Our second story takes us into the Mud on Mars. While the Red planet is currently a dry desert world, this hasn’t always been the case. In new work in the journal Nature Geoscience, a team led by Petr Broz describes how Mars may once have had Mud Volcanoes, which essentially spewed liquid mud that would have settled into distinctive geologic features. This is a “here is how it would have happened” paper, that looks at how mud would have frozen as soon as it hit the air, and looks at the odd thermodynamics of the “lava tunnels” of mud that would have formed. This story gets points for creating in real life the mud monsters of my childhood imagination. These things haven’t been found yet – yet.
But in a more detailed summary of the paper that we got TEN MINUTES before we went on air, collaborators share images of active mud volcanoes on Earth and what could be a now dormant mud volcano on mars. They speculate that tens of thousands of the conical hills seen on Mars are the result of mud volcanoes. Now, this is all very JUST GOT PUBLISHED 2 hours before showtime, so rather than cover this in detail today, we’re going to work to get someone from this research team to come on as a guest sometime next week.
- CNRS press post
- German Aerospace Center (DLR) article
- “Experimental Evidence for Lava-like Mud Flows Under Martian Surface Conditions,” Petr Broz et al., 2020 May 18, Nature Geoscience