Study reveals what happened with the water in Mars

The research from the Simon Fraser University did not evaporate

Study reveals what happened with the water in Mars

Leer en Español: Estudio revela qué pasó con el agua en Marte

Scientist has always believed that Mars had water at one point, but not anymore. This is why some international space organizations, such as NASA, have sent spaceships and robots to investigate and determine where the water went.

The first hypothesis was that the sun evaporated the water and, because the planet doesn't have a atmosphere, the particles of Hydrogen and Oxygen disappeared. However, a recent study from the Simon Fraser University, Oxford University, and some other institutions, revealed a new hypothesis that may present a better explanation.

According to the research, the water was absorbed by the Martian rock. Brendan Dyck, co-led researcher, revealed that its crust absorbed the surface water on Mars over time, leaving the planet essentially dry.

Dyck explained that this is another example of the similarities between Mars and Earth; this can strength the theory that there was once life on the red planet once. “The public’s infatuation with finding life on Mars stems from the many characteristics both Earth and Mars share", said the researcher. "Early on, both planets had similar potential to sustain life, but as time evolved, Mars lost its surface water along with its potential to sustain complex multicellular life", assured Dyck.

The study, published in Nature, one of the most relevant scientific magazine, also "calculated the volume of water that could be held in the minerals that make up Mars' crust". After modeling the absorption of the early Earth's crust and Mars' crust, the researchers determined that Martian rocks can hold more than twice the amount of water as Earth; this can explain the emptiness of the red planet.

The expert assured that people "can see that there (in Mars) was, at one point, a large, almost, global Ocean. What we found is that the Martian crust can hold twice as much water in its mineral structures compared to Earth's crust".

300 meters of surface of water in Mars could have been absorbed into its crust and is now locked-up in microscopic mineral structures

According to Brendan Dyck, "The idea of solar evaporation of the Ocean is still possible, but what we are suggesting here is that prior to that becoming a dominant factor, a lot of that water could have been just soaked up into the mineral structures of the crust".

The results showed that "approximately 300 meters of surface of water in Mars could have been absorbed into its crust and is now locked-up in microscopic mineral structures". This can also reveal that the planet still has favorable conditions for developing life.

However, the expert explained that for the evolution of life, there must be a presence of water for, at least, billions of years "before the evolution of complex multicellular life could take place".


Latin American Post |  Santiago Gómez

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto


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