Mars may be volcanically active – Ongoing study

Two-thirds of Mars volcanism happened between 3 billion and 4 billion years ago. ( The oldest volcano on Earth is probably Etna and, which is about 350,000 years old.) Most of the active volcanoes that we know about seem to be less than 100,000 years old.) Those volcano eruptions left behind the tallest mountain in our solars system: “Olympus Mons” which reaches a height of 16miles or 25 km. This mountain is three times taller than Mount Everest, which here on our blue planet is considered the tallest mountain ever.

Earlier researches considered the Red planet had volcanic eruptions from 2.5 million years ago. New burning evidence claims that mars maybe, still volcanically active, with signs of eruption dating from 50 000 years or more.

“This being the youngest documented volcanic eruption on Mars, the potential that Mars could potentially be volcanically active at present is exciting,” study lead author David Horvath, a planetary scientist now at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, told

The data used from satellites orbiting Marse, scientists examined
the equatorial plains of a region known as Elysium Planitia.
They found out a previously unknown smooth dark volcanic matter, about 8 miles or 13 kilometers wide, and it was floating on an area slightly larger than the Washington State. The deposit is surrounding a gap about 20 miles (32km) wide. One of the cracks that make up the gap is forming up the fissure system known as Cerberus Fossae.


This map of Mars shows Elysium Planitia, the region of recent explosive volcanism (white box), and the locations of NASA’s InSight lander and Elysium Mons. (Image credit: MOLA Science Team.

“I first noticed this volcanic deposit when I was looking over some images of this region. I had looked at this area many times before, somehow had always overlooked this feature,” study senior author Jeff Andrews-Hanna, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona at Tucson, told “Once this odd dark deposit centered on a volcanic fissure came to my attention, I knew it was telling us something important.”

Andre-Hanna said that such a deposit did not look like anything else founds in the region. The discovery closely resembled the Vulcan eruption on the moon or Mercury.

Most marks of volcanism were previously noticed on the region Elysium Planitia or anywhere on Mars. Those regions have formed by lava running on the surroundings. It is very similar to the Iceland eruptions. Nevertheless, the new evidence of volcano eruption on the Red Planet left a fresh deposit of ash and rock on top of surrounding lava fountains.

This unique deposit of ash may be the newest piece of the great Mars puzzle. If we were to compress Mars’ geologic history into a single day, this would have occurred in the very last second,” Horvath said in a statement.

The scientists discovered characteristics, compositions, and distribution from this specific eruption match they would assume from a simple pyroclastic eruption. They got an explosive outbreak of magma forced by expanding gasses, nothing unlike a soda and vinegar Vulcan made for a school project. Here on Earth, a similar event happened.

Deadly and toxic avalanches of ashes and pulverizing rocks forming pyroclastic eruptions, known as a pyroclastic fountain. The ancient Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum have turned into tombs because of this eruption in 79 AD. The Roman records dated back to it states that the whole sky was pitch black (Darker than a night) when the volcanic ash was in the sky.”This eruption could have spewed ash as high as 10 kilometers (6 miles) into the Martian atmosphere,” Horvath said in the statement.

There remained plenty of examples of that explosive volcanism on Mars nonetheless, they occurred a long time ago. The chemical proof of this eruption and pyroclastic deposits was once more common. Nevertheless, these deposits were decayed or buried deep in the surface of Mars.
My phone has now located.
Hold on! this one is BIG! The newly discovered deposit is located about 1000 miles or 1,600km from NASA’s Insight Lander. The main goal of the machine is to investigate Mars’s tectonic activity since 2008. With its help, scientists on Nasa managed to detect Two Marsquakes in the region of Cerberus.
“We now know that this region is both the most volcanically and seismically active area on the planet today,” Andrews-Hanna said.

Previous research suggested that magma may be moving deep in the underground layers of the region Cerberus Fossae.
“If lava was erupting to the surface only 50,000 years ago, and the area is still rumbling with seismicity today, that means that it could erupt again,” Andrews-Hanna said.

One possible mechanism of causing this eruption was gasses stored in magma, said Paranabendu Moitra in his study. Moitra is a research scientist at the University of Arizona. It is getting more interesting. There is a relation between magma and permafrost, with ice in the permafrost melting into water, mixing with the magma, and then vaporizing, triggering a violent bang.

Surprisingly, this newfound Vulcanic outburst also occurred 6 miles (10km) from the youngest large impact crater on our Red neighbor- a meteor crater 6 miles wide named Zunil.

“The ages of the eruption and the impact are indistinguishable, which raises the possibility, however speculative, that the impact actually triggered the volcanic eruption,” Moitra said in the statement.

Previously was found that on Earth, seismic waves can form larger quakes that can also force the stored magma beneath the surface to erupt.
The collision that Zunil produced can cause a shaking effect like an earthquake, shaking Mars enough to trigger an eruption. – Moitra suggested.

“To be clear, we cannot state that the eruption was triggered by an impact — only that the timing and magnitude are right,” Andrews-Hanna said.

There is a green light regarding these discoveries. They may signal that the warmth from this recent volcanic activity could make Mars more habitable and pleasant for life as we it is now.
The scenario is this: Magma rising from deep underground could have melted the ice, thus provides pleasant conditions for microbial life lately.

“This does not necessarily confirm past life on Mars, but does imply an environment conducive to habitability,” Horvath said.

The greatest question the scientists now have, Andrews-Hanna said, is “why is this particular area such a hotspot for activity on Mars?”
“Mars has a number of giant volcanoes, including nearby Elysium Mons, but this eruption and the volcanic fissures it is associated with are in an otherwise featureless plain,” Andrews-Hanna added. “Is this area underlain by a plume of hot mantle material? Will the next great Martian volcano rise from this spot?”

The scientists concluded their findings online on April 21 in the journal Icarus.

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