Mineral veins on Mars formed by the evaporation of ancient lakes


Mineral veins found in the Martian Gale crater, was formed by evaporation of ancient Martian lakes, indicated in a new study.

In this study, conducted by a team of scientists led by Dr. S. P. Svancara from the Open University, UK, on the basis of data collected with the help of NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity in the town of Yellowknife Bay inside of Gale crater, the analysis of the mineral composition of strands, representing the channels through which the groundwater flowed in the past through the mudstone.

In this study it is shown that these veins were formed from sediments from the bottom of an ancient lake, which was then heated to 50 degrees Celsius and was subjected to leaching by groundwater.

The study’s authors believe that the evaporation of ancient lakes in the town of Yellowknife Bay resulted in the formation of sediments rich in silica and sulfates.

Subsequent dissolution by groundwater these deposits – which, as predicted, the authors are present in the layers of sedimentary rocks in Gale crater led to the formation of “pure” sulphate lived through the shales of the town of Yellowknife Bay.

According to the study of the primary sedimentary rock was gypsum, which is then subjected to dehydration drying of the lake.

Water rastvorenie primary sedimentary rocks and forming of them in the future, mineral veins, contain a lot of sodium, potassium and silicon, but little of magnesium, iron and aluminum, and pH of this solution was neutral or slightly alkaline, the authors of the work.

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