According to a new study, on Mars, previously filled with water craters with the help of wind transformed into dry mounds, as high as miles, according to a new study.
The results explain the geography of the Gale crater (landing site of the Curiosity rover), as well as other places crowned with high peaks on the Red Planet, and prove that the wind is currently the dominant force in geology Mars. (Mars today has no widespread plate tectonics or liquid water).
Martian mounds have been known for decades since the NASA Viking program saw them in the 1970s. More recently, the Curiosity rover performed a detailed analysis of the embankment in the Gale crater. The data show that the mound consists of sedimentary (layered) rock. Deposits at the bottom of the mound appeared from the water, while at the top of the embankment were laid by the wind.
It was unclear, however, how the whole mound was formed. To test the theory that the wind created mounds similar to those found in the Gale crater, the researchers created a mini-crater on Earth, and placed it in a wind tunnel.
The crater was 30 centimeters (12 inches) wide and four centimeters (1, 6 inches) deep. After putting the wet sand inside, the researchers watched the wind form the sand until it was blown away. Through the process, the researchers obtained pictures of the "crater", which showed forms similar to real craters and mounds on Mars. “We walked from a puff pie filled crater to this hilly shape that we see today,” said lead author Mackenzie Day, a graduate student at the University of Texas State University of Jackson in Austin, said in a statement.
The results were confirmed using a computer model, showing the movement of the wind through the crater, showing how it progressed, going through various stages of erosion. The researchers also noted that the hilly structure with water-borne sediments at the bottom, and eolian top - again shows that Mars was warmer and wetter in the distant past.
Analysis of 30 mounds on Mars showed that their deposition occurred during the Noachian period 3, 7 billion years ago, since the mounds are visible only on the terrain that was available at that time. Noachian is believed to represent the borderline between the wet weather of the past and dry Mars at the present time.
The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.