New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2015-09-04 16:31:14

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Title:
LAKES ON MARS LIKE PLANETS, NATURAL, ARTIFICIAL
I intend to touch on the aspects of Teraforming, Para-Terraforming, Life Support (For Humans), Life and such related matters.  How a Mars similar world around another star might behave.
Historically this section has been the one least troubled by the "Off Topic" teknique of stifling a conversation (Which can be valid).

This conversation got stranded in the following location, but I would like to continue it.
I have added quotes for myself, but don't think it is valid to speak for the intendions of others.
To the degree possible, I will try to associate any future content that I may add to these three quotes, but if necessary will go outside of them, to for instance illustrate on-going improvements.
History:  I attempted to show some ideas similar to these to the Red Colony gang.  And I do mean gang.  For the most part I recieved harassment, and was so happy to see that they had new ideas about putting water in domes.  An idea I had promoted myself previously.
Here in this site I have introduced these things again in a better form.  This time I think the form approaches practacality for certain possible futures of a Mars with humans on it.
I must say that there has been at least one member here who has participated and had come up with some improvements to add, those improvements being appropriate for certain intentions.  A variation that stands by itself.

PER: Index » Human missions » Space Station V

Quote 1
Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 876
Re: Space Station V
What you would hope for Tom would be something like this:
http://phys.org/news/2015-09-oxygen-oas … earth.html
They occur in Antarctica.
I am not going to say that there are none on Mars, but I don't think they could exist naturally in the present climate. Primarily, because of a lack of melted make up water. You have suggested ground water, but we don't have strong reason to suppose that exists from what we think the conditions are on Mars.
In Antarctica, for a few weeks in the summer, warmer temperatures, and constant sunlight can melt small rivers/streams. This flow ends up on top of existing lake ice (Often), and the weight of the water relative to the ice causes the ice to crack, and the water flows through the cracks into the water reservoir below the ice. This process must add enough water to replace water evaporated from the ice surface around the year.
The other factor that allows these lakes to exist is the solar pond effect. Salt accumulates in these lakes. However, the layer on top is colder, but less salty. This could be in part because fresh water gets added to it each summer, but also could be a factor of the ice thickening over the long winter, and expelling brine (To sink to the bottom of the lake), in the summer, I would presume that solar heat causes the bottom layer of ice to tend to melt, releasing a less salty water.
The upper less salty layer also supports photosynthesis, which produces oxygen.
The lower anoxic layers are saltier, and warmer, and can for instance be around or above room temperature. This is from solar heat.
I think that a Mars like world might just be able to support a similar lake, without the existence of summer running water.
In that method, a glacier would dump ice directly into the lake, to encounter the salty anoxic warm layer, and that method would add water to replace evaporated water. Just possibly this has occurred on Mars at the Equator, if the planets axis were extreme.
Artificial lakes:
If you are going to create a lake of this kind, it presumes that you will cause water to be added to it as needed. This is a problem because the evaporation rate would be very high.
A mechanical method is needed to protect the otherwise exposed ice surface. Several options are possible.
However I am going to suggest that in the end the lake be covered with "Blocks" of encapsulated ice, over the normal ice layer.
So, however you might start to have a lake, if you wanted to expand it, you would add water to its body, and the water would cause the ice to lift up. Then the edges of the lake would have exposed ice. You would bring a transparent plastic bag out to a bare patch, and place it over the bare patch. Then you would quickly fill it with fresh clear water, through a port. You would wait for the water added to freeze, and then seal the port. A bubble of air would remain in the plastic bag, but the bottom of the bag would be covered on the bottom with a layer of rather transparent ice as thick as desired. You would also put a epidermis layer over this whole assembly. That layer would be to protect from U.V. light, and like your outer skin would be replaced as it deteriorated from "Weathering". This will also tend to shed the heat of the U.V. radiating it away into the atmosphere, keeping the ice blocks below cooler.
The bag(s) would only have to hold a peak pressure of a few mb above local ambient, so during the Martian day, due to that pressure retention, and thermal inertia of the block of ice, I believe that stability would be maintained. In fact, I think that block of ice could be so cold from the nighttime temperatures, that very little pressurization would occur at all in the bag, from vaporization of water.
It would be important to build the encapsulated blocks of ice so that they do not absorb very much light, and so do not heat up from solar energy themselves.
Of course I am talking about a tile surface over the normal surface ice of the lake, a horizontal assembly of multiple blocks. The tiled surface would impose pressure over the lower "Normal" ice layer, and so greatly reduce evaporation from the lake. If necessary, the "Cracks" between the tiles could be caulked with something I suppose, but it may not be necessary. The cold of the ice in the bags would also transfer to the underlayment ice, and so discourage vaporization.
So, if you have this impoundment of water, a reservoir that is exposed to visible light, this might promote the habitation of Mars, even if the only life in the lake were microbes. However, using solar concentrators under the ice, I think it may be possible to grow more advanced plants. Easiest would be fully submerged pond weeds (Domestication will be a problem). By solar concentrators, I indicate that the light getting through the ice may be attenuated more than what is needed for the plants, so you would build a solar concentrator which would be in the water, under the ice, and which would shine concentrated light on your subject plant.
Such devices could be attached to cords, to the warm bottom below. Humans would be in a room temperature environment, and might pull those down temporarily to the bottom to plant and harvest them. Obviously they would want to harness Oxygen in the colder upper layer.
So, then the source of water. Glaciers perhaps, but how about the polar ice caps themselves? In fact it might be reasonable to have very large impoundments from such a large reservoir of water.
Another thing about considering living on the bottom of a lake/sea/ocean on Mars. If your building leaks, it leaks water in, and air bubbles out.
There should often be time to remedy the situation, or evacuate to another building, swimming in warm bottom water with just breathing assistance.
On the surface, at the air pressures currently existing, an equal sized leak would instead quickly lead to death producing conditions, and the chances of remedy or evacuation would be rather small.
Solar energy? Well, some studies indicate that even now there should be significant exposed ice, where sunlight melts small pockets of melt water (Contained by the strength of the surround ice, not a ice/water column). So, it is not that wild an idea.
However, I am going to bet that in about 100 years or less there will be fusion power, and indeed plenty of power to power a Martian colony, and it's waste heat could be dumped into the polar ice caps, to indeed build Lakes, Seas, and perhaps even Oceans, with an Oxygen layer long before the atmosphere will ever have significant Oxygen.
Last edited by Void (2015-09-02 15:04:43)


Quote 2
Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 876
Re: Space Station V
As a supplement to the last post I made, I can point out that any terraforming scheme involving greenhouse gasses would likely first release the CO2 deposits in the polar ice caps. Particularly the one in the South polar cap. According to my reading, that would elevate the average pressure on Mars to 11 mb, and reportedly that would be enough to allow for snowfalls, and melt water, and temporary streams, so it is likely that during any such terraforming scheme, an approximation of Antarctic conditions of the dry valleys would be achieved rather early, and very likely natural forces would begin to build such lakes.
However further human interventions to promote their formation would make a lot of sense at that point I would think. Methods such as ice block coverings, and diversion of temporary streams of melt water into the lakes, before they evaporate.
Last edited by Void (2015-09-02 14:20:06)
Offline


Quote 3
Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 876
Re: Space Station V
When setting a short term objective, I would prefer to look at the long term potentials. In the case of the Norse Greenland colony, strangely, even though that group of Norse, would sail the north sea, they would focus on finding sheltered fjords where they could farm.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjord
They liked it that way, and that is how they may have lived in Norway prior to Iceland.
However, if I have the story right, they did not seem to be interested in fishing, or catching sea mammals.
I would defer to more traditional "Greenhouse" methods for sure, as a start of a settlement, particularly if that is something that can be well rehearsed and simulated prior to a mission.
But I will say that most of the thinking I notice about Mars seems to indicate people have a mind set that it is going to be like the South West of the North American continent. It looks like it to a large degree, but in reality it is much more like the dry valleys of Antarctica.
To also rehearse what methods would be well suited to Mars as it really is, is not wrong.
The reality is that Mars at it's best will likely be a poor relative of our higher latitude areas even after terraforming. That is not to say that humans could not have a prosperous existence there, but the price for that will be mostly technical adaptation and the manipulation of large amounts of liquid water.
The lessons of those lands, especially at the highest latitudes are that life prospers more in bodies of water than on the land at the same temperatures.
So indeed the mission(s) have to be focused on what is possible, but if they do not lead to a solution to harmonize with what Mars actually would be willing to give to the human race, they will be a waste of time, except for scientific discovery, I suppose.
Further, I am more optimistic than is typical here.
I see NASA is focused on asteroids, since the inhibitors forbade them from actually doing anything else.
Private concerns are approaching the ability to launch items such as the Bigelow expandable modules into space.
It looks like there could be new propulsion systems started, and improved in the next 5-10 years. For instance perhaps the Vasimr.
So, as a mission to Mars is likely still fairly far off, I do not feel restricted to the present available hardware, or it's directly similar devices alone.
And honestly I would have preferred that you comment on the posts I made, instead of trying to bypass them.
Last edited by Void (2015-09-02 23:06:10)

I am going to take a very special pleasure of bringing this up repeatedly. smile

Last edited by Void (2015-09-04 16:31:54)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#2 2015-09-07 08:11:12

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

This post, presumes that "Super Greenhouse Gasses" will not be permanently used on Mars in large amounts.

Granted, if that were done, you could melt all of Mars, but that will take time, and during the time it takes, there will be an era of Antarctic conditions on Mars, that it would need to be handled, for the purpose of inhabiting the cold Mars that will precede your "Super Greenhouse Gasses" later Mars. 

I don't think that Earth will ever pay to terraform Mars, so that dictates that people will first inhabit it as it is now, and then will terraform it to Antarctic conditions, and then may choose to keep warming it up.  While they are doing that, it will make sense to utilize ice covered reservoirs, since they will want to exist on an early terraformed Mars.

This model deals with a successful Mars model, not the stillborn Mars that we have.  It relates in our real Mars, to the fact that even with "Super Greenhouse Gasses", it will take centuries for heat to penetrate the ground to release the locked up gasses, therefore for some time Mars will not have a 500 mb - CO2 atmosphere, that will come considerably later, and so Mars will remain much colder than the greenhouse factor provided by 500 mb - CO2 for quite some time.

OK, so I have had people tell me that they think that with Terraforming Mars could have anywhere from 300 mb to 1000 mb pressure, virtually all CO2.

If Earth were moved to a Mars orbit, it would be colder, unless it's atmosphere was almost entirely CO2.  The 1000 mb estimate is at the optimistic end of the estimates.  I will instead use 500 mb of mostly CO2, since it is an average between 0 and 1000.  Conveniently as well, 500 mb of CO2 has about the same greenhouse effect as 1000 mb of N2/O2.  Maybe we could say that if Mars had 500 mb CO2 and Earth had 1000 mb of N2/O2, they would each have a greenhouse effect of "1".

In this model, the size of the two planets is ignored.  In reality, if each planet had a greenhouse effect of "1", and they both were at the current orbit of Mars, they would behave differently because since Mars is smaller, atmospheric winds would average the temperatures between it's equator and poles more than winds would do for Earth.  But for this example I will hope to satisfy that difference by trying to deal with the mid latitudes of both planets, which should be similar.

Another difference is the amount of water, but I think that by dealing with the mid latitudes, and particularly staying away from Earth's large oceans, interior continual conditions might be rather similar concerning temperatures.

So then as models, I choose "The great salt lake", "The Mediterranean", "The Black Sea", "The Caspian Sea", and "The Aral Sea", and perhaps some other mid latitude medium and small bodies of water, tending to be salty.

I have read, that the Earth moved to the Orbit of Mars would still manage to have some open water on it's oceans, presumably at the Equator.

I presume that "The great salt lake", "The Mediterranean", "The Black Sea", "The Caspian Sea", and "The Aral Sea", and perhaps some other mid latitude medium and small bodies of water, at mid latitudes would be frozen over.

On Mars, with less water, the Oceans would be much more shallow, and in fact water might not make it down to the equator, but the oceans might end up being a set of relatively disconnected basins.

So, such a world, if capable of having an inflated astmosphere would consist of dried up sea basins at the equator, and polar ice caps, and perhaps mid latitude ice covered seas and lakes.

This is good, however, because it may reduce evaporation, inhibit the mixing of water by waves and allow these bodies of water to become natural solar collectors, as their waters can stratify between a warm saltier bottom layer and a colder less salty layer just under the ice.

If this world were to exist in reality, a sort of cross between the Earth and Mars, at the orbit of Mars, then Antarctica suggests what might happen naturally if it were provided life.

Here is some conversation related to it: https://books.google.com/books?id=fRJtB … es&f=false

It is fairly negative about the productive capacity of "Most" lakes.  (Keep in mind that for artificial human manipulated lakes, nutrients can be added, ice thickness can be moderated, and perhaps something can be done with water temperatures).

Anyway most organisms are small, with a few small animals, and no fish.

I would be curious if a fish that ate plankton could live in the cold Oxygen layer.  It can be very high in Oxygen I recall.  Probably the reason there are no fish, is that these lakes are relatively temporary.  They go through cycles of being displaced by glaciers, perhaps drying up, and so on.  The biology has to be simple, it is most likely only organisms which can come in on the winds or the feet of birds, that would colonize the lakes.

So, I suggest that for the model I suggested where significant long lasting bodies of ice covered water could exist at the mid latitudes of the model planet, those seas could allow for a more continuous habitation of such bodies of water driven by photosynthesis, and so more complex forms of life, even fish type things could be resident.

So, I suggest that for alien planets this model can move the "Habitible zone" out a bit more, for photo driven ecologies.

Some will argue that the old outer limit for sun melted water holds.  I will agree that in the atmosphere, that is true.  However, if there can be snows in the mountains around such solar heated bodies of water, then there can be glaciers.  If there are glaciers, and they flow into the bodies of water, and encounter the solar heated salty bottom water, then that glacier ice will melt, helping to keep the ice covered reservoirs hydrated.  As a further assistance, the top of the ice layers of those seas would be colder, at orbits more remote from the sun, so the evaporation rate would be less.

Further, even if the amount of sunlight is not enough to melt glacier ice by itself, that would lead to positive a feedback mechanism where
the lakes do dehydrate, and become hypersaline.  That cold very salty water might be able to melt the ice of a glacier feeding the lake.
Of course such cold and hypersaline lakes might not be that friendly to life, but never the less it would be water, and we don't know what presumed "Aliens" might adapt to.

And I am making the case, that this is likely what Mars wanted to be, before it died.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-07 09:09:14)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#3 2015-09-07 12:24:14

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Excellent thread.  If I recall, the pressure at the base of Hellas planetia is 11mb already.  This suggests that perhaps early Martian agriculture should focus on aquaculture under sealed but non-pressurised greenhouses.

Offline

#4 2015-09-07 13:05:31

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

I do want to think in that direction:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science … -Mars.html

Ice glaciers three times the size of Los Angeles discovered on Mars

Vast ice glaciers have been discovered near the equator of Mars.

glaciers-on-mars-4_1118226c.jpg

I am not sure I agree with the "Near Equator" quote, but whatever.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picture … me=2909640

Photographer Franco Banfi from Cadro, Switzerland took this photo of a Russian freediver swimming beneath the frozen White Sea in Karelia, Northern Russia. This swimmer is one of many Russian freedivers who gather each year at the Arctic Circle Dive Centre.

potd-ice-dive_2909640k.jpg

But huge reservoirs will be an excessive burden to start with, and likely out of scope at first, but later, I think a great idea.

But:
So a big glacier in Hellas, and a dome suggestion from you at local ambient pressure.

I will try to work with that, I think there are ways.

Of course a reliable steady source of water, to start with, and the ability for humans to have all the forms of life support.

Some have suggested strip mining the ice, and of course at first you will need to dig a hole in the rock and soil overburden to get to the ice (Ore).   However I think optimally, you would have a method to have pressurized ice caves which you would carve with heat.  How much pressure you could employ is debatable.  You would not need much for liquid water.  You would then take the liquid water, and vaporize it, suctioning it through a partial vacuum pipeline/hose, to the entrance area, and it could be pressurized to a liquid on the outside with compression equipment, and put in "Tanks".  (Plastic bags?) that could be on carts.  Let it freeze into blocks of ice, and then transport it to your base I guess.  Maybe later on you would have a vapor pipeline that would lead all the way to your base.

As things you might wish for perhaps you could find a largely intact lava tube under the glacier.  Presumably filled with ice.  Fairly unlikely, but maybe. 

Otherwise, I would calculate just how much glacier overburden will allow you to maintain a stable ice tunnel with a pressurization of 'X', whatever you think you can get away with.  I suggest that the tunnels will try to follow an interior perimeter inside of the glacier, where the bottom of the tunnel is on soil and rock.  Depending on how stable and habitable the ice caves are themselves, it may be desired to burrow into the permafrost soil, or even rock, and create habitat, factory space ect.

Mars having a gravity of 0.38 the requirements for tunnel supports is reduced.  How much could such an ice tunnel be pressurized, without a blowout?  Well I just don't know.  Hopefully at least to 30 mb, for melting water.  Ideally to .25 bar at least.  It would require a place in the glacier which was not "Flowing" very much.  It is a help that this glacier should be very cold and slow moving.

If they are even possible, I would suggest that they could be pressurized with raw Martial atmosphere compressed, and the humidity inside should be kept elevated.  The hope would be that for slow leaks, the leaking "Air" with humidity would deposit humidity to ice to plug the leaks.

But the ice tunnel thing is a side show.  We first of all want a source of water, and a ways to have it contribute to life support, and in fact food production.

Obviously, the back packers who come first will bring greenhouse methods to grow potatoes, and other vegetables.

The move to expand to large reservoirs, will be intimidating.  It will require a lot of effort before a profitable situation could be realized, but it is the most natural farm land that Mars could offer.

One solution is to build a reservoir and cover it's ice with soil and rock.  GW Johnson has proposed that.  In that case you would need to provide artificial lighting, in an underwater situation, and move solar or nuclear electric power into the devices in the water.  For standard vegetables, you also need air filled "Greenhouses" under water.

An alternative to that would be the reservoir which would be the same, but instead of light, you could provide chemicals to drive an ecology.
Oxygen, and a Food/Fuel, such as Hydrogen.  This should be very robust, but of course you have to convert solar electric/nuclear electric power to Oxygen and Food/Fuel.  I am also not certain that the value of what grows will be great.  Maybe you could grow fish food, but vegetables would be more efficient that fish.  Impaler has a post about growing a microbe for food, and it is a good one.  In that case you don't need the reservoir.  That is, unless you want to grow things like clams and crustaceans that feed off of methane seeps in the ocean.

Antius;

You have suggested a ambient pressure greenhouse.  Perhaps that can be done.  High humidity maintained, and so on.  In the region of Hellas, in a full Martian year, perhaps you could have a 3 month period of no hard frost inside the greenhouse.  Then, perhaps somehow some type of Vascular plant could be grown, if not perhaps microbial mats.

I would suggest as a variation, a slightly pressurized dome, with a pool of water in it.  The surface of the pool may or may not be covered with ice.

The surface water being at 0 degC / 32 degF, the water below able to reach 3.889 degC / 39 degF without the water "Turning over".

No frosts on your crops at the bottom of this pool of water.

Unfortunately your "Crops" will have to be high arctic or high alpine pond plants.  That's going to take some work.  If we had some of the pre Columbian peoples from the Andes, perhaps they could teach us how to domesticate such plants and make them useful.  They seem to have had genius for that.  But we don't have them, so we will have to use our own ways.

But what about a "Batch" method melded with the Dome/Pond plan?

Supposing that you could mass produce small terrariums, to grow vetetables in.  Suppose that they had a loop on the bottom, so that you could "Hook" them to the bottom of the pond.  Air filled.  During the night internal temperatures should not drop below 3.889 degC / 39 degF.  During the days sunlight, internal temperatures might reach satisfactory temperatures for some vegetables.

So, I think you see where I am going.  Obviously I am presuming a plastics industry, and a 3D printer to mass produce the terrariums.

A problem with growing vegetables in this manner, is to make the environment inside chemically suitable for the plants.  They need water and nutrients, CO2, etc, in a time released fashion.  Perhaps a Carbon source could be incorporated into the soil, to be digested slowly by micro organisms and released into the terrarium "Atmospheres".  And so on.

Now, an Apollo space suit will not do, for the "Farmer" who has to add and remove terrariums.   I am thinking a Boat-Suit.

A boat, with a habitat for an individual to dwell in for a time, and arms down below, allowing manipulation of objects in the water.  Perhaps it will be a cylinder actually, so it can spin on it's long axis, and perhaps it will be able to tip end for end somehow.

Anyway, there you go.  A method, perhaps a starter for introducing reservoirs of water as useful to human habitation of Mars.

End of post.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-07 16:11:07)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#5 2015-09-07 14:28:44

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,831

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Antius wrote:

Excellent thread.  If I recall, the pressure at the base of Hellas planetia is 11mb already.  This suggests that perhaps early Martian agriculture should focus on aquaculture under sealed but non-pressurised greenhouses.

Such a natural water supply also makes for a nuclear cooled power source from the start to meet the colony power needs.....

Offline

#6 2015-09-08 05:09:11

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

The easiest solution would appear to be an aluminised polyethylene lined pit with a greenhouse at the bottom and a glass frame acting as a dust cover at the top.  If the pit is then flooded to a depth of 5m, the resulting pressure at the bottom (i.e. top of the greenhouse) would be 180mbar, enough for shirtsleeve working with an O2 mask.  The pit could be covered with an aerogel insulation cap at night to conserve heat.  The surface around the pit could similarly insulated from above, allowing it to serve as a thermal store.

Offline

#7 2015-09-08 06:09:49

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

I am not against a nuclear reactor, it appears that they are likely to have a place in the schemes.

Antius,

Lots of options, once you have your containment for a cold water pond.  The air terrariums notion in a cold water pond is what I think could be the minimum effort that might support the growth of a few special vegetables.

Going a bit further, you could have a transparent warm water bag at the bottom of your pond.  That would be a transparent bag, that since you provided 180 mb water column pressure, would experience 180 mb pressure +/- ? mb.

The value of this is that for the air terrariums method you would be able to improve the temperatures, particularly the nighttime temperature.  The air filled terrariums would be inside the warm water bag of course, and of course the bag has to be weighted down to keep it from floating.

For this plan it would be important that the cold water of the pond itself be relatively sterile, otherwise algae build up on the transparent surfaces will vex you.  Similarly, you might have such a problem on the interior of the transparent bag, so you would need to keep the nutrients down in the water inside the bag, or inhibit algae some other way, or resort to an algae eating fish to clean it up, if one could survive.  Fish might be pretty tricky, and might die off for whatever reasons.  Removing dissolved gasses from the water inside the bag might render the water sterile to algae, since it would not be able to get Carbon.

Another variation would have aquatic plants inside the water bag, and forget the terrariums.  In that case, you would insert dissolved gasses into the bag, and perhaps you would like algae.  Or you would have to clean the algae off the surfaces, and then could have fresh water pond plants, for whatever value they  might have to you.  Pond plants have not really been established as much of a food source, havn't been farmed, so that is the weakest part of that notion.

But with Terrariums filled with air, if you could move your minimum nighttime air temp higher and your maximum daytime temp higher, then some other varieties of vegetable might work in this upgraded scheme.

Keeping your water sterile in that case would then allow the maximum amount of sunlight to arrive at your plants, through the water or ice & water.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-08 06:12:01)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#8 2015-09-08 12:36:22

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Antius,
Hopefully you will allow me to take some of the ideas you provided, and add them to some of the ideas worked out on this site previously.  I think the results are going to be really good.
I have been after a practical farming method that does not require traditional air pressurized greenhouses, and I think there are enough pieces now to make it practical, as soon as a significant water supply such as a glacier can be accessed.
I will start with an East-West trench in the soil.  One end will have a hab airlock terminating it.  The human hab has to be burried for radiation reasons anyway.  The airlock will normally operate at a pressure of 1/3rd to 1/4th a bar of O2.  Your reflective liner will be used to provide water retention in the trench.  Connecting that reflective liner to the airlock might be a bit tricky, and keeping the connection undamaged tricky as well.
I would want the liner to not only coat the trench, but to have edges that fold over 90 degrees or so at the top of the trench so as to form a flange, lying horrizontal on the ground outside of the trench.  Then stretch a sheet of plastic transparent film over that using tensioners to make it somewhat flat.  Glue it's edges to the flange of the trench liner.
Inflate with air, before the glue drys, so that the "Top Sheet" can be pulled to a relative flatness.  Then when the glue is dried, do a pressure test with air.  I don't know what degree of overpressure should be desired, but some tolerance to pressurization should be prefered.
Next, since you are at Hellas, and have a presure just above the tripple point of fresh water, it should be possible to fill the trench liner with 0 degC / 32 degF water.  Let the top freeze, perhaps 4 inches of ice or 6.  The ice should be pretty clear.
Next, get plastic film "Pillows", and place them over the surface of the ice (Which has a plastic film over it.  Fill each pillow with clean water at 0 degC / 32 degF. Seal the port that you put the water in through.  Allow the pillow to freeze to ice.
Place a scarifice sheet over the ice pillows.  This sheet will do little except block the wheather from the liner and ice pillows.  It will protect them from U.V. and the abrasiveness and dirtyness of wind blown dust.  The sheet itself can simply be laid over the top of the assembly, and it's edges can be locked down by shoveling soil/rock over them, just above the glued flange, that was created by the liner sheet, and the "Top Sheet".  This sheet will either have to be U.V. blocking, or have a U.V. blocking coating on it.
I have suggested here also that the trench be deeper than your specs.  This will allow a greater safety and comfort margin.  However, it will also make it harder for sunlight to get to the bottom of the assembly where you might hope to grow things.  To compensate for that I again resort to your reflective film.
I suggest a fence behind this, which in Hellas, I would be south of the trench, since Hellas is in the southern hemisphere.  The fence will be reflective, and will reflect light down into the trench.  A simple vertical fence should be a minimum challenge.  Doesn't have to be that substantial.  Just a reflective sheet, and some minimal frame to hold relatively vertical against the gravity of Mars. 
Should it be desired the fence could be made quit a bit more elaborate, such as moving horizontal blindes, where vanes are "Focused" on the trench below, but I myself would rather keep it simple if possible.
So, this assembly should function as follows.  The ice pillows should cool down quite a bit at night, hopefully cold enough that the ice layer in the top of the trench liner should even freeze a bit more at night.
During the day, the ice pillows will hold a general pressure against the top of the trench liner membraine, but also should project stored cold downward, to gaurd against excessive thawing during the day.
The ice layer at the top of the trench liner, should provide a degree of energy moderation.  If more sunlight enters the assembly and heat things up some of the bottom of the ice should melt, absorbing some of that heat.  At night, the ice should thicken, and so store cold.
The liquid water will be about 0 degC / 32 degF directly under the ice, but the bottom water under say 10 feet (Sorry not metric), should be able to warm up to up to 3.889 degC / 39 degF.
Not that inviting, but perhaps workable for some type of vegetable in a terrarium, or some type of aquatic plant.
Of course as mentioned in a previous post, it would be possible to place another water filled envelope in the bottom of the water in the trench, surrounded by 3.889 degC / 39 degF water.
Perhaps by afternoon, the water in this envelope will have developed much more appealing temperatures, significantly higher than 3.889 degC / 39 degF.  This would be more confortable for the humans, and also perhaps allow other varieties of plants to be cultivated.

So, the materials needed are;
-Transparent plastic films.
-Glue
-A trench, which must be dug.
-Reflective coatings for some of the plastic films.
-U.V. protective methods, either intrinsic to a sheet of plastic, or a coating of a sheet of plastic.
-A light weight fence frame.
-Means to interface the trench liner and the extra envelope to the air lock.

(Might want a second means of egress at the other end of the trench, but enough already for this post)

The airlock would serve as the temporary home of the diver, breathing relatively pure O2.  The personal in the rest of the hab would be available to lend some assistance if necessary.
The diver might have all that is needed to pot/plant and harvest terrariums in the air lock.
And of course the diver would only do this duty for a number of days, or perhaps even weeks at a time.

AMENDMENT TO THIS POST:

I see a possible very advantageous method to add.

Should you wish to for an installation which has the trench liner and an additional bag at the bottom of the trench for the terrarium option, A solar concentrator could inject clean steam during the day to heat the water up in the secondary bag, so that indeed the diver should be able to work in comfortable water.  Say 75 degF / 23.88 degC.  This will of course cause the 39 degF water to overwarm and start to turn over, but the ice on top can absorb that heat for a while.  At night a process would be used to extract heat from the one of the containers as wished to cool it, perhaps using the heat to distill water, relative to rather low temperature and pressure of condensation?

So in other words the device could put up with 24 hour swings in temperature particularly in the secondary water bag, but it would still be possible to maintain overall long term stability within operating limits.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-08 19:24:34)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#9 2015-09-08 17:17:02

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Glaciers on Mars, update:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ … 213143.htm

Scientists suspect that the glaciers remained intact because they are protected under a thick layer of dust.

In addition to evidence of river beds, streams and hydrated minerals, scientists studying telltale molecules in the Martian atmosphere have concluded that the planet probably had an ocean more than a mile deep covering almost half of its northern hemisphere.

However, Mars has lost about 87 per cent of that water, scientists say. Currently, the planet's largest known water reservoir is in the polar caps.

To me that 87 percent number validates the notion that perhaps a best way to deal with Mars is to start settling at as low a latitude as resources allow, and then use super greenhouse gasses, to make higher latitudes progressively more habitable with increased warming.

Since there is apparently not enough water for a return flow through oceans to the equator, the water evaporated will tend to stick to the high latitudes as ice or possibly in the future water.  So, ultimately warming the polar caps enough that they melt for at least a few weeks in the year will turn them ultimately into a ice covered sea in the north, and a chain of ice covered lakes in the south hemisphere.  Since the area covered by the seas will not be oceanic in extent, then there will be land that could be farmed for a few months each summer, just away from the polar seas / lakes.

If the atmosphere ultimately cannot be made thick enough to ward off night time frosts on the equator, then an Alaska-Tanana valley farming type situation (But amplified X2 more or less) will be possible for a few months at each pole each year.  Since the mid summer nights will be so short, frosts should be inhibited.

http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles … ?artID=182

So farming at such high latitudes is a bit different with the midnight sun.

Anyway, if you can get a thick atmosphere quick on Mars then don't worry about it.  Otherwise if you want open air farming quick, then consider concentrating on warming up the poles.  The lower latitudes will be dry desert for the most part I expect, but rivers will run downhill from the south polar ice cap, and pipelines and other transport for water to lower latitudes are an option.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-08 17:26:22)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#10 2015-09-08 17:46:00

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Alright this might change everything (In the very long run), but the previous plan would likely be good for a few centuries I think.

I do seem to recall a recent entry from Spacenut.  If I recall correctly he indicated that there was some evidence for a reservoir of ice under the surface of Mars that was had a different isotope character than the surface water/ice.  Hope I remember that right Spacenut.

So, I did a search for that, and bingo, it seems:
http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php?opt … Itemid=197
martianwaterreservoir.jpg

This illustration depicts Martian water reservoirs. Recent research provides evidence for the existence of a third reservoir that is intermediate in isotopic composition between the Red Planet’s mantle and its current atmosphere. These results support the hypothesis that a buried cryosphere accounts for a large part of the initial water budget of Mars. Image Credit: NASA.

And from NASA smile

So, am I the interpret the northern planes as being on top of an ancient frozen sea/glacier, dirty rubble?


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#11 2015-09-09 05:36:12

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Void wrote:

Antius,
Hopefully you will allow me to take some of the ideas you provided, and add them to some of the ideas worked out on this site previously.  I think the results are going to be really good.
I have been after a practical farming method that does not require traditional air pressurized greenhouses, and I think there are enough pieces now to make it practical, as soon as a significant water supply such as a glacier can be accessed.
I will start with an East-West trench in the soil.  One end will have a hab airlock terminating it.  The human hab has to be burried for radiation reasons anyway.  The airlock will normally operate at a pressure of 1/3rd to 1/4th a bar of O2.  Your reflective liner will be used to provide water retention in the trench.  Connecting that reflective liner to the airlock might be a bit tricky, and keeping the connection undamaged tricky as well.
I would want the liner to not only coat the trench, but to have edges that fold over 90 degrees or so at the top of the trench so as to form a flange, lying horrizontal on the ground outside of the trench.  Then stretch a sheet of plastic transparent film over that using tensioners to make it somewhat flat.  Glue it's edges to the flange of the trench liner.
Inflate with air, before the glue drys, so that the "Top Sheet" can be pulled to a relative flatness.  Then when the glue is dried, do a pressure test with air.  I don't know what degree of overpressure should be desired, but some tolerance to pressurization should be prefered.
Next, since you are at Hellas, and have a presure just above the tripple point of fresh water, it should be possible to fill the trench liner with 0 degC / 32 degF water.  Let the top freeze, perhaps 4 inches of ice or 6.  The ice should be pretty clear.
Next, get plastic film "Pillows", and place them over the surface of the ice (Which has a plastic film over it.  Fill each pillow with clean water at 0 degC / 32 degF. Seal the port that you put the water in through.  Allow the pillow to freeze to ice.
Place a scarifice sheet over the ice pillows.  This sheet will do little except block the wheather from the liner and ice pillows.  It will protect them from U.V. and the abrasiveness and dirtyness of wind blown dust.  The sheet itself can simply be laid over the top of the assembly, and it's edges can be locked down by shoveling soil/rock over them, just above the glued flange, that was created by the liner sheet, and the "Top Sheet".  This sheet will either have to be U.V. blocking, or have a U.V. blocking coating on it.
I have suggested here also that the trench be deeper than your specs.  This will allow a greater safety and comfort margin.  However, it will also make it harder for sunlight to get to the bottom of the assembly where you might hope to grow things.  To compensate for that I again resort to your reflective film.
I suggest a fence behind this, which in Hellas, I would be south of the trench, since Hellas is in the southern hemisphere.  The fence will be reflective, and will reflect light down into the trench.  A simple vertical fence should be a minimum challenge.  Doesn't have to be that substantial.  Just a reflective sheet, and some minimal frame to hold relatively vertical against the gravity of Mars. 
Should it be desired the fence could be made quit a bit more elaborate, such as moving horizontal blindes, where vanes are "Focused" on the trench below, but I myself would rather keep it simple if possible.
So, this assembly should function as follows.  The ice pillows should cool down quite a bit at night, hopefully cold enough that the ice layer in the top of the trench liner should even freeze a bit more at night.
During the day, the ice pillows will hold a general pressure against the top of the trench liner membraine, but also should project stored cold downward, to gaurd against excessive thawing during the day.
The ice layer at the top of the trench liner, should provide a degree of energy moderation.  If more sunlight enters the assembly and heat things up some of the bottom of the ice should melt, absorbing some of that heat.  At night, the ice should thicken, and so store cold.
The liquid water will be about 0 degC / 32 degF directly under the ice, but the bottom water under say 10 feet (Sorry not metric), should be able to warm up to up to 3.889 degC / 39 degF.
Not that inviting, but perhaps workable for some type of vegetable in a terrarium, or some type of aquatic plant.
Of course as mentioned in a previous post, it would be possible to place another water filled envelope in the bottom of the water in the trench, surrounded by 3.889 degC / 39 degF water.
Perhaps by afternoon, the water in this envelope will have developed much more appealing temperatures, significantly higher than 3.889 degC / 39 degF.  This would be more confortable for the humans, and also perhaps allow other varieties of plants to be cultivated.

So, the materials needed are;
-Transparent plastic films.
-Glue
-A trench, which must be dug.
-Reflective coatings for some of the plastic films.
-U.V. protective methods, either intrinsic to a sheet of plastic, or a coating of a sheet of plastic.
-A light weight fence frame.
-Means to interface the trench liner and the extra envelope to the air lock.

(Might want a second means of egress at the other end of the trench, but enough already for this post)

The airlock would serve as the temporary home of the diver, breathing relatively pure O2.  The personal in the rest of the hab would be available to lend some assistance if necessary.
The diver might have all that is needed to pot/plant and harvest terrariums in the air lock.
And of course the diver would only do this duty for a number of days, or perhaps even weeks at a time.

AMENDMENT TO THIS POST:

I see a possible very advantageous method to add.

Should you wish to for an installation which has the trench liner and an additional bag at the bottom of the trench for the terrarium option, A solar concentrator could inject clean steam during the day to heat the water up in the secondary bag, so that indeed the diver should be able to work in comfortable water.  Say 75 degF / 23.88 degC.  This will of course cause the 39 degF water to overwarm and start to turn over, but the ice on top can absorb that heat for a while.  At night a process would be used to extract heat from the one of the containers as wished to cool it, perhaps using the heat to distill water, relative to rather low temperature and pressure of condensation?

So in other words the device could put up with 24 hour swings in temperature particularly in the secondary water bag, but it would still be possible to maintain overall long term stability within operating limits.

Some interesting ideas.  Would be easier for my primate brain to visualise if there were diagrams.

I would suggest given the time and effort that you have put in already that you consider drafting a technical paper detailing your ideas.  You could release it either open source as a PDF, through a mars society magasine or as an article attached to this site.  That way, it becomes something that you can reference on your CV rather than being lost in an internet chat room.

Regarding your terrarium idea, assuming I have understood it correctly, you are suggesting that plants be grown in glass bulbs that float within a pond between two polythene linings.  The main issues with engineering the arrangement are then accessing the bulbs and sustaining bouyancy forces within the bulb structure.  Maybe some sort of access tunnel would work here.  The bouyant forces are more of a problem as they are tensile forces on the structure that are similar in magnitude to those resulting from pressurisation.

One option that might bypass these problems would be to build your greenhouse as a frame at the bottom of your trench, put in place some thin plexiglass or even soda glass windows in the frame and lay your polythene liner over the top.  That way, the water never comes into contact with the structure itself, you are simply using the water filled bag to counter the upward pressure on the greenhouse roof.  Lateral forces would be buttressed by the walls of your trench.  You would need to be confident that the shear strength of the surrounding soil was sufficient to resist the lateral forces.

Offline

#12 2015-09-09 11:46:58

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Yes, I like that.  I was off on a tangent, trying to build one with more or less water and plastics products, kind of get in your way about glass and structures that would be associated with it.

For a more mature industrial infrastructure, your plan would be really good.

And perhaps I could try to play within the scope of what I perceive to be your vision here, try to add to it.

GW Johnson and I had previous conversations about using solar concentrating mirrors to pump steam heat into a water reservoir.  In this case, if I see what you are proposing, this is to occur at a higher air pressure Mars location where 0 degC water can exist at more than 6 mb pressure or so.

The Ice/water pillow over your greenhouse, then could serve as a condenser for a solar power system.  (For large installations)  Probably work fairly well, since the nights like to be very cold.

With one layer of "Pillow" over your greenhouse, if the water on top is not much more than 0 degC. a vapor bubble should not form at the top.  You would also be limited to a 3.889 degC / 39 degF bottom temperature before the water would start to turn over.  You could allow ice to form in the top of the bag, at night, and then you would be working with water phase change, for your condenser process.  Or you could have multiple bag layers, but each layer will attenuate the amount of light you can get into your greenhouse.

Hope this does not disrupt your vision.  If so, get me back on track.

I don't want  to make another post at this time, so I am tucking a link to an interesting article into this one, I like this one a bit more that the one I posted previously.  Just some semi-random bookmarks.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/54 … -discovery
http://www.academia.edu/4198021/Chapter … is_of_Mars

Last edited by Void (2015-09-09 12:22:40)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#13 2015-09-10 10:06:17

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

This is relevant to lakes on Mars. You could create lakes on Mars from this:
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7288

Offline

#14 2015-09-10 13:49:36

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Yeah, I will just copy a post from another thread, and mention that a lake on Mars for the most part is a terraformation of location of the planet, to keep this "On Topic".  Further, lakes of the sort that have been proposed will facilitate a greater terraformation of the planet if that is later desired.

From "Water On Mars":

Really wonderful stuff Tom!

Here are some supplements:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcadia_Planitia
http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2014/pdf/2120.pdf

I agree that the proposed thickness of the ice 130 feet, looks as ideal as one could hope for in the notion of having submarine or ice embedded 1 bar N2/O2 human habitats on Mars.

In this case, I am going to defer to GW Johnson's ideas about a regolith covered ice.  (Especially since it already is set up)  My only reservations are about the ability of a residual ice sheet floating on a body of water, to hold up the regolith, and not fold over.  (Ice cracking, sections tipping over).  If necessary, perhaps a light weight substance could be mixed with the regolith, such as Styrofoam beads/"Packing Peanuts".

I will relent on the windows of ice thing, because they are hard to do, and because going down 100 feet or so, the light is going to be quite attenuated anyway.  But maybe a few here and there, just to provide a minimum lighting to the water in the daytime.

For farming, I would propose artificially lighted gardens in the habitat, perhaps decorative trees the bear fruit, and maybe some tomatoes, and some herbs, or whatever, not the bulk diet for the people.

That is not to forbid putting light into the waters of the "Lake".  Most easily, such lights could promote the growth of various Photo Feeding organisms.  (Algae, etc.).

A bit harder would be pond weeds from the arctic, if there is no secondary enclosure inside the lake, because the bottom waters if the water is fresh will only be free from a spring turnover, type convection, if they do not rise above 39 degF.  But with simple enclosures inside the lake, it should be very possible to elevate temperatures inside the enclosures, and promote vascular plants from temperate and even tropical waters of the Earth.

Now for some hardy vegetables, I am going to suggest a new variation of the water embedded terrariums method.

I am going to suggest a canal trench be dug in the form of a ring or if you like, in the form of a torus. 

The width of the canal will be made ideal, for a covering which will be in the form of a torus "Arch".  The lower half of the torus will be embedded in the soil/ice, and most likely it will be desirable that it will have walls/a liner, to isolate liquid water within from soil/ice without.

The glass covering mated to this and above this will finish the torus.  So then if this can be pressurized to a minimum necessary pressure, you could maintain a liquid water circular canal within.

To maintain liquid conditions, of course the daytime sun will help.  Further, during the day, it would be possible to fill a tank with hot water, or even hotter pressurized steam.  That coming from solar concentrators.  During the night, this steam could be vented into the torus, to keep it's interior at satisfactory temperatures for the vegetables intended to be within.  The steam would most likely be "Quenched" into the cooling canal water, but perhaps other methods, such as some venting of steam into the air could be used as appropriate to the various options that are going to be available for growing plants.  And for a larger installation, such a process might support the turning of an electric generating turbine at night.

This process could also double as a method to generate a sort of "Distilled water", but of course it will be contaminated a bit when it condenses into the torus canal.

A further purpose of the canal, is transportation.  Although it is circular, there would be one point in the torus, where a observation "Deck" with windows would overlook a ring of barges.  The ring of barges would be movable, so each barge could move under this deck in turn as desired.  Robotic arms and camera's, and repetitive structures, would facilitate the gardening of vegetables in each barge.

If a very hardy vegetable could be grown in very low pressures, then well and good, you could have open barges with soil in the bottom.  But that will require the torus to hold larger pressures.  If the barges resembled the bottom half of a Styrofoam egg carton, then each "Cell" could have a cover.  At times the covers would be opened, such as planting and harvesting.  However, it might be possible to open them in between those events for some plants.  They might not be harmed too badly, if the low pressure is brief.

Additionally, it may be possible that each barge will have an on board regulation system for all of its cells, for watering, and injecting nutrients.

Anyway, this is another way, that may facilitate factory level farming on Mars, while minimizing the danger to humans for decompression, and radiation.  The "Observation deck" can be heavily shielded from radiation, and would have a means of egress to other locations through a tunnel(s).  Obviously, there will need to be an airlock to bring produce into the human habitats, and a means to eliminate and reuse plant waste.

And yes, this includes ideas borrowed from GW Johnson and Antius, and others.


And yes, that crater Tom,  it would be interesting to contemplate getting water into it from ice.  You might want light to get in in that case, in which case I suggest the "Ice Pillows" method.

Good Deal, I think smile

Last edited by Void (2015-09-10 21:44:03)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#15 2015-09-10 21:49:09

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Lake Vida,

Hypersaline, very cold, but alive!

Index
» Life on Mars
» Lake Vida


Pages: 1

Post reply



#1 Today 22:21:05




VoidMemberRegistered: 2011-12-29Posts: 897Email

Lake Vida


Lake Vida in Antarctica.

-13 degC water (8 degF)

5-6 times saltier than the ocean

No Oxygen

1/10 as much bacteria as a fresh water lake, somehow.

Brine Channels.

It just looks rather interesting to me.

http://www.livescience.com/25032-ancien … found.html
http://www.daviddarling.info/encycloped … eVida.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Vida
http://www.nature.com/news/life-abounds … ce-1.11884




It is permanently covered by a massive cap of ice up to 27 metres thick, is six times saltier than normal sea water, and at −13 °C is one of the coldest aquatic environments on Earth — yet Lake Vida in Antarctica teems with life.




Exotic energy sources

The team has not yet worked out how the bacteria produce energy. They might emulate many known bacteria by living solely on dissolved organic carbon; or they might use more exotic forms of energy, as do some other microbes living in extreme environments. For example, bacteria in deep gold mines are known to survive on molecular hydrogen produced by chemical reactions in the rocks.

“For sure, there is a lot of energy in the brine,” says Murray. “Carbon may be the primary energy source, but hydrogen may be vital to sustain the lake’s microbial life in the long-term.”

The ice cap over the lake grows upwards as melt water from surrounding glaciers flows over the ice and refreezes. Isotope analysis of organic carbon particles in the ice suggests that the lake has been sealed for around 2,800 years, so any carbon in the brine must have been there for at least that long and there probably isn't very much of it — suggesting that the microbes may be using something else to produce energy.

Because they are isolated and there are no predators in the lake, says Murray, the cells might have switched to a biologically reduced ‘survival mode’ — without cell division and reproduction — that allows them to endure stress and harsh environments for a long time.

I will do some speculating.  The brine should eat its way upwards through the fresh water ice, extending brine channels.  Although the ice is very thick, and light may not get into the waters itself very much, the brine channels may extend upwards and who knows may encounter sufficient photons for photosynthesis.

I recently have read of an ancient form of photosynthesis which exists still, in a bay in a lake in Africa.  It Oxidizes Iron, and produces Hydrogen, not Oxygen. 

I could be quite wrong (easily), but I speculate that in the brine channels of the ice of this lake could be such organisms producing the Hydrogen found, driving the life system to some extent.

I reserve the right to be wrong sometimes, but we will see.  This would be very exciting to me.

I have speculated on dry valley lakes of this kind, but of a very much larger size, such as the size of the Caspian sea, on alien planets.  Cold alien planets.  I have speculated that even without running fresh water, it might be possible for such bodies of water to be hydrated, by glaciers flowing into them, and encountering waters sufficiently salty and warm to melt fresh water.  So, I say that by this method a photo driven biology could be sustained on worlds outside the outer limits of the traditional habitable zone.  Maybe not that far out.  A difference on such speculative worlds also is that such lakes in those cases could be on the equator of such worlds, and so sunlight/starlight, would come from overhead more and not as sideways as in the case of Lake Vida.  This would of course allow for a deeper penetration of the ice, and the meeting of photons with liquid in brine channels in ice.

Also on those worlds where fresh water never melts, a coating of fresh water ice would not be deposited on the surface of the ice, and this would make it very likely that brine channels could rise in the ice perhaps nearly to the surface of the ice.  Those brine channels could warm up periodically when the sun is at it's summer solstice.

More speculation, but I like it.

Great fun!

So even such a nasty lake, if you had special space suits, could have heated enclosures in it with habitats and "Greenhouses" in those, and

You could probably get in and out of the lake by having an open hole, with an unpressurized shed over it (To hold moisture in).

-13 degC / 8 degF water.  Not much vapor pressure there, well below 5.5 mb Martian ambient.

Nasty cold though.  I don't really think manufactured lakes will have to be that extreme to be functional havens for human habitats, but it is interesting information.

Last edited by Void (2015-09-10 21:49:42)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#16 2015-09-12 19:49:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,831

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

From an old friend of Newmars on another site...thank you for this

In the Democratic republic of the Congo is a lake called Kabuno bay it is an Iron rich environment and an ancient microbe that utilises iron in photosynthesis is present.

Iron Eating Microbes

a very useful microbe

What is Iron Bacteria?
Iron Bacteria are small living organisms which naturally occur in soil and water.

These nuisance bacteria combine iron and manganese with oxygen to form deposits of “rust”, and a slimy build up.

The most common bacteria known to feed on iron are Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_bacteria

Offline

#17 2015-09-15 20:15:06

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Enceladus is not a Mars-like planet, but still its very interesting, a global ocean surrounding a rocky core.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/15/93338 … face-ocean

Offline

#18 2015-09-16 08:55:57

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

The terraformation section tends more than others to allow liberty to be broader about the "Topic".
If Mars had an planetwide ice shell, and it were still hot, it also might have an "Underground" sea/ocean.
Some people think that Mars may have liquid aquifers, so perhaps it could be interpreted that it may have underground oceans.
Some interpretations of Mars now speculate that the entire northern hemisphere is covered in a thick layer of ice and sediments deposited billions of years ago.  This may also include the rift valley, which appears to be connected.
Some places appear to have been melted by volcanism, as recently as a few million years ago, so then there were lakes/seas on Mars, which are now presumed to be frozen over again.  Frozen down to their lake/sea floors.
But what is the "True" surface of the North of Mars, under all that ice (If it is ice and sediments).  Can there be hidden depressions?  Current hiden volcanic warm or hot spots?
Yes, that little moon, is a natural lake/sea----Shell world.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#19 2015-09-20 08:54:47

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Another possibility is that Titan has a subsurface ocean. I think Titan probably has an active geology, because something renews its atmosphere. Why do you suppose that Titan has an atmosphere and Ganymede does not? Ganymede is larger than Titan after all.

Offline

#20 2015-09-20 09:49:07

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Titan is also much further from the sun, and the magnetic field of Saturn isn't anywhere near as bad as Jupiter's.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#21 2015-09-20 12:34:39

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Any natural body of water away from the Earth almost has to be ice covered.  Such Lakes/Seas/Oceans are really quite closely related to the topic of "Shell" worlds.  The study of the natural ones should be considered important in themselves, and for the value of future synthetic ones humans may choose to manufacture on icy bodies in the future.

Accessing a sea like one proposed for Titan, however is an interesting notion.  I think the way to do it would be to dig generally vertical shafts, and keep them filled with a fluid that is on average the same specific gravity of the ice that they are drilled through.  Such shafts would be rather unfriendly to human life, so robots would have to navigate them.  However, it does suggest a method to have passage from the surface to the underground sea.  Without the fluid fill, the shafts would collapse.  Still, Titan is quite a good candidate for the game, as the fluids of choice would likely be a hydrocarbon mix.  It is untold just what resources might be available in such a deep underground sea.

Of course if the crust shifts around a lot, then that will certainly complicate such a plan.

With the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and on top of this a possible ability to manipulate gravity some day, then I can suppose that some day humans might have a very powerful source of energy completely unknown to us.  In that case, if the sea below Titan had lots of Ammonia, then indeed that might be of value to transport to some other location.

(By the way, the idea for oil filled shafts came from a Sci-Fi author.  The story had it on the Moon.  The purpose was to allow the mine shafts to go very far deep, and not collapse.  Arthur C. Clark?)  Not sure.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#22 2015-09-21 22:44:43

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Lakes at the poles of the Earth's Moon.

Strange notion, but I will suggest that it could happen eventually.

At first humans would like to extract water from the poles of the Moon (Deep Craters).

However, given a new type of propulsion, and the desire, to import Hydrogen from Asteroids/Ceres, or even other icy bodies, I can speculate on a later plan where water would be filling a crater or two on the Moon.

And here again is the query for which I never get a response.  Year after year.  No one even bothers to tell me why it cannot work.

OXYGEN LINEAR ACCELERATOR or OXYGEN MASS DRIVER.   So, for my amusement I put it on this site, yet again.

Paramagnetic Oxygen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt4P6ctf06Q

So, it would squirt Liquid Oxygen out, instead of Magnetic solids.

So, suppose you want Hydrogen and Water from deep space objects moved into the Earth(Orbital)/Moon domain.

If you then split the water of ice from the sources into Hydrogen, and Oxygen, and store in tanks, then the following:
-As Hydrogen boils off, send it to fuel cells, along with some Oxygen, to generate electricity.
-Squirt some Oxygen out as propulsion mass.
-Store the water output from the fuel cells into a freeze bag, as a big block of ice.
-Propel to the Earth(Orbit)/Moon, and drop the ice block into a dark crater of the Moon on the way.  (I believe that at the very least 1/2 of the ice would remain, probably more, since the concept was initially thought of for the lunar night time, not the super cold polar craters).
-Of course then the propulsion device brings the remainder Hydrogen and a remnant Oxygen to some orbit of the Earth(Orbit)/Moon system, for use.  Perhaps the Hydrogen used in a VASIMR propulsion system, to mount missions from Earth to other places.

If it were possible to use Oxygen's magnetic properties to propel a space craft, it must be obvious just how much Oxygen there is available in the solar system for such a system to use.  The  Oxygen is much more accessible to humans in low mass objects of the solar system than is Hydrogen.  And it has greater mass I believe.

So, Oxygen Mass Driver?  Lakes on the Moon?  smile

Of course I could be proven wrong, but I think that lakes on the Moon could be an asset, but then again, it depends on if humans or robots inherit the Moon, and it depends on unforeseen possible technical alternatives.

And so much for that!

Last edited by Void (2015-09-21 22:46:44)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#23 2015-09-22 05:21:42

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

I can remember Gerard O'Neil considered oxygen to be a potential mass driver propellant.  He envisaged that metal production in high orbit would generate excess oxygen which could be used as propellant in space tug engines in the form of frozen pellets.  The advantage being that the oxygen will completely sublime after ejection eliminating any future collision hazards.

I think the problem with lakes on the moon using delivered water is one of cost.  Delivering anything from elsewhere in the solar system will always be relatively expensive compared to native materials.  If you want to build a base on the moon, the best practical means is the one that provides the most habitable space for the least cost.  That probably means gravity stabilised masonry.  That doesn't mean lake based ecosystems or bases are impossible, just probably not desirable compared to other options.

Offline

#24 2015-09-22 12:40:18

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

Most likely Antius.  But never say never.

I agree, if you have water, why would you keep it in an ice covered pool on the Moon, when you could   Build enclosures for it, or dig caves.

In that case, you could indeed have underground lakes in caves, but as you have stated, it would have to be an unexpected future, where the cost is rather low, compared to what we would expect in this present time.  But thanks for the reply.

I actually am becoming extremely optimistic about the future in space, where, I would not be astonished, if it turned out to be the way humans will be able to have an economically expanding future, rather than the miserly future that Earth-Only's would have for the human race.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#25 2015-09-23 17:24:09

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Lakes on Mars-Like Planets, Natural, Artificial

I would like to think so.  For an Earth bound species every resource is limited and all growth is bought at the expense of other living things.  Under those circumstances, even our greatest successes begin to look like failures.  But I suspect there is a certain window through which expansion in space must take place.  Beyond a certain point, oil and gas depletion will make it progressively less affordable.  We may not be very far from that point now.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB