite as a Methane Sequestration Host: A Possible Explanation for Periodic Methane Release on Mars, and a Surface-accessible Source of Ancient Martian Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M. D.; Steele, Andrew; Hynek, B. M.

    2015-01-01

    We present the hypothesis that halite may play a role in methane sequestration on the martian surface. In terrestrial examples, halite deposits sequester large volumes of methane and chloromethane. Also, examples of chloromethane-bearing, approximately 4.5 Ga old halite from the Monahans meteorite show that this system is very stable unless the halite is damaged. On Mars, methane may be generated from carbonaceous material trapped in ancient halite deposits and sequestered. The methane may be released by damaging its halite host; either by aqueous alteration, aeolian abrasion, heating, or impact shock. Such a scenario may help to explain the appearance of short-lived releases of methane on the martian surface. The methane may be of either biogenic or abiogenic origin. If this scenario plays a significant role on Mars, then martian halite deposits may contain samples of organic compounds dating to the ancient desiccation of the planet, accessible at the surface for future sample return missions.

  20. Inorganic analyses of Martian surface samples at the Viking landing sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Castro, A. J.; Rowe, C. D.; Baird, A. K.; Evans, P. H.; Rose, H. J., Jr.; Toulmin, P., III; Keil, K.; Kelliher, W. C.

    1976-01-01

    Elemental analyses of fines in the Martian regolith at two widely separated landing sites, Chryse Planitia and Utopia Planitia, produced remarkably similar results. At both sites, the uppermost regolith contains abundant Si and Fe, with significant concentrations of Mg, Al, S, Ca, and Ti. The S concentration is one to two orders of magnitude higher, and K (less than 0.25% by weight) is at least 5 times lower than the average for earth's crust. The trace elements Sr, Y, and possibly Zr have been detected at concentrations near or below 100 parts per million. Pebble-sized fragments sampled at Chryse contain more S than the bulk fines and are thought to be pieces of a sulfate-cemented duricrust.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Near Infrared Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy for Isotopic Analyses of CH4 on Future Martian Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Mahaffy P.; Holmes, V.; Burris, J.; Morey, P.; Lehmann, K.K.; Lollar, B. Sherwood; Lacrampe-Couloume, G.; Onstott, T.C.

    2014-01-01

    A compact Near Infrared Continuous Wave Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer (near-IR-cw-CRDS) was developed as a candidate for future planetary surface missions. The optical cavity was made of titanium with rugged quartz windows to protect the delicate super cavity from the harsh environmental changes that it would experience during space flight and a Martian surface mission. This design assured the long-term stability of the system. The system applied three distributed feedback laser diodes (DFB-LD), two of which were tuned to the absorption line peaks of (sup 12)CH4 and (sup 13)CH4 at 6046.954 inverse centimeters and 6049.121 inverse centimeters, respectively. The third laser was tuned to a spectral-lines-free region for measuring the baseline cavity loss. The multiple laser design compensated for typical baseline drift of a CRDS system and, thus, improved the overall precision. A semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) was used instead of an Acousto-Optic Module (AOM) to initiate the cavity ring-down events. It maintained high acquisition rates such as AOM, but consumed less power. High data acquisition rates combined with improved long-term stability yielded precise isotopic measurements in this near-IR region even though the strongest CH4 absorption line in this region is 140 times weaker than that of the strongest mid-IR absorption band. The current system has a detection limit of 1.4 times 10( sup –12) inverse centimeters for (sup 13)CH4. This limit corresponds to approximately 7 parts per trillion volume of CH4 at 100 Torrs. With no further improvements the detection limit of our current near IR-cw-CRDS at an ambient Martian pressure of approximately 6 Torrs (8 millibars) would be 0.25 parts per billion volume for one 3.3 minute long analysis.

  4. Thermal System Modeling for Lunar and Martian Surface Regenerative Fuel Cell Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilligan, Ryan Patrick; Smith, Phillip James; Jakupca, Ian Joseph; Bennett, William Raymond; Guzik, Monica Christine; Fincannon, Homer J.

    2017-01-01

    The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Advanced Modular Power Systems (AMPS) Project is investigating different power systems for various lunar and Martian mission concepts. The AMPS Fuel Cell (FC) team has created two system-level models to evaluate the performance of regenerative fuel cell (RFC) systems employing different fuel cell chemistries. Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells PEMFCs contain a polymer electrolyte membrane that separates the hydrogen and oxygen cavities and conducts hydrogen cations (protons) across the cell. Solid Oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) operate at high temperatures, using a zirconia-based solid ceramic electrolyte to conduct oxygen anions across the cell. The purpose of the modeling effort is to down select one fuel cell chemistry for a more detailed design effort. Figures of merit include the system mass, volume, round trip efficiency, and electrolyzer charge power required. PEMFCs operate at around 60 degrees Celsius versus SOFCs which operate at temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius. Due to the drastically different operating temperatures of the two chemistries the thermal control systems (TCS) differ. The PEM TCS is less complex and is characterized by a single pump cooling loop that uses deionized water coolant and rejects heat generated by the system to the environment via a radiator. The solid oxide TCS has its own unique challenges including the requirement to reject high quality heat and to condense the steam produced in the reaction. This paper discusses the modeling of thermal control systems for an extraterrestrial RFC that utilizes either a PEM or solid oxide fuel cell.

  5. Effect of nontronite smectite clay on the chemical evolution of several organic molecules under simulated martian surface ultraviolet radiation conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Jaber, Maguy; Stalport, Fabien; Nowak, Sophie; Georgelin, Thomas; Lambert, Jean-François; Szopa, Cyril; Coll, Patrice

    2015-03-01

    Most of the phyllosilicates detected at the surface of Mars today are probably remnants of ancient environments that sustained long-term bodies of liquid water at the surface or subsurface and were possibly favorable for the emergence of life. Consequently, phyllosilicates have become the main mineral target in the search for organics on Mars. But are phyllosilicates efficient at preserving organic molecules under current environmental conditions at the surface of Mars? We monitored the qualitative and quantitative evolutions of glycine, urea, and adenine in interaction with the Fe(3+)-smectite clay nontronite, one of the most abundant phyllosilicates present at the surface of Mars, under simulated martian surface ultraviolet light (190-400 nm), mean temperature (218 ± 2 K), and pressure (6 ± 1 mbar) in a laboratory simulation setup. We tested organic-rich samples that were representative of the evaporation of a small, warm pond of liquid water containing a high concentration of organics. For each molecule, we observed how the nontronite influences its quantum efficiency of photodecomposition and the nature of its solid evolution products. The results reveal a pronounced photoprotective effect of nontronite on the evolution of glycine and adenine; their efficiencies of photodecomposition were reduced by a factor of 5 when mixed at a concentration of 2.6 × 10(-2) mol of molecules per gram of nontronite. Moreover, when the amount of nontronite in the sample of glycine was increased by a factor of 2, the gain of photoprotection was multiplied by a factor of 5. This indicates that the photoprotection provided by the nontronite is not a purely mechanical shielding effect but is also due to stabilizing interactions. No new evolution product was firmly identified, but the results obtained with urea suggest a particular reactivity in the presence of nontronite, leading to an increase of its dissociation rate.

  6. V Congress of Spanish Geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    This proceedings book present the lectures of V Spanish geochemistry Congress. The sessions were: 1.- Materials geochemistry and geologic process. 2.- Geochemistry prospection 3.- Environmental geochemistry 4.- Isotopic geochemistry 5.- Organic geochemistry 6.- Natural materials geochemistry for industry 7.- Hydrogeochemistry 8.- Mathematical models in geochemistry 9.- Analysis methods in geochemistry 10.-Training of geochemistry 11.-Cosmochemistry

  7. Springwater geochemistry at Honey Creek State Natural Area, central Texas: Implications for surface water and groundwater interaction in a karst aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musgrove, M.; Stern, L. A.; Banner, J. L.

    2010-06-01

    SummaryA two and a half year study of two adjacent watersheds at the Honey Creek State Natural Area (HCSNA) in central Texas was undertaken to evaluate spatial and temporal variations in springwater geochemistry, geochemical evolution processes, and potential effects of brush control on karst watershed hydrology. The watersheds are geologically and geomorphologically similar, and each has springs discharging into Honey Creek, a tributary to the Guadalupe River. Springwater geochemistry is considered in a regional context of aquifer components including soil water, cave dripwater, springwater, and phreatic groundwater. Isotopic and trace element variability allows us to identify both vadose and phreatic groundwater contributions to surface water in Honey Creek. Spatial and temporal geochemical data for six springs reveal systematic differences between the two watersheds. Springwater Sr isotope values lie between values for the limestone bedrock and soils at HCSNA, reflecting a balance between these two primary sources of Sr. Sr isotope values for springs within each watershed are consistent with differences between soil compositions. At some of the springs, consistent temporal variability in springwater geochemistry (Sr isotopes, Mg/Ca, and Sr/Ca values) appears to reflect changes in climatic and hydrologic parameters (rainfall/recharge) that affect watershed processes. Springwater geochemistry was unaffected by brush removal at the scale of the HCSNA study. Results of this study build on previous regional studies to provide insight into watershed hydrology and regional hydrologic processes, including connections between surface water, vadose groundwater, and phreatic groundwater.

  8. Visible and Near-IR Reflectance Spectra of Smectite Acquired Under Dry Conditions for Interpretation of Martian Surface Mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.; Achilles, Cherie N; Archer, Paul D.; Graff, Trevor G.; Agresti, David G.; Ming, Douglas W; Golden, Dadi C.; Mertzman, Stanley A.

    2011-01-01

    Visible and near-IR (VNIR) spectra from the MEx OMEGA and the MRO CRISM hyper-spectral imaging instruments have spectral features associated with the H2O molecule and M OH functional groups (M = Mg, Fe, Al, and Si). Mineralogical assignments of martian spectral features are made on the basis of laboratory VNIR spectra, which were often acquired under ambient (humid) conditions. Smectites like nontronite, saponite, and montmorillionite have interlayer H2O that is exchangeable with their environment, and we have acquired smectite reflectance spectra under dry environmental conditions for interpretation of martian surface mineralogy. We also obtained chemical, Moessbauer (MB), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric (TG) data to understand variations in spectral properties. VNIR spectra were recorded in humid lab air at 25-35C, in a dynamic dry N2 atmosphere (50-150 ppmv H2O) after exposing the smectite samples (5 nontronites, 3 montmorillionites, and 1 saponite) to that atmosphere for up to approximately l000 hr each at 25-35C, approximately 105C, and approximately 215C, and after re-exposure to humid lab air. Heating at 105C and 215C for approximately 1000 hr is taken as a surrogate for geologic time scales at lower temperatures. Upon exposure to dry N2, the position and intensity of spectral features associated with M-OH were relatively insensitive to the dry environment, and the spectral features associated with H2O (e.g., approximately 1.90 micrometers) decreased in intensity and are sometimes not detectable by the end of the 215C heating step. The position and intensity of H2O spectral features recovered upon re-exposure to lab air. XRD data show interlayer collapse for the nontronites and Namontmorillionites, with the interlayer remaining collapsed for the latter after re-exposure to lab air. The interlayer did not collapse for the saponite and Ca-montmorillionite. TG data show that the concentration of H2O derived from structural OH was invariant

  9. Geochemistry and ore prospecting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Caignec, R.

    1954-01-01

    Applied geochemistry is a new technique which helps the geologist in detecting ore deposits. Some deposits, even when they are covered with rather thick surface structures, form around these zones where the infinitesimal content of some elements of soils or waters is notably different. These 'anomalies' may be contemporaneous to the deposit-structure (primary dispersion) or may have occurred later (secondary dispersion). Various factors rule these anomalies: ore-stability, soil homogeneity, water conditions, topography, vegetation, etc... Applied geochemistry is in fact the study of analysis techniques of metal traces in soils as well as the geological interpretation of observed anomalies. This report gives practical data on sampling methods, yields, costs and also on special problems of uranium geochemistry. (author) [fr

  10. Geochemistry of the near surface sediments of the Nares Abyssal Plain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carpenter, M.S.N.; Colley, S.; Elderfield, H.; Kennedy, H.A.; Thomson, J.; Wilson, T.R.S.

    1983-01-01

    The geochemistry of a suite of box and 2m gravity cores from the Nares Abyssal Plain has been characterised by means of pore water analyses, XRF determination of major and trace element concentrations, mineralogy and 230 Thsub(excess) dating. The interstitial fluid environment of those deep-sea clays is mildly reducing, although one site exhibits manganese remobilisation and precipitation. Despite their marked colour differences, there is a similarity in clay mineralogy between the grey silt/clay turbidites and the brown clays found in the area. Sediment accumulation rates of pelagic brown clays range between 0.5 and 1.0 cm/10 3 yr. These pelagic brown clays are metal-rich relative to the grey clays, and a model is used to estimate the hydrogenous metal fluxes on the assumption that they are constant over the Plain. This model gives values of approx. 1300 μg/cm 2 /10 3 yr for Mn, approx. 2600 μg/cm 2 /10 3 yr for Fe and Co, Ni, Cu, V and Zn in the range 6 to 26 μg/cm 2 /10 3 yr. An associated model-derived estimate of the detrital contents of the same elements agrees well with the mean values of the grey clays and of average shale. Metal-poor brown clays and assorted minor lithologies are intermediate in composition between these two end-members. (author)

  11. In Situ Radiometric and Exposure Age Dating of the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, K. A.; Malespin, C.; Mahaffy, P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Vasconcelos, P. M.; Milliken, R. E.; Malin, M.; Edgett, K. S.; Pavlov, A. A.; Hurowitz, J. A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    We determined radiogenic and cosmogenic noble gases in a mudstone on the floor of Gale Crater. A K-Ar age of 4.21 +/- 0.35 billion years represents a mixture of detrital and authigenic components and confirms the expected antiquity of rocks comprising the crater rim. Cosmic-ray-produced 3He, 21Ne, and 36Ar yield concordant surface exposure ages of 78 T 30 million years. Surface exposure occurred mainly in the present geomorphic setting rather than during primary erosion and transport. Our observations are consistent with mudstone deposition shortly after the Gale impact or possibly in a later event of rapid erosion and deposition. The mudstone remained buried until recent exposure by wind-driven scarp retreat. Sedimentary rocks exposed by this mechanism may thus offer the best potential for organic biomarker preservation against destruction by cosmic radiation.

  12. Parallel Study of HEND, RAD, and DAN Instrument Response to Martian Radiation and Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martiniez Sierra, Luz Maria; Jun, Insoo; Litvak, Maxim; Sanin, Anton; Mitrofanov, Igor; Zeitlin, Cary

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear detection methods are being used to understand the radiation environment at Mars. JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) assets on Mars include: Orbiter -2001 Mars Odyssey [High Energy Neutron Detector (HEND)]; Mars Science Laboratory Rover -Curiosity [(Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD); Dynamic Albedo Neutron (DAN))]. Spacecraft have instruments able to detect ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Instrument response on orbit and on the surface of Mars to space weather and local conditions [is discussed] - Data available at NASA-PDS (Planetary Data System).

  13. 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.

  14. Comparing experts and novices in Martian surface feature change detection and identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardlaw, Jessica; Sprinks, James; Houghton, Robert; Muller, Jan-Peter; Sidiropoulos, Panagiotis; Bamford, Steven; Marsh, Stuart

    2018-02-01

    Change detection in satellite images is a key concern of the Earth Observation field for environmental and climate change monitoring. Satellite images also provide important clues to both the past and present surface conditions of other planets, which cannot be validated on the ground. With the volume of satellite imagery continuing to grow, the inadequacy of computerised solutions to manage and process imagery to the required professional standard is of critical concern. Whilst studies find the crowd sourcing approach suitable for the counting of impact craters in single images, images of higher resolution contain a much wider range of features, and the performance of novices in identifying more complex features and detecting change, remains unknown. This paper presents a first step towards understanding whether novices can identify and annotate changes in different geomorphological features. A website was developed to enable visitors to flick between two images of the same location on Mars taken at different times and classify 1) if a surface feature changed and if so, 2) what feature had changed from a pre-defined list of six. Planetary scientists provided ;expert; data against which classifications made by novices could be compared when the project subsequently went public. Whilst no significant difference was found in images identified with surface changes by expert and novices, results exhibited differences in consensus within and between experts and novices when asked to classify the type of change. Experts demonstrated higher levels of agreement in classification of changes as dust devil tracks, slope streaks and impact craters than other features, whilst the consensus of novices was consistent across feature types; furthermore, the level of consensus amongst regardless of feature type. These trends are secondary to the low levels of consensus found, regardless of feature type or classifier expertise. These findings demand the attention of researchers who

  15. Comparisons Between Model Predictions and Spectral Measurements of Charged and Neutral Particles on the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Myung-Hee Y.; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Zeitlin, Cary; Hassler, Donald M.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot C. R.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Boettcher, Stephan; Boehm, Eckart; Guo, Jingnan; hide

    2014-01-01

    Detailed measurements of the energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars have been made by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Curiosity rover since August 2012. RAD is a particle detector that measures the energy spectrum of charged particles (10 to approx. 200 MeV/u) and high energy neutrons (approx 8 to 200 MeV). The data obtained on the surface of Mars for 300 sols are compared to the simulation results using the Badhwar-O'Neill galactic cosmic ray (GCR) environment model and the high-charge and energy transport (HZETRN) code. For the nuclear interactions of primary GCR through Mars atmosphere and Curiosity rover, the quantum multiple scattering theory of nuclear fragmentation (QMSFRG) is used. For describing the daily column depth of atmosphere, daily atmospheric pressure measurements at Gale Crater by the MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) are implemented into transport calculations. Particle flux at RAD after traversing varying depths of atmosphere depends on the slant angles, and the model accounts for shielding of the RAD "E" dosimetry detector by the rest of the instrument. Detailed comparisons between model predictions and spectral data of various particle types provide the validation of radiation transport models, and suggest that future radiation environments on Mars can be predicted accurately. These contributions lend support to the understanding of radiation health risks to astronauts for the planning of various mission scenarios

  16. TOPOGRAPHIC LOCAL ROUGHNESS EXTRACTION AND CALIBRATION OVER MARTIAN SURFACE BY VERY HIGH RESOLUTION STEREO ANALYSIS AND MULTI SENSOR DATA FUSION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Kim

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The planetary topography has been the main focus of the in-orbital remote sensing. In spite of the recent development in active and passive sensing technologies to reconstruct three dimensional planetary topography, the resolution limit of range measurement is theoretically and practically obvious. Therefore, the extraction of inner topographical height variation within a measurement spot is very challengeable and beneficial topic for the many application fields such as the identification of landform, Aeolian process analysis and the risk assessment of planetary lander. In this study we tried to extract the topographic height variation over martian surface so called local roughness with different approaches. One method is the employment of laser beam broadening effect and the other is the multi angle optical imaging. Especially, in both cases, the precise pre processing employing high accuracy DTM (Digital Terrain Model were introduced to minimise the possible errors. Since a processing routine to extract very high resolution DTMs up to 0.5–4m grid-spacing from HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and 20–10m DTM from CTX (Context Camera stereo pair has been developed, it is now possible to calibrate the local roughness compared with the calculated height variation from very high resolution topographic products. Three testing areas were chosen and processed to extract local roughness with the co-registered multi sensor data sets. Even though, the extracted local roughness products are still showing the strong correlation with the topographic slopes, we demonstrated the potentials of the height variations extraction and calibration methods.

  17. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  18. 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

  19. Mars Sample Return as a Feed-Forward into Planetary Protection for Crewed Missions to the Martian Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spry, J. A.; Siegel, B.

    2018-04-01

    PP implementation is a required part of crewed exploration of Mars. Determining how PP is achieved is contingent on improved knowledge of Mars, best obtained in part by analysis of martian material of known provenance, as part of a Mars Sample Return mission.

  20. Degradation of Adenine on the Martian Surface in the Presence of Perchlorates and Ionizing Radiation: A Reflectron Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometric Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Góbi, Sándor; Bergantini, Alexandre; Kaiser, Ralf I., E-mail: ralfk@hawaii.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    The aim of the present work is to unravel the radiolytic decomposition of adenine (C{sub 5}H{sub 5}N{sub 5}) under conditions relevant to the Martian surface. Being the fundamental building block of (deoxy)ribonucleic acids, the possibility of survival of this biomolecule on the Martian surface is of primary importance to the astrobiology community. Here, neat adenine and adenine–magnesium perchlorate mixtures were prepared and irradiated with energetic electrons that simulate the secondary electrons originating from the interaction of the galactic cosmic rays with the Martian surface. Perchlorates were added to the samples since they are abundant—and therefore relevant oxidizers on the surface of Mars—and they have been previously shown to facilitate the radiolysis of organics such as glycine. The degradation of the samples were monitored in situ via Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy and the electron ionization quadruple mass spectrometric method; temperature-programmed desorption profiles were then collected by means of the state-of-the-art single photon photoionization reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PI-ReTOF-MS), allowing for the detection of the species subliming from the sample. The results showed that perchlorates do increase the destruction rate of adenine by opening alternative reaction channels, including the concurrent radiolysis/oxidation of the sample. This new pathway provides a plethora of different radiolysis products that were identified for the first time. These are carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), isocyanic acid (HNCO), isocyanate (OCN{sup −}), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen monoxide (NO); an oxidation product containing carbonyl groups (R{sub 1}R{sub 2}–C=O) with a constrained five-membered cyclic structure could also be observed. Cyanamide (H{sub 2}N–C≡N) was detected in both irradiated samples as well.

  1. Degradation of Adenine on the Martian Surface in the Presence of Perchlorates and Ionizing Radiation: A Reflectron Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometric Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Góbi, Sándor; Bergantini, Alexandre; Kaiser, Ralf I.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present work is to unravel the radiolytic decomposition of adenine (C 5 H 5 N 5 ) under conditions relevant to the Martian surface. Being the fundamental building block of (deoxy)ribonucleic acids, the possibility of survival of this biomolecule on the Martian surface is of primary importance to the astrobiology community. Here, neat adenine and adenine–magnesium perchlorate mixtures were prepared and irradiated with energetic electrons that simulate the secondary electrons originating from the interaction of the galactic cosmic rays with the Martian surface. Perchlorates were added to the samples since they are abundant—and therefore relevant oxidizers on the surface of Mars—and they have been previously shown to facilitate the radiolysis of organics such as glycine. The degradation of the samples were monitored in situ via Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy and the electron ionization quadruple mass spectrometric method; temperature-programmed desorption profiles were then collected by means of the state-of-the-art single photon photoionization reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PI-ReTOF-MS), allowing for the detection of the species subliming from the sample. The results showed that perchlorates do increase the destruction rate of adenine by opening alternative reaction channels, including the concurrent radiolysis/oxidation of the sample. This new pathway provides a plethora of different radiolysis products that were identified for the first time. These are carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), isocyanic acid (HNCO), isocyanate (OCN − ), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen monoxide (NO); an oxidation product containing carbonyl groups (R 1 R 2 –C=O) with a constrained five-membered cyclic structure could also be observed. Cyanamide (H 2 N–C≡N) was detected in both irradiated samples as well.

  2. 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.

  3. The Mars Hopper: Development, Simulation and Experimental Validation of a Radioisotope Exploration Probe for the Martian Surface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nathan D. Jerred; Spencer Cooley; Robert C. O' Brien; Steven D. Howe; James E. O' Brien

    2012-09-01

    An advanced exploration probe has been proposed by the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) to acquire detailed data from the Martian surface and subsurface, ‘hop’ large distances to multiple sites in short periods of time and perform this task repeatedly. Although several similar flying vehicles have been proposed utilizing various power sources and complex designs, e.g. solar-electric and chemical-based, the CSNR’s Mars Hopper is based on a radioisotope thermal rocket (RTR) concept. The Mars Hopper’s design relies on the high specific energies [J/kg] of radioisotopes and enhances their low specific power [W/kg] through the use of a thermal capacitance material to store thermal energy over time. During operation, the RTR transfers the stored thermal energy to a flowing gas, which is then expanded through a converging-diverging nozzle, producing thrust. Between flights, the platform will have ample time to perform in-depth science at each location while the propellant tanks and thermal capacitor recharge. Recharging the propellant tanks is accomplished by sublimation freezing of the ambient CO2 atmosphere with a cryocooler, followed by heating and pressurization to yield a liquid storage state. The proposed Mars Hopper will undergo a ballistic flight, consuming the propellant in both ascent and descent, and by using multiple hopper platforms, information can be gathered on a global scale, enabling better resource resolution and providing valuable information for a possible Mars sample-return mission. The CSNR, collaborating with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and three universities (University of Idaho, Utah State University and Oregon State University), has identified key components and sub-systems necessary for the proposed hopper. Current project activities include the development of a lab-scale prototypic Mars Hopper and test facility, along with computational fluid dynamics (CFD)/thermal-hydraulic models to yield a better understanding of the

  4. 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

  5. A note on geochemistry of surface sediments from Krishna-Godavari basin, East Coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Pattan, J.N.; Parthiban, G.; PrakashBabu, C.; Khadge, N.H.; Paropkari, A.L.; Kodagali, V.N.

    A closely spaced 75 surface sediments drawn from ‘Gas Hydrate` Project taken up by National Institute of Oceanography on a regional scale from the Krishna-Godavari Basin (Latitude I5 degrees 35 minutes to 16 degrees 20 minutes N; Longitude 81...

  6. Uranium project. Geochemistry prospection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lambert, J.

    1983-01-01

    Geochemistry studies the distribution of the chemicals elements in the terrestrial crust and its ways to migrate. The terminology used in this report is the following one: 1) Principles of the prospection geochemistry 2) Stages of the prospection geochemistry 3)utility of the prospection geochemistry 4) geochemistry of uranium 5) procedures used within the framework of uranium project 6) Average available 7) Selection of the zones of prospection geochemistry 8) Stages of the prospection, Sample preparation and analisis 9) Presentation of the results

  7. The genetics of geochemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Croal, Laura R.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.; Malasarn, Davin; Newman, Dianne K.

    2004-01-01

    Bacteria are remarkable in their metabolic diversity due to their ability to harvest energy from myriad oxidation and reduction reactions. In some cases, their metabolisms involve redox transformations of metal(loid)s, which lead to the precipitation, transformation, or dissolution of minerals. Microorganism/mineral interactions not only affect the geochemistry of modern environments, but may also have contributed to shaping the near-surface environment of the early Earth. For example, bacter...

  8. The geochemistry of coprostanol in waters and surface sediments from Narragansett Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Lawrence A.; Latimer, James S.; Ellis, John T.; Quinn, James G.

    1992-05-01

    A geochemical study of coprostanol (5β-Cholestan-3β-ol) was undertaken, to examine the transport and fate of a compound of moderate polarity and reactivity in the marine environment, and also because of the interest in coprostanol for use as a sewage tracer. During 1985-86, 20 sites in Narragansett Bay, including the major point sources and rivers discharging into the bay estuary, were sampled at four different times. In addition, surface sediments from 26 stations in the bay were collected. The large number and diversity of samples allowed for an assessment of major inputs of sewage into the bay as well as the recent fate of sewage-derived particles in surface sediments. Results from the study revealed that 50% of the total particulate coprostanol entering the bay was discharged into the Providence River, primarily due to inputs from the wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) at Fields Point, as well as input from the Pawtuxet and Blackstone Rivers. In the lower bay, the Newport WWTF was the largest single source of coprostanol (37% of the total particulate coprostanol) to the bay. Effluent concentrations of coprostanol from secondary WWTFs were consistently lower than those of primary treatment facilities, demonstrating the usefulness of corporstanol as an indicator of treatment plant efficiency. The distribution of coprostanol in waters and surface sediments showed a gradient of decreasing concentration downbay. When coprostanol concentrations in surface sediments were normalized to organic carbon (OC) concentrations, elevated levels were seen only in the Providence River, with a more or less even distribution throughout the rest of the bay. Results also suggest that coprostanol degrades more rapidly in the water column compared to the petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), however, it is relatively stable once it is buried in the sediments. Coprostanol concentrations in waters (0·02-0·22

  9. Environmental geochemistry of surface and subsurface water from Dera Ismail Khan Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, M.T.; Alizai, A.H.; Khan, S.D.

    2012-01-01

    The Dera Ismail Khan division is situated in the southern most part of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. Majority of population in this region obtain domestic water from tube wells, dug wells, ponds, stored run off of the Indus and Gomal rivers and perennial streams. This study is aimed to determine the physio-chemical contaminants in the surface and subsurface water which could cause environmental problem. For this purpose, representative water sample were collected from tube wells, dug wells, streams and rivers. These analyses were performed using Hach DR/2000 spectrophotometer and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. Chemically both surface and subsurface water samples of the area were classified as alkaline fresh water. The comparison of the data with standard limits set by Word Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water suggested that in certain areas of the division, the drinking water samples have high concentrations of Total Dissolved Solids, NO/sub 3//sup 2-/, SO/sub 4//sup 2-/, F-, Cl-, Fe/sup 2+/, Ca/sup 2+/, Mg/sup 2+/, Pb/sup 2+/, Ni/sup 2+/ and Cd/sup 2+/ while pH, EC, HCO/sub 3/-, PO/sub 4//sup 3-/, Na/sup +/, Mn/sup 2+/, K/sup +/, Cr/sup 3+/ and Zn/sup 2+/ were within the permissible limits. These contaminations could be attributed to the geogenic sources which might be responsible for the health related problems in certain areas of the division. (author)

  10. Sedimentology and geochemistry of surface sediments, outer continental shelf, southern Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, J.V.; Dean, W.E.; Vallier, T.L.

    1980-01-01

    Islands and the outer continental shelf and slope, indicates that Holocene sediment dynamics cannot be used to explain the observed distribution of surface sediment derived from the Aleutian Islands. We suggest that this pattern is relict and resulted from sediment dynamics during lower sea levels of the Pleistocene. ?? 1980.

  11. Marine organic geochemistry in industrially affected coastal areas in Greece: Hydrocarbons in surface sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzianestis, Ioannis

    2015-04-01

    Hydrocarbons are abundant components of the organic material in coastal zones. Their sources are mainly anthropogenic, but several natural ones have also been recognized. Among hydrocarbons, the polycyclic aromatic ones (PAHs) have received special attention since they considered as hazardous environmental chemicals and are included in priority pollutant lists. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution, sources and transport pathways of hydrocarbons in marine areas in Greece directly influenced from the operation of major industrial units in the coastal zone by using a molecular marker approach, characteristic compositional patterns and related indices and also to evaluate their potential toxicity. Thirty two surface sediment samples were collected from three marine areas: a) Antikyra bay in Korinthiakos gulf, affected from the operation of an alumina and production plant b) Larymna bay in Noth Evoikos, affected from the operation of a nickel production plant and c) Aliveri bay in South Evoikos Gulf, affected from a cement production plant. In all the studied areas aquaculture and fishing activities have been also developed in the coastal zone. High aliphatic hydrocarbon (AHC) concentrations (~500 μg/g), indicating significant petroleum related inputs, were measured only in Antikyra bay. In all the other samples, AHC values were below 100 μg/g. N-alkanes were the most prominent resolved components (R) with an elevated odd to even carbon number preference, revealing the high importance of terrestrial inputs in the study areas. The unresolved complex mixture (UCM) was the major component of the aliphatic fraction (UCM/R > 4), indicating a chronic oil pollution. A series of hopanes were also identified, with patterns characteristic of oil-derived hydrocarbons, further confirming the presence of pollutant inputs from fossil fuel products. Extremely high PAH concentrations (> 100,000 ng/g) were found in the close vicinity of the alumina production

  12. 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

  13. Visible and Near-IR Reflectance Spectra for Smectite, Sulfate And Perchlorate under Dry Conditions for Interpretation of Martian Surface Mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R.V.; Ming, W.; Golden, D.C.; Arvidson, R.E.; Wiseman, S.M.; Lichtenberg, K.A.; Cull, S.; Graff, T.G.

    2009-01-01

    Visible and near-IR (VNIR) spectral data for the martian surface obtained from orbit by the MRO-CRISM and OMEGA instruments are interpreted as having spectral signatures of H2O/OH-bearing phases, including smectites and other phyllosilicates, sulfates, and high-SiO2 phases [e.g., 1-4]. Interpretations of martian spectral signatures are based on and constrained by spectra that are obtained in the laboratory on samples with known mineralogical compositions and other physicochemical characteristics under, as appropriate, Mars-like environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, and humidity). With respect to environmental conditions, differences in the absolute concentration of atmospheric H2O can effect the hydration state and therefore the spectra signatures of smectite phyllosilicates (solvation H2O) and certain sulfates (hydration H2O) [e.g., 5-7]. We report VNIR spectral data acquired under humid (laboratory air) and dry (dry N2 gas) environments for two natural smectites (nontronite API-33A and saponite SapCa-1) to characterize the effect of solvation H2O on spectral properties. We also report spectral data for the thermal dehydration products of (1) melanterite (FeSO4.7H2O) in both air and dry N2 gas and (2) Mg-perchlorate (Mg(ClO4)2.6H2O) in dry N2 environments. Spectral measurements for samples dehydrated in dry N2 were made without exposing them to humid laboratory air.

  14. The Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Redox State of Multivalent Cations During the Crystallization of Primitive Shergottitic Liquids at Various (f)O2. Insights into the (f)O2 Fugacity of the Martian Mantle and Crustal Influences on Redox Conditions of Martian Magmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shearer, C. K.; Bell, A. S.; Burger, P. V.; Papike, J. J.; Jones, J.; Le, L.; Muttik, N.

    2016-01-01

    The (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] of crystallization for martian basalts has been estimated in various studies to range from IW-1 to QFM+4 [1-3]. A striking geochemical feature of the shergottites is the large range in initial Sr isotopic ratios and initial epsilon(sup Nd) values. Studies by observed that within the shergottite group the (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] of crystallization is highly correlated with these chemical and isotopic characteristics with depleted shergottites generally crystallizing at reduced conditions and enriched shergottites crystallizing under more oxidizing conditions. More recent work has shown that (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] changed during the crystallization of these magmas from one order of magnitude in Y980459 (Y98) to several orders of magnitude in Larkman Nunatak 06319. These real or apparent variations within single shergottitic magmas have been attributed to mixing of a xenocrystic olivine component, volatile loss-water disassociation, auto-oxidation during crystallization of mafic phases, and assimilation of an oxidizing crustal component (e.g. sulfate). In contrast to the shergottites, augite basalts such as NWA 8159 are highly depleted yet appear to be highly oxidized (e.g. QFM+4). As a first step in attempting to unravel petrologic complexities that influence (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] in martian magmas, this study explores the effect of (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] on the liquid line of descent (LLD) for a primitive shergottite liquid composition (Y98). The results of this study will provide a fundamental basis for reconstructing the record of (f)O2 [oxygen fugacity] in shergottites and other martian basalts, its effect on both mineral chemistries and valence state partitioning, and a means for examining the role of crystallization (and other more complex processes) on the petrologic linkages between olivine-phyric and pyroxene-plagioclase shergottites.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Martian Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic imager (circular device in center) is in clear view above the surface at Meridiani Planum, Mars, in this approximate true-color image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The image was taken on the 9th sol of the rover's journey. The microscopic imager is located on the rover's instrument deployment device, or arm. The arrow is pointing to the lens of the instrument. Note the dust cover, which flips out to the left of the lens, is open. This approximated color image was created using the camera's violet and infrared filters as blue and red.

  18. 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.

  19. Rapid degradation of the complex organic molecules in Martian surface rocks due to exposure to cosmic rays. Implications to the search of 'extinct' life on Mars by MSL and ExoMars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, A.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Glavin, D. P.; Floyd, M.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    Until recently, long-term exposure to cosmic rays has not been recognized as a major environmental factor, which can alter and destroy organic molecules in the Martian surface rocks. Recent modeling studies (e.g. Pavlov et al., 2012) suggested that organic molecules with masses >100 amu would be degraded in less than 1 billion years in the top 5 cm of the Martian rocks. That poses a serious challenge to the search of ancient molecules in the shallow subsurface of Mars. However, Pavlov et al. calculated the fraction of the survived organic molecules using conservative radiolysis constants derived from the gamma irradiation experiments on pure dry amino acid mixtures (Kminek and Bada, 2006). In this study we conducted a series of gamma irradiations of amino acids and carboxylic acids mixed with silica powder. We report that the addition of silicates dramatically increased the rate of organic degradation under gamma radiation. Using the newly derived radiolysis constants for amino acids and carboxylic acids in mineral mixtures, we recalculated the rate of organic degradation in the Martian rocks as a function of rocks' depth, chemical composition and weathering rates. Our results suggest that isolated organic molecules (acids) are likely to be altered or fully degraded in the surface rocks on Mars by cosmic rays in less than 10 million years unless some additional protective mechanisms are in place. We will discuss possible strategies for the MSL's search of the elusive ancient organic molecules to overcome the adverse effects of cosmic rays in the surface Martian rocks. References. Pavlov et al., 2012 GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2012GL052166 Kminek, G., and J. Bada (2006), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 245, 1-5, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.03.008.

  20. Calcium stable isotope geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gausonne, Nikolaus [Muenster Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Mineralogie; Schmitt, Anne-Desiree [Strasbourg Univ. (France). LHyGeS/EOST; Heuser, Alexander [Bonn Univ. (Germany). Steinmann-Inst. fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Palaeontologie; Wombacher, Frank [Koeln Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Geologie und Mineralogie; Dietzel, Martin [Technische Univ. Graz (Austria). Inst. fuer Angewandte Geowissenschaften; Tipper, Edward [Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences; Schiller, Martin [Copenhagen Univ. (Denmark). Natural History Museum of Denmark

    2016-08-01

    This book provides an overview of the fundamentals and reference values for Ca stable isotope research, as well as current analytical methodologies including detailed instructions for sample preparation and isotope analysis. As such, it introduces readers to the different fields of application, including low-temperature mineral precipitation and biomineralisation, Earth surface processes and global cycling, high-temperature processes and cosmochemistry, and lastly human studies and biomedical applications. The current state of the art in these major areas is discussed, and open questions and possible future directions are identified. In terms of its depth and coverage, the current work extends and complements the previous reviews of Ca stable isotope geochemistry, addressing the needs of graduate students and advanced researchers who want to familiarize themselves with Ca stable isotope research.

  1. Calcium stable isotope geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gausonne, Nikolaus; Schmitt, Anne-Desiree; Heuser, Alexander; Wombacher, Frank; Dietzel, Martin; Tipper, Edward; Schiller, Martin

    2016-01-01

    This book provides an overview of the fundamentals and reference values for Ca stable isotope research, as well as current analytical methodologies including detailed instructions for sample preparation and isotope analysis. As such, it introduces readers to the different fields of application, including low-temperature mineral precipitation and biomineralisation, Earth surface processes and global cycling, high-temperature processes and cosmochemistry, and lastly human studies and biomedical applications. The current state of the art in these major areas is discussed, and open questions and possible future directions are identified. In terms of its depth and coverage, the current work extends and complements the previous reviews of Ca stable isotope geochemistry, addressing the needs of graduate students and advanced researchers who want to familiarize themselves with Ca stable isotope research.

  2. Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werkheiser, Niki J.; Fiske, Michael R.; Edmunson, Jennifer E.; Khoshnevis, Berokh

    2015-01-01

    For long-duration missions on other planetary bodies, the use of in situ materials will become increasingly critical. As human presence on these bodies expands, so must the breadth of the structures required to accommodate them including habitats, laboratories, berms, radiation shielding for natural radiation and surface reactors, garages, solar storm shelters, greenhouses, etc. Planetary surface structure manufacturing and assembly technologies that incorporate in situ resources provide options for autonomous, affordable, pre-positioned environments with radiation shielding features and protection from micrometeorites, exhaust plume debris, and other hazards. The ability to use in-situ materials to construct these structures will provide a benefit in the reduction of up-mass that would otherwise make long-term Moon or Mars structures cost prohibitive. The ability to fabricate structures in situ brings with it the ability to repair these structures, which allows for the self-sufficiency and sustainability necessary for long-duration habitation. Previously, under the auspices of the MSFC In-Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) project and more recently, under the jointly-managed MSFC/KSC Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project, the MSFC Surface Structures Group has been developing materials and construction technologies to support future planetary habitats with in-situ resources. One such additive construction technology is known as Contour Crafting. This paper presents the results to date of these efforts, including development of novel nozzle concepts for advanced layer deposition using this process. Conceived initially for rapid development of cementitious structures on Earth, it also lends itself exceptionally well to the automated fabrication of planetary surface structures using minimally processed regolith as aggregate, and binders developed from in situ materials as well. This process has been used successfully in the fabrication of

  3. Diurnal variations of the Martian surface layer meteorological parameters during the first 45 sols at two Viking Lander sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutton, J.L.; Leovy, C.B.; Tillman, J.E.

    1978-01-01

    Wind speed, ambient and surface temperatures from both Viking Landers have been used to compute bulk Richardson numbers and Monin-Obukhov lengths during the earliest phase of the Mars missions. These parameters are used to estimate drag and heat transfer coefficients, friction velocities and surface heat fluxes at the two sites. The principal uncertainty is in the specification of the roughness length. Maximum heat fluxes occur near local noon at both sites, and are estimated to be in the range 15--20 W m -2 at the Viking 1 site and 10--15 W m -2 at the Viking 2 site. Maximum values of friction velocity occur in late morning at Viking 1 and are estimated to be 0.4--0.6 m s -1 . They occur shortly after drawn at the Viking 2 site where peak values are estimated to be in the range 0.25--0.35 m s -1 . Extension of these calculations to later times during the mission will require allowance for dust opacity effects in the estimation of surface temperature and in the correction of radiation errors of the Viking 2 temperature sensor

  4. Using Recent Advances in 2D Seismic Technology and Surface Geochemistry to Economically Redevelop a Shallow Shelf Carbonate Reservoir: Vernon Field, Isabella County, M, Class III; ANNUAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, James R.; Bornhorst, T.J.; Chittick, S.D.; Harrison, William B.; Tayjor, W. Quinlan

    2001-01-01

    In this project a consortium consisting of Cronus Exploration (Traverse City, MI), Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI) and Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI) proposed to develop and execute an economical and environmentally sensitive plan for recovery of hydrocarbons from an abandoned shallow-shelf carbonate field that is typical of many fields in the U.S. Midwest. This is a 5-year project that will use surface geochemistry as a tool to reduce risk in locating and producing hydrocarbons in Class II fields. The project will develop new techniques for measuring hydrocarbon gases in the soil horizon to locate new and bypassed oil in the shallow-shelf carbonate environments typified by the Dundee and Trenton Formations of the Michigan Basin (Fisher et. al., 1988). In Phase I of the project, the consortium proposes to re-develop the Vernon Oil field located in Vernon Twp, Isabella County, Michigan and produce both bypassed hydrocarbons from the original field and to locate and produce extensions of the original field

  5. Organic geochemistry of fossil resins from the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Havelcová, Martina; Sýkorová, Ivana; Mach, K.; Dvořák, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 10, August (2014), s. 303-312 ISSN 1878-5220. [Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES) Meeting /10./. Paris, 18.08.2014-23.08.2014] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-18482S Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : fossil resin * amber * resinite * TMAH-Py-GC/MS Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry

  6. Distribution of Early, Middle, and Late Noachian cratered surfaces in the Martian highlands: Implications for resurfacing events and processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Rossman P.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Robbins, Stuart J.

    2013-02-01

    Most of the geomorphic changes on Mars occurred during the Noachian Period, when the rates of impact crater degradation and valley network incision were highest. Fluvial erosion around the Noachian/Hesperian transition is better constrained than the longer-term landscape evolution throughout the Noachian Period, when the highland intercrater geomorphic surfaces developed. We interpret highland resurfacing events and processes using a new global geologic map of Mars (at 1:20,000,000 scale), a crater data set that is complete down to 1 km in diameter, and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topography. The Early Noachian highland (eNh) unit is nearly saturated with craters of 32-128 km diameter, the Middle Noachian highland (mNh) unit has a resurfacing age of ~4 Ga, and the Late Noachian highland unit (lNh) includes younger composite surfaces of basin fill and partially buried cratered terrain. These units have statistically distinct ages, and their distribution varies with elevation. The eNh unit is concentrated in the high-standing Hellas basin annulus and in highland terrain that was thinly mantled by basin ejecta near 180° longitude. The mNh unit includes most of Arabia Terra, the Argyre vicinity, highland plateau areas between eNh outcrops, and the Thaumasia range. The lNh unit mostly occurs within highland basins. Crater depth/diameter ratios do not vary strongly between the eNh and mNh units, although crater losses to Noachian resurfacing appear greater in lower lying areas. Noachian resurfacing was spatially non-uniform, long-lived, and gravity-driven, more consistent with arid-zone fluvial and aeolian erosion and volcanism than with air fall mantling or mass wasting.

  7. The Mojave Subsurface Bio-Geochemistry Explorer (MOSBE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, J.; Beegle, L.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Kounaves, S.; Russell, M.; Towles, D.

    2012-01-01

    The MOSBE Team has developed a terrestrial field campaign to explore two subsurface biological habitats under the Mojave Desert. This field campaign will not only help us understand terrestrial desert biology, but also will develop methodologies and strategies for potential future Mars missions that would seek to explore the Martian subsurface. We have proposed to the ASTEP program to integrate a suite of field demonstrated instruments with a 20 m subsurface drill as a coherent unit, the Mojave Subsurface Bio-geochemistry Explorer. The ATK Space Modular Planetary Drill System (MPDS) requires no drilling fluid, which allows aseptic sampling, can penetrate lithic ground up to 20 meters of depth, and utilizes less than 100 Watts throughout the entire depth. The drill has been developed and demonstrated in field testing to a depth of 10 meters in Arizona, December 2002. In addition to caching a continuous core throughout the drilling depth, it also generates and caches cuttings and fines that are strata-graphically correlated with the core. As a core segment is brought to the surface, it will be analyzed for texture and structure by a color microscopic imager and for relevant chemistry and mineralogy with a UV fluorescence/Raman spectrometer. Organic and soluble ionic species will be identified through two instruments -- a microcapillary electrophoresis, and an ion trap mass spectrometer that have been developed under PIDDP, ASTID and MIDP funding.

  8. 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

  9. Problems of applied geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ovchinnikov, L N

    1983-01-01

    The concept of applied geochemistry was introduced for the first time by A. Ye. Fersman. He linked the branched and complicated questions of geochemistry with specific problems of developing the mineral and raw material base of our country. Geochemical prospecting and geochemistry of mineral raw materials are the most important sections of applied geochemistry. This now allows us the right to view applied geochemistry as a sector of science which applies geochemical methodology, set of geochemical methods of analysis, synthesis, geological interpretation of data based on laws governing theoretical geochemistry to the solution of different tasks of geology, petrology, tectonics, stratigraphy, science of minerals and other geological sciences, and also the technology of mineral raw materials, interrelationships of man and nature (ecogeochemistry, technogeochemistry, agrogeochemistry). The main problem of applied geochemistry, geochemistry of ore fields is the prehistory of ore formation. This is especially important for metallogenic and forecasting constructions, for an understanding of the reasons for the development of fields and the detection of laws governing their distribution, their genetic links with the general geological processes and the products of these processes.

  10. Trace Element Geochemistry of Martian Iddingsite in the Lafayette Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treiman, Allan H.; Lindstrom, David J.

    1997-01-01

    The Lafayette meteorite contains abundant iddingsite, a fine-grained intergrowth of smectite clay, ferrihydrite, and ionic salt minerals. Both the meteorite and iddingsite formed on Mars. Samples of iddingsite, olivine, and augite pyroxene were extracted from Lafayette and analyzed for trace elements by instrumental neutron activation. Our results are comparable to independent analyses by electron and ion microbeam methods. Abundances of most elements in the iddingsite do not covary significantly. The iddingsite is extremely rich in Hg, which is probably terrestrial contamination. For the elements Si, Al, Fe, Mn, Ni, Co, and Zn, the composition of the iddingsite is close to a mixture of approximately 50% Lafayette olivine + approximately 40% Lafayette siliceous glass + approximately 1O% water. Concordant behavior among these elements is not compatible with element fractionations between smectite and water, but the hydrous nature and petrographic setting of the iddingsite clearly suggest an aqueous origin. These inferences are both consistent, however, with deposition of the iddingsite originally as a silicate gel, which then crystallized (neoformed) nearly isochemically. The iddingsite contains significantly more magnesium than implied by the model, which may suggest that the altering solutions were rich in Mg(2+).

  11. 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.

  12. On The Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werkheiser, Niki; Fiske, Michael; Edmunson, Jennifer; Khoshnevis, Behrokh

    2015-01-01

    For long-duration missions on other planetary bodies, the use of in-situ materials will become increasingly critical. As man's presence on these bodies expands, so must the breadth of the structures required to accommodate them including habitats, laboratories, berms, radiation shielding for natural radiation and surface reactors, garages, solar storm shelters, greenhouses, etc. Planetary surface structure manufacturing and assembly technologies that incorporate in-situ resources provide options for autonomous, affordable, pre-positioned environments with radiation shielding features and protection from micrometeorites, exhaust plume debris, and other hazards. This is important because gamma and particle radiation constitute a serious but reducible threat to long-term survival of human beings, electronics, and other materials in space environments. Also, it is anticipated that surface structures will constitute the primary mass element of lunar or Martian launch requirements. The ability to use in-situ materials to construct these structures will provide a benefit in the reduction of up-mass that would otherwise make long-term Moon or Mars structures cost prohibitive. The ability to fabricate structures in situ brings with it the ability to repair these structures, which allows for self-sufficiency necessary for long-duration habitation. Previously, under the auspices of the MSFC In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) project and more recently, under the joint MSFC/KSC Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project, the MSFC Surface Structures Group has been developing materials and construction technologies to support future planetary habitats with in situ resources. One such technology, known as Contour Crafting (additive construction), is shown in Figure 1, along with a typical structure fabricated using this technology. This paper will present the results to date of these efforts, including development of novel nozzle concepts for advanced layer

  13. Radiolarian abundance and geochemistry of the surface-sediments from the Central Indian Basin: Inferences to Antarctic bottom water current

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Gupta, S.M.; Jauhari, P.

    The distribution trend of numbers of radiolarian shells/gram dry sediment, biogenic silica, organic carbon, and the carbon/nitrogen ratios in the surface sediments of the Central Indian Basin is similar. Ratios of two suborders of radiolaria, i...

  14. Iron geochemistry and organic carbon preservation by iron (oxyhydr)oxides in surface sediments of the East China Sea and the south Yellow Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Wei-Wei; Zhu, Mao-Xu; Yang, Gui-Peng; Li, Tie

    2018-02-01

    In marine sediments factors that influence iron (Fe) geochemistry and its interactions with other elements are diverse and remain poorly understood. Here we comparatively study Fe speciation and reactive Fe-bound organic carbon (Fe-OC) in surface sediments of the East China Sea (ECS) and the south Yellow Sea (SYS). The objectives are to better understand the potential impacts of geochemically distinct sediment sources and depositional/diagenetic settings on Fe geochemistry and OC preservation by Fe (hydr)oxides in sediments of the two extensive shelf seas around the world. Contents of carbonate- and acid-volatile-sulfide (AVS)-associated Fe(II) (FeAVS + carb) and magnetite (Femag) in the ECS sediments are about 5 and 9 times higher, respectively, than in the SYS. This could be ascribed to the ferruginous conditions of the ECS sediments that favor the formation/accumulation of Fecarb and Femag, a unique feature of marine unsteady depositional regimes. Much lower total Fe(II) contents in the SYS than in the ECS suggest that lower availability of highly reactive Fe (FeHR) and/or weak Fe reduction is a factor limiting Fe(II) formation and accumulation in the SYS sediments. The ratio of FeHR to total Fe is, on average, markedly higher (2.4 times) in the ECS sediments than in the SYS, which may be a combined result of several factors relevant to different sediment sources and depositional/diagenetic settings. In comparison with many other marine sediments, the percent fractions (fFe-OC) of Fe-OC to total organic carbon (TOC) in the ECS and the SYS are low, which can be ascribed to surface adsorption of OC rather than coprecipitation or organic complexation as the dominant binding mechanisms. Based on the fFe-OC in this study, total Fe-OC estimated for global continental shelves is equivalent to 38% of the atmospheric CO2 pool, which indicates the important role of sorptive stabilization of Fe-OC in continental shelf sediments for buffering CO2 release to the atmosphere

  15. Texture and geochemistry of surface horizons of Arctic soils from a non-glaciated catchment, SW Spitsbergen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymański Wojciech

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Physical and chemical properties of Arctic soils and especially the properties of surface horizons of the soils are very important because they are responsible for the rate and character of plant colonization, development of vegetation cover, and influence the rate and depth of thawing of soils and development of active layer of permafrost during summer. The main aim of the present study is to determine and explain the spatial diversity of selected physical and chemical properties of surface horizons of Arctic soils from the non-glaciated Fuglebekken catchment located in the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen by means of geostatistical approach. Results indicate that soil surface horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by highly variable physical and chemical properties due to a heterogeneous parent material (marine sediments, moraine, rock debris, tundra vegetation types, and non-uniform influence of seabirds. Soils experiencing the strongest influence of seabird guano have a lower pH than other soils. Soils developed on the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier have the highest pH due to the presence of carbonates in the parent material and a lack or presence of a poorly developed and discontinuous A horizon. The soil surface horizons along the coast of the Hornsund exhibit the highest content of the sand fraction and SiO2. The surface of soils occurring at the foot of the slope of Ariekammen Ridge is characterized by the highest content of silt and clay fractions as well as Al2O3, Fe2O3, and K2O. Soils in the central part of the Fuglebekken catchment are depleted in CaO, MgO, and Na2O in comparison with soils in the other sampling sites, which indicates the highest rate of leaching in this part of the catchment.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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. Seasonal variability in the surface sediments of Mobile Bay, Alabama, recorded by geochemistry and foraminifera, 2009–2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umberger, D.K.; Osterman, L.E.; Smith, C.G.; Frazier, J.; Richwine, K.A.

    2012-01-01

    A study was undertaken in order to document and quantify recent environmental change in Mobile Bay, Alabama. The study was part of the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility project, a regional project funded by the Coastal and Marine Geology Program to understand how natural forcings and anthropogenic modifications influence coastal ecosystems and their susceptibility to coastal hazards. Mobile Bay is a large drowned-river estuary that has been modified significantly by humans to accommodate the Port of Mobile. Examples include repeated dredging of a large shipping channel down the central axis of the bay and construction of a causeway across the head of the bay and at the foot of the bayhead delta. In addition to modifications, the bay is also known to have episodic periods of low oxygen (hypoxia) that result in significant mortality to fish and benthic organisms (May, 1973). For this study a series of surface sediment samples were collected. Surface benthic foraminiferal and bulk geochemical data provide the modern baseline conditions of the bay and can be used as a reference to changing environmental parameters in the past (Osterman and Smith, in press) and into the future. This report archives data collected as part of the Mobile Bay Study that may be used in future environmental change studies.

  20. Modeling of Ground Deformation and Shallow Surface Waves Generated by Martian Dust Devils and Perspectives for Near-Surface Structure Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenda, Balthasar; Lognonné, Philippe; Spiga, Aymeric; Kawamura, Taichi; Kedar, Sharon; Banerdt, William Bruce; Lorenz, Ralph; Banfield, Don; Golombek, Matthew

    2017-10-01

    We investigated the possible seismic signatures of dust devils on Mars, both at long and short period, based on the analysis of Earth data and on forward modeling for Mars. Seismic and meteorological data collected in the Mojave Desert, California, recorded the signals generated by dust devils. In the 10-100 s band, the quasi-static surface deformation triggered by pressure fluctuations resulted in detectable ground-tilt effects: these are in good agreement with our modeling based on Sorrells' theory. In addition, high-frequency records also exhibit a significant excitation in correspondence to dust devil episodes. Besides wind noise, this signal includes shallow surface waves due to the atmosphere-surface coupling and is used for a preliminary inversion of the near-surface S-wave profile down to 50 m depth. In the case of Mars, we modeled the long-period signals generated by the pressure field resulting from turbulence-resolving Large-Eddy Simulations. For typical dust-devil-like vortices with pressure drops of a couple Pascals, the corresponding horizontal acceleration is of a few nm/s2 for rocky subsurface models and reaches 10-20 nm/s2 for weak regolith models. In both cases, this signal can be detected by the Very-Broad Band seismometers of the InSight/SEIS experiment up to a distance of a few hundred meters from the vortex, the amplitude of the signal decreasing as the inverse of the distance. Atmospheric vortices are thus expected to be detected at the InSight landing site; the analysis of their seismic and atmospheric signals could lead to additional constraints on the near-surface structure, more precisely on the ground compliance and possibly on the seismic velocities.

  1. Mineralogy and geochemistry of boehmite-rich coals: New insights from the Haerwusu Surface Mine, Jungar Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, S.; Li, D.; Chou, C.-L.; Zhao, L.; Zhang, Y.; Ren, D.; Ma, Y.; Sun, Y.

    2008-01-01

    Boehmite-rich coal of Pennsylvanian age was discovered earlier at the Heidaigou Surface Mine, Jungar Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China. This paper reports new results on 29 bench samples of the no. 6 coal from a drill core from the adjacent Haerwusu Surface Mine, and provides new insights into the origin of the minerals and elements present. The results show that the proportion of inertinite in the no. 6 coal is higher than in other Late Paleozoic coals in northern China. Based on mineral proportions (boehmite to kaolinite ratio) and major element concentrations in the coal benches of the drill core, the no. 6 coal may be divided into five sections (I to V). Major minerals in Sections I and V are kaolinite. Sections II and IV are mainly kaolinite with a trace of boehmite, and Section III is high in boehmite. The boehmite is derived from bauxite in the weathered surface (Benxi Formation) in the sediment-source region. The no. 6 coal is rich in Al2O3 (8.89%), TiO2 (0.47%), Li (116????g/g), F (286????g/g), Ga (18????g/g), Se (6.1????g/g), Sr (350????g/g), Zr (268????g/g), REEs (172????g/g), Pb (30????g/g), and Th (17????g/g). The elements are classified into five associations by cluster analysis, i.e. Groups A, B, C, D, and E. Group A (ash-SiO2-Al2O3-Na2O-Li) and Group B (REE-Sc-In-Y-K2O-Rb-Zr-Hf-Cs-U-P2O5-Sr-Ba-Ge) are strongly correlated with ash yield and mainly have an inorganic affinity. The elements that are negatively or less strongly correlated with ash yield (with exceptions of Fe2O3, Be, V, and Ni) are grouped in the remaining three associations: Group C, Se-Pb-Hg-Th-TiO2-Bi-Nb-Ta-Cd-Sn; Group D, Co-Mo-Tl-Be-Ni-Sb-MgO-Re-Ga-W-Zn-V-Cr-F-Cu; and Group E, S-As-CaO-MnO-Fe2O3. Aluminum is mainly distributed in boehmite, followed by kaolinite. The high correlation coefficients of the Li-ash, Li-Al2O3, and Li-SiO2 pairs indicate that Li is related to the aluminosilicates in the coal. The boehmite-rich coal is high in gallium and F, which occur in boehmite and the

  2. Trace element geochemistry and surface water chemistry of the Bon Air coal, Franklin County, Cumberland Plateau, southeast Tennessee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, S.A.; Hower, J.C.; Eble, C.F.; McLamb, E.D.; Kuers, K.

    2006-01-01

    surface waters, highest levels of most trace elements occur in mine-adit or mine-dump drainage. Effluent flow rates strongly affect both acidity and trace element levels. Adit drainages where flow is only a trickle have the most acidic waters (pH 3.78-4.80) and highest trace element levels (up to two orders of magnitude higher than in non-mine site waters). Nonetheless, nearly all surface waters have low absolute concentrations of trace elements of environmental concern, and all waters sampled meet U.S. EPA primary drinking water standards and aquatic life criteria for all elements analyzed. Secondary drinking water standards are also met for all parameters except Al, pH, Fe, and Mn, but even in extreme cases (mine waters with pH as low as 3.78 and up to 1243 ppb Al, 6280 ppb Fe, and 721 ppb Mn, and non-mine dam-outflow waters with up to 18,400 ppb Fe and 1540 ppb Mn) downslope attenuation is apparently rapid, as down-drainage plateau-base streams show background levels for all these parameters. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Iodine budget in surface waters from Atacama: Natural and anthropogenic iodine sources revealed by halogen geochemistry and iodine-129 isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Álvarez, Fernanda; Reich, Martin; Snyder, Glen; Pérez-Fodich, Alida; Muramatsu, Yasuyuki; Daniele, Linda; Fehn, Udo

    2016-01-01

    Iodine enrichment in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile is widespread and varies significantly between reservoirs, including nitrate-rich “caliche” soils, supergene Cu deposits and marine sedimentary rocks. Recent studies have suggested that groundwater has played a key role in the remobilization, transport and deposition of iodine in Atacama over scales of millions-of-years. However, and considering that natural waters are also anomalously enriched in iodine in the region, the relative source contributions of iodine in the waters and its extent of mixing remain unconstrained. In this study we provide new halogen data and isotopic ratios of iodine ("1"2"9I/I) in shallow seawater, rivers, salt lakes, cold and thermal spring water, rainwater and groundwater that help to constrain the relative influence of meteoric, marine and crustal sources in the Atacama waters. Iodine concentrations in surface and ground waters range between 0.35 μM and 26 μM in the Tarapacá region and between 0.25 μM and 48 μM in the Antofagasta region, and show strong enrichment when compared with seawater concentrations (I = ∼0.4 μM). In contrast, no bromine enrichment is detected (1.3–45.7 μM for Tarapacá and 1.7–87.4 μM for Antofagasta) relative to seawater (Br = ∼600 μM). These data, coupled to the high I/Cl and low Br/Cl ratios are indicative of an organic-rich sedimentary source (related with an “initial” fluid) that interacted with meteoric water to produce a mixed fluid, and preclude an exclusively seawater origin for iodine in Atacama natural waters. Iodine isotopic ratios ("1"2"9I/I) are consistent with halogen chemistry and confirm that most of the iodine present in natural waters derives from a deep initial fluid source (i.e., groundwater which has interacted with Jurassic marine basement), with variable influence of at least one atmospheric or meteoric source. Samples with the lowest isotopic ratios ("1"2"9I/I from ∼215 to ∼1000 × 10"

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Geochemistry of silicon isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ding, Tiping; Li, Yanhe; Gao, Jianfei; Hu, Bin [Chinese Academy of Geological Science, Beijing (China). Inst. of Mineral Resources; Jiang, Shaoyong [China Univ. of Geosciences, Wuhan (China).

    2018-04-01

    Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the Earth and silicon isotope geochemistry is important in identifying the silicon source for various geological bodies and in studying the behavior of silicon in different geological processes. This book starts with an introduction on the development of silicon isotope geochemistry. Various analytical methods are described and compared with each other in detail. The mechanisms of silicon isotope fractionation are discussed, and silicon isotope distributions in various extraterrestrial and terrestrial reservoirs are updated. Besides, the applications of silicon isotopes in several important fields are presented.

  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. Molecular environmental geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Day, Peggy A.

    1999-05-01

    The chemistry, mobility, and bioavailability of contaminant species in the natural environment are controlled by reactions that occur in and among solid, aqueous, and gas phases. These reactions are varied and complex, involving changes in chemical form and mass transfer among inorganic, organic, and biochemical species. The field of molecular environmental geochemistry seeks to apply spectroscopic and microscopic probes to the mechanistic understanding of environmentally relevant chemical processes, particularly those involving contaminants and Earth materials. In general, empirical geochemical models have been shown to lack uniqueness and adequate predictive capability, even in relatively simple systems. Molecular geochemical tools, when coupled with macroscopic measurements, can provide the level of chemical detail required for the credible extrapolation of contaminant reactivity and bioavailability over ranges of temperature, pressure, and composition. This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of molecular chemistry and reaction mechanisms at mineral surfaces and mineral-fluid interfaces spurred by the application of new spectroscopies and microscopies. These methods, such as synchrotron X-ray absorption and scattering techniques, vibrational and resonance spectroscopies, and scanning probe microscopies, provide direct chemical information that can elucidate molecular mechanisms, including element speciation, ligand coordination and oxidation state, structural arrangement and crystallinity on different scales, and physical morphology and topography of surfaces. Nonvacuum techniques that allow examination of reactions in situ (i.e., with water or fluids present) and in real time provide direct links between molecular structure and reactivity and measurements of kinetic rates or thermodynamic properties. Applications of these diverse probes to laboratory model systems have provided fundamental insight into inorganic and organic reactions at

  11. 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

  12. SHELL ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ABSTRACT: The land snail Limicolaria kambeul chudeaui Germain was collected ... Key words/phrases: Ethiopia, isotope geochemistry, Lake Tilo, Limicolaria .... 1984), (c) 6'80 values of precipitation at Addis Ababa, with i 1 S.D. bars for the .... (breakfast cereal), deionised water and cuttlefish bone, the carbon and oxygen.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Nanophase Carbonates on Mars: Does Evolved Gas Analysis of Nanophase Carbonates Reveal a Large Organic Carbon Budget in Near-surface Martian Materials?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, P. D., Jr.; Ming, D. W.; Sutter, B.; Niles, P. B.; Eigenbrode, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Evolved Gas Analysis (EGA), which involves heating a sample and monitoring the gases released, has been performed on Mars by the Viking gas chromatography/mass spectrometry instruments, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA) on the Phoenix lander, and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory. All of these instruments detected CO2 released during sample analysis at abundances of ~0.1 to 5 wt% assuming a carbonate source. The source of the CO2 can be constrained by evaluating the temperature of the gas release, a capability of both the TEGA and SAM instruments. The samples analyzed by SAM show that the majority of the CO2is released below 400 °C, much lower than traditional carbonate decomposition temperatures which can be as low as 400 °C for some siderites, with magnesites and calcites decomposing at even higher temperatures. In addition to mineralogy, decomposition temperature can depend on particle size (among other factors). If carbonates formed on Mars under low temperature and relative humidity conditions, the resulting small particle size (nanophase) carbonates could have low decomposition temperatures. We have found that calcite can be synthesized by exposing CaO to water vapor and CO2 and that the resulting mineral has an EGA peak of ~550 °C for CO2, which is about 200 °C lower than for other calcites. Work is ongoing to produce Fe and Mg-bearing carbonates using the same process. Current results suggest that nanophase calcium carbonates cannot explain the CO2 released from martian samples. If the decomposition temperatures of Mg and Fe-bearing nanophase carbonates are not significantly lower than 400 °C, other candidate sources include oxalates and carboxylated organic molecules. If present, the abundance of organic carbon in these samples could be > 0.1 wt % (1000s of ppm), a signficant departure from the paradigm of the organic-poor Mars based on Viking results.

  1. Microbial Diversity in Surface Iron-Rich Aqueous Environments: Implications for Seeking Signs of Life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. I.; Allen, C. C.; Tringe, S. G.; Klatt, C. G.; Bryant, D. A.; Sarkisova, S. A.; Garrison, D. H.; McKay, D. S.

    2010-01-01

    The success of selecting future landing sites on Mars to discover extinct and/or extant extraterrestrial life is dependent on the correct approximation of available knowledge about terrestrial paleogeochemistry and life evolution to Martian (paleo) geology and geochemistry. It is well known that both Earth and Mars are Fe rich. This widespread occurrence suggests that Fe may have played a key role in early life forms, where it probably served as a key constituent in early prosthetic moieties in many proteins of ancient microbes on Earth and likely Mars. The second critical idea is the premise that Life on Mars could most likely have developed when Mars experienced tectonic activity [1] which dramatically decreased around 1 bin years after Martian creation. After that Martian life could have gone extinct or hibernated in the deep subsurface, which would be expensive to reach in contrast to the successful work of Martian surface rovers. Here we analyze the diversity of microbes in several terrestrial Fe rich surface environments in conjunction with the phylogeny and molecular timing of emergence of those microbes on Earth. Anticipated results should help evaluate future landing sites on Mars in searches for biosignatures.

  2. Geochemistry and mineralogy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plecas, I.; Dimovic, S.; Orta, M.M.; Alba, M.D.; Alvero, R.; Becerro, A.I.; Castro, M.A.; Chain, P.; Escudero, A.; Naranjo, M.; Pavon, E.; Trillo, J.M.; Vejsada, J.; Vokal, A.; Zadvernyuk, H.P.; Fedorenko, Y.G.; Zlobenko, B.P.; Koromyslichenko, T.I.; Battaglia, S.; Cervelli, M.; Millot, R.; Girard, J.P.; Missana, T.; Garcia-Gutierrez, M.; Alonso, U.; Muurinen, A.; Carlsson, T.; Chain, P.; Alba, M.D.; Becerro, A.I.; Castro, M.A.; Escudero, A.; Gonzalez-Carrascosa, T.; Hurtado, S.; Pavon, E.; Villa, M.; Bourg, I.C.; Sposito, G.; Bourg, A.C.M.; Marques Fernandes, M.; Rabung, Th.; Dahn, R.; Baeyens, B.; Bradbury, M.H.; Breynaert, E.; Maes, A.; Bruggeman, C.; Maes, I.A.; Vancluysen, J.; Credoz, A.; Bildstein, O.; Jullien, M.; Raynal, J.; Petronin, J.C.; Trotignon, L.; Pokrovsky, O.; Jacquier, P.; Beaucaire, C.; Vuillaume, A.L.; Wittebroodt, Ch.; Ly, J.; Page, J.; Savoye, S.; Pitsch, H.; Jacques, D.; Wang, L.; Galunin, E.; Chain, P.; Alba, M.D.; Vidal, M.; Grandia, F.; Domenech, C.; Arcos, D.; Duro, L.; Bruno, J.; Andre, L.; Pauwels, H.; Azaroual, M.; Albrecht, A.; Romero, M.A.; Aerts, S.; Boven, P.; Van Geet, M.; Boever, P. de; Alonso, U.; Albarran, N.; Missana, T.; Garcia-Gutierrez, M.; Truche, L.; Berger, G.; Guillaume, D.; Jacquot, E.; Tournassat, Ch.; Lerouge, C.; Brendle, J.; Greneche, J.M.; Touzelet, St.; Blanc, Ph.; Gaucher, E.C.; Thoenen, T.; Klinkenberg, M.; Kaufhold, S.; Dohrmann, R.; Siegesmund, S.; Liu, D.J.; Bruggeman, C.; Maes, N.; Weber, T.; Trotignon, L.; Pozo, C.; Bildstein, O.; Combarieu, G. de; Frugier, P.; Menut, D

    2007-07-01

    This session gathers 52 articles (posters) dealing with: the influence of natural sorbents immobilization of spent ion exchange resins in cement; the chemical stability of rare-earth silicate; the mineralogical heterogeneity of Rokle bentonite and radionuclide adsorption: A case study for cesium; the rheological and sorption properties of clay-polymer composites; the clay mineral interactions with leachate solutions in landfills; the lithium isotope fractionation during adsorption onto mineral surfaces; the sorption of Sr{sup 2+} onto mixed smectite / illite clays; Eh and pH in the pore water of compacted bentonite; the chemical interaction of {sup 152}Eu with the clay barrier; the modeling of the acid-base surface chemistry of Montmorillonite; a time resolved laser fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of lanthanide/actinide sorption on clay minerals: influence of carbonate complexation; the structure elucidation and occurrence of Tc(IV) pyrogallol complexes; the geochemistry of Se(0) under boom clay conditions; an experimental and modelling study of pure secondary silicate minerals reactivity in geological CO{sub 2} sequestration conditions; an experimental evaluation of a retention model for major groundwater elements on the Tournemire argillite; modelling the long term interaction of cementitious pore water with Boom clay; the sorption-desorption of radionuclides and analogues in clays suitable for barriers; the modelling of the Redox evolution in the tunnel backfill of a high level nuclear waste repository; the reactivity of nitrates in the different storage compartments of type-b wastes; an investigation into the biodiversity of sulphate reducing bacteria in Boom clay; the colloid generation mechanisms from compacted bentonite under different geochemical conditions; the experimental reduction of aqueous sulphate by hydrogen in the context of the Callovo-Oxfordian argillite; cation exchanged Fe(II) and Sr as compared to other divalent cations

  3. 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.

  4. Applied Geochemistry Special Issue on Environmental geochemistry of modern mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, Robert R.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk

    2015-01-01

    in surface water has highlighted the importance of aqueous chemistry, particularly dissolved organic carbon, as described by Smith et al. Stream sediment contamination is another important pathway for affecting aquatic organisms, as reviewed by Besser et al. Understanding and predicting environmental consequences from mining begins with knowing the mineralogy and mineral reactivity of the ore, the wastes, and of secondary minerals formed later. Jamieson et al. review the importance of mineralogical studies in mine planning and remediation. A number of types of site-specific studies are needed to identify environmental risks related to individual mines. Lapakko reviews the general framework of mine waste characterization studies that are integral to the mine planning process. Hageman et al. present a comparative study of several static tests commonly used to characterize mine waste.The mining and ore processing practices employed at a specific mine site will vary on the basis of the commodities being targeted, the geology of the deposit, the geometry of the deposit, and the mining and ore processing methods used. Thus, these factors, in addition to the waste management practices used, can result in a variety of end-member mine waste features, each of which has its own set of challenges. Open pit mines and underground mines require waste rock to be removed to access ore. Waste rock presents unique problems because the rock is commonly mineralized at sub-economic grades and has not been processed to remove potentially problematic minerals, such as pyrite. Amos et al. examine the salient aspects of the geochemistry of waste rock. Mill tailings – the waste material after ore minerals have been removed – are a volumetrically important solid waste at many mine sites. Their fine grain size and the options for their management make their behavior in the environment distinct from that of waste rock. Lindsay et al. describe some of these differences through three case

  5. Iron Redox Systematics of Shergottites and Martian Magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. A Model for Generation of Martian Surface Dust, Soil and Rock Coatings: Physical vs. Chemical Interactions, and Palagonitic Plus Hydrothermal Alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Murchie, S.; Pieters, C.; Zent, A.

    1999-01-01

    This model is one of many possible scenarios to explain the generation of the current surface material on Mars using chemical, magnetic and spectroscopic data from Mars and geologic analogs from terrestrial sites. One basic premise is that there are physical and chemical interactions of the atmospheric dust particles and that these two processes create distinctly different results. Physical processes distribute dust particles on rocks, forming physical rock coatings, and on the surface between rocks forming soil units; these are reversible processes. Chemical reactions of the dust/soil particles create alteration rinds on rock surfaces or duricrust surface units, both of which are relatively permanent materials. According to this model the mineral components of the dust/soil particles are derived from a combination of "typical" palagonitic weathering of volcanic ash and hydrothermally altered components, primarily from steam vents or fumeroles. Both of these altered materials are composed of tiny particles, about 1 micron or smaller, that are aggregates of silicates and iron oxide/oxyhydroxide/sulfate phases. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. Geochemistry of radioactive waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bird, G.W.

    1979-01-01

    Safe, permanent disposal of radioactive wastes requires isolation of a number of elements including Se, Tc, I, Sr, Cs, Pd, u, Np, Pu and Cm from the environment for a long period of time. The aquatic chemistry of these elements ranges from simple anionic (I - ,IO 3 - ) and cationic (Cs + ,Sr ++ ) forms to multivalent hydrolyzed complexes which can be anionic or cationic (Pu(OH) 2 + ,Pu(OH) 3 + , PuO 2 (CO 3 )(OH) - ,PuO 2 Cl - ,etc.) depending on the chemical environment. The parameters which can affect repository safety are rate of access and composition of grounwater, stability of the waste container, stability of the waste form, rock-water-waste interactons, and dilution and dispersion as the waste moves away from the repository site. Our overall research program on radioactive waste disposal includes corrosion studies of containment systems hydrothermal stability of various waste forms, and geochemical behaviour of various nuclides including solubilities, redox equilibria, hydrolysis, colloid fomation and transport ion exchange equilibria and adsorption on mineral surfaces and irreversible precipitation reactions. This paper discusses the geochemistry of I, Se, Tc, Cs, Sr and the actinide elements and potential mechanisms by which the mobility could be retarded if necessary

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Surface Textures and Features Indicative of Endogenous Growth at the McCartys Flow Field, NM, as an Analog to Martian Volcanic Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, Jacob E.; Crumpler, L. S.; Garry, W. B.; Zimbelman, J. R.; Self, S.; Aubele, J. C.

    2012-01-01

    Basaltic lavas typically form channels or tubes, which are recognized on the Earth and Mars. Although largely unrecognized in the planetary community, terrestrial inflated sheet flows also display morphologies that share many commonalities with lava plains on Mars. The McCartys lava flow field is among the youngest (approx.3000 yrs) basaltic flows in the continental United States. The southwest sections of the flow displays smooth, flat-topped plateaus with irregularly shaped pits and hummocky inter-plateau units that form a polygonal surface. Plateaus are typically elongate in map view, up to 20 m high and display lineations within the glassy crust. Lineated surfaces occasionally display small < 1m diameter lava coils. Lineations are generally straight and parallel each other, sometimes for over 100 meters. The boundaries between plateaus and depressions are also lineated and tilted to angles sometimes approaching vertical. Plateau-parallel cracks, sometimes containing squeeze-ups, mark the boundary between tilted crust and plateau. Some plateau depressions display level floors with hummocky surfaces, while some are bowl shaped with floors covered in broken lava slabs. The lower walls of pits sometimes display lateral, sagged lava wedges. Infrequently, pit floors display the upper portion of a tumulus from an older flow. In some places the surface crust has been disrupted forming a slabby texture. Slabs are typically on the scale of a meter or less across and no less than 7-10 cm thick. The slabs preserve the lineated textures of the undisturbed plateau crust. It appears that this style of terrain represents the emplacement of an extensive sheet that experiences inflation episodes within preferred regions where lateral spreading of the sheet is inhibited, thereby forming plateaus. Rough surfaces represent inflation-related disruption of pahoehoe lava and not a a lava. Depressions are often the result of non-inflation and can be clearly identified by lateral

  12. An Investigation of the Mechanical Properties of Some Martian Regolith Simulants with Respect to the Surface Properties at the InSight Mission Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delage, Pierre; Karakostas, Foivos; Dhemaied, Amine; Belmokhtar, Malik; Lognonné, Philippe; Golombek, Matt; De Laure, Emmanuel; Hurst, Ken; Dupla, Jean-Claude; Kedar, Sharon; Cui, Yu Jun; Banerdt, Bruce

    2017-10-01

    In support of the InSight mission in which two instruments (the SEIS seismometer and the HP3 heat flow probe) will interact directly with the regolith on the surface of Mars, a series of mechanical tests were conducted on three different regolith simulants to better understand the observations of the physical and mechanical parameters that will be derived from InSight. The mechanical data obtained were also compared to data on terrestrial sands. The density of the regolith strongly influences its mechanical properties, as determined from the data on terrestrial sands. The elastoplastic compression volume changes were investigated through oedometer tests that also provided estimates of possible changes in density with depth. The results of direct shear tests provided values of friction angles that were compared with that of a terrestrial sand, and an extrapolation to lower density provided a friction angle compatible with that estimated from previous observations on the surface of Mars. The importance of the contracting/dilating shear volume changes of sands on the dynamic penetration of the mole was determined, with penetration facilitated by the ˜1.3 Mg/m3 density estimated at the landing site. Seismic velocities, measured by means of piezoelectric bender elements in triaxial specimens submitted to various isotropic confining stresses, show the importance of the confining stress, with lesser influence of density changes under compression. A power law relation of velocity as a function of confining stress with an exponent of 0.3 was identified from the tests, allowing an estimate of the surface seismic velocity of 150 m/s. The effect on the seismic velocity of a 10% proportion of rock in the regolith was also studied. These data will be compared with in situ data measured by InSight after landing.

  13. 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.

  14. Curiosity analyzes Martian soil samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy; Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Mars Geochemical Instrument (MarGI): An instrument for the analysis of the Martian surface and the search for evidence of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Mancinelli, Rocco; Martin, Joe; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Geochemical Instrument, MarGI, was developed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the rocks and surface material on Mars. The instrument combines Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) with miniature Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (GC-IMS) to identify minerals, the presence and state of water, and organic compounds. Miniature pyrolysis ovens are used to both, conduct DTA analysis of soil or crushed rocks samples, and pyrolyze the samples at temperatures up to 1000 degrees C for GC-IMS analysis of the released gases. This combination of analytical processes and techniques, which can characterize the mineralogy of the rocks and soil, and identify and quantify volatiles released during pyrolysis, has applications across a wide range of target sites including comets, planets, asteroids, and moons such as Titan and Europa. The MarGI analytical approach evolved from the Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (CIDEX) selected to fly on the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF).

  16. Geochemistry of Natural Redox Fronts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofmann, B.A.

    1999-05-01

    Redox fronts are important geochemical boundaries which need to be considered in safety assessment of deep repositories for radioactive waste. In most cases, selected host-rock formations will be reducing due to the presence of ferrous minerals, sulphides, etc. During construction and operation of the repository, air will be introduced into the formation. After repository closure, oxidising conditions may persist locally until all oxygen is consumed. In the case of high-level waste, radiolysis of water may provide an additional source of oxidants. Oxidising conditions within a repository are thus possible and potentially have a strong influence on the mobility of many elements. The rate of movement of redox fronts, the boundary between oxidising and reducing environments, and their influence on migrating radionuclides are thus important factors influencing repository performance. The present report is a review of elemental behaviour at natural redox fronts, based on published information and work of the author. Redox fronts are geochemically and geometrically variable manifestations of a global interface between generally oxidising geochemical milieux in contact with the atmosphere and generally reducing milieux in contact with rocks containing ferrous iron, sulphide and/or organic carbon. A classification of redox fronts based on a subdivision into continental near-surface, marine near-surface, and deep environments is proposed. The global redox interface is often located close to the surface of rocks and sediments and, sometimes, within bodies of water. Temperature conditions are close to ambient. A deeper penetration of the global redox front to depths of several kilometres is found in basins containing oxidised sediments (red beds) and in some hydrothermal circulation systems. Temperatures at such deep redox fronts may reach 200 o C. Both near-surface and deep redox fronts are sites of formation of economic deposits of redox-sensitive elements, particularly of

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Radio Emissions from Electrical Activity in Martian Dust Storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majid, W.; Arabshahi, S.; Kocz, J.; Schulter, T.; White, L.

    2017-12-01

    Dust storms on Mars are predicted to be capable of producing electrostatic fields and discharges, even larger than those in dust storms on Earth. There are three key elements in the characterization of Martian electrostatic discharges: dependence on Martian environmental conditions, event rate, and the strength of the generated electric fields. The detection and characterization of electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for habitability, and preparations for human exploration of the red planet. Furthermore, electrostatic discharges may be linked to local chemistry and plays an important role in the predicted global electrical circuit. Because of the continuous Mars telecommunication needs of NASA's Mars-based assets, the Deep Space Network (DSN) is the only facility in the world that combines long term, high cadence, observing opportunities with large sensitive telescopes, making it a unique asset worldwide in searching for and characterizing electrostatic activity from large scale convective dust storms at Mars. We will describe a newly inaugurated program at NASA's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex to carry out a long-term monitoring campaign to search for and characterize the entire Mars hemisphere for powerful discharges during routine tracking of spacecraft at Mars on an entirely non-interfering basis. The ground-based detections will also have important implications for the design of a future instrument that could make similar in-situ measurements from orbit or from the surface of Mars, with far greater sensitivity and duty cycle, opening up a new window in our understanding of the Martian environment.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Geochemistry of organic carbon and nitrogen in surface sediments of coastal Bohai Bay inferred from their ratios and stable isotopic signatures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Xuelu; Yang Yuwei; Wang Chuanyuan

    2012-01-01

    Total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) and their δ 13 C and δ 15 N values were determined for 42 surface sediments from coastal Bohai Bay in order to determine the concentration and identify the source of organic matter. The sampling sites covered both the marine region of coastal Bohai Bay and the major rivers it connects with. More abundant TOC and TN in sediments from rivers than from the marine region reflect the situation that most of the terrestrial organic matter is deposited before it meets the sea. The spatial variation in δ 13 C and δ 15 N signatures implies that the input of organic matter from anthropogenic activities has a more significant influence on its distribution than that from natural processes. Taking the area as a whole, surface sediments in the marine region of coastal Bohai Bay are dominated by marine derived organic carbon, which on average accounts for 62 ± 11% of TOC.

  5. Surface Water Geochemistry, Sediment, and Field Parameters During Snowmelt and Monsoons in the New Mexico Reach of the Animas and San Juan Rivers, 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, J.; Brown, J. E.; Mast, A.

    2017-12-01

    Following the release of three million gallons of metals laden surface water from the Gold King Mine in August 2015, surface-water samples were collected in the New Mexico reach of the Animas and San Juan Rivers during 2016 snowmelt and in the Animas River during three 2016 monsoonal storms. These samples were evaluated for dissolved (turbidity and specific conductance can provide insight to changes in concentrations of the river on a finer time scale. Regression models developed for selected sites on the Animas and San Juan Rivers show that flow, turbidity and specific conductance may be useful in understanding the relationship between total metal concentrations and real-time parameters. Surrogates for suspended sediment such as hydroacoustic may also be useful, and potentially the best option in this system, for monitoring the concentration of metals in surface water. Further evaluation of the chemistry of the watershed soils and bedrock, the streambed sediments, and suspended sediments will improve understanding of the geochemical processes in the Animas and San Juan Rivers.

  6. The morphology of the Martian surface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.H.

    1980-01-01

    Most of the southern hemisphere of Mars is densely cratered and stands 1-3 km above the topographic datum. The northern hemisphere is more sparsely cratered and elevations are generally below the datum. A broad rise, the Tharsis bulge, centered at 14 0 S, 101 0 W, is 8000 km across and 10 km above the datum at its summit. The densely cratered terrain has two main components; very ancient crust, nearly saturated with large craters, and younger intercrater plains. In many areas the older unit is fractured and extensively dissected by small channels. The younger intercrater plains are distinctly layered in places and less dissected, less fractured, and less cratered. Both units probably date from very early in the planet's history. Cratered plains cover much of the northern hemisphere and are highly variegated. (orig.)

  7. Mapping the Martian Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, M.; Ross, J. D.; Solomon, N.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars-adapted version of the NASA/GISS general circulation model (GCM) has been applied to the hourly/daily simulation of the planet's meteorology over several seasonal orbits. The current running version of the model includes a diurnal solar cycle, CO2 sublimation, and a mature parameterization of upper level wave drag with a vertical domain extending from the surface up to the 6microb level. The benchmark simulations provide a four-dimensional archive for the comparative evaluation of various schemes for the retrieval of winds from anticipated polar orbiter measurements of temperatures by the Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Organic geochemistry of Czech amber

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Havelcová, Martina; Sýkorová, Ivana; Mach, K.; Dvořák, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 1 (2015), s. 146 ISSN 1336-7242. [Zjazd chemikov /67./. 07.09.2015-11.09.2015, Horný Smokovec] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-18482S Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30460519 Keywords : fossil resin * amber * resinite Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, J; González, R; Townley, B; Oliveros, V; Álvarez, F; Aguilar, G; Menzies, A; Calderón, M

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert, the driest of its kind on Earth, hosts a number of unique geological and geochemical features that make it unlike any other environment on the planet. Considering its location on the western border of South America, between 17 and 28 °S, its climate has been characterized as arid to hyperarid for at least the past 10 million years. Notably dry climatic conditions of the Atacama Desert have been related to uplift of the Andes and are believed to have played an important role in the development of the most distinctive features of this desert, including: (i) nitrates and iodine deposits in the Central Depression, (ii) secondary enrichment in porphyry copper deposits in the Precordillera, (iii) Li enrichment in salt flats of the Altiplano, and (iv) life in extreme habitats. The geology and physiography of the Atacama Desert have been largely shaped by the convergent margin present since the Mesozoic era. The geochemistry of surface materials is related to rock geochemistry (Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, V, and Zn), salt flats, and evaporite compositions in endorheic basins (As, B, and Li), in addition to anthropogenic activities (Cu, Mo, and Pb). The composition of surface water is highly variable, nonetheless in general it presents a circumneutral pH with higher conductivity and total dissolved solids in brines. Major water constituents, with the exception of HCO 3 - , are generally related to the increase of salinity, and despite the fact that trace elements are not well-documented, surface waters of the Atacama Desert are enriched in As, B, and Li when compared to the average respective concentrations in rivers worldwide.

  15. Behaviour of palladium(II), platinum(IV), and rhodium(III) in artificial and natural waters: Influence of reactor surface and geochemistry on metal recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobelo-Garcia, Antonio [School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom)]. E-mail: antonio.cobelo-garcia@plymouth.ac.uk; Turner, Andrew [School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom); Millward, Geoffrey E. [School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom); Couceiro, Fay [School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom)

    2007-03-07

    The recovery of dissolved platinum group elements (PGE: Pd(II), Pt(IV) and Rh(III)) added to Milli-Q[reg] water, artificial freshwater and seawater and filtered natural waters has been studied, as a function of pH and PGE concentration, in containers of varying synthetic composition. The least adsorptive and/or precipitative loss was obtained for borosilicate glass under most of the conditions employed, whereas the greatest loss was obtained for low-density polyethylene. Of the polymeric materials tested, the adsorptive and/or precipitative loss of PGE was lowest for fluorinated ethylene propylene (Teflon[reg]). The loss of Pd(II) in freshwater was significant due to its affinity for surface adsorption and its relatively low solubility. The presence of natural dissolved organic matter increases the recovery of Pd(II) but enhances the loss of Pt(IV). The loss of Rh(III) in seawater was significant and was mainly due to precipitation, whereas Pd(II) recovery was enhanced, compared to freshwater, because of its complexation with chloride. The results have important implications regarding protocols employed for sample preservation and controlled laboratory experiments used in the study of the speciation and biogeochemical behaviour of PGE.

  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. Global water cycle: geochemistry and environment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Berner, Elizabeth Kay; Berner, Robert A

    1987-01-01

    .... The book provides an integrated approach to global geochemistry and environmental problems and introduces the reader to some fundamental concepts of geology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Geochemistry of sedimentary carbonates

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Morse, John W; Mackenzie, Fred T

    1990-01-01

    .... The last major section is two chapters on the global cycle of carbon and human intervention, and the role of sedimentary carbonates as indicators of stability and changes in Earth's surface environment...

  1. NRC nuclear waste geochemistry 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, D.H.; Birchard, G.F.

    1984-05-01

    The purpose of the meeting was to present results from NRC-sponsored research and to identify regulatory research issues which need to be addressed prior to licensing a high-level waste repository. Important summaries of technical issues and recommendations are included with each paper. The issue reflect areas of technical uncertainty addressed by the NRC Research program in geochemistry. The objectives of the NRC Research Program in geochemistry are to provide a technical basis for waste management rulemaking, to provide the NRC Waste Management Licensing Office with information that can be used to support sound licensing decisions, and to identify investigations that need to be conducted by DOE to support a license application. Individual papers were processed for inclusion in the Energy Data Base

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Geomicrobiology; inseparable from low temperature geochemistry & mineralogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southam, G.

    2009-05-01

    Bacteria play an important role in catalyzing a wide array of biogeochemical processes that affect the dissolution of minerals, the aqueous geochemistry of their surroundings and secondary mineral formation. Processes occurring at the bacteria-mineral interface can occur on the scale of nanoenvironments and will normally extend to microenvironments or even, to macroscopic features where extensive growth of bacteria is supported. The action of bacteria in these systems can produce a wide range of biomarkers that can be preserved over geologic time periods. Possible biomarkers include dissolution features in mineral substrates, fossil structures of individual cells to complex cell-cell associations, and chemical (isotopic and organic) signatures. In any system, we need to focus at the scale of the bacteria themselves to appreciate the actual chemistry of their surroundings and the kinds of reactions that they can catalyse. For example, photosynthetic microbial mats in an Atlin, BC wetland create ideal conditions for biologically induced precipitation of magnesium carbonates, specifically dypingite Mg5(CO3)4(OH)25H2O, which we were unable to reproduce abiotically. The preservation of biosignatures over geologic time presents obvious challenges, and the effect of diagenesis on fossils and their mineralogical assemblages deserves attention, especially with respect to the preservation and analysis of materials on (or from) Mars. For this, we need to rely on our Earth analogue sites as a way to triage the wide range of samples that are available for collection and analysis. The preservation of organic materials and cells in salts is particularly interesting. Conversely, the hematite nodules on Mars may not be good samples to target in the search for a Martian biosphere. The possibility of finding an extant biosphere increases with depth; however, evidence from Earth's deep subsurface demonstrates that it does not contain an abundant biosphere. Bacteria thrive in

  5. 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

    approximately 1400 ppm H2O, which is likely distributed toward the martian surface. This crustal water abundance would equate to a global equivalent layer (GEL) of water at a depth of-229 m, which can account for at least some of the surface features on Mars attributed to flowing water and may be sufficient to support the past presence of a shallow sea on Mars' surface.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. Marine geochemistry of iodine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennedy, H.; Elderfield, H.

    1985-01-01

    Iodine has long been classified as a biophilic element with analyses showing that iodine is strongly enriched, relative to seawater concentrations in both plankton and particulate matter and that the concentration of iodine found in surface sediments is still further enriched relative to that found in the sedimenting particulate matter. The extent of enrichment of iodine relative to carbon in deep sea surface sediments has been shown to depend on the carbon accumulation rate. Iodine decomposition rates have been calculated and are shown to vary with the sedimentation rate in the same manner as has been shown for organic carbon. Vertical profiles of total dissolved iodine, iodate and iodide in interstitial waters of sediments from the north east Atlantic are characterised by three zones of reaction as identified by changes in the concentration of iodate and iodide. These reaction zones represent (i) iodide production (ii) iodide oxidation and (iii) iodate reduction. Pore water and solid phase iodine profiles from cores containing turbidite units have shown that iodine, released to pore waters as iodide during the oxidation of the organic matter, has been scavenged after diffusing upwards into a less reducing region of the sediment. (author)

  12. Isotopic geochemistry at Wairakei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, M.K.

    1985-12-01

    Deuterium measurements on geothermal water at Wairakei are consistent with the water being derived from rainfall which has percolated down from the surface. The oxygen-18 content, however, is enriched compared to average rainfall. This 18 O shift is due to isotopic exchange between water and rock at greater-than-explored depths. The magnitude of the shift implied that the mass ration (W/R) of water that has passed through the system (W) to the rock it has exchanged with (R) is about 1 assuming open (i.e. single-pass) conditions. (The ratio is about 2 if it has been a closed system, but this is thought to be less likely). The residence time of water underground cannot be determined from tritium and carbon-14 measurements at present, but arguments based on the argon isotope and deuterium contents suggest mean residence times of a few tens of thousand years. The water-rock ratio and large natural outflow of thermal water prior to exploitation are consistent with this. The 18 O content of the water has changed only slightly, and the D content not at all, during exploitation at Wairakei (measurements from 1963, 1974 and 1981). An initial tendency for the 18 O to increase because of steam loss (also shown more clearly by chloride), has been followed by decrease of 18 O (and chloride) because of dilution with infiltrating near-surface water in parts of the field

  13. 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

  14. Regional Geochemistry - an Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimann, Clemens

    2017-04-01

    Building on the pioneering ideas and work of V. Vernadsky (1883-1945) and V.M. Goldschmidt (1888-1947) the Geological Surveys of Europe have more than 60 years experience with geochemical mapping at a large variety of scales. Surveys using hundreds of samples per km2 for mineral exploration projects, 1 to 4 sites per km2 for mapping the urban environment, 1 site per 2 to 10 km2 in county or country-wide mapping projects to 1 site per 1000 to 5000 km2 for mapping at the continental scale have been successfully completed. Sample materials for these surveys include groundwater, surface water, stream sediments, floodplain sediments, different soil horizons (preferably soil O, A, B and C horizon) and plant materials from moss to trees. Surveys combining several sample materials from local to sub-continental scale in multi-media, multi-element geochemical investigations reflecting the interplay of chemical elements between the different compartments (lithosphere, pedosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere) of the ecosystem have also been carried out. These surveys provide ample empirical evidence that different geochemical processes become visible at different scales. Not all sample materials are suitable for all scales. A variety of scales in combination with a variety of different sample materials are needed to fully understand geochemical processes in the critical zone. Examples are shown that highlight the importance of a strategy to optimize sampling density and design for the chosen scale already during the planning stages of a project. Anthropogenic element sources are visible at a local scale and the major impact of geology, mineralogy and climate (as a driving force for weathering) dominates geochemical maps at the continental scale. Interestingly, mineralisation can generate features which are visible at a variety of scales. Some further issues that need attention when carrying out geochemical surveys at a variety of scales are (a) the need for an excellent and well

  15. 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.

  16. Geochemistry of groundwater in the Beaver and Camas Creek drainage basins, eastern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattray, Gordon W.; Ginsbach, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, is studying the fate and transport of waste solutes in the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in eastern Idaho. This effort requires an understanding of the natural and anthropogenic geochemistry of groundwater at the INL and of the important physical and chemical processes controlling the geochemistry. In this study, the USGS applied geochemical modeling to investigate the geochemistry of groundwater in the Beaver and Camas Creek drainage basins, which provide groundwater recharge to the ESRP aquifer underlying the northeastern part of the INL. Data used in this study include petrology and mineralogy from 2 sediment and 3 rock samples, and water-quality analyses from 4 surface-water and 18 groundwater samples. The mineralogy of the sediment and rock samples was analyzed with X-ray diffraction, and the mineralogy and petrology of the rock samples were examined in thin sections. The water samples were analyzed for field parameters, major ions, silica, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, trace elements, tritium, and the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. Groundwater geochemistry was influenced by reactions with rocks of the geologic terranes—carbonate rocks, rhyolite, basalt, evaporite deposits, and sediment comprised of all of these rocks. Agricultural practices near and south of Dubois and application of road anti-icing liquids on U.S. Interstate Highway 15 were likely sources of nitrate, chloride, calcium, and magnesium to groundwater. Groundwater geochemistry was successfully modeled in the alluvial aquifer in Camas Meadows and the ESRP fractured basalt aquifer using the geochemical modeling code PHREEQC. The primary geochemical processes appear to be precipitation or dissolution of calcite and dissolution of silicate minerals. Dissolution of evaporite minerals, associated with Pleistocene Lake

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)...

  3. Elemental Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; Anderson, R. B.; Bell, J. F.; Bridges, J. C.; Calef, F.; Campbell, J. L.; Clark, B. C.; Clegg, S.; Conrad, P.; Cousin, A.; Des Marais, D. J.; Dromart, G.; Dyar, M. D.; Edgar, L. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Fabre, C.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Gellert, R.; Gordon, S.; Grant, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J. A.; King, P. L.; Le Mouélic, S.; Leshin, L. A.; Léveillé, R.; Lewis, K. W.; Mangold, N.; Maurice, S.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Nachon, M.; Newsom, H. E.; Ollila, A. M.; Perrett, G. M.; Rice, M. S.; Schmidt, M. E.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Stack, K.; Stolper, E. M.; Sumner, D. Y.; Treiman, A. H.; VanBommel, S.; Vaniman, D. T.; Vasavada, A.; Wiens, R. C.; Yingst, R. A.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Siebach, Kirsten; 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; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; 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; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; 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; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; 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; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; 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; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; 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; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Pradler, Irina; 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; McConnochie, Timothy; 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; 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; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  4. Elemental geochemistry of sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S M; Anderson, R B; Bell, J F; Bridges, J C; Calef, F; Campbell, J L; Clark, B C; Clegg, S; Conrad, P; Cousin, A; Des Marais, D J; Dromart, G; Dyar, M D; Edgar, L A; Ehlmann, B L; Fabre, C; Forni, O; Gasnault, O; Gellert, R; Gordon, S; Grant, J A; Grotzinger, J P; Gupta, S; Herkenhoff, K E; Hurowitz, J A; King, P L; Le Mouélic, S; Leshin, L A; Léveillé, R; Lewis, K W; Mangold, N; Maurice, S; Ming, D W; Morris, R V; Nachon, M; Newsom, H E; Ollila, A M; Perrett, G M; Rice, M S; Schmidt, M E; Schwenzer, S P; Stack, K; Stolper, E M; Sumner, D Y; Treiman, A H; VanBommel, S; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A; Wiens, R C; Yingst, R A

    2014-01-24

    Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition. The absence of predicted geochemical variations indicates that magnetite and phyllosilicates formed by diagenesis under low-temperature, circumneutral pH, rock-dominated aqueous conditions. Analyses of diagenetic features (including concretions, raised ridges, and fractures) at high spatial resolution indicate that they are composed of iron- and halogen-rich components, magnesium-iron-chlorine-rich components, and hydrated calcium sulfates, respectively. Composition of a cross-cutting dike-like feature is consistent with sedimentary intrusion. The geochemistry of these sedimentary rocks provides further evidence for diverse depositional and diagenetic sedimentary environments during the early history of Mars.

  5. Contaminant geochemistry. Interactions and transport in the subsurface environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berkowitz, Brian; Dror, Ishai; Yaron, Bruno [Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel). Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research

    2008-07-01

    This book combines earth science, subsurface hydrology and environmental geochemistry, providing a comprehensive background for specialists interested in the protection and sustainable management of the subsurface environment. The reader is introduced to the chemistry of contaminants, which usually disturb the natural equilibrium in the subsurface as a result of human activity. The major focus of the book is on contaminant reactions in soil solutions, groundwater and porous media solid phases, accounting for their persistence and transformation in the subsurface, as they are transported from the land surface into groundwater. Discussions on selected case studies are provided. (orig.)

  6. Martian Atmospheric and Ionospheric plasma Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Rickard

    2016-04-01

    Solar forcing is responsible for the heating, ionization, photochemistry, and erosion processes in the upper atmosphere throughout the lifetime of the terrestrial planets. Of the four terrestrial planets, the Earth is the only one with a fully developed biosphere, while our kin Venus and Mars have evolved into arid inhabitable planets. As for Mars, there are ample evidences for an early Noachian, water rich period on Mars. The question is, what made Mars evolve so differently compared to the Earth? Various hydrosphere and atmospheric evolution scenarios for Mars have been forwarded based on surface morphology, chemical composition, simulations, semi-empiric (in-situ data) models, and the long-term evolution of the Sun. Progress has been made, but the case is still open regarding the changes that led to the present arid surface and tenuous atmosphere at Mars. This presentation addresses the long-term variability of the Sun, the solar forcing impact on the Martian atmosphere, and its interaction with the space environment - an electromagnetic wave and particle interaction with the upper atmosphere that has implications for its photochemistry, composition, and energization that governs thermal and non-thermal escape. Non-thermal escape implies an electromagnetic upward energization of planetary ions and molecules to velocities above escape velocity, a process governed by a combination of solar EUV radiation (ionization), and energy and momentum transfer by the solar wind. The ion escape issue dates back to the early Soviet and US-missions to Mars, but the first more accurate estimates of escape rates came with the Phobos-2 mission in 1989. Better-quality ion composition measurement results of atmospheric/ionospheric ion escape from Mars, obtained from ESA Mars Express (MEX) instruments, have improved our understanding of the ion escape mechanism. With the NASA MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars since Sept. 2014, dual in-situ measurement with plasma instruments are now

  7. Asteroids from a Martian Mega Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2018-04-01

    Like evidence left at a crime scene, the mineral olivine may be the clue that helps scientists piece together Marss possibly violent history. Could a long-ago giant impact have flung pieces of Mars throughout our inner solar system? Two researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan are on the case.A Telltale MineralOlivine, a mineral that is common in Earths subsurface but weathers quickly on the surface. Olivine is a major component of Marss upper mantle. [Wilson44691]Olivine is a major component of the Martian upper mantle, making up 60% of this region by weight. Intriguingly, olivine turns up in other places in our solar system too for instance, in seven out of the nine known Mars Trojans (a group of asteroids of unknown origin that share Marss orbit), and in the rare A-type asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt.How did these asteroids form, and why are they so olivine-rich? An interesting explanation has been postulated: perhaps this olivine all came from the same place Mars as the result of a mega impact billions of years ago.Evidence for ImpactMars bears plenty of signs pointing to a giant impact in its past. The northern and sourthern hemispheres of Mars look very different, a phenomenon referred to as the Mars hemisphere dichotomy. The impact of a Pluto-sized body could explain the smooth Borealis Basin that covers the northern 40% of Marss surface.This high-resolution topographic map of Mars reveals the dichotomy between its northern and sourthern hemispheres. The smooth region in the northern hemisphere, the Borealis basin, may have been formed when a giant object impacted Mars billions of years ago. [NASA/JPL/USGS]Other evidence piles up: Marss orbit location, its rotation speed, the presence of its two moons all could be neatly explained by a large impact around 4 billion years ago. Could such an impact have also strewn debris from Marss mantle across the solar system?To test this theory, we need to determine if a mega impact is

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  14. 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.

  15. Thermal tides and Martian dust storms: Direct evidence for coupling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leovy, C.B.; Zurek, R.W.

    1979-01-01

    Observations of surface pressure oscillations at the Viking 1 and Viking 2 lander sites on Mars indicate that the thermally driven global atmospheric tides were closely coupled to the dust content of the Martian atmosphere, especially during northern fall and winter, when two successive global dust storms occurred. The onset of each of these global storms was marked by substantial, nearly simultaneous increases in the dust opacity and in the range of the daily surface pressure variation observed at both lander sites. Although both the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal surface pressure components were amplified at Lander 1 during the onset of a global dust storm, the semidiurnal component was greatly enhanced in relation to the diurnal tide. Semidiurnal wind components were prominent at both lander sites during the height of the global dust storm. We have attempted to interpret these observations using simplified dynamical models. In particular, the semidiurnal wind component can be successfully related to the observed surface pressure variation using a simplified model of a semidiurnally forced Ekman boundary layer. On the other hand, a classical atmospheric tidal model shows that the preferential enhancement of the semidiurnal surface pressure oscillation at Lander 1 can be produced by a tidal heating distribution which places most of the heating (per unit mass) above 10-km altitude. Furthermore, when a dust storm expands to global scale, it does so rather quickly, and the total atmospheric heating at the peak of the dust storm can represent more than 50% of the available insolation. The Viking observations suggest that a number of mechanisms are important for the generation and decay of these episodic Martian global dust storms

  16. Radiogenic isotope geochemistry of sedimentary and aquatic systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stille, P.; Shields, G.

    1997-01-01

    The following topics are discussed: Basic principles of isotopic geochemistry; weathering; isotopic geochemistry of river water; isotopic geochemistry in the environment; isotopic composition of seawater past and present (Sr, Nd, Pb, Os, Ce); isotope geochemistry of detrital and authigenic clay minerals in marine sediemnts (Rb-Sr, K-Ar, O); the Sm-N isotope system in detrital and authigenic argillaceous sediments. (SR), provided they are of exceptional interest and focused on a single topic. (orig./SR)

  17. Radiogenic isotope geochemistry of sedimentary and aquatic systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stille, P.; Shields, G. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 67 - Strasbourg (France). Centre de Sedimentologie et Geochimie de la Surface

    1997-12-31

    The following topics are discussed: Basic principles of isotopic geochemistry; weathering; isotopic geochemistry of river water; isotopic geochemistry in the environment; isotopic composition of seawater past and present (Sr, Nd, Pb, Os, Ce); isotope geochemistry of detrital and authigenic clay minerals in marine sediemnts (Rb-Sr, K-Ar, O); the Sm-N isotope system in detrital and authigenic argillaceous sediments. (SR), provided they are of exceptional interest and focused on a single topic. (orig./SR)

  18. 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.

  19. the Martian atmospheric boundary layer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petrosyan, A.; Galperin, B.; Larsen, Søren Ejling

    2011-01-01

    . This portion of the atmosphere is extremely important, both scientifically and operationally, because it is the region within which surface lander spacecraft must operate and also determines exchanges of heat, momentum, dust, water, and other tracers between surface and subsurface reservoirs and the free...

  20. Uranium geochemistry of Orca Basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, F.F. Jr.; Sackett, W.M.

    1981-01-01

    Orca Basin, an anoxic, brine-filled depression at a depth of 2200 m in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, has been studied with respect to its uranium geochemistry. Uranium concentration profiles for four cores from within the basin were determined by delayed-neutron counting. Uranium concentrations ranged from 2.1 to 4.1 ppm on a salt-free and carbonate-corrected basis. The highest uranium concentrations were associated with the lowest percentage and delta 13 C organic carbon values. For comparison, cores from the brine-filled Suakin and Atlantis II Deeps, both in the Red Sea, were also analyzed. Uranium concentrations ranged from 1.2 to 2.6 ppm in the Suakin Deep and from 8.0 to 11.0 ppm in the Atlantis II Deep. No significant correlation was found between uranium concentrations and organic carbon concentrations and delta 13 C values for these cores. Although anoxic conditions are necessary for significant uranium uptake by non-carbonate marine sediments, other factors such as dilution by rapidly depositing materials and uranium supply via mixing and diffusion across density gradients may be as important in determining uranium concentrations in hypersaline basin sediments. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. Geochemistry and ore prospecting; Geochimie et prospection miniere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Caignec, R [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay(France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1954-07-01

    Applied geochemistry is a new technique which helps the geologist in detecting ore deposits. Some deposits, even when they are covered with rather thick surface structures, form around these zones where the infinitesimal content of some elements of soils or waters is notably different. These 'anomalies' may be contemporaneous to the deposit-structure (primary dispersion) or may have occurred later (secondary dispersion). Various factors rule these anomalies: ore-stability, soil homogeneity, water conditions, topography, vegetation, etc... Applied geochemistry is in fact the study of analysis techniques of metal traces in soils as well as the geological interpretation of observed anomalies. This report gives practical data on sampling methods, yields, costs and also on special problems of uranium geochemistry. (author) [French] La geochimie appliquee est une nouvelle technique qui vient aider le geologue dans la detection des gisements de minerais. Certains gisements, meme lorsqu'ils sont recouverts par des formations superficielles relativement epaisses, creent autour d'eux des zones ou la teneur infinitesimale des sols ou des eaux en certains elements varie notablement. Ces ''anomalies'' peuvent etre contemporaines de la formation du gisement (dispersion primaire) ou posterieures a celle-ci (dispersion secondaire). De nombreux facteurs gouvernent ces anomalies: stabilite du minerai, homogeneite du sol, regime des eaux, topographie, vegetation, etc... L'etude des techniques d'analyse des traces de metaux dans les sols et l'interpretation geologique des anomalies obtenues constituent la geochimie appliquee. Ce rapport contient, en outre, des donnees pratiques sur les procedes d'echantillonnage, le rendement, les prix de revient, ainsi que sur quelques problemes particuliers a la geochimie de l'uranium. (auteur)

  3. Geochemistry and ore prospecting; Geochimie et prospection miniere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Caignec, R. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, Saclay(France). Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires

    1954-07-01

    Applied geochemistry is a new technique which helps the geologist in detecting ore deposits. Some deposits, even when they are covered with rather thick surface structures, form around these zones where the infinitesimal content of some elements of soils or waters is notably different. These 'anomalies' may be contemporaneous to the deposit-structure (primary dispersion) or may have occurred later (secondary dispersion). Various factors rule these anomalies: ore-stability, soil homogeneity, water conditions, topography, vegetation, etc... Applied geochemistry is in fact the study of analysis techniques of metal traces in soils as well as the geological interpretation of observed anomalies. This report gives practical data on sampling methods, yields, costs and also on special problems of uranium geochemistry. (author) [French] La geochimie appliquee est une nouvelle technique qui vient aider le geologue dans la detection des gisements de minerais. Certains gisements, meme lorsqu'ils sont recouverts par des formations superficielles relativement epaisses, creent autour d'eux des zones ou la teneur infinitesimale des sols ou des eaux en certains elements varie notablement. Ces ''anomalies'' peuvent etre contemporaines de la formation du gisement (dispersion primaire) ou posterieures a celle-ci (dispersion secondaire). De nombreux facteurs gouvernent ces anomalies: stabilite du minerai, homogeneite du sol, regime des eaux, topographie, vegetation, etc... L'etude des techniques d'analyse des traces de metaux dans les sols et l'interpretation geologique des anomalies obtenues constituent la geochimie appliquee. Ce rapport contient, en outre, des donnees pratiques sur les procedes d'echantillonnage, le rendement, les prix de revient, ainsi que sur quelques problemes particuliers a la geochimie de l'uranium. (auteur)

  4. 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.

  5. Volatiles in the Martian regolith

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, B.C.; Baird, A.K.

    1979-01-01

    An inventory of released volatiles on Mars has been derived based upon Viking measurements of atmospheric and surface chemical composition, and upon the inferred mineralogy of a ubiquitous regolith, assumed to average 200m in depth. This model is consistent with the relative abundances of volatiles (except for S) on the Earth's surface, but implies one-fifteenth of the volatile release of Earth if starting materials were comparable. All constituents are accommodated as chemical components of, or absorbed phases on, regolith materials--without the necessity of invoking unobservable deposits of carbonates, nitrates, or permafrost ice

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. .

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Proceedings of the national symposium on current trends in geochemistry, exploration and environment: abstract book

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2015-01-01

    The topics covered in this symposium are solid earth geochemistry and geochemical modeling, precambrian geology, geochemistry and petrogenesis, geochemistry, peterogenisis, sedimentology, chemostratigraphy and paleoclimate, atomic minerals, ferrous/non ferrous minerals, REE minerals, PGE and base metals, oil, hydrocarbons, industrial minerals and gem stones, hydrogeochemistry, environmental geochemistry, biogeochemistry and medical geology and analytical geochemistry and method development. Papers relevant to INIS are indexed separately

  16. Geochemistry Review Panel report on the SRP geochemistry program and draft geochemistry summary program plan (May, 1986) and discussion of panel recommendations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-12-01

    The Geochemistry Review Panel (GRP) was established by the Salt Repository Project Office (SRPO) to help evaluate geochemistry-related issues in the US Department of Energy's nuclear waste repository program. The May 1986 meeting of the GRP reviewed the Salt Repository Program (SRP) geochemistry program developed by the Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation (ONWI). This program is described in the Draft Geochemistry Plan of April 9, 1986. This report documents the GRP's comments and recommendations on this subject and the ONWI responses to the specific points raised by the GRP

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Historical foundations of chemical geology and geochemistry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manten, A.A.

    1966-01-01

    Roughly, the name chemical geology has been used for as long as chemistry has been applied in geology; the name geochemistry was introduced by Schönbein, in 1838. Whereas initially the names were often regarded as synonymous, in our century there is a tendency to make a distinction between the two

  3. Geochemistry of sulphur in petroleum systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Orr, W.L.

    1990-01-01

    A renaissance in the 1980s concerning geochemistry of sulfur in fossil fuels makes an update of the subject timely. Papers developed from the 1989 ACS Symposium in Dallas provide a cross-section of recent research and progress in our understanding of the abundance and nature of organically bound

  4. Urban environmental geochemistry of trace metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wong, Coby S.C.; Li Xiangdong; Thornton, Iain

    2006-01-01

    As the world's urban population continues to grow, it becomes increasingly imperative to understand the dynamic interactions between human activities and the urban environment. The development of urban environmental geochemistry has yielded a significant volume of scientific information about geochemical phenomena found uniquely in the urban environment, such as the distribution, dispersion, and geochemical characteristics of some toxic and potentially toxic trace metals. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the development of urban environmental geochemistry as a field of scientific study and highlight major transitions during the course of its development from its establishment to the major scientific interests in the field today. An extensive literature review is also conducted of trace metal contamination of the urban terrestrial environment, in particular of urban soils, in which the uniqueness of the urban environment and its influences on trace metal contamination are elaborated. Potential areas of future development in urban environmental geochemistry are identified and discussed. - Urban environmental geochemistry as a scientific discipline provides valuable information on trace metal contamination of the urban environment and its associated health effects

  5. 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

  6. The development of a Martian atmospheric Sample collection canister

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulczycki, E.; Galey, C.; Kennedy, B.; Budney, C.; Bame, D.; Van Schilfgaarde, R.; Aisen, N.; Townsend, J.; Younse, P.; Piacentine, J.

    The collection of an atmospheric sample from Mars would provide significant insight to the understanding of the elemental composition and sub-surface out-gassing rates of noble gases. A team of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology have developed an atmospheric sample collection canister for Martian application. The engineering strategy has two basic elements: first, to collect two separately sealed 50 cubic centimeter unpressurized atmospheric samples with minimal sensing and actuation in a self contained pressure vessel; and second, to package this atmospheric sample canister in such a way that it can be easily integrated into the orbiting sample capsule for collection and return to Earth. Sample collection and integrity are demonstrated by emulating the atmospheric collection portion of the Mars Sample Return mission on a compressed timeline. The test results achieved by varying the pressure inside of a thermal vacuum chamber while opening and closing the valve on the sample canister at Mars ambient pressure. A commercial off-the-shelf medical grade micro-valve is utilized in the first iteration of this design to enable rapid testing of the system. The valve has been independently leak tested at JPL to quantify and separate the leak rates associated with the canister. The results are factored in to an overall system design that quantifies mass, power, and sensing requirements for a Martian atmospheric Sample Collection (MASC) canister as outlined in the Mars Sample Return mission profile. Qualitative results include the selection of materials to minimize sample contamination, preliminary science requirements, priorities in sample composition, flight valve selection criteria, a storyboard from sample collection to loading in the orbiting sample capsule, and contributions to maintaining “ Earth” clean exterior surfaces on the orbiting sample capsule.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. 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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Evidence From Hydrogen Isotopes in Meteorites for a Martian Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial landforms on Mars suggest that it was once warm enough to maintain persistent liquid water on its surface. 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. We have investigated the evolution of surface water/ ice and its interaction with the atmosphere by measurements of hydrogen isotope ratios (D/H: deuterium/ hydrogen) of martian meteorites. Hydrogen is a major component of water (H2O) and its isotopes fractionate significantly during hydrological cycling between the atmosphere, surface waters, ground ice, and polar cap ice. Based on in situ ion microprobe analyses of three geochemically different shergottites, we reported that there is a water/ice reservoir with an intermediate D/H ratio (delta D = 1,000?2500 %) on Mars. Here we present the possibility that this water/ice reservoir represents a ground-ice/permafrost that has existed relatively intact over geologic time.

  15. Influence of carbon dioxide clouds on early martian climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mischna, M A; Kasting, J F; Pavlov, A; Freedman, R

    2000-06-01

    Recent studies have shown that clouds made of carbon dioxide ice may have warmed the surface of early Mars by reflecting not only incoming solar radiation but upwelling IR radiation as well. However, these studies have not treated scattering self-consistently in the thermal IR. Our own calculations, which treat IR scattering properly, confirm these earlier calculations but show that CO2 clouds can also cool the surface, especially if they are low and optically thick. Estimating the actual effect of CO2 clouds on early martian climate will require three-dimensional models in which cloud location, height, and optical depth, as well as surface temperature and pressure, are determined self-consistently. Our calculations further confirm that CO2 clouds should extend the outer boundary of the habitable zone around a star but that there is still a finite limit beyond which above-freezing surface temperatures cannot be maintained by a CO2-H2O atmosphere. For our own Solar System, the absolute outer edge of the habitable zone is at approximately 2.4 AU.

  16. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Uranium project. Geochemistry prospection[Study of Uranium geochemical prospection in Uruguay]; Proyecto Uranio. Prospeccion geoquimica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lambert, J

    1983-07-01

    Geochemistry studies the distribution of the chemicals elements in the terrestrial crust and its ways to migrate. The terminology used in this report is the following one: 1) Principles of the prospection geochemistry 2) Stages of the prospection geochemistry 3)utility of the prospection geochemistry 4) geochemistry of uranium 5) procedures used within the framework of uranium project 6) Average available 7) Selection of the zones of prospection geochemistry 8) Stages of the prospection, Sample preparation and analisis 9) Presentation of the results.

  19. 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.

  20. Au-bearing magnetite mineralizaion in Kashmar (alteration, mineralization, geochemistry, geochemistry and fluid inclusions;

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Almasi

    2017-02-01

    fractures of rocks are filled with tourmaline (Dumortierite type and iron oxides. Kashmar surface mineralization is described in the ore-bearing quartz veins. Principal mineralization textures are layered, comb and Brecciation. The most important types of veins are those containing Chalcopyrite - Quartz veins, Specularite-rich veins – Quartz-Galena veins accompany with hydrothermal Breccias. Barren barite veins also exist in the region. The Chalcopyrite - Quartz veins occur on the main fracture zone and next to the Argillic alterations and silica cap in three regions (Bahariyeh, Uch Palang and Sarsefidal. Hydrothermal Breccias, Spicularite- rich veins, Quartz - Galena and barite veins occurred within Hematite- Carbonate-Chlorite-Silicification alterations in the Kamarmard area. Geochemistry of veins indicates anomalies of gold, copper, lead and zinc in them. Most enrichments of gold are accompanied with copper, lead and zinc and they occurs in hydrothermal Breccias and then specularite- rich veins. Gold values up to about 15 ppm and Cu, Pb and Zn each to > 1%. Temperature – salinity studies of fluid inclusions of ore-bearing Quartz veins in Kashmar show the fluid temperature and salinity values in all veins are close together. Temperatures are moderate to relatively high and between 245° C and 530 ° C and salinities are relatively low to moderate and between 14 to 18 (wt% NaCl. Maximum and minimum of temperatures and salinities are related to fluid inclusions of hydrothermal Breccias and Quartz-Galena vein. Co-existence between two-phase liquid-vapor rich fluids and single-phase gas fluids in the veins indicate that conditions were close to boiling, and maybe a little boiling occurred, which strengthened with brecciaing of rock and view rare CO2-bearing fluid inclusion in veins on the Kamarmard peak. Non-existence of vuggy Quartz in silica caps in the region shows this issue. The frequency of oxide minerals (Specularite, Barite, H2O-NaCl-CaCl2 system, and the low

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Microbial diversity and impact on carbonate geochemistry across a changing geochemical gradient in a karst aquifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Cassie J; Engel, Annette S

    2013-02-01

    Although microbes are known to influence karst (carbonate) aquifer ecosystem-level processes, comparatively little information is available regarding the diversity of microbial activities that could influence water quality and geological modification. To assess microbial diversity in the context of aquifer geochemistry, we coupled 16S rRNA Sanger sequencing and 454 tag pyrosequencing to in situ microcosm experiments from wells that cross the transition from fresh to saline and sulfidic water in the Edwards Aquifer of central Texas, one of the largest karst aquifers in the United States. The distribution of microbial groups across the transition zone correlated with dissolved oxygen and sulfide concentration, and significant variations in community composition were explained by local carbonate geochemistry, specifically calcium concentration and alkalinity. The waters were supersaturated with respect to prevalent aquifer minerals, calcite and dolomite, but in situ microcosm experiments containing these minerals revealed significant mass loss from dissolution when colonized by microbes. Despite differences in cell density on the experimental surfaces, carbonate loss was greater from freshwater wells than saline, sulfidic wells. However, as cell density increased, which was correlated to and controlled by local geochemistry, dissolution rates decreased. Surface colonization by metabolically active cells promotes dissolution by creating local disequilibria between bulk aquifer fluids and mineral surfaces, but this also controls rates of karst aquifer modification. These results expand our understanding of microbial diversity in karst aquifers and emphasize the importance of evaluating active microbial processes that could affect carbonate weathering in the subsurface.

  8. Terrestrial microbes in martian and chondritic meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airieau, S.; Picenco, Y.; Andersen, G.

    2007-08-01

    Introduction: The best extraterrestrial analogs for microbiology are meteorites. The chemistry and mineralogy of Asteroid Belt and martian (SNC) meteorites are used as tracers of processes that took place in the early solar system. Meteoritic falls, in particular those of carbonaceous chondrites, are regarded as pristine samples of planetesimal evolution as these rocks are primitive and mostly unprocessed since the formation of the solar system 4.56 billion years ago. Yet, questions about terrestrial contamination and its effects on the meteoritic isotopic, chemical and mineral characteristics often arise. Meteorites are hosts to biological activity as soon as they are in contact with the terrestrial biosphere, like all rocks. A wide biodiversity was found in 21 chondrites and 8 martian stones, and was investigated with cell culture, microscopy techniques, PCR, and LAL photoluminetry. Some preliminary results are presented here. The sample suite included carbonaceous chondrites of types CR, CV, CK, CO, CI, and CM, from ANSMET and Falls. Past studies documented the alteration of meteorites by weathering and biological activity [1]-[4]. Unpublished observations during aqueous extraction for oxygen isotopic analysis [5], noted the formation of biofilms in water in a matter of days. In order to address the potential modification of meteoritic isotopic and chemical signatures, the culture of microbial contaminating species was initiated in 2005, and after a prolonged incubation, some of the species obtained from cell culture were analyzed in 2006. The results are preliminary, and a systematic catalog of microbial contaminants is developing very slowly due to lack of funding. Methods: The primary method was cell culture and PCR. Chondrites. Chondritic meteorite fragments were obtained by breaking stones of approximately one gram in sterile mortars. The core of the rocks, presumably less contaminated than the surface, was used for the present microbial study, and the

  9. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    OpenAIRE

    DESCHAMPS, Fabien; GODARD, Marguerite; GUILLOT, Stéphane; HATTORI, Kéiko

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge ...

  10. Development of the near field geochemistry model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arcos, D.; Bruno, J.; Duro, L.; Grive, M.

    2000-01-01

    This report discusses in a quantitative manner the evolution of the near field geochemistry as a result of the interactions between two different introducing granitic groundwaters and the FEBEX bentonite as a buffer material. The two granitic groundwaters considered are: SR-5 water, sampled in a borehole at 500 m depth in Mina Ratones, and a mean composition of different granitic groundwaters from the iberian Massif. The steel canister has also been introduced by considering the iron corrosion in anoxic conditions. (Author)

  11. 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

    The existance of a large Martian cryolitozone consisting of different cryogenic formations both on the surface- polar caps ice and in subsurface layer (and probably overcooled salt solutions in lower horizons) is conditioned mostly by the planet's geological history and atmosphere evolution. The very structure of the cryolitozone with its strongly pronounced zone character owing to drying up of 0 to 200 m thick surface layer in the equatorial latitudes ranging from + 30 to - 300 was formed in the course of long-periodic climatic variations and at present is distincly heterogeneous both depthward and in latitudinal and longtudinal dimensions. The dryed up region of Martian frozen rocks is estimated to have been developing during more than 3.5 bln years, so the upper layer boundary of permafrost can serve as a sort of indicator reflecting the course of Martian climatic evolution. Since the emount of surface moisture and its distribition character are conditioned by the cryolitozone scale structure its investigation is considered to be an important aspect of the forthcoming Martian projects. In order to create Martian climate and atmosphere circulation models the whole complex information on surface provided by optical and infrared ranges observations, regional albedo surface measurements, ground layer thermal flow investigations, etc. must be carefully studed. The investigation of permafrost formation global distribution and their appearance in h ≤1 m thick subsurface layer may be provided successfully by using active-passive microwave remote sensing techniques [1]. Along with optical and infrared observations the method of orbital panoramic microwave radiometry in centi- and decimeter ranges would contribute to the mapping of the cryolitozone global surface distribution. This proposal discusses methodical and experimental possibilities of this global observation of Martian cryolitozone as the additional way for investigation subsurface of Mars. The main idea of

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

    North-polar cap over millenia Atmospheric water in Mars tends currently as for the past millenia to distil onto the polar caps and be buried under dust deposits. Diffusive release from ground-ice (and its excavation in meteorite impacts [1]) replenishes atmospheric water, allowing the gradual build up of polar ice-dust deposits. When sunlit, this warmed and sublimating ice-dust mix has interest as a potential habitat for micro-organisms. Modelling shows precipitable vapour at 10-50μm/yr, varying sensitively with small changes in orbitable obliquity around the present 25° [2]. The modelling applies to a globe with regionally uniform albedo, unlike the steep topography and dark layering of the north polar cap whose upper 300m have accumulated over the last 500 kyr [3]. The cliffs and ravines of the north-polar cap are thought to form through south-facing slopes sublimating and gaining a dirt-encrusted surface, while horizontal surfaces brighten through frost deposits. The two-phase surface derives from the dust and frost feedback on surface albedo [4] and the resulting terrain develops over diurnal cycles of frosting and sublimation, and over annual seasonal cycles. The steep south-facing sides of observed ravines when unshadowed would see for a few hours the full intensity of sunlight at near normal incidence, without the atmospheric dimming at similar inclinations on Earth. As exposed ice sublimates at T > 200K (partial pressure exceeds typical martian 0.1 Pa), a crust of dirt develops to maintain quasi-stability. The dirt crust's main function is to buffer the ice against diurnal temperature fluctuations, but it also slows down vapour diffusion - analogous to south polar ice sublimation [5] and the growth of ground-ice [6]. We envisage 1-10 mm/yr as the net sublimation rate, compatible with the 100 kyr life and scales of the north polar ravines. Modelling of icy-dirt crusts in the polar cap Plane-parallel layers have been used to model the changing temperature

  15. Geochemistry of rare earths in main media of clay formation and sedimentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnot-Courtois, C.

    1981-01-01

    This work aims i) at a better knowledge of rare earth behavior in surface conditions and ii) possible use of rare earth as a marker for argilaceous mineral genesis. Chemical properties of rare earths and geochemistry of these elements in main rocks are recalled. Rare earth behaviour during continental alteration process, experimental hydrolysis of various magmatic materials and rare earth geochemistry in argilaceous minerals in continental shelf are examined. Then some aspects of rare earth behaviour in oceans are studied: alteration of sea bed and hydrothermalism rare earth distribution in pelagic sediments red clays of deep seas and manganese nodules. In conclusion rare earth behaviour in sedimentary processes of the exogenous cycle is summarized [fr

  16. 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

  17. Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation. 5. Well installation, water-level data, and surface- and ground-water geochemistry in the Straight Creek drainage basin, Red River Valley, New Mexico, 2001-03

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naus, Cheryl A.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Donohoe, Lisa C.; Hunt, Andrew G.; Paillet, Frederick L.; Morin, Roger H.; Verplanck, Philip L.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Mexico Environment Department, is investigating the pre-mining ground-water chemistry at the Molycorp molybdenum mine in the Red River Valley, northern New Mexico. The primary approach is to determine the processes controlling ground-water chemistry at an unmined, off-site, proximal analog. The Straight Creek drainage basin, chosen for this purpose, consists of the same quartz-sericite-pyrite altered andesitic and rhyolitic volcanic rock of Tertiary age as the mine site. The weathered and rugged volcanic bedrock surface is overlain by heterogeneous debris-flow deposits that interfinger with alluvial deposits near the confluence of Straight Creek and the Red River. Pyritized rock in the upper part of the drainage basin is the source of acid rock drainage (pH 2.8-3.3) that infiltrates debris-flow deposits containing acidic ground water (pH 3.0-4.0) and bedrock containing water of circumneutral pH values (5.6-7.7). Eleven observation wells were installed in the Straight Creek drainage basin. The wells were completed in debris-flow deposits, bedrock, and interfingering debris-flow and Red River alluvial deposits. Chemical analyses of ground water from these wells, combined with chemical analyses of surface water, water-level data, and lithologic and geophysical logs, provided information used to develop an understanding of the processes contributing to the chemistry of ground water in the Straight Creek drainage basin. Surface- and ground-water samples were routinely collected for determination of total major cations and selected trace metals; dissolved major cations, selected trace metals, and rare-earth elements; anions and alkalinity; and dissolved-iron species. Rare-earth elements were determined on selected samples only. Samples were collected for determination of dissolved organic carbon, mercury, sulfur isotopic composition (34S and 18O of sulfate), and water isotopic composition (2H and 18O) during

  18. Geochemistry of sediments of the eastern continental shelf of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mascarenhas, A.; Paropkari, A.L.; Murty, P.S.N.

    The bulk and partition geochemistry of Al, Fe, Ti, Mn, Zn, and Cu have been investigated in sediments of the eastern continental shelf of India. The results show that (1) the bulk geochemistry varies from one shelf unit to the other, (2) all...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Oxidant enhancement in martian dust devils and storms: implications for life and habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atreya, Sushil K; Wong, Ah-San; Renno, Nilton O; Farrell, William M; Delory, Gregory T; Sentman, Davis D; Cummer, Steven A; Marshall, John R; Rafkin, Scot C R; Catling, David C

    2006-06-01

    We investigate a new mechanism for producing oxidants, especially hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), on Mars. Large-scale electrostatic fields generated by charged sand and dust in the martian dust devils and storms, as well as during normal saltation, can induce chemical changes near and above the surface of Mars. The most dramatic effect is found in the production of H2O2 whose atmospheric abundance in the "vapor" phase can exceed 200 times that produced by photochemistry alone. With large electric fields, H2O2 abundance gets large enough for condensation to occur, followed by precipitation out of the atmosphere. Large quantities of H2O2 would then be adsorbed into the regolith, either as solid H2O2 "dust" or as re-evaporated vapor if the solid does not survive as it diffuses from its production region close to the surface. We suggest that this H2O2, or another superoxide processed from it in the surface, may be responsible for scavenging organic material from Mars. The presence of H2O2 in the surface could also accelerate the loss of methane from the atmosphere, thus requiring a larger source for maintaining a steady-state abundance of methane on Mars. The surface oxidants, together with storm electric fields and the harmful ultraviolet radiation that readily passes through the thin martian atmosphere, are likely to render the surface of Mars inhospitable to life as we know it.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Handbook of environmental isotope geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baskaran, Mark (ed.) [Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI (United States). Dept. Geology

    2011-07-01

    Applications of radioactive and stable isotopes have revolutionized our understanding of the Earth and near-earth surface processes. The utility of the isotopes are ever-increasing and our sole focus is to bring out the applications of these isotopes as tracers and chronometers to a wider audience so that they can be used as powerful tools to solve environmental problems. New developments in this field remain mostly in peer-reviewed journal articles and hence our goal is to synthesize these findings for easy reference for students, faculty, regulators in governmental and non-governmental agencies, and environmental companies. While this volume maintains its rigor in terms of its depth of knowledge and quantitative information, it contains the breadth needed for wide variety problems and applications in the environmental sciences. This volume presents all of the newer and older applications of isotopes pertaining to the environmental problems in one place that is readily accessible to readers. This book not only has the depth and rigor that is needed for academia, but it has the breadth and case studies to illustrate the utility of the isotopes in a wide variety of environments (atmosphere, oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, terrestrial environments, and sub-surface environments) and serves a large audience, from students and researchers, regulators in federal, state and local governments, and environmental companies. (orig.)

  8. Contribution to uranium geochemistry in intrusive granites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coulomb, R.

    1959-01-01

    This work aims to define the position of a certain number of French granitic deposits within the field of the geochemistry of granites in general, and of the geochemistry of uranium in particular. The regions concerned are: - 3 French Hercynian ranges, in the Vendee, in Brittany and in the Morvan, - 1 African range, probably precambrian, of the Hoggar. For each range, the petrochemical framework is first of all determined and then the degree of chemical homogeneity of the rocks is evaluated. In the petrochemical groups thus obtained the geochemical behaviour of the uranium is studied. From a point of view of the geochemistry of the granites under investigation, a comparison of the laws of distribution of the major elements in the 4 ranges shows up a convergence of average composition which was not anticipated by geological and petrographic considerations alone. The statistical and geochemical distribution laws of the total uranium as a function of the petrochemical variations are established. A study of the chemical forms of uranium in the rocks has drawn an attention to the qualitative and quantitative importance of the fraction of this uranium soluble in dilute acids. We have therefore reconsidered on the one hand, the laws of distribution of the insoluble uranium, which represents essentially the uranium fixed in crystalline structures (zircon, allanite...), and we have justified on the other hand the interest presented by the soluble uranium: this, although more complex in character, presents a geochemical unity in post magmatic phenomena which makes possible to find a genetic connection between the uraniferous deposits and the intrusive massifs. Finally we have given a plan of the geochemical cycle of uranium, in which we hope to have provided some more accurate data on the igneous phase. (author) [fr

  9. 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.

  10. Matlab Geochemistry: An open source geochemistry solver based on MRST

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeece, C. J.; Raynaud, X.; Nilsen, H.; Hesse, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    The study of geological systems often requires the solution of complex geochemical relations. To address this need we present an open source geochemical solver based on the Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST) developed by SINTEF. The implementation supports non-isothermal multicomponent aqueous complexation, surface complexation, ion exchange, and dissolution/precipitation reactions. The suite of tools available in MRST allows for rapid model development, in particular the incorporation of geochemical calculations into transport simulations of multiple phases, complex domain geometry and geomechanics. Different numerical schemes and additional physics can be easily incorporated into the existing tools through the object-oriented framework employed by MRST. The solver leverages the automatic differentiation tools available in MRST to solve arbitrarily complex geochemical systems with any choice of species or element concentration as input. Four mathematical approaches enable the solver to be quite robust: 1) the choice of chemical elements as the basis components makes all entries in the composition matrix positive thus preserving convexity, 2) a log variable transformation is used which transfers the nonlinearity to the convex composition matrix, 3) a priori bounds on variables are calculated from the structure of the problem, constraining Netwon's path and 4) an initial guess is calculated implicitly by sequentially adding model complexity. As a benchmark we compare the model to experimental and semi-analytic solutions of the coupled salinity-acidity transport system. Together with the reservoir simulation capabilities of MRST the solver offers a promising tool for geochemical simulations in reservoir domains for applications in a diversity of fields from enhanced oil recovery to radionuclide storage.

  11. Uranium geochemistry, mineralogy, geology, exploration and resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Vivo, B.

    1984-01-01

    This book comprises papers on the following topics: history of radioactivity; uranium in mantle processes; transport and deposition of uranium in hydrothermal systems at temperatures up to 300 0 C: Geological implications; geochemical behaviour of uranium in the supergene environment; uranium exploration techniques; uranium mineralogy; time, crustal evolution and generation of uranium deposits; uranium exploration; geochemistry of uranium in the hydrographic network; uranium deposits of the world, excluding Europe; uranium deposits in Europe; uranium in the economics of energy; role of high heat production granites in uranium province formation; and uranium deposits

  12. On models in the geochemistry of isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetzel, K.

    1978-01-01

    Models are playing an increasing role in the deepening of our understanding of the laws of occurrence of stable and radioactive isotopes in nature. The properties of concrete global and regional models of the geochemistry of isotopes are derived from a general model characterizing the cycling of chemical elements and their isotopes in nature. The importance of global models as well as the relationships between global and regional models are considered. The introduction of a parameter describing the velocity of both mass and isotope transfer, taking into consideration the global resources, renders possible the linkage of global models with regional ones. (author)

  13. A photovoltaic catenary-tent array for the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutchik, M.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Appelbaum, J.

    1993-01-01

    To provide electrical power during an exploration mission to Mars, a deployable tent-shaped structure with a flexible photovoltaic (PV) blanket is proposed. The array is designed with a self-deploying mechanism utilizing pressurized gas expansion. The structural design for the array uses a combination of cables, beams, and columns to support and deploy the PV blanket. Under the force of gravity a cable carrying a uniform load will take the shape of a catenary curve. A catenary-tent collector is self shadowing which must be taken into account in the solar radiation calculation. The shape and the area of the shadow on the array was calculated and used in the determination of the global radiation on the array. The PV blanket shape and structure dimension were optimized to achieve a configuration which maximizes the specific power (W/kg). The optimization was performed for four types of PV blankets (Si, GaAs/Ge, GaAs CLEFT, and amorphous Si) and four types of structure materials (Carbon composite, Aramid Fiber composite, Aluminum, and Magnesium). The results show that the catenary shape of the PV blanket, which produces the highest specific power, corresponds to zero end angle at the base with respect to the horizontal. The tent angle is determined by the combined effect of the array structure specific mass and the PV blanket output power. The combination of carbon composite structural material and GaAs CLEFT solar cells produce the highest specific power. The study was carried out for two sites on Mars corresponding to the Viking Lander locations. The designs were also compared for summer, winter, and yearly operation.

  14. Hydrothermal systems and volcano geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, R.O.

    2007-01-01

    The upward intrusion of magma from deeper to shallower levels beneath volcanoes obviously plays an important role in their surface deformation. This chapter will examine less obvious roles that hydrothermal processes might play in volcanic deformation. Emphasis will be placed on the effect that the transition from brittle to plastic behavior of rocks is likely to have on magma degassing and hydrothermal processes, and on the likely chemical variations in brine and gas compositions that occur as a result of movement of aqueous-rich fluids from plastic into brittle rock at different depths. To a great extent, the model of hydrothermal processes in sub-volcanic systems that is presented here is inferential, based in part on information obtained from deep drilling for geothermal resources, and in part on the study of ore deposits that are thought to have formed in volcanic and shallow plutonic environments.

  15. 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...

  16. Large sulfur isotope fractionations in Martian sediments at Gale crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, H. B.; McAdam, A. C.; Ming, D. W.; Freissinet, C.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Eldridge, D. L.; Fischer, W. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; House, C. H.; Hurowitz, J. A.; McLennan, S. M.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Vaniman, D. T.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Atreya, S. K.; Conrad, P. G.; Dottin, J. W., III; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Farley, K. A.; Glavin, D. P.; Johnson, S. S.; Knudson, C. A.; Morris, R. V.; Navarro-González, R.; Pavlov, A. A.; Plummer, R.; Rampe, E. B.; Stern, J. C.; Steele, A.; Summons, R. E.; Sutter, B.

    2017-09-01

    Variability in the sulfur isotopic composition in sediments can reflect atmospheric, geologic and biological processes. Evidence for ancient fluvio-lacustrine environments at Gale crater on Mars and a lack of efficient crustal recycling mechanisms on the planet suggests a surface environment that was once warm enough to allow the presence of liquid water, at least for discrete periods of time, and implies a greenhouse effect that may have been influenced by sulfur-bearing volcanic gases. Here we report in situ analyses of the sulfur isotopic compositions of SO2 volatilized from ten sediment samples acquired by NASA’s Curiosity rover along a 13 km traverse of Gale crater. We find large variations in sulfur isotopic composition that exceed those measured for Martian meteorites and show both depletion and enrichment in 34S. Measured values of δ34S range from -47 +/- 14‰ to 28 +/- 7‰, similar to the range typical of terrestrial environments. Although limited geochronological constraints on the stratigraphy traversed by Curiosity are available, we propose that the observed sulfur isotopic signatures at Gale crater can be explained by equilibrium fractionation between sulfate and sulfide in an impact-driven hydrothermal system and atmospheric processing of sulfur-bearing gases during transient warm periods.

  17. The role of igneous sills in shaping the Martian uplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelms, D. E.; Baldwin, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    Relations among geologic units and landforms suggest that igneous sills lie beneath much of the intercrater and intracrater terrain of the Martian uplands. The igneous rocks crop out along the upland-lowland front and in crater floors and other depressions that are low enough to intersect the sill's intrusion horizons. It is suggested that heat from the cooling sills melted some of the ice contained in overlying fragmental deposits, creating valley networks by subsurface flow of the meltwater. Terrains with undulatory, smooth surfaces and softened traces of valleys were created by more direct contact with the sills. Widespread subsidence following emplacement of the sills deformed both them and the nonvolcanic deposits that overlie them, accounting for the many structures that continue from ridged plains into the hilly uplands. Crater counts show that the deposit that became valleyed, softened, and ridged probably began to form (and to acquire interstitial ice) during or shortly after the Middle Noachian Epoch, and continued to form as late as the Early Hesperian Epoch. The upper layers of this deposit, many of the visible valleys, and the ridged plains and postulated sills all have similar Early Hesperian ages. Continued formation of valleys is indicated by their incision of fresh-appearing crater ejecta. The dependence of valley formation on internal processes implies that Mars did not necessarily have a dense early atmosphere or warm climate.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Small martian valleys: Pristine and degraded morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, V.R.; Partridge, J.B.

    1986-01-01

    The equatorial heavily cratered uplands of Mars are dissected by two classes of small valleys that are intimately associated in compound networks. Pristine valleys with steep valley walls preferentially occupy downstream portions of compound basins. Degraded valleys with eroded walls are laterally more extensive and have higher drainage densities than pristine valleys. Morphometric and crater-counting studies indicate that relatively dense drainage networks were emplaced on Mars during the heavy bombardment about 4.0 b.y. ago. Over a period of approximately 10 8 years, these networks were degraded and subsequently invaded by headwardly extending pristine valleys. The pristine valleys locally reactivated the compound networks, probably through sapping processes dependent upon high water tables. Fluvial activity in the heavily cratered uplands generally ceased approximately 3.8--3.9 b.y. ago, coincident with the rapid decline in cratering rates. The relict compound valleys on Mars are morphometrically distinct from most terrestrial drainage systems. The differences might be caused by a Martian valley formation episode characterized by hyperaridity, by inadequate time for network growth, by very permeable rock types, or by a combination of factors

  4. 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.

  5. The new Martians a scientific novel

    CERN Document Server

    Kanas, Nick

    2014-01-01

    The year is 2035, and the crew from the first expedition to Mars is returning to Earth. The crewmembers are anxious to get home, and ennui pervades the ship. The mood is broken by a series of mysterious events that jeopardize their safety. Someone or something is threatening the crew. Is it an alien being? A psychotic crewmember? A malfunctioning computer? The truth raises questions about the crewmembers’ fate and that of the human race. In this novel, the intent is to show real psychological issues that could affect a crew returning from a long-duration mission to Mars. The storyline presents a mystery that keeps the reader guessing, yet the issues at stake are based on the findings from the author’s research and other space-related work over the past 40+ years. The novel touches on actual plans being discussed for such an expedition as well as notions involving the search for Martian life and panspermia. The underlying science, in particular the psychological, psychiatric, and interpersonal elements...

  6. Temperature Inversions and Nighttime Convection in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Spiga, A.; Lewis, S.; Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Asmar, S. W.; Häusler, B.

    2013-12-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements from Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Global Surveyor to characterize the diurnal cycle in the lowest scale height above the surface. We focus on northern spring and summer, using observations from 4 Martian years at local times of 4-5 and 15-17 h. We supplement the observations with results obtained from large-eddy simulations and through data assimilation by the UK spectral version of the LMD Mars Global Circulation Model. We previously investigated the depth of the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) and its variations with surface elevation and surface properties. We are now examining unusual aspects of the temperature structure observed at night. Most important, predawn profiles in the Tharsis region contain an unexpected layer of neutral static stability at pressures of 200-300 Pa with a depth of 4-5 km. The mixed layer is bounded above by a midlevel temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. The sharp temperature minimum at the base of the midlevel inversion suggests the presence of a thin water ice cloud layer, with the further implication that radiative cooling at cloud level can induce convective activity at lower altitudes. Conversely, nighttime profiles in Amazonis show no sign of a midlevel inversion or a detached mixed layer. These regional variations in the nighttime temperature structure appear to arise in part from large-scale variations in topography, which have several notable effects. First, the CBL is much deeper in the Tharsis region than in Amazonis, owing to a roughly 6-km difference in surface elevation. Second, large-eddy simulations show that daytime convection is not only deeper above Tharsis but also considerably more intense than it is in Amazonis. Finally, the daytime surface temperatures are comparable in the two regions, so that Tharsis acts as an elevated heat source throughout the CBL. These topographic effects are expected

  7. Geochemistry and distribution of sediments in the East Indian shelf ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    29

    trace element geochemistry yielded interesting results about the sediment .... sediments and the core samples are as given in Table 1. ..... radioactive lead, thorium and uranium showed higher concentration in C3 than in C1 ...... Plant Soil, 267,.

  8. geochemistry of ekenkpon and nkporo shales, calabar flank, se

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    incorporated in the clay minerals of the shales. Also the values of .... analyzed for major oxides, trace elements and rare earth element .... Trace, and rare earth elements geochemistry ..... bearing source material, Ca is leached rapidly than Na.

  9. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Proterozoic granitic rocks from ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Geochemistry and petrogenesis of Proterozoic granitic ... This study presents the geochemical characteristics of granitic rocks located on the northern ... Frost and Frost 2013). ...... King P L, White A J R, Chappell B W and Allen C M 1997.

  10. Geochemistry and geochronology of the mafic dikes in the Taipusi ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    25

    several large linear faults as dividing lines (Fig. 1b; Jahn ... activity between Bainaimiao city and Chifeng city (Stampfli and Borel, 2002). The formation ... In addition, previous studies in the area paid more attention to the geochemistry and.

  11. Marine geochemistry ocean circulation, carbon cycle and climate change

    CERN Document Server

    Roy-Barman, Matthieu

    2016-01-01

    Marine geochemistry uses chemical elements and their isotopes to study how the ocean works. It brings quantitative answers to questions such as: What is the deep ocean mixing rate? How much atmospheric CO2 is pumped by the ocean? How fast are pollutants removed from the ocean? How do ecosystems react to the anthropogenic pressure? The book provides a simple introduction to the concepts (environmental chemistry, isotopes), the methods (field approach, remote sensing, modeling) and the applications (ocean circulation, carbon cycle, climate change) of marine geochemistry with a particular emphasis on isotopic tracers. Marine geochemistry is not an isolated discipline: numerous openings on physical oceanography, marine biology, climatology, geology, pollutions and ecology are proposed and provide a global vision of the ocean. It includes new topics based on ongoing research programs such as GEOTRACES, Global Carbon Project, Tara Ocean. It provides a complete outline for a course in marine geochemistry. To favor a...

  12. POLLUTION PREVENTION OPPORTUNITY ASSESSMENT - GEOCHEMISTRY LABORATORY AT SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    These reports summarize pollution prevention opportunity assessments conducted jointly by EPA and DOE at the Geochemistry Laboratory and the Manufacturing and Fabrication Repair Laboratory at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories facility in Albuquerque, New Mex...

  13. An overview on geochemistry of Proterozoic massif-type ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A critical study of 311 published WR chemical analyses, isotopic and mineral chemistry of ... Keywords. Massif anorthosite complexes; overview; geochemistry; high-Al gabbro. J. Earth ...... (123–2920 ppm) unlike the experimental results of.

  14. Geochemistry of natural technetium and plutonium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curtis, D.B.; Cappis, J.H.; Perrin, R.E.; Rokop, D.J.

    1987-01-01

    Technetium and plutonium in unprocessed nuclear reactor wastes are major concerns with regard to their containment in the geologic environment. Both nuclides have long half-lives; therefore, they will exist long after engineered barriers can be considered reliable. Consequently, strategies for the containment of these two elements depend on their retention in the geologic barrier until they have decayed to innocuous levels. Because these are the rarest elements in nature, there have been few direct observations of their geochemical behavior; predictions concerning their fate in the repository are based on properties that can be observed in the laboratory. The authors are attempting to complement the laboratory work by studying the geochemistry of natural plutonium and technetium. Ratios of anthropogenic to naturally occurring isotopes are discussed

  15. The Martian climate and energy balance models with CO2/H2O atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffert, M. I.

    1986-01-01

    The analysis begins with a seasonal energy balance model (EBM) for Mars. This is used to compute surface temperature versus x = sin(latitude) and time over the seasonal cycle. The core model also computes the evolving boundaries of the CO2 icecaps, net sublimational/condensation rates, and the resulting seasonal pressure wave. Model results are compared with surface temperature and pressure history data at Viking lander sites, indicating fairly good agreement when meridional heat transport is represented by a thermal diffusion coefficient D approx. 0.015 W/sq. m/K. Condensational wind distributions are also computed. An analytic model of Martian wind circulation is then proposed, as an extension of the EMB, which incorporates vertical wind profiles containing an x-dependent function evaluated by substitution in the equation defining the diffusion coefficient. This leads to a parameterization of D(x) and of the meridional circulation which recovers the high surface winds predicted by dynamic Mars atmosphere models (approx. 10 m/sec). Peak diffusion coefficients, D approx. 0.6 w/sq m/K, are found over strong Hadley zones - some 40 times larger than those of high-latitude baroclinic eddies. When the wind parameterization is used to find streamline patterns over Martian seasons, the resulting picture shows overturning hemispheric Hadley cells crossing the equator during solstices, and attaining peak intensities during the south summer dust storm season, while condensational winds are most important near the polar caps.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-12-15

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

  17. Uranium geochemistry and dating of Pacific island apatite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, K K; Burnett, W C [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee (USA). Dept. of Oceanography

    1985-07-01

    Uranium-series disequilibrium dating of island phosphate deposits is evaluated in terms of known associated coral ages, uranium geochemistry, and stratigraphic sequences as well as the concordance between the geochronometers /sup 234/U//sup 238/U, /sup 230/Th//sup 234/U and /sup 226/Ra//sup 238/U. U(VI) is the predominant oxidation state of uranium in island phosphorites and by analogy to the youngest surficial deposits, most of the uranium initially bound is in the form of U(VI) sorbed by surfaces from seawater. Insular deposits contain more organic matter than even very young ocean floor samples and this leads to a greater probability of reduction of available recoil uranium than occurs in marine deposits. As a consequence, R(VI) <= R(T) <= R(VI), where R represents the /sup 234/U//sup 238/U activity ratio. This situation is completely opposite from that observed for marine-origin phosphorites. We determined that a fraction of U(VI) in ancient insular phosphorites is very labile and lost to alkaline carbonate solutions with a uranium activity ratio even more depleted in /sup 234/U than the bulk R(VI). The results are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effect of non-equilibrium flow chemistry on the heating distribution over the MESUR forebody during a Martian entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yih-Kang

    1992-01-01

    Effect of flow field properties on the heating distribution over a 140 deg blunt cone was determined for a Martian atmosphere using Euler, Navier-Stokes (NS), viscous shock layer (VSL), and reacting boundary layer (BLIMPK) equations. The effect of gas kinetics on the flow field and the surface heating distribution were investigated. Gas models with nine species and nine reactions were implemented into the codes. Effects of surface catalysis on the heating distribution were studied using a surface kinetics model having five reactions.

  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. 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

  3. Methane storage capacity of the early martian cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Quesnel, Yoann; Langlais, Benoit; Chassefière, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Methane is a key molecule to understand the habitability of Mars due to its possible biological origin and short atmospheric lifetime. Recent methane detections on Mars present a large variability that is probably due to relatively localized sources and sink processes yet unknown. In this study, we determine how much methane could have been abiotically produced by early Mars serpentinization processes that could also explain the observed martian remanent magnetic field. Under the assumption of a cold early Mars environment, a cryosphere could trap such methane as clathrates in stable form at depth. The extent and spatial distribution of these methane reservoirs have been calculated with respect to the magnetization distribution and other factors. We calculate that the maximum storage capacity of such a clathrate cryosphere is about 2.1 × 1019-2.2 × 1020 moles of CH4, which can explain sporadic releases of methane that have been observed on the surface of the planet during the past decade (∼1.2 × 109 moles). This amount of trapped methane is sufficient for similar sized releases to have happened yearly during the history of the planet. While the stability of such reservoirs depends on many factors that are poorly constrained, it is possible that they have remained trapped at depth until the present day. Due to the possible implications of methane detection for life and its influence on the atmospheric and climate processes on the planet, confirming the sporadic release of methane on Mars and the global distribution of its sources is one of the major goals of the current and next space missions to Mars.

  4. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Geochemistry of zinc in the sediments of the western continental shelf and slope of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Murty, P.S.N.; Paropkari, A.L.; Rao, Ch.M.

    The bulk geochemistry of zinc in the sediments of the western continental shelf and slope of India and also the partition geochemistry of the sediments of the shelf and slope regions between Ratnagiri and Mangalore have been studied. The studies...

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  15. DOE workshop: Sedimentary systems, aqueous and organic geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-07-01

    A DOE workshop on sedimentary systems, aqueous and organic geochemistry was held July 15-16, 1993 at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Papers were organized into several sections: Fundamental Properties, containing papers on the thermodynamics of brines, minerals and aqueous electrolyte solutions; Geochemical Transport, covering 3-D imaging of drill core samples, hydrothermal geochemistry, chemical interactions in hydrocarbon reservoirs, fluid flow model application, among others; Rock-Water Interactions, with presentations on stable isotope systematics of fluid/rock interaction, fluid flow and petotectonic evolution, grain boundary transport, sulfur incorporation, tracers in geologic reservoirs, geothermal controls on oil-reservoir evolution, and mineral hydrolysis kinetics; Organic Geochemistry covered new methods for constraining time of hydrocarbon migration, kinetic models of petroleum formation, mudstones in burial diagenesis, compound-specific carbon isotope analysis of petroleums, stability of natural gas, sulfur in sedimentary organic matter, organic geochemistry of deep ocean sediments, direct speciation of metal by optical spectroscopies; and lastly, Sedimentary Systems, covering sequence stratigraphy, seismic reflectors and diagenetic changes in carbonates, geochemistry and origin of regional dolomites, and evidence of large comet or asteroid impacts at extinction boundaries

  16. DOE workshop: Sedimentary systems, aqueous and organic geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-07-01

    A DOE workshop on sedimentary systems, aqueous and organic geochemistry was held July 15-16, 1993 at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Papers were organized into several sections: Fundamental Properties, containing papers on the thermodynamics of brines, minerals and aqueous electrolyte solutions; Geochemical Transport, covering 3-D imaging of drill core samples, hydrothermal geochemistry, chemical interactions in hydrocarbon reservoirs, fluid flow model application, among others; Rock-Water Interactions, with presentations on stable isotope systematics of fluid/rock interaction, fluid flow and petotectonic evolution, grain boundary transport, sulfur incorporation, tracers in geologic reservoirs, geothermal controls on oil-reservoir evolution, and mineral hydrolysis kinetics; Organic Geochemistry covered new methods for constraining time of hydrocarbon migration, kinetic models of petroleum formation, mudstones in burial diagenesis, compound-specific carbon isotope analysis of petroleums, stability of natural gas, sulfur in sedimentary organic matter, organic geochemistry of deep ocean sediments, direct speciation of metal by optical spectroscopies; and lastly, Sedimentary Systems, covering sequence stratigraphy, seismic reflectors and diagenetic changes in carbonates, geochemistry and origin of regional dolomites, and evidence of large comet or asteroid impacts at extinction boundaries.

  17. Organic geochemistry and environmental instrumentation programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1988-01-01

    The areas of research of the Organic Geochemistry Group include (1) computer-assisted gas chromatrographic, qualitative, and quantitative analyses of coal-derived complex mixtures; (2) chemodynamic measurements in complex organic mixtures to study the transport and transformation processes of chemicals in the environment; (3) bioassay-directed characterization of mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in coal-derived materials; (4) chemical and toxicological evaluation of condensates from mild coal gasification processes; (5) development of rapid (high-pressure liquid chromatography) characterization techniques for primary aromatic amines in coal-derived liquids; (6) study of flame ionization detector response factors and chemical structure in gas chromatography; (7) development of a simple, portable device for preconcentrating airborne aromatic amines to be analyzed by portable liquid chromatography; (8) initial uptake and release studies of perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene in pine needles; (9) application of stable carbon isotope techniques in tracing environmental pollutants; (10) development of control technology for hydrazine fuels by neutralization with hypochlorite II. The Environmental Instrumentation group is engaged in research to develop and build prototype field-portable devices and instruments for the detection, identification, and quantification of volatile hazardous gases in a variety of environmental and workplace settings

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Local Dynamics of Baroclinic Waves in the Martian Atmosphere

    KAUST Repository

    Kavulich, Michael J.

    2013-11-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flick, John J.; Toniolo, Matthew D.

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Mud Volcanoes in the Martian Lowlands: Potential Windows to Fluid-Rich Samples from Depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2009-01-01

    The regional setting of the Chryse-Acidalia area augurs well for a fluid-rich subsurface, accumulation of diverse rock types reflecting the wide catchment area, astrobiological prospectivity, and mud volcanism. This latter provides a mechanism for transporting samples from relatively great depth to the surface. Since mud volcanoes are not associated with extreme heat or shock pressures, materials they transport to the surface are likely to be relatively unaltered; thus such materials could contain interpretable remnants of potential martian life (e.g., organic chemical biomarkers, mineral biosignatures, or structural remains) as well as unmetamorphosed rock samples. None of the previous landings on Mars was located in an area with features identified as potential mud volcanoes (Fig. 3), but some of these features may offer targets for future missions aimed at sampling deep fluid-rich strata with potential habitable zones.

  6. 3D Additive Construction with Regolith for Surface Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary surface exploration on Asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Martian Moons will require the stabilization of loose, fine, dusty regolith to avoid the effects of...

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Morphometric analysis of Martian valley network basins using a circularity function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Wei; Howard, Alan D.

    2005-12-01

    This paper employs a circularity function to quantify the internal morphology of Martian watershed basins in Margaritifer Sinus region and to infer the primary erosional processes that led to their current geomorphologic characteristics and possible climatic conditions under which these processes operated. The circularity function describes the elongation of a watershed basin at different elevations. We have used the circularity functions of terrestrial basins that were interpreted as having been modified by (1) erosion related to primarily groundwater sapping and (2) erosion related to primarily rainfall and surface run-off, as well as the circularity functions of cratering basins on the Moon, in order to formulate discriminant functions that are able to separate the three types of landforms. The spatial pattern of the classification of Martian basins based on discriminant functions shows that basins that look morphologically similar to terrestrial fluvial basins are mostly clustered near the mainstream at low elevation, while those that look morphologically similar to terrestrial basins interpreted as groundwater sapping origin are located near the tributaries and at higher elevation. There are more of the latter than the former. This spatial distribution is inconsistent with a continuous Earth-like warm and wet climate for early Mars. Instead, it is more aligned with an overall early dry climate punctuated with episodic wet periods. Alternatively, the concentrated erosion in the mainstream could also be caused by a change of water source from rainfall to snowfall or erosion cut through a duricrust layer.

  10. 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].

  11. Atmospheric turbulence triggers pronounced diel pattern in karst carbonate geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roland, M.; Serrano-Ortiz, P.; Kowalski, A. S.; Goddéris, Y.; Sánchez-Cañete, E. P.; Ciais, P.; Domingo, F.; Cuezva, S.; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Longdoz, B.; Yakir, D.; Van Grieken, R.; Schott, J.; Cardell, C.; Janssens, I. A.

    2013-07-01

    CO2 exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is key to understanding the feedbacks between climate change and the land surface. In regions with carbonaceous parent material, CO2 exchange patterns occur that cannot be explained by biological processes, such as disproportionate outgassing during the daytime or nighttime CO2 uptake during periods when all vegetation is senescent. Neither of these phenomena can be attributed to carbonate weathering reactions, since their CO2 exchange rates are too small. Soil ventilation induced by high atmospheric turbulence is found to explain atypical CO2 exchange between carbonaceous systems and the atmosphere. However, by strongly altering subsurface CO2 concentrations, ventilation can be expected to influence carbonate weathering rates. By imposing ventilation-driven CO2 outgassing in a carbonate weathering model, we show here that carbonate geochemistry is accelerated and does play a surprisingly large role in the observed CO2 exchange pattern of a semi-arid ecosystem. We found that by rapidly depleting soil CO2 during the daytime, ventilation disturbs soil carbonate equilibria and therefore strongly magnifies daytime carbonate precipitation and associated CO2 production. At night, ventilation ceases and the depleted CO2 concentrations increase steadily. Dissolution of carbonate is now enhanced, which consumes CO2 and largely compensates for the enhanced daytime carbonate precipitation. This is why only a relatively small effect on global carbonate weathering rates is to be expected. On the short term, however, ventilation has a drastic effect on synoptic carbonate weathering rates, resulting in a pronounced diel pattern that exacerbates the non-biological behavior of soil-atmosphere CO2 exchanges in dry regions with carbonate soils.

  12. Thermophysical Properties of Martian Duricrust Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, N. W.; Jakosky, B. M.; Mellon, M. T.; Budd, D. A.

    2009-03-01

    We measured thermophysical properties of samples of terrestrial duricrust from a gypsum deposit in New Mexico and Lunar Lake Playa. Our results suggest that well-indurated materials may cover a significant portion of the Mars surface.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Kölbl

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Calhoun, Philip; Flick, John; Hajos, Gregory; Kolacinski, Richard; Minton, David; Owens, Rachel; Parker, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The "Mars Tumbleweed," a rover concept that would utilize surface winds for mobility, is being examined as a low cost complement to the current Mars exploration efforts. Tumbleweeds carrying microinstruments would be driven across the Martian landscape by wind, searching for areas of scientific interest. These rovers, relatively simple, inexpensive, and deployed in large numbers to maximize coverage of the Martian surface, would provide a broad scouting capability to identify specific sites for exploration by more complex rover and lander missions.

  16. Microbiology and Geochemistry of Antarctic Paleosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Malloch, D.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Campbell, I. B.; Sheppard, D.

    2000-08-01

    Samples of ancient soils from horizons in paleosols from the Quartermain Mountains (Aztec and New Mountain areas of the Antarctic Dry Valleys) were analyzed for their chemical composition and microbiology to determine the accumulation and movement of salts and other soluble constituents. The salt concentrations are of special interest because they are considered to be a function of age, derived in part from nearby oceanic and high altitude atmospheric sources. The geochemistry of ancient Miocene-age paleosols in these areas is the direct result of the deposition and weathering of till, derived principally from dolerite and sandstone source rock, in association with airborne-influxed salts. Paleosols nearer the coast have greater contents of chlorine, and farther inland 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, to the order of several million years. Iron, both in total concentration and in the form of various extracts, indicates it can be used as a geochronometer to assess the buildup of goethite plus hematite over time in the paleosols. Trends for ferrihydrite, a partially soluble Fe-hydroxide, shows limited profile translocation that might be related to the movement of salt. Six of the eight selected subsamples from paleosol horizons in three soil profiles contained nil concentrations of bacteria and fungi. However, two horizons at depths of between three to eight centimeters yielded several colonies of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Penicillium spp., indicating some 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

  17. EMSL Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Subsurface Science-Science Theme Advisory Panel Meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Gordon E.; Chaka, Anne; Shuh, David K.; Roden, Eric E.; Werth, Charles J.; Hess, Nancy J.; Felmy, Andrew R.; Rosso, Kevin M.; Baer, Donald R.; Bailey, Vanessa L.; Bowden, Mark E.; Grate, Jay W.; Hoyt, David W.; Kuprat, Laura R.; Lea, Alan S.; Mueller, Karl T.; Oostrom, Martinus; Orr, Galya; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Plata, Charity; Robinson, E. W.; Teller, Raymond G.; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Wang, Hongfei; Wiley, H. S.; Wilkins, Michael J.

    2011-08-01

    This report covers the topics of discussion and the recommendations of the panel members. On December 8 and 9, 2010, the Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry, and Subsurface Science (GBSS) Science Theme Advisory Panel (STAP) convened for a more in-depth exploration of the five Science Theme focus areas developed at a similar meeting held in 2009. The goal for the fiscal year (FY) 2011 meeting was to identify potential topical areas for science campaigns, necessary experimental development needs, and scientific members for potential research teams. After a review of the current science in each of the five focus areas, the 2010 STAP discussions successfully led to the identification of one well focused campaign idea in pore-scale modeling and five longer-term potential research campaign ideas that would likely require additional workshops to identify specific research thrusts. These five campaign areas can be grouped into two categories: (1) the application of advanced high-resolution, high mass accuracy experimental techniques to elucidate the interplay between geochemistry and microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems and (2) coupled computation/experimental investigations of the electron transfer reactions either between mineral surfaces and outer membranes of microbial cells or between the outer and inner membranes of microbial cells.

  18. Petrography and Geochemistry of the Proterozoic Sandstones of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    22

    studied to infer their provenance, intensity of paleo-weathering and ... geochemistry of clastic sedimentary rocks is widely studied to the tectonic setting, ...... Dickinson, W. R., 1985 Interpreting provenance relations from detrital modes ..... Carboniferous clastic rocks in west Junggar, Xinjiang, China: a case from the Hala-alat.

  19. Stratigraphy, sedimentology and bulk organic geochemistry of black ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Stratigraphy, sedimentology and bulk organic geochemistry of black shales from the Proterozoic. Vindhyan Supergroup (central India). S Banerjee1,∗. , S Dutta. 2. , S Paikaray. 1 and U Mann. 2. 1. Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, India. 2. Forschungszentrum ...

  20. Modal analysis and geochemistry of two sandstones of the Bhander ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and tectonic setting interpretations are based on modal analysis and whole rock geochemistry. The average ... that major part of the sediments were derived from the granitic source area. The sandstone ...... The geochemical gap shown by trace and rare ... of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research,. New Delhi, in ...

  1. 10 CFR 960.4-2-2 - Geochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THE PRELIMINARY SCREENING OF POTENTIAL SITES FOR A NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY Postclosure Guidelines § 960.4-2-2 Geochemistry. (a) Qualifying condition. The present and... peak cumulative releases of radionuclides to the accessible environment by a factor of 10 as compared...

  2. Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of Biabanak–Bafq Mafic Mgmatism ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    59

    13185-1494. Email: m_poshtkoohi@yahoo.com; Mobile No: +98 912 209 39 73 ...... petrologie et tectonique du precambrien et de sa couverture, Ph.D. thesis, universite ..... Applications of the 190Pt–186OS isotope system to geochemistry and.

  3. Stable isotope geochemistry : definitions, terminology, measurement and some applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faure, K.

    2004-01-01

    Stable isotope measurements have been applied to many fundamental problems in geochemistry, petrology, and paleoclimatology, as well as related fields in archaeology, anthropology, physical chemistry, biology and forensic sciences. These applications can be broadly classified into four main types: thermometry, tracers, reaction mechanisms and chemostratigraphy. 52 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs

  4. The geochemistry of banded iron formations in the sukumaland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The geochemistry of banded iron formations in the sukumaland greenstone belt of Geita, northern Tanzania: evidence for mixing of hydrothermal and clastic ... the hydrothermal deposits have been contaminated, by up to 20% by weight, with detrital material having a composition similar to modern deep-sea pelagic clays.

  5. Stable isotope geochemistry. 3. rev. and enl. ed.

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoefs, J.

    1987-01-01

    Stable Isotope Geochemistry is an authoritative book comprising theoretical and experimental principles; surveying important fractionation mechanisms affecting the most important elements; discussing the natural variations of geologically important reservoirs. This updated 3rd edition, with a completely rewritten and extended main part, contains two new chapters on stable isotope composition of mantle material and on changes of the ocean during the geological past. (orig.)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Geochemistry of subduction zone serpentinites: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschamps, Fabien; Godard, Marguerite; Guillot, Stéphane; Hattori, Kéiko

    2013-09-01

    Over the last decades, numerous studies have emphasized the role of serpentinites in the subduction zone geodynamics. Their presence and role in subduction environments are recognized through geophysical, geochemical and field observations of modern and ancient subduction zones and large amounts of geochemical database of serpentinites have been created. Here, we present a review of the geochemistry of serpentinites, based on the compilation of ~ 900 geochemical data of abyssal, mantle wedge and exhumed serpentinites after subduction. The aim was to better understand the geochemical evolution of these rocks during their subduction as well as their impact in the global geochemical cycle. When studying serpentinites, it is essential to determine their protoliths and their geological history before serpentinization. The geochemical data of serpentinites shows little mobility of compatible and rare earth elements (REE) at the scale of hand-specimen during their serpentinization. Thus, REE abundance can be used to identify the protolith for serpentinites, as well as magmatic processes such as melt/rock interactions before serpentinization. In the case of subducted serpentinites, the interpretation of trace element data is difficult due to the enrichments of light REE, independent of the nature of the protolith. We propose that enrichments are probably not related to serpentinization itself, but mostly due to (sedimentary-derived) fluid/rock interactions within the subduction channel after the serpentinization. It is also possible that the enrichment reflects the geochemical signature of the mantle protolith itself which could derive from the less refractory continental lithosphere exhumed at the ocean-continent transition. Additionally, during the last ten years, numerous analyses have been carried out, notably using in situ approaches, to better constrain the behavior of fluid-mobile elements (FME; e.g. B, Li, Cl, As, Sb, U, Th, Sr) incorporated in serpentine phases

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Escape of the martian protoatmosphere and initial water inventory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, N V; Lammer, H; Elkins-Tanton, L T; Stökl, A; Odert, P; Marcq, E; Dorfi, E A; Kislyakova, K G; Kulikov, Yu N; Leitzinger, M; Güdel, M

    2014-08-01

    Latest research in planet formation indicates that Mars formed within a few million years (Myr) and remained as a planetary embryo that never grew to a more massive planet. It can also be expected from dynamical models that most of Mars' building blocks consisted of material that formed in orbital locations just beyond the ice line which could have contained [Formula: see text] of H 2 O. By using these constraints, we estimate the nebula-captured and catastrophically outgassed volatile contents during the solidification of Mars' magma ocean and apply a hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model for the study of the soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) driven thermal escape of the martian protoatmosphere during the early active epoch of the young Sun. The amount of gas that has been captured from the protoplanetary disk into the planetary atmosphere is calculated by solving the hydrostatic structure equations in the protoplanetary nebula. Depending on nebular properties such as the dust grain depletion factor, planetesimal accretion rates and luminosities, hydrogen envelopes with masses [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] could have been captured from the nebula around early Mars. Depending on the before mentioned parameters, due to the planets low gravity and a solar XUV flux that was [Formula: see text] times stronger compared to the present value, our results indicate that early Mars would have lost its nebular captured hydrogen envelope after the nebula gas evaporated, during a fast period of [Formula: see text]. After the solidification of early Mars' magma ocean, catastrophically outgassed volatiles with the amount of [Formula: see text] H 2 O and [Formula: see text] CO 2 could have been lost during [Formula: see text], if the impact related energy flux of large planetesimals and small embryos to the planet's surface lasted long enough, that the steam atmosphere could have been prevented from condensing. If this was not the case, then our results suggest

  19. The Influence of Topography on the Emplacement Dynamics of Martian Lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, J.; Fitch, E. P.; Fagents, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Lava flows on the Martian surface exhibit a diverse array of complex morphologies. Previous emplacement models, based on terrestrial flows, do not fully account for these observed complex morphologies. We assert that the topography encountered by the flow can exert substantial control over the thermal, rheological, and morphological evolution of the flow, and that these effects can be better incorporated into flow models to predict Martian flow morphologies. Our development of an updated model can be used to account for these topographical effects and better constrain flow parameters. The model predicts that a slope break or flow meander induces eddy currents within the flow, resulting in the disruption of the flow surface crust. The exposure of the flow core results in accelerated cooling of the flow and a resultant increase in viscosity, leading to slowing of the flow. A constant source lava flux and a stagnated flow channel would then result in observable morphological changes, such as overflowing of channel levees. We have identified five morphological types of Martian flows, representing a range of effusion rates, eruption durations and topographic settings, which are suitable for application of our model. To characterize flow morphology, we used imaging and topographic data sets to collect data on flow dimensions. For eight large (50 to hundreds of km long) channelized flows in the Tharsis region, we used the MOLA 128 ppd DEM and/or individual MOLA shot points to derive flow cross-sectional thickness profiles, from which we calculated the cross-sectional area of the flow margins adjacent to the main channel. We found that the largest flow margin cross sectional areas (excluding the channel) occur in association with a channel bend, typically near the bend apex. Analysis of high-resolution images indicates that these widened flow margins are the result of repeated overflows of the channel levees and emplacement of short flow lobes adjacent to the main flow. In

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Origin of the outer layer of martian low-aspect ratio layered ejecta craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Joseph M.; Wilson, Lionel; Barlow, Nadine G.

    2015-01-01

    Low-aspect ratio layered ejecta (LARLE) craters are one of the most enigmatic types of martian layered ejecta craters. We propose that the extensive outer layer of these craters is produced through the same base surge mechanism as that which produced the base surge deposits generated by near-surface, buried nuclear and high-explosive detonations. However, the LARLE layers have higher aspect ratios compared with base surge deposits from explosion craters, a result of differences in thicknesses of these layers. This characteristics is probably caused by the addition of large amounts of small particles of dust and ice derived from climate-related mantles of snow, ice and dust in the areas where LARLE craters form. These deposits are likely to be quickly stabilized (order of a few days to a few years) from eolian erosion by formation of duricrust produced by diffusion of water vapor out of the deposits.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Microbial Geochemistry in Shallow-Sea Hydrothermal Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amend, J. P.; Pichler, T.

    2006-12-01

    Shallow-sea hydrothermal systems are far more ubiquitous than generally recognized. Approximately 50-60 systems are currently known, occurring world-wide in areas of high heat flow, such as, volcanic island arcs, near-surface mid-ocean ridges, and intraplate oceanic volcanoes. In contrast to deep-sea systems, shallow- sea vent fluids generally include a meteoric component, they experience phase separation near the sediment- water interface, and they discharge into the photic zone (thermophilic bacteria and archaea. Perhaps because deep-sea smokers and continental hot springs are visually more stunning, shallow-sea systems are often overlooked study sites. We will discuss their particular features that afford unique opportunities in microbial geochemistry. Two of the better studied examples are at Vulcano Island (Italy) and Ambitle Island (Papua New Guinea). The vents and sediment seeps at Vulcano are the "type locality" for numerous cultured hyperthermophiles, including the bacteria Aquifex and Thermotoga, the crenarchaeon Pyrodictium, and the Euryarchaeota Archaeoglobus and Pyrococcus. Isotope-labeled incubation experiments of heated sediments and an array of culturing studies have shown that simple organic compounds are predominantly fermented or anaerobically respired with sulfate. 16S rRNA gene surveys, together with fluorescent in situ hybridization studies, demonstrated the dominance of key thermophilic bacteria and archaea (e.g., Aquificales, Thermotogales, Thermococcales, Archaeoglobales) in the sediments and the presence of a broad spectrum of mostly uncultured crenarchaeota in several vent waters, sediment samples, and geothermal wells. Thermodynamic modeling quantified potential energy yields from aerobic and anaerobic respiration reactions and fermentation reactions. In contrast to their deep-sea counterparts, shallow-sea hydrothermal systems are often characterized by high arsenic concentrations of more than 500-times seawater levels. The arsenic

  8. Variable g- Mars environmental chamber: a small window of the martian environment for life science investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgambati, Antonella; Slenzka, Klaus; Schmeyers, Bernd; Di Capua, Massimiliano; Harting, Benjamin

    Human exploration and permanent settlement on the Martian surface is the one of the most attractive and ambitious endeavors mankind has ever faced. As technology and research progress, solutions and information that were before unavailable are slowly making the dream become everyday more feasible. In the past years a huge amount of knowledge was gathered by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity and now, even more insight is being gathered through the latest rover of the family, Curiosity. In this work, data from the various missions will be used to define and reproduce on Earth the characteristic Martian atmospheric conditions. A small Mars environmental chamber has been designed and built with the objective of studying the effects of the Martian environment on biological systems. The Variable gravity Mars Environmental Chamber (VgMEC) will allow researchers to replicate atmospheric pressure, gas composition, temperature and UVA/B exposure typical of the equatorial regions of Mars. By exposing biological systems to a controllable set of stressor it will be possible to identify both multi and single stressor effects on the system of interest. While several Mars environment simulation facilities exist, due to their size and mass, all are confined to floor-fixed laboratory settings. The VgMEC is an OHB funded project that wishes to bring together the scientific community and the industry. Collaborations will be enabled by granting low cost access to cutting-edge instrumentation and services. Developed at OHB System AG, VgMEC has been designed from the ground up to be a 28L, compact and lightweight test volume capable of being integrated in existing centrifuges (such as the ESA-ESTEC LCD), gimbal systems and parabolic flight aircraft. The VgMEC support systems were designed to accommodate continuous operations of virtually unlimited duration through the adoption of solutions such as: hot swappable gas/liquid consumables bottles, low power requirements, an

  9. Modeling steam pressure under martian lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundas, Colin M.; Keszthelyi, Laszlo P.

    2013-01-01

    Rootless cones on Mars are a valuable indicator of past interactions between lava and water. However, the details of the lava–water interactions are not fully understood, limiting the ability to use these features to infer new information about past water on Mars. We have developed a model for the pressurization of a dry layer of porous regolith by melting and boiling ground ice in the shallow subsurface. This model builds on previous models of lava cooling and melting of subsurface ice. We find that for reasonable regolith properties and ice depths of decimeters, explosive pressures can be reached. However, the energy stored within such lags is insufficient to excavate thick flows unless they draw steam from a broader region than the local eruption site. These results indicate that lag pressurization can drive rootless cone formation under favorable circumstances, but in other instances molten fuel–coolant interactions are probably required. We use the model results to consider a range of scenarios for rootless cone formation in Athabasca Valles. Pressure buildup by melting and boiling ice under a desiccated lag is possible in some locations, consistent with the expected distribution of ice implanted from atmospheric water vapor. However, it is uncertain whether such ice has existed in the vicinity of Athabasca Valles in recent history. Plausible alternative sources include surface snow or an aqueous flood shortly before the emplacement of the lava flow.

  10. Effect of the greenhouse gases (CO2, H2O, SO2) on Martian paleoclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postawko, S. E.; Kuhn, W. R.

    1986-01-01

    There is general agreement that certain surface features on Mars are indicative of the presence of liquid water at various times in the geologic past. In particular, the valley networks are difficult to explain by a mechanism other than the flow of liquid water. It has been suggested in several studies that a thick CO2 atmosphere on Mars early in its history could have provided a greenhouse warming that would have allowed the flow of water either on the surface or just below the surface. However, this effect was examined with a detailed radiation model, and it was found that if reduced solar luminosity early in the history of the solar system is taken into account, even three bars of CO2 will not provide sufficient greeenhouse warming. The addition of water vapor and sulflur dioxide (both plausible gases that may have been emitted by Martian volcanoes) to the atmosphere also fail to warm the surface above 273 K for reduced solar luminosity conditions. The increase in temperature may be large enough, however, for the formation of these features by brines.

  11. The 8th ICGG International Conference on Gas Geochemistry Preface: Fluids and tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Italiano

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The 8th International Conference on Gas Geochemistry provided the opportunity for scientists from different countries to meet each other, exchange ideas on the state of the art in gas geochemistry, and discuss advance in fluid geochemistry. The 8th ICGG meeting focused on three main geologic environments currently interacting with the human life: volcanoes, earthquakes and hydrocarbons. Ninety-four presentations gave participants chance to cover a variety of important research topics on gas geochemistry in geosciences including: gas migration in terrestrial and marine environments, Earth degassing and its relation to seismicity, volcanic eruptions, rare gases and application of isotope techniques, measurement and analytical techniques.

  12. Implications of Martian Phyllosilicate Formation Conditions to the Early Climate on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, J. L.; Baker, L.; Fairén, A. G.; Michalski, J. R.; Gago-Duport, L.; Velbel, M. A.; Gross, C.; Rampe, E. B.

    2017-12-01

    We propose that short-term warmer and wetter environments, occurring sporadically in a generally cold early Mars, enabled formation of phyllosilicate-rich outcrops on the surface of Mars without requiring long-term warm and wet conditions. We are investigating phyllosilicate formation mechanisms including CO2 and H2O budgets to provide constraints on the early martian climate. We have evaluated the nature and stratigraphy of phyllosilicate-bearing surface units on Mars based on i) phyllosilicate-forming environments on Earth, ii) phyllosilicate reactions in the lab, and iii) modeling experiments involving phyllosilicates and short-range ordered (SRO) materials. The type of phyllosilicates that form on Mars depends on temperature, water/rock ratio, acidity, salinity and available ions. Mg-rich trioctahedral smectite mixtures are more consistent with subsurface formation environments (crustal, hydrothermal or alkaline lakes) up to 400 °C and are not associated with martian surface environments. In contrast, clay profiles dominated by dioctahedral Al/Fe-smectites are typically formed in subaqueous or subaerial surface environments. We propose models describing formation of smectite-rich outcrops and laterally extensive vertical profiles of Fe/Mg-smectites, sulfates, and Al-rich clay assemblages formed in surface environments. Further, the presence of abundant SRO materials without phyllosilicates could mark the end of the last warm and wet episode on Mars supporting smectite formation. Climate Implications for Early Mars: Clay formation reactions proceed extremely slowly at cool temperatures. The thick smectite outcrops observed on Mars through remote sensing would require standing water on Mars for hundreds of millions of years if they formed in waters 10-15 °C. However, warmer temperatures could have enabled faster production of these smectite-rich beds. Sporadic warming episodes to 30-40 °C could have enabled formation of these smectites over only tens or

  13. Strontium isotopic geochemistry of intrusive rocks, Puerto Rico, Greater Antilles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L.M.; Kesler, S.E.

    1980-01-01

    The strontium isotope geochemistry is given for three Puerto Rican intrusive rocks: the granodioritic Morovis and San Lorenzo plutons and the Rio Blanco stock of quartz dioritic composition. The average calculated initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios are 0.70370, 0.70355 and 0.70408, respectively. In addition, the San Lorenzo data establish a whole-rock isochron of 71 +- 2 m.y., which agrees with the previously reported K-Ar age of 73 m.y. Similarity of most of the intrusive rocks in the Greater Antilles with respect to their strontium isotopic geochemistry regardless of their major element composition indicates that intrusive magmas with a wide range of composition can be derived from a single source material. The most likely source material, in view of the available isotopic data, is the mantle wedge overlying the subduction zone. (orig.)

  14. The geochemistry of stable chlorine and bromine isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eggenkamp, Hans [Onderzock and Beleving, Bussum (Netherlands)

    2014-11-01

    First book solely dedicated to the geochemistry of chlorine and bromine isotopes. Detailed description of analytical techniques, including their advantages and disadvantages. Indication of research fields where measurement of these isotopes is especially useful. This book provides detailed information on the history, analysis and applications of chlorine and bromine isotope geochemistry. Chlorine and bromine are geochemically unique as they prefer to exist as single charged negative ions. For this reason isotope fractionation reflects mostly processes that are not related to changes in the redox state and this fractionation is generally modest. The book will describe the processes that are most easily detected using these isotopes. Also isotope variations, and processes that cause them, measured in oxidised species such as perchlorates and in organic molecules will be described in this book.

  15. Sedimentary basin geochemistry and fluid/rock interactions workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1991-12-31

    Fundamental research related to organic geochemistry, fluid-rock interactions, and the processes by which fluids migrate through basins has long been a part of the U.S. Department of Energy Geosciences program. Objectives of this program were to emphasize those principles and processes which would be applicable to a wide range of problems associated with petroleum discovery, occurrence and extraction, waste disposal of all kinds, and environmental management. To gain a better understanding of the progress being made in understanding basinal fluids, their geochemistry and movement, and related research, and to enhance communication and interaction between principal investigators and DOE and other Federal program managers interested in this topic, this workshop was organized by the School of Geology and Geophysics and held in Norman, Oklahoma in November, 1991.

  16. Plutonium and Americium Geochemistry at Hanford: A Site Wide Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cantrell, Kirk J.; Felmy, Andrew R.

    2012-08-23

    This report was produced to provide a systematic review of the state-of-knowledge of plutonium and americium geochemistry at the Hanford Site. The report integrates existing knowledge of the subsurface migration behavior of plutonium and americium at the Hanford Site with available information in the scientific literature regarding the geochemistry of plutonium and americium in systems that are environmentally relevant to the Hanford Site. As a part of the report, key research needs are identified and prioritized, with the ultimate goal of developing a science-based capability to quantitatively assess risk at sites contaminated with plutonium and americium at the Hanford Site and the impact of remediation technologies and closure strategies.

  17. Methanogens and Martian natural resources: Investigations regarding the possibility of biogenic methane on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chastain, Brendon Kelly

    Archaeal methanogens were suggested as terrestrial models of possible subsurface martian microbial life prior to the actual detection of methane in Mars' atmosphere. This idea gained even more interest after the methane on Mars was observed. However, the amount of methane detected was very small, and release of methane was localized and episodic. This led some scientists to doubt that an active or ancient biosphere could be the source of the methane. Moreover, even extremophilic methanogens have not been shown to metabolize in conditions exactly analogous to those known to be available on Mars. The following chapters present a realistic and viable mechanism that allows a large or ancient biosphere to be the original source of the observed methane, and they detail experimental work that was done in order to systematically investigate nutritional and conditional variables related to those that might be available in the martian subsurface. The results of the experimental work indicate that some components of Mars' regolith can support methanogenic metabolism without being detrimental to the organisms, and that certain known components of Mars' regolith can promote periods of methanogenic dormancy without being lethal to the methanogens. The results of the experimental studies also show that material known to exist at and near Mars' surface has the potential to supply electrons for biological methanogenesis and that methanogenic metabolism can occur even when artificial media, buffers, and reductants are omitted in order to create more Mars-relevant conditions. These findings may have implications regarding the viability of methanogenic organisms as a source of the observed methane and should assist future efforts to study methanogenic metabolism in conditions exactly analogous to those available in niches on Mars.

  18. 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.

  19. Control parameters of the martian dune field positions at planetary scale: tests by the MCD

    Science.gov (United States)

    allemand, pascal

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is occupied by more than 500 dunes fields mainly located inside impact craters of the south hemisphere and near the north polar cap. The questions of the activity of martian dunes and of the localization of the martian dune fields are not completely solved. It has been demonstrated recently by image observation and image correlation that some of these dune fields are clearly active. The sand flux of one of them has been even estimated. But there is no global view of the degree of activity of each the dune fields. (2)The topography of impact craters in which dune fields are localized is an important factor of their position. But there is no consensus of the effect of global atmospheric circulation on dune field localization. These two questions are addressed using the results of Mars Climate Database 5.2 (MCD) (Millour, 2015; Forget et al., 1999). The wind fields of the MCD have been first validated against the observations made on active dune fields. Using a classical transport law, the Drift Potential (DP) and the Relative Drift Potential (RDP) have been computed for each dune fields. A good correlation exists between the position of dune fields and specific values of these two parameters. The activity of each dune field is estimated from these parameters and tested on some examples by image observations. Finally a map of sand flow has been computed at the scale of the planet. This map shows that sand and dust is trapped in specific regions. These regions correspond to the area of dune field concentration.

  20. Application of environmental isotope tracing technology to geothermal geochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shang Yingnan

    2006-01-01

    This paper reviews the recent application and development of environmental isotope tracing technology to geothermal geochemistry in the following aspects: gas isotopes (He, C) tracing of warm springs; H, O isotope tracing on the origin and cause of geothermal water, environmental isotope dating of geothermal water, and the advantage of excess parameter of deuterium (d) in geothermal research. The author also suggests that isotope method should combine with other geological methods to expand its advantage. (authors)

  1. 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.

  2. "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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. MARs Tools for Interactive ANalysis (MARTIAN): Google Maps Tools for Visual Exploration of Geophysical Modeling on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrova, L. L.; Haines, M.; Holt, W. E.; Schultz, R. A.; Richard, G.; Haines, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Interactive maps of surface-breaking faults and stress models on Mars provide important tools to engage undergraduate students, educators, and scientists with current geological and geophysical research. We have developed a map based on the Google Maps API -- an Internet based tool combining DHTML and AJAX, -- which allows very large maps to be viewed over the World Wide Web. Typically, small portions of the maps are downloaded as needed, rather than the entire image at once. This set-up enables relatively fast access for users with low bandwidth. Furthermore, Google Maps provides an extensible interactive interface making it ideal for visualizing multiple data sets at the user's choice. The Google Maps API works primarily with data referenced to latitudes and longitudes, which is then mapped in Mercator projection only. We have developed utilities for general cylindrical coordinate systems by converting these coordinates into equivalent Mercator projection before including them on the map. The MARTIAN project is available at http://rock.geo.sunysb.edu/~holt/Mars/MARTIAN/. We begin with an introduction to the Martian surface using a topography model. Faults from several datasets are classified by type (extension vs. compression) and by time epoch. Deviatoric stresses due to gravitational potential energy differences, calculated from the topography and crustal thickness, can be overlain. Several quantitative measures for the fit of the stress field to the faults are also included. We provide introductory text and exercises spanning a range of topics: how are faults identified, what stress is and how it relates to faults, what gravitational potential energy is and how variations in it produce stress, how the models are created, and how these models can be evaluated and interpreted. The MARTIAN tool is used at Stony Brook University in GEO 310: Introduction to Geophysics, a class geared towards junior and senior geosciences majors. Although this project is in its

  6. 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.

  7. Exploring the martian moons a human mission to Deimos and Phobos

    CERN Document Server

    von Ehrenfried, Manfred “Dutch”

    2017-01-01

    This book explores the once popular idea of 'Flexible Path' in terms of Mars, a strategy that would focus on a manned orbital mission to Mars's moons rather than the more risky, expensive and time-consuming trip to land humans on the Martian surface. While currently still not the most popular idea, this mission would take advantage of the operational, scientific and engineering lessons to be learned from going to Mars's moons first. Unlike a trip to the planet's surface, an orbital mission avoids the dangers of the deep gravity well of Mars and a very long stay on the surface. This is analogous to Apollo 8 and 10, which preceded the landing on the Moon of Apollo 11. Furthermore, a Mars orbital mission could be achieved at least five years, possibly 10 before a landing mission. Nor would an orbital mission require all of the extra vehicles, equipment and supplies needed for a landing and a stay on the planet for over a year. The cost difference between the two types of missions is in the order of tens of billi...

  8. Evaporation Rates for Liquid Water and Ice Under Current Martian Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Moore, S. R.; Meier, A.; Chittenden, J.; Kareev, M.; Farmer, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    A number of studies have been concerned with the evaporation rates under martian conditions in order to place limits on the possible survival time of both liquid water and ice exposed on the surface of Mars. Such studies also aid in assessing the efficacy of an overlying layer of dust or loose regolith material in providing a barrier to free evaporation and thus prolong the lifetime of water in locations where its availability to putative living organisms would be significant. A better quantitative understanding of the effects of phase changes of water in the near surface environment would also aid the evaluation of the possible role of water in the formation of currently observed features, such as gullies in cliff walls and relatively short-term changes in the albedo of small surface areas ('dark stains'). Laboratory measurements aimed at refinement of our knowledge of these values are described here. The establishment of accurate values for evaporation rates and their dependence on the physical conditions of temperature, pressure and energy input, is an important benchmark for the further investigation of the efficacy of barriers to free evaporation in providing a prolonged period of survival of the water, particularly as a liquid.

  9. Development of a Lunar Surface Architecture Using the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrigan, A. M.; Kitmanyen, V. A.; Prakash, A.

    2018-02-01

    Prior to sending crews to Mars, the ability to perform activities intended for martian missions must first be thoroughly tested and successfully demonstrated in a similar environment. This paper outlines a lunar surface architecture to meet this goal.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina Beblo-Vranesevic

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Baseline geochemistry of soil and bedrock Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff at MDA-P

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warren, R.G.; McDonald, E.V.; Ryti, R.T.

    1997-08-01

    This report provides baseline geochemistry for soils (including fill), and for bedrock within three specific areas that are planned for use in the remediation of Material Disposal Area P (MDA-P) at Technical Area 16 (TA-16). The baseline chemistry includes leachable element concentrations for both soils and bedrock and total element concentrations for all soil samples and for two selected bedrock samples. MDA-P operated from the early 1950s to 1984 as a landfill for rubble and debris generated by the burning of high explosives (HE) at the TA-16 Burning Ground, HE-contaminated equipment and material, barium nitrate sand, building materials, and trash. The aim of this report is to establish causes for recognizable chemical differences between the background and baseline data sets. In many cases, the authors conclude that recognizable differences represent natural enrichments. In other cases, differences are best attributed to analytical problems. But most importantly, the comparison of background and baseline geochemistry demonstrates significant contamination for several elements not only at the two remedial sites near the TA-16 Burning Ground, but also within the entire region of the background study. This contamination is highly localized very near to the surface in soil and fill, and probably also in bedrock; consequently, upper tolerance limits (UTLs) calculated as upper 95% confidence limits of the 95th percentile are of little value and thus are not provided. This report instead provides basic statistical summaries and graphical comparisons for background and baseline samples to guide strategies for remediation of the three sites to be used in the restoration of MDA-P

  19. Reservoir Characterization using geostatistical and numerical modeling in GIS with noble gas geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, D. A.; Swift, J. N.; Tan, S.; Darrah, T. H.

    2013-12-01

    The integration of precise geochemical analyses with quantitative engineering modeling into an interactive GIS system allows for a sophisticated and efficient method of reservoir engineering and characterization. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is utilized as an advanced technique for oil field reservoir analysis by combining field engineering and geological/geochemical spatial datasets with the available systematic modeling and mapping methods to integrate the information into a spatially correlated first-hand approach in defining surface and subsurface characteristics. Three key methods of analysis include: 1) Geostatistical modeling to create a static and volumetric 3-dimensional representation of the geological body, 2) Numerical modeling to develop a dynamic and interactive 2-dimensional model of fluid flow across the reservoir and 3) Noble gas geochemistry to further define the physical conditions, components and history of the geologic system. Results thus far include using engineering algorithms for interpolating electrical well log properties across the field (spontaneous potential, resistivity) yielding a highly accurate and high-resolution 3D model of rock properties. Results so far also include using numerical finite difference methods (crank-nicholson) to solve for equations describing the distribution of pressure across field yielding a 2D simulation model of fluid flow across reservoir. Ongoing noble gas geochemistry results will also include determination of the source, thermal maturity and the extent/style of fluid migration (connectivity, continuity and directionality). Future work will include developing an inverse engineering algorithm to model for permeability, porosity and water saturation.This combination of new and efficient technological and analytical capabilities is geared to provide a better understanding of the field geology and hydrocarbon dynamics system with applications to determine the presence of hydrocarbon pay zones (or

  20. An Alternative Approach to Mapping Thermophysical Units from Martian Thermal Inertia and Albedo Data Using a Combination of Unsupervised Classification Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eriita Jones

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Thermal inertia and albedo provide information on the distribution of surface materials on Mars. These parameters have been mapped globally on Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES onboard the Mars Global Surveyor. Two-dimensional clusters of thermal inertia and albedo reflect the thermophysical attributes of the dominant materials on the surface. In this paper three automated, non-deterministic, algorithmic classification methods are employed for defining thermophysical units: Expectation Maximisation of a Gaussian Mixture Model; Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique (ISODATA; and Maximum Likelihood. We analyse the behaviour of the thermophysical classes resulting from the three classifiers, operating on the 2007 TES thermal inertia and albedo datasets. Producing a rigorous mapping of thermophysical classes at ~3 km/pixel resolution remains important for constraining the geologic processes that have shaped the Martian surface on a regional scale, and for choosing appropriate landing sites. The results from applying these algorithms are compared to geologic maps, surface data from lander missions, features derived from imaging, and previous classifications of thermophysical units which utilized manual (and potentially more time consuming classification methods. These comparisons comprise data suitable for validation of our classifications. Our work shows that a combination of the algorithms—ISODATA and Maximum Likelihood—optimises the sensitivity to the underlying dataspace, and that new information on Martian surface materials can be obtained by using these methods. We demonstrate that the algorithms used here can be applied to define a finer partitioning of albedo and thermal inertia for a more detailed mapping of surface materials, grain sizes and thermal behaviour of the Martian surface and shallow subsurface, at the ~3 km scale.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Ferromanganese nodules and their associated sediments from the Central Indian Ocean Basin: Rare earth element geochemistry

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Pattan, J.N.; Rao, Ch.M.; Migdisov, A.A.; Colley, S.; Higgs, N.C.; Demidenko, L.

    FerromanganeseNodulesandtheirAssociatedSedimentsfromtheCentralIndianOceanBasin:RareEarthElementGeochemistry J.N.PATTANCH.M.RAONationalInstituteofOceanography,DonaPaula Goa,IndiaA.A.MIGDISOV InstituteofGeochemistry,RussianAcademyofSciencesMoscow,Russia S.COLLEY,N.C.HIGGSSouthamptonOceanographyCentre,EmpressDockSouthampton...

  3. Realization of a collection of reference minerals to develop a technique for in situ dating of the Martian rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattani, F.; Gillot, P. Y.; Hildenbrand, A.; Quidelleur, X.; Courtade, F.; Boukari, C.; Lefevre, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    -defined relationship between the ablation time and the type of ablated mineral. Experiments have been conducted to test our dating system for rocks with similar features than those from the Martian surface. Our preliminary results show that our QMS and LIBS instruments are suitable for in-situ K-Ar analyses with an uncertainty for K-Ar age much better than 15%.

  4. Initial Results on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Mar Exploration Rover Gusev Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.

    2004-05-01

    The Spirit rover has investigated the geochemistry and mineralogy of the Gusev crater site using in situ Alpha Proton X-Ray, Mossbauer, visible, and infrared spectroscopy. The Gusev site is covered with angular to sub-rounded rocks that are typically less than 1 m in maximum dimension. More than 90 percent of these rocks are dark-toned, with the remainder being lighter-toned rocks that may predominantly be dark rocks with a thin (10's of microns) coating of easily removed fines. APXS analysis has been obtained of a rock (Adirondack) following the removal by grinding of the surface dust and the upper few mm of the rock surface. These data give a modal mineralogy corresponding to olivine basalt. High quality Mini-TES data have not been obtained of a completely dust-free rock surface. The Mini-TES data of Adirondack do show long wavelength (15-25 microns) absorptions due to olivine of composition ~Fo60. All of the rocks observed are very compositionally homogeneous in the Mini-TES spectra. These findings are consistent with the detection of olivine-bearing basalt at this site from orbital TES infrared spectroscopy. Mossbauer spectra of Adirondack show the presence of forsteritic olivine and magnetite, with possible pyroxene. The soils at Gusev are a mixture of reddish fine-grained to sandy materials, granular-sized particles that occur in ripple forms, and minor pebbles. Mini-TES spectra of the soil show an excellent match to the TES spectra of high-albedo, fine-grained material found in regional bright regions that is interpreted to be windblown dust. This agreement suggests at least the uppermost layer of the soil at Gusev has been accumulated from airfall dust. By analogy with prior analysis of TES data these materials contain several percent carbonate, minor bound water, and a framework silicate interpreted to be either feldspar or zeolite. APXS spectra show similar oxide abundances to those determined for the Pathfinder site, except for higher MgO, and lower

  5. Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Chassefière, Eric; Karatekin, Özgür; Morschhauser, Achim; Niles, Paul B.; Mousis, Olivier; Odert, Petra; Möstl, Ute V.; Breuer, Doris; Dehant, Véronique; Grott, Matthias; Gröller, Hannes; Hauber, Ernst; Pham, Lê Binh San

    2013-01-01

    The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet's water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet's origin and lasted ˜500 Myr. Because of the high EUV flux of the young Sun and Mars' low gravity it was accompanied by hydrodynamic blow-off of hydrogen and strong thermal escape rates of dragged heavier species such as O and C atoms. After the main part of the protoatmosphere was lost, impact-related volatiles and mantle outgassing may have resulted in accumulation of a secondary CO2 atmosphere of a few tens to a few hundred mbar around ˜4-4.3 Gyr ago. The evolution of the atmospheric surface pressure and water inventory of such a secondary atmosphere during the second epoch which lasted from the end of the Noachian until today was most likely determined by a complex interplay of various nonthermal atmospheric escape processes, impacts, carbonate precipitation, and serpentinization during the Hesperian and Amazonian epochs which led to the present day surface pressure.

  6. 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.

  7. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration

  8. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM–CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  9. Origin of the Moon new concept geochemistry and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Galimov, Erik M

    2012-01-01

    The origin of the Moon remains an unsolved problem of the planetary science. Researchers engaged in celestial dynamics, geophysics, and geochemistry are still discussing various models of creation of our closest cosmic neighbour. The most popular scenario, the impact hypothesis involving a collision early in the Earth's history, has been substantially challenged by the new data. The birth and development of a planet-moon system always play a role in the formation of an entire planetary system around our Sun or around another star. This way, the story of our Moon acquires broader ramifications

  10. Stable isotope geochemistry : definitions, terminology, measurement and some applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faure, K.

    2005-01-01

    In 1936, Alfred Nier produced the first precise measurement of isotope abundance ratios and his design still remains the basis of stable isotope mass spectrometry. With this gift from the physicists for routine measurement of isotope ratios, earth scientists began to explore the natural variations of isotopes. Thus began a new era in geoscience research with the hydrological cycle and marine palaeoclimatic research being the first topics to be investigated. Stable isotope measurements have been applied to many fundamental problems in geochemistry, petrology and paleoclimatology, as well as related fields in archaeology, anthropology, physical chemistry, biology and forensic sciences. (author). 52 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs

  11. Marine geochemistry of the rare earth elements: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennedy, H.; Elderfield, H.

    1984-01-01

    The rare earth elements (REE) form a coherent group because of their systematic decrease in atomic radii with increasing atomic number and predominant +3 oxidation state. This makes them particularly useful in the study of marine geochemistry. The fact that two members of the group are often found in anomalous oxidation states allows a study of the fractionation of these REE from their neighbours and provides an insight into the geochemical behaviour of the REE in the marine environment. Thus the chemistry and relative abundances of the REE can be used to assess the origin and depositional environments of modern sediments. (author)

  12. Simulation of Water Chemistry using and Geochemistry Code, PHREEQE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chi, J.H. [Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Taejeon (Korea)

    2001-07-01

    This report introduces principles and procedures of simulation for water chemistry using a geochemistry code, PHREEQE. As and example of the application of this code, we described the simulation procedure for titration of an aquatic sample with strong acid to investigate the state of Carbonates in aquatic solution. Major contents of this report are as follows; Concepts and principles of PHREEQE, Kinds of chemical reactions which may be properly simulated by PHREEQE, The definition and meaning of each input data, An example of simulation using PHREEQE. (author). 2 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Geochemistry of actinides and fission products in natural aquifer systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, J.I.

    1989-06-01

    The progress in the research area of the community project MIRAGE: 'Geochemistry of actinides and fission products in natural aquatic systems' has been reviewed. This programme belongs to a specific research and technical development programme for the European Atomic Energy Community in the field of management and storage of radioactive waste. The review summarizes research progresses in subject areas: complexation with organics, colloid generation in groundwater and basic retention mechanisms in the framework of the migration of radionuclides in the geosphere. The subject areas are being investigated by 23 laboratories under interlaboratory collaborations or independent studies. (orig.)

  14. Petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry of surficial uranium deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pagel, M.

    1984-01-01

    A comprehensive understanding of the petrology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of surficial uranium ore deposits is important for developing prospecting and evaluation strategies. Carnotite is the main uranium mineral and is found in those deposits that have the greatest potential uranium resources. The following uranium-bearing minerals have been reported to occur in surficial deposits: carnotite, tyuyamunite, soddyite, weeksite, haiweeite, uranophane, betauranophane, metaankoleite, torbernite, autunite, phosphuranylite, schroeckingerite, Pb-V-U hydroxide (unnamed mineral), uraninite and organourano complexes. The interrelationships between some of the minerals of the host rocks (especially the clays) are not well understood. (author)

  15. Infrared Spectroscopy and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Hydrous Silicate Glasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stolper, Edward

    2007-03-05

    The focus of this DOE-funded project has been the study of volatile components in magmas and the atmosphere. Over the twenty-one year period of this project, we have used experimental petrology and stable isotope geochemistry to study the behavior and properties of volatile components dissolved in silicate minerals and melts and glasses. More recently, we have also studied the concentration and isotopic composition of CO2 in the atmosphere, especially in relation to air quality issues in the Los Angeles basin.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The Petrochemistry of Jake_M: A Martian Mugearite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolper, E. M.; Baker, M. B.; Newcombe, M. E.; Schmidt, M. E.; Treiman, A. H.; Cousin, A.; Dyar, M. D.; Fisk, M. R.; Gellert, R.; King, P. L.; Leshin, L.; Maurice, S.; McLennan, S. M.; Minitti, M. E.; Perrett, G.; Rowland, S.; Sautter, V.; Wiens, R. C.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; 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; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; 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; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Teinturier, Samuel; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Williams, Richard B.; Kirkland, Laurel; 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; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; 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; 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; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; 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; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Jones, Andrea; 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; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; 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.; McConnochie, Timothy; 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; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; 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; Moores, John E.

    2013-09-01

    “Jake_M,” the first rock analyzed by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer instrument on the Curiosity rover, differs substantially in chemical composition from other known martian igneous rocks: It is alkaline (>15% normative nepheline) and relatively fractionated. Jake_M is compositionally similar to terrestrial mugearites, a rock type typically found at ocean islands and continental rifts. By analogy with these comparable terrestrial rocks, Jake_M could have been produced by extensive fractional crystallization of a primary alkaline or transitional magma at elevated pressure, with or without elevated water contents. The discovery of Jake_M suggests that alkaline magmas may be more abundant on Mars than on Earth and that Curiosity could encounter even more fractionated alkaline rocks (for example, phonolites and trachytes).

  20. The origin and evolution of terrestrial and Martian rock labyrinths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    The morphological characteristics and evolutionary development of rock labyrinths on Earth (in sandstone, volcanics, and carbonates) are compared with those on Mars. On Earth rock labyrinths originate as parallel, an echelon, or intersecting narrow grabens, or develop where fault and joint networks are selectively eroded. Labyrinths frequently contain both downfaulted and erosional elements. Closed labyrinths contain depressions; open labyrinths do not, they are simple part of a fluvial network generally of low order. As closed labyrinths made up of intersecting grabens or made up of connected erosional depressions are extremely common on Mars, the research focussed on an understanding of these labyrinth types. Field investigations were carried out in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, and in the Chirachahua Mountains of Arizona. Martian labyrinths were investigated using Viking orbiter images. In addition, research was undertaken on apparent thermokarst features in Lunae Planum and Chryse Planitia where closed depressions are numerous and resemble atlas topography.

  1. Mission analysis for the Martian Moons Explorer (MMX) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagnola, Stefano; Yam, Chit Hong; Tsuda, Yuichi; Ogawa, Naoko; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro

    2018-05-01

    Mars Moon eXplorer (MMX) is JAXA's next candidate flagship mission to be launched in the early 2020s. MMX will explore the Martian moons and return a sample from Phobos. This paper presents the mission analysis work, focusing on the transfer legs and comparing several architectures, such as hybrid options with chemical and electric propulsion modules. The selected baseline is a chemical-propulsion Phobos sample return, which is discussed in detail with the launch- and return-window analysis. The trajectories are optimized with the jTOP software, using planetary ephemerides for Mars and the Earth; Earth re-entry constraints are modeled with simple analytical equations. Finally, we introduce an analytical approximation of the three-burn capture strategy used in the Mars system. The approximation can be used together with a Lambert solver to quickly determine the transfer Δ v costs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riad Hosein

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Intraflow width variations in Martian and terrestrial lava flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitersen, Matthew N.; Crown, David A.

    1997-03-01

    Flow morphology is used to interpret emplacement processes for lava flows on Earth and Mars. Accurate measurements of flow geometry are essential, particularly for planetary flows where neither compositional sampling nor direct observations of active flows may be possible. Width behavior may indicate a flow's response to topography, its emplacement regime, and its physical properties. Variations in width with downflow distance from the vent may therefore provide critical clues to flow emplacement processes. Flow width is also one of the few characteristics that can be readily measured from planetary mission data with accuracy. Recent analyses of individual flows at two terrestrial and four Martian sites show that widths within an individual flow vary by up to an order of magnitude. Width is generally thought to be correlated to topography; however, recent studies show that this relationship is neither straightforward nor easily quantifiable.

  4. 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

  5. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Siikonen, T.; Palin, M.

    2017-09-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. MAVEN Observations of Magnetic Reconnection on the Dayside Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.; Espley, Jared R.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David A.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Mitchell, David L.; Harada, Yuki; Hara, Takuya

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission offers a unique opportunity to investigate the complex solar wind-planetary interaction at Mars. The Martian magnetosphere is formed as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) drapes around the planet's ionosphere and localized crustal magnetic fields. As the solar wind interacts with this induced magnetosphere, magnetic reconnection can occur at any location where a magnetic shear is present. Reconnection between the IMF and the induced and crustal fields facilitates a direct plasma exchange between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. Here we address the occurrence of magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetosphere of Mars using MAVEN magnetic field and plasma data. When reconnection occurs on the dayside, a non-zero magnetic field component normal to the obstacle, B_N, will result. Using minimum variance analysis, we measure BN by transforming Magnetometer data into boundary-normal coordinates. Selected events are then further examined to identify plasma heating and energization, in the form of Alfvénic outflow jets, using Solar Wind Ion Analyzer measurements. Additionally, the topology of the crustal fields is validated from electron pitch angle distributions provided by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer. To understand which parameters are responsible for the onset of reconnection, we test the dependency of the dimensionless reconnection rate, calculated from BN measurements, on magnetic field shear angle and plasma beta (the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure). We assess the global impact of reconnection on Mars' induced magnetosphere by combining analytical models with MAVEN observations to predict the regions where reconnection may occur. Using this approach we examine how IMF orientation and magnetosheath parameters affect reconnection on a global scale. With the aid of analytical models we are able to assess the role of reconnection on a global scale to better understand which

  9. The DREAMS experiment flown on the ExoMars 2016 mission for the study of Martian environment during the dust storm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettanini, C.; Esposito, R.; Debei, S.; Molfese, C.; Colombatti, G.; Aboudan, A.; Brucato, J. R.; Cortecchia, F.; Di Achille, G.; Guizzo, G. P.; Friso, E.; Ferri, F.; Marty, L.; Mennella, V.; Molinaro, R.; Schipani, P.; Silvestro, S.; Mugnuolo, R.; Pirrotta, S.; Marchetti, E.; Harri, A.-M.; Montmessin, F.; Wilson, C.; Arruego Rodriguez, I.; Abbaki, S.; Apestigue, V.; Bellucci, G.; Berthelier, J. J.; Calcutt, S. B.; Forget, F.; Genzer, M.; Gilbert, P.; Haukka, H.; Jimenez, J. J.; Jimenez, S.; Josset, J. L.; Karatekin, O.; Landis, G.; Lorenz, R.; Martinez, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Moirin, D.; Palomba, E.; Pateli, M.; Pommereau, J.-P.; Popa, C. I.; Rafkin, S.; Rannou, P.; Renno, N. O.; Schmidt, W.; Simoes, F.; Spiga, A.; Valero, F.; Vazquez, L.; Vivat, F.; Witasse, O.

    2017-08-01

    The DREAMS (Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) experiment on Schiaparelli lander of ExoMars 2016 mission was an autonomous meteorological station designed to completely characterize the Martian atmosphere on surface, acquiring data not only on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, but also on solar irradiance, dust opacity and atmospheric electrification, to measure for the first time key parameters linked to hazard conditions for future manned explorations. Although with very limited mass and energy resources, DREAMS would be able to operate autonomously for at least two Martian days (sols) after landing in a very harsh environment as it was supposed to land on Mars during the dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum) relying on its own power supply. ExoMars mission was successfully launched on 14th March 2016 and Schiaparelli entered the Mars atmosphere on October 20th beginning its 'six minutes of terror' journey to the surface. Unfortunately, some unexpected behavior during the parachuted descent caused an unrecoverable critical condition in navigation system of the lander driving to a destructive crash on the surface. The adverse sequence of events at 4 km altitude triggered the transition of the lander in surface operative mode, commanding switch on the DREAMS instrument, which was therefore able to correctly power on and send back housekeeping data. This proved the nominal performance of all DREAMS hardware before touchdown demonstrating the highest TRL of the unit for future missions. This paper describes this experiment in terms of scientific goals, design, performances, testing and operational capabilities with an overview of in flight performances and available mission data.

  10. Geochemistry of uranium in the Black Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhorov, V.A.; Bogushlavskij, S.G.; Babinets, A.E.; Solov'eva, L.V.; Kirchanova, A.I.; Kir'yanov, P.A.

    1982-01-01

    According to the results of expedition investigations on the base of SCOICH program (''Acade''Mmician Vernadsky'' and ichael Lomonosov'' shiptrips) main geometrical peculiarities of uranium distribution in deep water of the Black Sea including benthic and silt waters are studied. Sampling have been made from the surface layer across the whole width of the water and from benthic sediments (silt water). Uranium in samples has been determined by the adsorption-colorimetric method. Nonuniform uranium distribution (depending on water dynamics) over the basin area and across the whole width of water is established. Most of uranium is contained in the 0-500 m layer and in the eastern part of the sea. Uranium content decreases in depth, it is higher in the benthic water layer. It is shown that uranium decrease in a hydrogen-sulphide sea zone is conditioned by its reduction due to formation of more adsorption-active forms and effective sedimentation. Causes of differences in uranium content in silt waters have been found. High uranium concentrations in silt waters are confined to active sulphate reduction characterized by elevated values of pHsub(#betta#), alkalinity, Eh. In weak suphate reduction zones (pHsub(#betta#), Alsub(k) value decrease) in silt waters uranium content is lower as a result of sorption-active forms formation and their transition into the solid phase of sediments

  11. Kuwaiti dolocrete: petrology, geochemistry and groundwater origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sayed, M. I.; Fairchild, I. J.; Spiro, B.

    1991-09-01

    Near-surface sediments in southern Kuwait show extensive development of duricrusts. The host materials are siliciclastic sandstones of the post-Eocene Kuwait Group. Inland, the duricrusts are dominantly pedogenic calcrete (with some silcrete and gypcrete), whereas within 10-20 km of the coast, dolomite is the dominant duricrust mineral. Both these dolocretes and the inland calcretes display a similar maturation sequence in which carbonate-rich nodules develop and coalesce, carbonate progressively replacing and displacing detrital grains. The dolomite of the dolocretes forms mosaics of crystals typically 10-70 μm in size, varying from simple rhombs to spherulites. An intermediate morphology, named artichoke dolomite from its appearance in SEM, is particularly abundant. Authigenic palygorskite is associated with the dolomite. Dissolution of cores or zones within dolomite crystals has occurred. Calcite is present as sparry crystals (always post-dating dolomite) and is the expected precipitate from present-day soil and groundwaters. Chemical analyses of dolomite show highly negative values of δ13C (- to - 10.7‰ PDB) and δ18O varying from + 0.6 to + 3.3‰ PDB. The oxygen isotope values are interpreted as reflecting evaporation of a marine-based fluid. Manganese values of around 1000 ppm show that this fluid was reducing. Strontium data show variability reflecting mineral-fluid reactions. The general absence of metastable carbonates and presence of zoning in dolomite crystals suggests that meteoric dilution of seawater also occurred. Given that the duricrusts lack biogenic features, the light carbon isotope values are taken to indicate oxidation of seeping hydrocarbons. The dolocretes are interpreted as groundwater precipitates near the water table of a brackish water body formed at a time of higher relative sea level than today.

  12. Future directions in geobiology and low-temperature geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Katherine H.; Goldhaber, M.B.

    2011-01-01

    Humanity is confronted with an enormous challenge, as succinctly stated by the late Steven Schneider (2001; quoted by Jantzen 2004*): “Humans are forcing the Earth’s environmental systems to change at a rate that is more advanced than their knowledge of the consequences.” Geobiologists and low-temperature geochemists characterize material from the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere to understand processes operating within and between these components of the Earth system from the atomic to the planetary scale. For this reason, the interwoven disciplines of geobiology and low-temperature geochemistry are central to understanding and ultimately predicting the behavior of these life-sustaining systems. We present here comments and recommendations from the participants of a workshop entitled “Future Directions in Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry,” hosted by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Geophysical Laboratory, Washington, DC, on 27–28 August 2010. The goal of the workshop was to suggest ways to leverage the vast intellectual and analytical capabilities of our diverse scientific community to characterize the Earth’s past, present, and future geochemical habitat as we enter the second decade of what E. O. Wilson dubbed “the century of the environment.”

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Geochemistry of the alkaline volcanicsubvolcanic rocks of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, southern Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Peporine Lopes

    Full Text Available The Fernando de Noronha Archipelago presents, on its main island, a centrally-located stratigraphic unit, the Remédios Formation (age around 8 - 12 Ma constituted by basal pyroclastic rocks intruded by dikes, plugs and domes of varied igneous rocks, capped by flows and pyroclastics of mafic to ultramafic rocks of the Quixaba Formation (age around 1 - 3 Ma, which is limited from the underlying unit by an extensive irregular erosion surface. A predominant sodic Remédios series (basanites, tephrites, tephriphonolites, essexite, phonolites can be separated from a moderately potassic Remédios sequence (alkali basalts, trachyandesites, trachytes, both alkaline series showing mostly continuous geochemical trends in variation diagrams for major as well as trace elements, indicating evolution by crystal fractionation (mainly, separation of mafic minerals, including apatites and titanites. There are textural and mineralogical evidences pointing to hybrid origin of some intermediate rocks (e.g., resorbed pyroxene phenocrysts in basaltic trachyandesites, and in some lamprophyres. The primitive Quixaba rocks are mostly melanephelinites and basanites, primitive undersaturated sodic types. Geology (erosion surface, stratigraphy (two distinct units separated by a large time interval, petrography (varied Remédios Formation, more uniform Quixaba unit and geochemistry indicate that the islands represent the activity of a protracted volcanic episode, fueled by intermittent melting of an enriched mantle, not related to asthenospheric plume activity.

  18. Use of neutron activation techniques for studying elements distribution. Applications in geochemistry, ecology and technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flitsyan, E.S.

    1997-01-01

    The essence of the radiography method, sensitivity of which is within a range of 10 -2 - 10 -7 g · mm -2 and resolution ability extend from 0,01 to 100 μm, consists in determining the distributions of ionising irradiation sources on a surface under study by using the two-dimensional field of their irradiation registered by means of photoemulsion or dielectric track detector. Statistical analysis and computer processing of the radiographic images have allowed one to solve the two main tasks of the method , namely, the determination of true distributions of ionising irradiation sources on the surface of an object under study and the quantitative estimation within given accuracy of the content of an element under study in a sample. A complex of radiographic techniques based on the registration of secondary irradiation of the activated nuclei, instantaneous products of the nuclear reactions, and fusion fragments of the transuranium elements, has been developed to solve a series of the problem in geology and geochemistry, as well as for an analysis of technological and environment samples. Upon designing and constructing special comparison standards modelling a sample in composition and structure, the quantitative data on distributions of more than forty elements in rock sections and these of the main microcomponents, including oxygen, in the superconducting ceramics samples have also been obtained. (author)

  19. Geochemistry and the Understanding of Groundwater Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, P. D.; Plummer, L. N.; Weissmann, G. S.; Stute, M.

    2009-12-01

    isotopes, analyses of natural organic tracers), (2) in inverse geochemical and hydrological modeling, (3) in the understanding and simulation of coupled biological, geological, geochemical and hydrological processes, and (4) in the description and quantification of processes occurring at the boundaries of groundwater systems (e.g. unsaturated zone processes, groundwater/surface water interactions, impacts of changing geomorphology and vegetation). Improvements are needed in the integration of widely diverse information. Better techniques are needed to construct coherent conceptual frameworks from individual observations, simulated or reconstructed information, process models, and intermediate scale models. Iterating between data collection, interpretation, and the application of forward, inverse, and statistical modeling tools is likely to provide progress in this area. Quantifying groundwater system processes by using an open-system thermodynamic approach in a common mass- and energy-flow framework will also facilitate comparison and understanding of diverse processes.

  20. 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...

  1. 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....

  2. Introduction to geochemistry and its applications. Tome 2. Transfer of elements. Geochemical evolution of exogenous domains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagemann, R.; Treuil, M.

    1998-01-01

    This second tome of the introduction to geochemistry and its applications is divided into 9 chapters dealing with: the chloro-fluoro-methanes as tracers of the oceanic circulation; the study of radioactive disequilibria and their applications; the submarine hydrothermal activity; geochemistry and diagenesis, example of the Trias and Lias of Ardeche (France); the chemistry of deep waters in granitic environment, application to the underground storage of radioactive wastes; the impact of volcanism on atmosphere chemistry; the role of methane and light hydrocarbons in the atmosphere; the challenges of carbon; and the polar caps as recorders of atmosphere geochemistry and climates. (J.S.)

  3. Comparative assessment of five potential sites for hydrothermal magma systems: geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, A.F.

    1980-08-01

    A brief discussion is given of the geochemical objectives and questions that must be addressed in such an evaluation. A summary of the currently published literature that is pertinent in answering these questions is presented for each of the five areas: The Geysers-Clear Lake region, Long Valley, Rio Grand Rift, Roosevelt Hot Springs, and the Salton Trough. The major geochemical processes associated with proposed hydrothermal sites are categorized into three groups for presentation: geochemistry of magma and associated volcanic rocks, geochemistry of hydrothermal solutions, and geochemistry of hydrothermal alteration. (MHR)

  4. Free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies and the Martian crustal dichotomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Herbert; Bills, Bruce G.; Kiefer, Walter S.; Nerem, R. Steven; Roark, James H.; Zuber, Maria T.

    1993-01-01

    Free-air and Bouguer gravity anomalies from a 50x50 field, derived from re-analysis of Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 tracking data and using a 50x50 expansion of the current Mars topography and the GSFC degree 50 geoid as the equipotential reference surface, with the Martian crustal dichotomy are compared. The spherical harmonic topography used has zero mean elevation, and differs from the USGS maps by about 2 km. In this field the dichotomy boundary in eastern Mars lies mostly at -1 to -2 km elevation. Bouguer gravity anomalies are shown on a map of Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian age terrains, simplified from current geologic maps. The map is centered at 300 deg W to show the continuity of the dichotomy boundary. Contour interval is 100 mgals. Gravity and topography were compared along approximately 40 profiles oriented parallel to the dichotomy boundary topographic gradient, to determine how the geophysical character of the boundary changes along its length and what this implies for its origin and development.

  5. SUPERPIXEL BASED FACTOR ANALYSIS AND TARGET TRANSFORMATION METHOD FOR MARTIAN MINERALS DETECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Wu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Factor analysis and target transformation (FATT is an effective method to test for the presence of particular mineral on Martian surface. It has been used both in thermal infrared (Thermal Emission Spectrometer, TES and near-infrared (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, CRISM hyperspectral data. FATT derived a set of orthogonal eigenvectors from a mixed system and typically selected first 10 eigenvectors to least square fit the library mineral spectra. However, minerals present only in a limited pixels will be ignored because its weak spectral features compared with full image signatures. Here, we proposed a superpixel based FATT method to detect the mineral distributions on Mars. The simple linear iterative clustering (SLIC algorithm was used to partition the CRISM image into multiple connected image regions with spectral homogeneous to enhance the weak signatures by increasing their proportion in a mixed system. A least square fitting was used in target transformation and performed to each region iteratively. Finally, the distribution of the specific minerals in image was obtained, where fitting residual less than a threshold represent presence and otherwise absence. We validate our method by identifying carbonates in a well analysed CRISM image in Nili Fossae on Mars. Our experimental results indicate that the proposed method work well both in simulated and real data sets.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Some aspects of composition of the lower Martian atmosphere: input for MIRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Korablev, O.; Krasnopolsky, V.; Rorin, A.

    Recent spacecraft missions and high-resolution spectroscopic observations from the Earth-based, airborne and spaceborne observatories have justified the chemical contents of the Martian atmosphere at a new level of confidence. Both the lower and middle atmosphere of Mars reveal very limited chemical activity, while the variations of the abundance of minor constituents may be attributed to phase transitions of volatiles. Water vapor, which mixing ratio is controlled by complex hydrological cycle in the lower atmosphere and at the surface of the planet, affects seasonally varying depletion of ozone. Measured ratio of D/H can be explained with general models of the early evolution of the planet, though this estimate in the bulk atmosphere may not be ultimately representative due to altitude dependant fractionation of water isotopes. CO, as a chemically passive nonvolatile component, reveals increase of mixing ratio in the vicinity of winter polar caps during active condensation of the bulk CO2 atmosphere. No reliable evidence o any organicf matter in the atmosphere of Mars has been obtained.

  9. 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.

  10. The Surface of Mars: A Post-Viking View.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1983-01-01

    Highlights current information on the martian surface. Topics include a planetary overview (atmosphere, dust storms, water vapor/ice, soil analysis) and surface features (craters, volcanoes, canyons/channels, polar regions, wind-related features). Similarities/differences between Mars and Earth are also discussed. (JN)

  11. Planning for the Collection and Analysis of Samples of Martian Granular Materials Potentially to be Returned by Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrier, B. L.; Beaty, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is scheduled to land on Mars in 2021 and will be equipped with a sampling system capable of collecting rock cores, as well as a specialized drill bit for collecting unconsolidated granular material. A key mission objective is to collect a set of samples that have enough scientific merit to justify returning to Earth. In the case of granular materials, we would like to catalyze community discussion on what we would do with these samples if they arrived in our laboratories, as input to decision-making related to sampling the regolith. Numerous scientific objectives have been identified which could be achieved or significantly advanced via the analysis of martian rocks, "regolith," and gas samples. The term "regolith" has more than one definition, including one that is general and one that is much more specific. For the purpose of this analysis we use the term "granular materials" to encompass the most general meaning and restrict "regolith" to a subset of that. Our working taxonomy includes the following: 1) globally sourced airfall dust (dust); 2) saltation-sized particles (sand); 3) locally sourced decomposed rock (regolith); 4) crater ejecta (ejecta); and, 5) other. Analysis of martian granular materials could serve to advance our understanding areas including habitability and astrobiology, surface-atmosphere interactions, chemistry, mineralogy, geology and environmental processes. Results of these analyses would also provide input into planning for future human exploration of Mars, elucidating possible health and mechanical hazards caused by the martian surface material, as well as providing valuable information regarding available resources for ISRU and civil engineering purposes. Results would also be relevant to matters of planetary protection and ground-truthing orbital observations. We will present a preliminary analysis of the following, in order to generate community discussion and feedback on all issues relating to: What are the

  12. Structure of Ion Outflow in the Martian Magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D.; Luhmann, J. G.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Suprathermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) sensor on the MAVEN spacecraft provides a detailed look at the structure of ion outflow in the Martian magnetotail including ion composition, energization, and flow. Mars' magnetotail contains a mixture of cold (multi-species ions, tailward-moving cold multi-species ions, suprathermal ions of a few tens of eV, warm (about 100 eV) proton populations, and heavy (primarily O+) pickup ions at energies from 1 to 10 keV which may display several simultaneous peaks in energy flux. The cold tailward-moving ions represent a significant fraction of the Martian ion loss, perhaps comparable to loses from molecular oxygen dissociation. The suprathermal tail that accompanies the cold ions varies greatly and provides clues to ion escape. The warm protons, on first examination, appear to be of sheath origin, displaying a similar energy distribution and accompanied by a tenuous warm population at M/Q=2 (which could be either solar wind alphas or molecular hydrogen ions of ionospheric origin). STATIC produces a weak ghost peak at M/Q=11-12 when observing molecular hydrogen ions, but not alphas, often allowing the instrument to distinguish the source of protons. Measurements show the warm protons are of ionospheric origin in the central tail and transition to sheath plasma in the umbra. Energetic (1-10 keV) pickup oxygen in the magnetotail is produced on the nightside, near the pole where the IMF convection electric field points toward the planet, the same hemisphere where sputtering occurs. When two spectral peaks are observed, these tailward-moving ions differ in direction by relatively small angles (about 20 degrees). These peaks can persist for tens of minutes indicating approximately time-stationary acceleration, and therefore acceleration in potential fields. Magnetotail structure and geometry can be inferred not only from the local magnetic field, but also from the measured electron distributions which indicate source

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Waves in the Martian Atmosphere: Results from MGS Radio Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. M.; Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.

    1999-01-01

    Temperatures retrieved from Mars Global Surveyor radio occultations have been searched for evidence of waves. Emphasis has been on the initial series of occultations between 29 deg N and 64 deg S, obtained during the early martian southern summer, L(sub s) = 264 deg - 308 deg. The profiles exhibit an undulatory behavior that is suggestive of vertically propagating waves. wavelengths approximately 10 km are often dominant, but structure on smaller scales is evident. The undulatory structure is most pronounced between latitudes 29 deg N and 10 deg S, usually in regions of "interesting" topography, e.g., in the Tharsis region and near the edge of Syrtis Major. Several temperature profiles, particularly within 30 deg of the equator, exhibit lapse rates that locally become superadiabatic near the 0.4-mbar level or at higher altitudes. This implies that the waves are "breaking" and depositing horizontal momentum into the atmosphere. Such a deposition may play an important role in modulating the atmospheric winds, and characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of these momentum transfers can provide important clues to understanding how the global circulation is maintained.

  17. Eddy transport of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, J. R.; Haberle, Robert M.

    1993-01-01

    Viking orbiter measurements of the Martian atmosphere suggest that the residual north polar water-ice cap is the primary source of atmospheric water vapor, which appears at successively lower northern latitudes as the summer season progresses. Zonally symmetric studies of water vapor transport indicate that the zonal mean meridional circulation is incapable of transporting from north polar regions to low latitudes the quantity of water vapor observed. This result has been interpreted as implying the presence of nonpolar sources of water. Another possibility is the ability of atmospheric wave motions, which are not accounted for in a zonally symmetric framework, to efficiently accomplish the transport from a north polar source to the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere. The ability or inability of the full range of atmospheric motions to accomplish this transport has important implications regarding the questions of water sources and sinks on Mars: if the full spectrum of atmospheric motions proves to be incapable of accomplishing the transport, it strengthens arguments in favor of additional water sources. Preliminary results from a three dimensional atmospheric dynamical/water vapor transport numerical model are presented. The model accounts for the physics of a subliming water-ice cap, but does not yet incorporate recondensation of this sublimed water. Transport of vapor away from this water-ice cap in this three dimensional framework is compared with previously obtained zonally symmetric (two dimensional) results to quantify effects of water vapor transport by atmospheric eddies.

  18. Vertical transport of water in the Martian boundary layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zent, Aaron P.; Haberle, R. M.; Houben, Howard C.

    1993-01-01

    We are continuing our examination of the transport of H2O through the martian boundary layer, and we have written a one-dimensional numerical model of the exchange of H2O between the atmosphere and subsurface of Mars through the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Our goal is to explore the mechanisms of H2O exchange, and to elucidate the role played by the regolith in the local H2O budget. The atmospheric model includes effects of Coriolis, pressure gradient, and frictional forces for momentum, as well as radiation, sensible heat flux, and advection for heat. The model differs from Flasar and Goody by use of appropriate Viking-based physical constants and inclusion of the radiative effects of atmospheric dust. We specify the pressure gradient force or compute it from a simple slope model. The subsurface model accounts for conduction of heat and diffusion of H2O through a porous adsorbing medium in response to diurnal forcing. The model is initialized with depth-independent H2O concentrations (2 kg M(exp -3)) in the regolith, and a dry atmosphere. The model terminates when the atmospheric H2O column abundance stabilizes at 0.1 percent per sol.

  19. MAVEN observations of magnetic reconnection in the Martian magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C. X.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J. R.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field topology and converts magnetic energy into particle energy. Although reconnection may play a key role in controlling ion escape processes at Mars, the fundamental properties of local physics and global dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the Martian environment remain unclear owing to the lack of simultaneous measurements of ions, electrons, and magnetic fields by modern instrumentation. Here we present comprehensive MAVEN observations of reconnection signatures in the near-Mars magnetotail. The observed reconnection signatures include (i) Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, (ii) counterstreaming ion beams along the current sheet normal direction, (iii) Hall magnetic fields, and (iv) trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones. The measured velocity distribution functions of different ion species exhibit mass-dependent characteristics which are qualitatively consistent with previous multi-species kinetic simulations and terrestrial tail observations. The MAVEN observations demonstrate that the near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

  20. Geochronology and geochemistry by nuclear tracks method: some utilization examples in geologic applied

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Soliani Junior, E.

    1988-01-01

    This article discuss some applications of the 'nuclear tracks method' in geochronology, geochemistry and geophysic. In geochronology, after rapid presentation of the dating principles by 'Fission Track' and the kinds of geological events mensurable by this method, is showed some application in metallogeny and in petroleum geolocy. In geochemistry the 'fission tracks' method utilizations are related with mining prospecting and uranium prospecting. In geophysics an important application is the earthquake prevision, through the Ra 222 emanations continous control. (author) [pt

  1. Petrology and organic geochemistry of the lower Miocene lacustrine sediments (Most Basin, Eger Graben, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Havelcová, Martina; Sýkorová, Ivana; Mach, K.; Trejtnarová, Hana; Blažek, Jaroslav

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 139, Special issue (2015), s. 26-39 ISSN 0166-5162 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-18482S Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : Most Basin * Miocene * coal facies indices * coal petrology * organic geochemistry Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 3.294, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166516214001529#

  2. Summary report on the geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and environs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daniels, W.R.; Wolfsberg, K.; Rundberg, R.S.

    1982-12-01

    This report gives a detailed description of work at Los Alamos that will help resolve geochemical issues pertinent to siting a high-level nuclear waste repository in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It is necessary to understand the properties and setting of the host tuff because this rock provides the first natural barrier to migration of waste elements from a repository. The geochemistry of tuff is being investigated with particular emphasis on retardation processes. This report addresses the various aspects of sorption by tuff, physical and chemical makeup of tuff, diffusion processes, tuff/groundwater chemistry, waste element chemistry under expected repository conditions, transport processes involved in porous and fracture flow, and geochemical and transport modeling

  3. Uranium districts defined by reconnaissance geochemistry in South Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armour-Brown, A.; Steenfelt, A.; Kunzendorf, H.

    1983-01-01

    A reconnaissance exploration survey over 14 000 km 2 of Precambrian terrain in South Greenland using stream-sediment and stream-water samples delineated a central uranium district of 2000 km 2 with enhanced uranium levels and smaller anomalous zones in the south of the field area. Limited follow-up work located 8 pitchblende occurrences in this extensive district. The pitchblende is in veins which contain quartz, calcite, iron oxide, fluorite and minor sulphides. The isotopic (U-Pb) age of the pitchblende, which ranges from 1180-1090 Ma, corresponds to the late stages of Gardar alkaline igneous activity. It is concluded, therefore, that the reconnaissance geochemistry reflects a district-wide hydrothermal event related to the late volatile differentiates derived from the highly fractionated alkaline magma. A combination of primary and secondary features have complemented each other in enhancing the geochemical reconnaissance data and emphasized its importance but has not materially altered the interpretation. (Auth.)

  4. The geochemistry and mobility of the lanthanides in marine sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elderfield, H.

    1988-07-01

    A study has been made to evaluate lanthanide mobility in sediments directly by measuring concentrations of 10 lanthanide elements in sediments and pore waters. Due to the very low concentrations of the lanthanides in sea water relative to marine sediments, evidence of lanthanide mobilization is usually difficult to detect from studies of solid-phase geochemistry. Results show that the lanthanides can be extremely mobile. Concentrations in pore waters up to 100 times sea water concentrations have been measured. The conclusions are tentative but the present data suggest that the lanthanides are mobilized during oxidation of organic-rich sediments and are relocated in part in association with secondary Fe-rich phases. The behaviour of Ce is, predictably, somewhat different from the other lanthanides and may be more mobile as a consequence of its redox chemistry. (author)

  5. Instrumental analytical techniques in geochemistry: Requirements and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    Geochemists must analyse an extremely wide range of terrestrial and planetary materials. The instrumental techniques necessary to cope with this difficult task are considered. The most important analytical techniques in use by the geochemist today are AAS, ICP-OES, INAA, MSID and XRFS, and the electron microscope for in situ mineral analysis. Some applications of these techniques to solving major problems in geochemistry are discussed. The importance of certified reference materials and of high quality geochemical data are emphasized. It is concluded that the general quality of trace element data has improved over the past 25 years, as a direct result of the application of modern instrumental techniques. Surprisingly, the quality of data reported for certain major elements has deteriorated over that time, when compared with data obtainable by classical chemical methods. Predictions are made concerning the instrumentation needs of the next generation of geochemists. (orig.) [de

  6. Workshop on fundamental geochemistry needs for nuclear waste isolation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heiken, J.H. (ed.)

    1985-09-01

    In their deliberations, workshop participants did not attempt to incorporate the constraints that the 1982 National Nuclear Waste Management Policy Act placed upon the site-specific investigations. In particular, there was no attempt to (1) identify the research areas that apply most strongly to a particular potential repository site, (2) identify the chronological time when the necessary data or knowledge could be available, or (3) include a sensitivity analysis to prioritize and limit data needs. The workshop participants felt these are the purview of the site-specific investigations; the purpose of the workshop was to discuss the generic geochemistry research needs for a nuclear waste repository among as broad spectrum of individual scientists as possible and to develop a consensus of what geochemical information is important and why.

  7. Workshop on fundamental geochemistry needs for nuclear waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heiken, J.H.

    1985-09-01

    In their deliberations, workshop participants did not attempt to incorporate the constraints that the 1982 National Nuclear Waste Management Policy Act placed upon the site-specific investigations. In particular, there was no attempt to (1) identify the research areas that apply most strongly to a particular potential repository site, (2) identify the chronological time when the necessary data or knowledge could be available, or (3) include a sensitivity analysis to prioritize and limit data needs. The workshop participants felt these are the purview of the site-specific investigations; the purpose of the workshop was to discuss the generic geochemistry research needs for a nuclear waste repository among as broad spectrum of individual scientists as possible and to develop a consensus of what geochemical information is important and why

  8. The Medical Geochemistry of Dusts, Soils, and Other Earth Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumlee, G. S.; Ziegler, T. L.

    2003-12-01

    "Town clenched in suffocating grip of asbestos"USA Today, article on Libby,Montana, February, 2000"Researchers find volcanoes are bad for your health… long after they finish erupting"University of WarwickPress Release, 1999"Toxic soils plague city - arsenic, lead in 5 neighborhoods could imperil 17,000 residents"Denver Post, 2002"Ill winds - dust storms ferry toxic agents between countries and even continents"Science News, 2002A quick scan of newspapers, television, science magazines, or the internet on any given day has a fairly high likelihood of encountering a story (usually accompanied by a creative headline such as those above) regarding human health concerns linked to dusts, soils, or other earth materials. Many such concerns have been recognized and studied for decades, but new concerns arise regularly.Earth scientists have played significant roles in helping the medical community understand some important links between earth materials and human health, such as the role of asbestos mineralogy in disease (Skinner et al., 1988; Ross, 1999; Holland and Smith, 2001), and the role of dusts generated by the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake in an outbreak of Valley Fever ( Jibson et al., 1998; Schneider et al., 1997).Earth science activities tied to health issues are growing (Skinner and Berger, 2003), and are commonly classified under the emerging discipline of medical geology (Finkelman et al., 2001; Selinus and Frank, 2000; Selinus, in press).Medical geochemistry (also referred to as environmental geochemistry and health: Smith and Huyck (1999), Appleton et al. (1996)) can be considered as a diverse subdiscipline of medical geology that deals with human and animal health in the context of the Earth's geochemical cycle ( Figure 1). Many medical geochemistry studies have focused on how chemical elements in rocks, soils, and sediments are transmitted via water or vegetation into the food chain, and how regional geochemical variations can result in disease

  9. Advancement in application of diamondoids on organic geochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anlai Ma

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Diamondoids occur in all kinds of fossil fuels. Due to peculiar cage molecular structures, diamondoids have been widely used in the maturity assessment of high mature to over-mature oils as well as source rocks since the 1990s. New advancements in maturity, oil-cracking, oil mixing, oil biodegradation, organic facies, TSR, gas washing, migration, and oil spill identification using diamondoids during the 21st century will be further discussed in this paper; the origin and possible forming mechanisms of diamondoids are also explained. Owing to the vagueness of the origin of diamondoid, the results of the maturity and oil cracking among researchers brought about great differences. It is suggested that the research of the evolution of diamondoid in different type oils and source rocks are beneficial when applied in organic geochemistry, especially for the depth limits for the deep reservoirs.

  10. Atmospheric Structure and Diurnal Variations at Low Altitudes in the Martian Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, David P.; Spiga, A.; Lewis, S.; Tellmann, S.; Pätzold, M.; Asmar, S.; Häusler, B.

    2013-10-01

    We are using radio occultation measurements from Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Mars Global Surveyor to characterize the diurnal cycle in the lowest scale height above the surface. We focus on northern spring and summer, using observations from 4 Martian years at local times of 4-5 and 15-17 h. We supplement the observations with results obtained from large-eddy simulations and through data assimilation by the UK spectral version of the LMD Mars Global Circulation Model. We previously investigated the depth of the daytime convective boundary layer (CBL) and its variations with surface elevation and surface properties. We are now examining unusual aspects of the temperature structure observed at night. Most important, predawn profiles in the Tharsis region contain an unexpected layer of neutral static stability at pressures of 200-300 Pa with a depth of 4-5 km. The mixed layer is bounded above by a midlevel temperature inversion and below by another strong inversion adjacent to the surface. The narrow temperature minimum at the base of the midlevel inversion suggests the presence of a water ice cloud layer, with the further implication that radiative cooling at cloud level can induce convective activity at lower altitudes. Conversely, nighttime profiles in Amazonis show no sign of a midlevel inversion or a detached mixed layer. These regional variations in the nighttime temperature structure appear to arise in part from large-scale variations in topography, which have sev