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#51 2003-08-17 01:40:12

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid7]Thanks for your comments from a few days back, Free Spirit! I'm not keeping up with all the posts at present because I'm currently vacationing on the Gold Coast. I only get to an internet cafe every now and then.
    What your teacher told you is absolutely correct. All scientists are in fact bias-proof. Cindy and I have got it all wrong! No scientists in history have ever allowed personal beliefs or hubris to stand between them and pure objectivity and there's no reason whatsoever to think it could happen today!
    I withdraw all my heretical insinuations and beg forgiveness of your sixth grade teacher!!
                                        :;):[/color:post_uid7]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#52 2003-08-17 07:23:45

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]   I withdraw all my heretical insinuations and beg forgiveness of your sixth grade teacher!!
                                        :;):[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]Good, you escape the burning at the stake !
We won't have to "Question you" further. 
Have a good vacation.[/color:post_uid0]

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#53 2003-08-17 19:28:45

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid2]PHEW!!!!
    My thanks to Cardinal Dickbill of the Papal Inquisition!    :laugh:[/color:post_uid2]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#54 2003-08-20 21:47:18

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I believe the real question is not simply the effect -- what happened to the water -- but the cause -- what happened to the [i:post_uid0]atmosphere?[/i:post_uid0]  If we are ever to terraform Mars, give it oceans and air, then we must know why it is not terraformed naturally alreday.  Otherwise, fate may repeat itself.

Too much evidence supports an ancient Mars that had a thick, pseudo-terrestrial atmosphere that allowed liquid water to flow, not just for thousands, or for millions, but possibly billions of years.  Old theories that Mars just [i:post_uid0]lost[/i:post_uid0] its atmosphere suddenly, because Mars is somehow too low in mass, just doesn't hold water, and all too literally.  Other ideas that the carbon dioxide atmosphere of the planet gradually assimilated into the rock would make sense -- but there isn't an enormous quantity of limestone on Mars that was created by millions of years of photosynthesis to de-carbonize the atmosphere, as happened with early Earth, but a great deal of oxydized iron.  I don't think this is impossible in part, but as the sole, sudden reason for the collapse of the entire Martian ecosystem simply doesn't seem to work to me.

If the slow process of the atmosphere being absorbed by the regolith were catalyzed, it might be enough.

One of the distinct differences between Mars and Earth at present is that Earth retains a very public geologic activity, with volcanos and great underwater rifts and earthquakes all the time.  Mars has grown more demure in his old age, it seems, and the volcanos are virtually dormant, though contemporary belief holds that they were active not too long ago.
Indeed, on ancient Earth, the volcanos are what gave rise to the atmopshere itself, belching out carbon dioxide and water vapor and other chemicals, that plantlife would eventually make into our habitable biosphere.

Say the Martian volcanos stopped several million years ago.  Then say that the majority of the atmosphere was blown off by a catastrophic celestial impact, perhaps in the southern hemisphere in the vicinity of the Plains of Argyre.  With a planetoid large enough, the entire biosphere could have been ravaged, all flora burned to the ground by what oxygen might have existed, and a great deal of the air vaporized and cast into space.
And most tragically, without vulcanic activity, Mars has yet to be able to replenish its atmosphere.  Most of the water froze and evaporated simultaneously in the low-pressure, low-temperature environment, sinking into the regolith and oxydizing the iron on its way, the rest collecting at the poles.  All surface life died, submartian microbes thriving near geothermal underground springs only, and the dead Red Planet was born.


Does anyone have another explanation for the potentially sudden loss of atmosphere that would have caused the solidification and loss of all the water?[/color:post_uid0]


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#55 2003-08-21 06:01:28

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#810541:post_uid6]

I believe the real question is not simply the effect -- what happened to the water -- but the cause -- what happened to the [i:post_uid6]atmosphere?[/i:post_uid6]  If we are ever to terraform Mars, give it oceans and air, then we must know why it is not terraformed naturally alreday.  Otherwise, fate may repeat itself.[/quote:post_uid6]
*Hi Spider-Man!  Nice to have you join us.  I was wondering the same earlier in the week, when reading the latest posts in this thread.  I was going to ask about Mars' atmosphere as well, but got side tracked and didn't get around to posting.

I wish I could dish out a few theories myself, but alas...

However, I'm looking forward to where this topic might now go! 

--Cindy[/color:post_uid6]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#56 2003-08-21 07:07:33

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid4]Hi Spider-Man!
    It's probably going to be quite a few years yet before most of your questions can be answered. As has been said many times here at New Mars, the complexity and ambiguity of the scene Mars presents us with seems just too contradictory for words.

    You mention the "loss of all the water". But there is still probably enough water on Mars, in the form of ice admittedly, to fill the northern basin with an ocean of very respectable proportions. I say 'probably' because we won't be sure of the depth of crustal ice until the Mars Express orbiter does its thing.
    Although it appears unequivocal that Mars has lost a great deal of water over the eons, its quite possible that it started out with proportionately more of it than Earth. If so, it may still have more than enough to keep terraformers happy!

    Your scenario describing the incorporation of most of the hypothesised dense CO2 atmosphere into carbonate rocks is a personal nightmare of mine (since I'm a dyed-in-the-wool terraformer! ). Such a scenario would make restoring a dense atmosphere next-door to impossible and the lack of any evidence for large deposits of carbonates on Mars, at least up to now, is a source of comfort to me! Perhaps much of the previous Martian air is currently adsorbed onto the grains of the regolith, as Dr Zubrin suggests, and thus will be relatively accessible (fingers crossed! ).
    On the other hand, where did all the oxygen come from to oxidise all that iron in the regolith? Oxygen is, of course, a highly reactive gas and isn't found in free molecular form in planetary atmospheres for extended periods of time unless something is consistently replenishing it. Here on Earth, that 'something' is photosynthesising life forms. In fact, its interesting to look at the terrestrial geological record with regard to iron. Prior to about 2.2 billion years ago, oceanic sedimentary layers included bands of dark grey iron. After that era, the iron laid down in sedimentary form was red. ... It was oxidised! The reason for this is that photosynthetic organisms had had time to produce enough oxygen to create a significant excess of it in the environment. From then on, the average iron atom couldn't show itself in public without an affectionate oxygen atom latching onto it!
    It seems to me that Mars, at some stage in its history, must have maintained a high percentage of oxygen in its atmosphere, against the laws of chemical equilibrium. And probably in the presence of liquid water too. Because this would explain how so much iron managed to rust and give Mars its characteristic ruddy tinge. (I concede that there may be other mechanisms to explain all that iron oxide, but still .. )

    All this suggests to me that Mars was climatically mild and host to photosynthetic organisms for long periods during its history. Yet the cratering and erosional evidence seems to suggest this is unlikely if not impossible!

    Simultaneously then, it appears, we have evidence for a dense life-supporting atmosphere and oceans of liquid water supporting photosynthesising lifeforms, together with contradictory evidence which suggests there has been very little happening on Mars for 3 to 4 billion years! A total paradox.

    Then again, we may have our facts all wrong. If our crater counting is somehow misleading us, then perhaps our judgment of what happened where and why is seriously flawed.
    I often think this must be the case. There's something  missing somewhere and we'll just have to wait until new information comes back to us from our probes before we can know the truth. We need a kind of 'Martian Rosetta Stone' which will open our eyes to what really happened to make Mars the way it is.

    For those of us impatient for answers, there's always the radical hypothesis put forward by Richard Hoagland called the "Mars Tidal Model".
    Click Here for the full story. Then click on the 'HTML Version'.
    This tidal model has, as its main tenet, the notion that Mars was once a captured satellite of a larger rocky planet which was destroyed in an enormous collision with a third large body. I don't know enough about the dynamics of very large planetary collisions to be sure of whether such an event could give rise to the present situation, with Mars now peacefully orbiting the Sun again and its former 'parent planet' totally destroyed. (Common sense tells me its unlikely but then what does anyone really know about such catastrophes?)
    It is intriguing though, that many of the enigmas surrounding Mars and its history seem to be neatly explained by this audacious hypothesis!
    Part of me says: "Naahhhh, can't be!", while part of me feels there may be more than a grain of truth in it.

    Hope I live long enough to find out!!    cool

[Incidentally, a warm welcome to you, Spider-Man. We're always happy to see new faces here and get new ideas and opinions. Hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I do!]
                                          smile[/color:post_uid4]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#57 2003-08-21 07:49:17

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Hi, Cindy!  Heya, Shaun!   smile  Thank you for such a warm welcome; it's my pleasure and honor to be here.  I should have come a long time ago.  I've been reading through many of the threads, and I it's a delight to discuss these topics with such a variety of intelligent and thoughtful people.

That is indeed an enigma, that there are craters enough to suggest billions of years of dead planethood, whilst the other evidence suggests a great deal of photosynthesizing.  And that's very intriguing about the iron turning red when oxygen became available on Earth; I can't wait until manned missions reveal the strata of the Red Planet.

But perhaps our crater counting is a little biased towards a terrestrial perspective (though I'm not familiar with the process); Mars is in a fairly different location in the Solar system than the Earth.  Mars is very, very close to the asteroid belt in comparison with our planet, and though it is less massive, it possibly could have attracted more attention than we, making it more pockmarked than we'd expect.  (Such repeated, reasonably large impacts might have been somewhat more frequent in Martian history, making life quite a struggle there).  In fact, it might have attracted a really big, really destructive body.

If it was a celestial impact which burned off the atmosphere, then the fallout of millions of asteroids might also explain the greater quantity of craters; it would take advanced, human-directed geology to determine the age of such formations (I believe it took over a year to figure out how long ago the Chicxulub crater in the Yucutan was formed).  We need to go to Mars soon to find out.[/color:post_uid0]


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#58 2003-08-21 08:39:12

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I love your sig, Spider-Man...great logo...

In regards to your statements about Mars suddenly losing most of its atmosphere in a cataclysmic impact, I suppose that could be possible, although big impacts have a tendency to release a lot of volitiles onto the surface, which would increase the atmosphere rather than strip it away.

Personally, I side with the idea of the lack of a planetary magnetic field on Mars, which allowed the solar wind to strip away the atmosphere over time, leaving what little atmosphere we see today.  But the end result is still the same: what was once likely a wet and warm(er) world became what it is today, although there are probably oceans of water ice embedded in the regolith across vast areas of the planet.

But you're undeniably right about one thing:  Yes, we do need to go to Mars soon to find out...

B[/color:post_uid0]

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#59 2003-08-21 15:00:15

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=12387

PRESS RELEASE
Date Released: Thursday, August 21, 2003
Arizona State University

[b:post_uid0]New findings could dash hopes for past oceans on Mars [/b:post_uid0]

After a decades-long scientific quest, scientists analyzing data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft have at last found critical evidence the instrument was built to search for - the presence of water-related carbonate minerals on the surface of Mars.

However, the discovery also potentially contradicts what scientists had hoped to prove: the past existence of large bodies of liquid water on Mars, such as oceans and seas.

In a report to be published in the August 22 issue of the journal Science, Arizona State University planetary geologists Joshua Bandfield, Timothy Glotch and Philip Christensen present an exhaustive analysis of TES observations made at scales as small as 3 km (2 miles) of dust-covered areas of Mars. While TES has found no detectable carbonate signature in mile-scale surface deposits at any point during its six-year Mars mapping mission, the instrument has detected the mineral's "ubiquitous" presence in martian dust in quantities between two and five percent.

[/quote:post_uid0][/color:post_uid0]

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#60 2003-08-21 23:14:00

sethmckiness
Member
From: Iowa
Registered: 2002-09-20
Posts: 230

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]My view on the Occums(sp) Razor of Mars is as follows. 

1.) Never an Earthlike Atmosphere with oceans.

2.) Occasional Outbursts of water from collosions with meteors and comets.

3.) Very little recent Geologic Activity other then wind baser erosion, hence the massive dust storms and dune fields.

4.) no major Plate Tectonics in the Last Billion years

5.) Glaciation in the last 100 millions years.

The most important thing to me is the lack of rain.  Water is the quickest form of erosion in more then just the Canyon effect.  The stongest most common form of erosion is frost Wedging.   But to get to the point of this Forum, Most of the Water IMHO is mixed between Caps, regolith and in the bedrock. 

Also, without evidence to the contrary a volcano is considered extinct after a period of ten's of thousands of years.   This is something we can not test, without a seismograph network, or a camera with enough resolution to show, with out a doubt, steam plumes.  So without that information, I would say anything on the current geological activity of Mars is an assumption or a Scientific Wild Ass Guess(SWAG!!  tongue  )  At best. I am no expert, but the one part of geology I did excel in was my Structure I and Structure II classes in College.  So.. I just wanted to see if anyone else agrees with me, other then the voices in my head!

cool[/color:post_uid0]


We are only limited by our Will and our Imagination.

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#61 2003-08-21 23:42:35

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Thanks, Byron!  It's not too much, but I think it works well enough; and the Spider-Man quote "With great power comes great responsibility" is something I mean to target [i:post_uid0]directly[/i:post_uid0] at NASA; they have the power, and are therefore responsible not just for getting us to Mars, but for the advancement of all humanity itself.
And incidentally, Lord Byron is one of my favorite poets; great name you have there.

I agree; if the impact crater penetrated under the Martian crust, it would have released more atmosphere than it vaporized, I reckon.

And I don't buy that press release worth a darn, though thank you for finding it, clark.  The iron oxide hasn't been adequately explained.  More than that, meteor fallout after the Martian cataclysm without an atmosphere or weather would make the surface (as with limestone formed by plantlife) very easily concealed by regolith the whole world over.

Hehe, I like that, Seth; a SWAGerer.[/color:post_uid0]


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#62 2003-08-22 17:56:53

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid7]How nice to see Byron back again!
    Welcome!!
                                          smile[/color:post_uid7]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#63 2003-08-23 08:49:06

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Krasnopolski and Feldman published  a paper in science about where the water went :

here is the abstract:

Science. 2001 Nov 30;294(5548):1914-7.
Detection of molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere of Mars.
Krasnopolsky VA, Feldman PD.
Department of Physics, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA. vkrasn@altavista.com

Four hydrogen (H2) lines have been detected in a spectrum of Mars observed with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. Three of those lines are excited by the solar Lyman beta photons. The line intensities correspond to a column H2 abundance of 1.17 (+/-0.13) x 10(13) per square centimeter above 140 kilometers on Mars. A photochemical model for the upper atmosphere that simulates the observed H2 abundance results in an H2 mixing ratio of 15 +/- 5 parts per million in the lower atmosphere. The H2 and HD mixing ratios agree with photochemical fractionation of D (deuterium) between H2O and H2. [b:post_uid0] Analysis of D fractionation among a few reservoirs of ice, water vapor, and molecular hydrogen on Mars implies that a global ocean more than 30 meters deep was lost since the end of hydrodynamic escape. Only 4% of the initially accreted water remained on the planet at the end of hydrodynamic escape, and initially Mars could have had even more water (as a proportion of mass) than Earth.[/b:post_uid0]

The water was lost in space, along with part of the atmosphere...but we now know that a lot of ice remains underground.[/color:post_uid0]

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#64 2003-08-25 02:27:49

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid4]Hi Dickbill! Thanks for the link to the "Detection of molecular hydrogen in the atmosphere of Mars" paper.
    At the risk of seeming critical, which is not at all my intention, I think this article explains it all a little better - plus it's got some pretty pictures of Mars with lots of water!   cool

    The conclusion reached by the authors is that Mars could once have had the equivalent of a global layer of water some 1.25 kms deep. However, the consensus of opinion, derived from the present-day D/H ratio of about 5.5 for Martian hydrogen, is that 60 - 90% of this water has been lost through hydrodynamic escape and 'sputtering' by the solar wind.
    This is not good news for enthusiastic terraformers, like me!

    What I would like to know, though, is how much this viewpoint is altered by recent discoveries and how much it might alter with new discoveries in the future.
    This article (paper) is from late 2001, before the discovery of all that ice in the top 1 metre of regolith; perhaps enough to flood the northern basin on Mars with kilometres of water if it were melted. Have the authors modified their deductions based on these new facts, or are they (like us) waiting for Mars Express to provide more information?  ???

    I also wonder how much the process of water loss might have been affected if the Martian oceans were periodically frozen, thus limiting the availability of water vapour at the top of the atmosphere where losses occur?

    And one last question: What of the 'snowball comet theory'? What if it's true that Mars (and Earth) are still being pelted with fluffy water-ice mini-comets every day?! This would mean a continual replenishment of water over geological time. How does this affect estimates for early Martian oceans and for how much water is left?
    In other words, how do these possibilities fit in with that pesky D/H ratio, which causes me such nightmares?!!
                                     yikes   big_smile[/color:post_uid4]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#65 2003-08-25 14:48:50

Free Spirit
Member
Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 167

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

And one last question: What of the 'snowball comet theory'? What if it's true that Mars (and Earth) are still being pelted with fluffy water-ice mini-comets every day?! This would mean a continual replenishment of water over geological time. How does this affect estimates for early Martian oceans and for how much water is left?
[/quote:post_uid0]

Wouldn't the water in comets that impact Mars mostly evaporate upon impact and when re-entering the atmosphere?  I guess it's possible that some of the comets are big enough to keep thier cores frozen?   You might be interested in reading this depressing article if you haven't already:  New Findings Could Dash Hopes For Past Oceans On Mars    sad[/color:post_uid0]


My people don't call themselves Sioux or Dakota.  We call ourselves Ikce Wicasa, the natural humans, the free, wild, common people.  I am pleased to call myself that.  -Lame Deer

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#66 2003-08-26 01:39:54

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid4]Hi Free Spirit!
    Apparently the water in comets is added to a planet's inventory, regardless of how quickly or thoroughly it is vapourised by its arrival.
    If you're interested, I posted about the snowball comet theory in this topic, 'Water on Mars', under the heading 'Mars is hiding something amazing. One man's view.' I've just re-read it and, although most of it seems at least superficially accurate, I realise now that the estimates of water loss from Mars I used are outdated. Even the allowance of 1/3rd for losses, which at the time I thought conservative, is optimistic by a factor of at least 2!! That's if you accept the relevance of the D/H enrichment factor of 5.5, which means a loss of 60-90% as I noted above.

    But if the snowball comet theory proves to be correct, and if my guesstimate of a total cumulative water inventory sufficient to submerge the lowland regions of Mars to a depth of 6 kilometres is anywhere near the truth, then we still have some water to play with!
    The D/H-enrichment-ratio conclusions themselves are based on the assumption that the present ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in terrestrial and cometary water is also what Mars started out with. I seem to remember this was disputed recently, in favour of a lesser water loss figure (I'll try to track that article down if I get a chance). But, for the sake of argument, let's assume the 60-90% loss figure is correct.
    Taking an average of the 60 to 90% range, i.e. 75%, then Mars could still have 1/4 of all the water it outgassed or accumulated. This is still enough to give us an Oceanus Borealis with an average depth of 1500 metres.

    It will be absolutely fascinating to see the data sent back by the Mars Express ground-penetrating radar next year. We know there's a lot of ice in the regolith; much more, it seems, than most scientists can explain, given the D/H figure. But we don't know how deep it goes and hence what volume we're dealing with.
    My gut feeling is that there will be enough water to throw the D/H ratio conclusion into doubt and to revive interest in the snowball comet theory!
    But then again, who knows?!!       smile

    As for the carbonate found in the Martian dust, it does concern me! If Mars was ever as watery as I think it was, its CO2 atmosphere must have been gradually turned into carbonate rocks. On Earth, this process was instrumental in ridding us of a massive CO2 atmosphere, probably nearly as dense as that of Venus. But we were left with a still substantial nitrogen atmosphere, enhanced with about 200 millibars of oxygen (on average).
    On Mars, we can't seem to find much nitrogen. So the Martian atmosphere depended on CO2 for virtually all its bulk, a sad situation if it was left in contact with liquid water for long enough!
    We may be in trouble with the CO2 inventory!   sad

    I've got my fingers crossed that new data will come to light and give us back the prospect of using CO2 to terraform Mars. Right now, I'm not sure what to think.
    Roll on next year!
                                         smile[/color:post_uid4]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#67 2003-08-27 07:01:36

rgcarnes
Member
From: In the country near Rolla Miss
Registered: 2002-02-04
Posts: 111

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Watch out for the carbonates story!  If you read it more carefully, at least the versions I've seen, there is a statement that says (perhaps paraphrasing some) "down to a scale of 3 to 5 kilometers". 

I live in Missouri, where one of the asteroid impact movies was going to place a sizable percentage of the population of the United States for protection through the impact event in underground limestone mine cavities near Kansas City.  There is a lot of limestone, both calcium carbonate and calcium magnesium carbonate, here. 

I truely wonder if the instruments would detect carbonates here, from the ~400 kilometer altitude and near the nadir, if the lateral resolution for detection is as poor as 3 kilometers.  Much of the limestone is just below a surface covering of dirt (regolith?) and is only exposed along rock cuts through hills along highways and natural erosion channels along sizable rivers, both of which produce approximately vertical walls revealing only one dimension which might rarely be over 3 kilometers.  The other locations yielding only one dimension are concrete highways and road surfaces covered with crushed limestone, both of which I don't expect to find on Mars.[/color:post_uid0]


Rex G. Carnes

If the Meek Inherit the Earth, Where Do All the Bold Go?

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#68 2003-08-30 12:23:08

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

Watch out for the carbonates story!  If you read it more carefully, at least the versions I've seen, there is a statement that says (perhaps paraphrasing some) "down to a scale of 3 to 5 kilometers". 

I live in Missouri, where one of the asteroid impact movies was going to place a sizable percentage of the population of the United States for protection through the impact event in underground limestone mine cavities near Kansas City.  There is a lot of limestone, both calcium carbonate and calcium magnesium carbonate, here. 

I truely wonder if the instruments would detect carbonates here, from the ~400 kilometer altitude and near the nadir, if the lateral resolution for detection is as poor as 3 kilometers.  Much of the limestone is just below a surface covering of dirt (regolith?) and is only exposed along rock cuts through hills along highways and natural erosion channels along sizable rivers, both of which produce approximately vertical walls revealing only one dimension which might rarely be over 3 kilometers.  The other locations yielding only one dimension are concrete highways and road surfaces covered with crushed limestone, both of which I don't expect to find on Mars.[/quote:post_uid0]

That's an extremely good point, something we all should keep in mind.  I think the skeptics are a bit foolish, thinking that so much information can be gathered from orbit when it really can't be; we're not dealing with sensors from Star Trek, but simple, light-weight, portable instruments.  We need the best and most complex and exacting instruments we can provide: people, on the surface, and then we can find everything that lies below the aeons of dust that has formed since the atmosphere grew thin and the water dried up.[/color:post_uid0]


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#69 2003-09-01 09:25:21

rgcarnes
Member
From: In the country near Rolla Miss
Registered: 2002-02-04
Posts: 111

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Thanks for the back-up Spider Man.

Robotic probes are useful, but their main shortcomings can be brought out by considering that they typically are built specifically to measure and/or detect very limited phenomena, and these phenomena must be identified ahead of time so that instrumentation can be designed with the appropriate resolution and sensitivity while staying within budgets of mass, size, and power requirement.

The result is that we humans 'see' only what we plan far ahead to 'look' for with remote sensing.  We may not detect the unexpected simply because we don't expect it!

Imaging sensors come the closest to placing a virtual human on places like Mars, but they must be made with enough resolution and information processing and transmission capabilities to couple well to the human intellect.  Once some degree of this is accomplished, then we can expand the capabilities of the virtual human sensor the same ways we do on earth.  Magnify telescopically or microscopically with attendant sacrifices in field of view, expand the spectral width sensed to take in a larger portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, but add the capability to select narrow portions of the spectrum to compare to other portions.

My pet example of this last would be the ability to detect the side absorption band structure of chlorophyll spatially to enable us to determine if some of the dark regions within the apparently lowest portions of some of Mars' craters (which show up on the ir-red filtered cameras but not on the blue filtered camera) might contain the life indicating pigments which must also be indicators of usable moisture.

By the way, the apparent obsession with 'past' Mars water and what happened to it seems to me to obscure (cloud?) the subject of what is there right now, or will be there when man first sets foot on the planet.  My opinion is that such obsession is more aimed at answering philisophical questions than operational ones.[/color:post_uid0]


Rex G. Carnes

If the Meek Inherit the Earth, Where Do All the Bold Go?

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#70 2003-09-01 11:38:18

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#810541:post_uid3]Martian Carbonate Supply Spread Too Thin

*"NASA's Mars Global Surveyor finds evidence of water-derived minerals everywhere on Mars — but not enough to prove there were once lakes or oceans on the planet..."

--Cindy[/color:post_uid3]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#71 2003-09-03 07:11:25

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid3]Martian Carbonate Supply Spread Too Thin

*"NASA's Mars Global Surveyor finds evidence of water-derived minerals everywhere on Mars — but not enough to prove there were once lakes or oceans on the planet..."

--Cindy[/color:post_uid3][/quote:post_uid3]
[color=#810541:post_uid3]*Hmmmm.  I'm surprised this post didn't garner any responses whatsoever.  Not that responses -have- to be paid to it, of course.   ???

Is this news we don't want to read about, or consider?  The article was short.  Maybe it's potentially bad news, but we can we afford to ignore it?  The Mars of the past is what it has been.

Just wondering. 

--Cindy[/color:post_uid3]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#72 2003-09-03 08:16:52

rgcarnes
Member
From: In the country near Rolla Miss
Registered: 2002-02-04
Posts: 111

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Thanks,

This article is one of those derived from the press releases I was referring to two or three posts back and brought up earlier in this topic.[/color:post_uid0]


Rex G. Carnes

If the Meek Inherit the Earth, Where Do All the Bold Go?

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#73 2003-09-03 08:30:48

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid2]Thanks,

This article is one of those derived from the press releases I was referring to two or three posts back and brought up earlier in this topic.[/color:post_uid2][/quote:post_uid2]
[color=#810541:post_uid2]*My face just turned a nice, deep shade of CRIMSON.  sad 

I did see your article previously; I guess it skipped my mind.  I should have referred back through the previous posts.

Sorry...(egad)...

--Cindy[/color:post_uid2]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#74 2003-09-05 01:53:34

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Hi Rex!
    Your ideas about liquid water on the surface of Mars are well known and I believe many here also know of my support for Dr. Gilbert Levin's claims regarding surface water.
    There's been a long-standing mainstream paradigm which says that liquid water cannot exist out in the open on Mars because of the temperature, pressure, and rate of evaporation etc. Dr. Levin's research results to the contrary are conveniently ignored by the scientific establishment because they're just too awkward to contemplate; too many books would have to be altered and too many explanations made to the public and the media as to how people like NASA could have turned a blind eye to the evidence. And then there are those interesting Viking soil-test results which couldn't have been biological in origin because there's no liquid water, right?!

    Well, as I've mentioned, I think the paradigm is gradually eroding and cracks in the edifice are beginning to spread. Scientists at the University of Arkansas have published some research which is reported here under the heading:"Surface Water Possible Under Mars-Like Conditions".
    While the conditions on Mars are borderline for liquid water, some of us have been hammering away at the fact that some places, at some times of the day or year, are suitable for water to pool on the surface; especially briny water. One of the provisos was always that we needed the winds to be light because of the potentially show-stopping evaporation problem.
    Well, now it looks like even the evaporation rate is not necessarily a major difficulty in the way of liquid water persisting on Mars.

    Not only the work of Dr. Levin but also your interesting hypotheses, Rex, are now on a firmer footing, thanks to the trusty researchers in Arkansas.
    I think we can look forward to some interesting re-evaluations in the near future regarding Martian surface conditions and their suitability to sustain microbial populations.[/color:post_uid14]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#75 2003-09-06 07:14:17

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: H20, where'd it go? - What happened to Marsian water?

[color=#810541:post_uid1]Downpours on Ancient Mars?

--Cindy[/color:post_uid1]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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