I ghiacciai di Marte

To imagine Mars how our current Antarctica can make many turn up their noses. How is it possible that a planet currently dominated by thick red dust was the opposite many years ago? In the past, scientists were convinced that i Martian glaciers had remained frozen in time, now we need to leave room for a very different theory.

She made it bearer Anna Grau Galofre who works at the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences at the Nantes Université in France. His study has just been officially published and promises to revolutionize forever the certainties on the red planet, always at the center of mysteries and doubts never cleared up.

In practice, these glaciers of Mars would not have remained “motionless”, indeed for Dr. Grau Galofre they would have been in constant movement. It is not necessary to imagine a sustained speed, on the contrary the movements would have occurred very slowly and therefore comparisons can be made with the Earth. In our area, the movements of the ice have given life to dream landscapes such as those of North America and Northern Europe. Mars, on the other hand, would not have “experienced” large-scale glacial erosion, even in those areas where there is evidence of a widespread glaciation. The morphology would have changed at most with shallow and undulating crests and channels. How did such a scientific conclusion come about?

Ice caps on Mars

The French professor and her team focused on some ad hoc models of ice caps, all the same. The same were then observed while being subjected to conditions of the Earth and those of Mars. Scientists then realized that our planet’s gravity causes thaw water to accumulate underneath a glacier, rather than immediate drainage. The liquid that forms makes it possible for the glaciers to move faster, a bit as if we were dealing with theaquaplaning when you are in the car.

Excessive slowness on Mars

Something different happens on Mars. The gravity of the red planet is undoubtedly lower than the Earth and the drainage of the accumulated water is faster. The liquid in question that ends up under the ice is not in excessive quantities and it is for this reason that Martian glaciers move so slowly. According to the experts, a “stress” able to compensate would have been enough for a higher speed the weakest gravity. The difference could also have been the creep deformation, the phenomenon that occurs when the temperature and pressure of the ice deform the latter.

This deformation is not very widespread on Earth, unlike on Mars, where there would have been a decisive influence on the part of this extra speed. Something similar to what occurs on the red planet is found in the Arctic, where the ground that lies beneath some glaciers does not show any kind of “abrasion”. It is possible, again according to Grau Galofre, that glaciers were in the past a sort of refuge for primordial Martian life, a fascinating reconstruction that needs further investigation.

#Mars #knew #glaciers #wrong

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