The water believed to be responsible for the intriguing seasonal dark stripes of Mars can come from very deep underground, according to a new study.
These stripes, known as repeating slopes (RSL), appear on some slopes of Mars during the warmer parts of the year. Scientists have suggested that RSL is caused by transient streams of solar water on the surface of the Red Planet or just below it.
"We assume this may not be true," said Essam Heggy, a researcher at Southern California University (USC) and NASA's Pasadena Laboratory, a statement said. "We offer an alternative hypothesis that they originate from a deep source of groundwater under pressure that comes to the surface by moving up the earth cracks."
And Haji means Deep: The water horizons that feed PCM are probably 750 meters below ground, according to the new study.
Heggy and lead author Abotalib Z. Abotalib, a post-doctoral assistant at USC, explores an image shot by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) who opens RSL in 201
Abotalib and Heggy have found a spatial correlation between RSL and tectonic and impact-related drawbacks – characteristics that can facilitate the movement of water from deep underground to the surface.
The duo modeles the heat flow in the surface of Mars and explores the movement of groundwater in the desert regions here on Earth. These different studies indicate that RSL water probably comes from deep-buried algae, the researchers said.
"The experience we have gained from our research in desert hydrology was the cornerstone in reaching this conclusion," Abotalib said . in the same statement . "We saw the same mechanisms in the North African Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula and helped us explore the same mechanism on Mars."
The explanation proposed explains the seasonality of RAM. during winter seasons, when the upward surface water freezes in fracture paths and resumes during the summer seasons when the temperature of saline rises above the freezing point, "the researchers wrote in the new study which was published last week in the journal Nature Geoscience
If Abtalib and Hedges are right, the groundwater Mars system is more extensive than previously thought, and last year the Mars Express orbit in Europe found evidence of large underground lake b south to the south pole of the planet but so far there are no signs of aquifers in the lower latitudes
The new study is far from the last word for RSL however, for example, not everyone considers stripes to be proof of liquid water , some scientists regard dry landslides as a more likely explanation Mars may have more than one mechanism to form RSL, noted Abotalib and Heggy. " " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Carl Tate ) Follow it on Twitter