Carbonation may have grounded Mars’ atmosphere

Process could have forced Red Planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide into the dirt

By Ashley Yeager, 12:38 PM October 22, 2013

Mars’ atmosphere — once rich in carbon dioxide — may have moved underground through carbonation.

The process happens on Earth when water, CO2 and silicate minerals such as olivine interact to form carbonate, which is then stored in the planet’s crust.

In a new study, Tim Tomkinson of the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre and colleagues analyzed the minerals in the Lafayette meteorite, which scientists think formed on the Red Planet 1.3 billion years ago and came crashing into...

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