A Martian lake could appear due to recent volcanic activity

A Martian lake could appear due to recent volcanic activity

Mars demonstrates the south pole

The red planet is often considered a dead desert world. However, new research suggests that it is able to hide volcanic activity under the surface.

In July 2018, researchers discovered that liquid water could be hidden under the southern ice cap of the Red Planet. The data from the ESA Mars-Express orbiter suggested that we are talking about a 20-kilometer salt-water lake. The team decided that a sufficient amount of salt lowers the melting point of the ice, which allowed the lake to form.

In the new work they took this study as a basis, but scientists offer a different conclusion. They believe that the water under the ice cap remained liquid, not because of the salts, but of volcanic activity in the depths of Mars.

With the help of a number of physical models, researchers tried to study the level of heat that needs to be generated to create the proposed lake. Among the options considered the presence of a magma chamber at a depth of no more than 10 km. The new model eliminates the possibility that the salt itself is able to create the necessary conditions for the formation of liquid water. So, the most plausible explanation is the recent activity of magma.

Further answers will be obtained using the NASA InSight landing pad, which has a thermal probe that can determine the heating of the Martian crust. Inside Mars is not as hot as on Earth, but the exact temperature indicator remains unknown.

If there is liquid water, then you can count on life? In principle, yes, since a subsurface lake will become an acceptable medium (protects against radiation) for the formation and development of various forms of life.

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