Mars clays may have volcanic source | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Mars clays may have volcanic source

Deposits didn’t need flowing water to form, new research suggests

By
2:08pm, September 9, 2012

Ancient clay deposits on Mars may not indicate that the Red Planet was originally a warm, wet place, as scientists have thought. Instead of needing liquid water to form, many of Mars’ 4-billion-year-old clays could have originated from cooling lava, researchers report online September 9 in Nature Geoscience.

Clays are widely scattered across Mars’ oldest terrain, dating to the Noachian period 4.1 billion to 3.7 billion years ago. When the Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered these minerals from orbit several years ago, geologists assumed the clays were a result of large bodies of water weat

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content