Science

Scientists present new theory to unravel mystery of disappearance of water on Mars

Where did all water on Mars go? Scientists debunk the mystery!

In searching life on the Mars scientists earlier thought there is water on the red planet. Earlier studies had assumed that the water was swept into space by powerful solar winds when the planet’s magnetic field collapsed, while some were captured in sub-surface ice.

Researchers think they’ve discovered the answer, based on a new model: The water is inside the Martian mantle. It’s not the only explanation for the disappearing oceans, but the particular geology and chemistry of Mars infers that, in its early years, the planet sucked up way more water than Earth did.

“Because there’s more iron in the Martian mantle than the Earth’s mantle, that would make it more prone to reacting with water,” Jon Wade from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford told Gizmodo. “Essentially, that’s what we’ve shown”.

“The results showed that the basalt rocks on Mars could hold approximately 25% more water than those on Earth, and as a consequence rendered the water from the Martian surface into its interior,” said a statement from Oxford University, where investigators took part in the research.

Study co-author Jon Wade of Oxford told AFP said that as on Earth, chemical weathering and hydrothermal reactions could become minerals in rock from dry to water-bearing. But Martian rock, because of a different structure, is much better at doing so. Such rocks would have responded with the surface water on the planet, barring some of it up in their mineral structure.

“It is not liquid anymore but materially bound in the mineral,” he said which means the only way to lose the water would be to melt the rock. On an infant Earth, water-bearing rocks formed correspondingly would have floated on the planet’s hot surface till they melted, discharging water back to the surface as they did.

But on Mars, not all the rock would have melted, and some of the water would have outlasted trapped in rock that sank right to the mantle. “In essence, Mars was doomed by its geochemistry!” said Wade. Water is a necessity for life as we all know it. And although it is dry and dusty now, the Earth’s neighbour is believed to have been a wet planet once.

Earlier, NASA stated almost half of Mars’s northern hemisphere had once been an ocean, reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometres. Later that year, a research declared the findings of “water” outlasting on the fourth rock from the Sun, in the mode of super-salty brine streaks moving down steep hills.

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