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#1 2020-06-26 09:46:06

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I was initially triggered towards this topic, by a new method to extract water from brine, using low energy.
Then I began thinking of extracting minerals also.
Finally, no surprise to people here, I got towards ice covered reservoirs.  However, I have grander ideas now, and think the methods I will suggest will make more sense.  And yes, very large seas developed over time.

*Note: I the membership feels I am crowding the board, please let me know.  I can back off to make you more comfortable.

If SpaceX, does set up camp on one of these ice slabs, I expect that they will as has been said engage in ice mining.  And that makes sense.

I see a problem though, many minerals of Mars must be under those ice slabs, and there are also likely to be resources available from salts in the soil over the ice, and probably salts under the bottom of the ice.  Left frozen, the ice is an impediment to access.

Previously, I have thought to make lakes, and strongly upgrade their biological potential.  Now, I am thinking about a continuous expansion of what would eventually be a sea, and only desiring a low level, biology, probably restricted to microbes.

It can be considered that the ice slabs themselves are a fossil heat sink.  You can sink heat into them and cause a phase change.  Unlike the Martian night cold, this should be more constant, and of course dealing with a liquid is much better than radiators on the surface of Mars.

Minerals are an objective as well, but I have no problems with the notion that some may come from more traditional mining methods, such as mining Hematite, as was long ago suggested by Louis, as I recall.

Here is a suggestion of where SpaceX wants to land:
https://www.inverse.com/article/59036-s … nd-on-mars

The first map with the red dot seems to me to indicate a location near a higher elevated area, where maybe it is a rock island in a sea of ice.  That could be a good thing, if so.

Anyway previously, I thought to make berms that went all the way to the surface, to separate pools of water from the ice, and from other pools of water.  Instead, now, I think to drop most of the overburden on the ice though holes, and then to make them into ring berms that to not reach up to the ice.  These can then contain brine pools.

To Melt a sea, waste heat, and also intentional heat from the sun, and perhaps nuclear reactions.  Also some control of the salts in the water may be possible.

It should be very possible to help shield the surface of the ice from days heat with solar panels, and perhaps just a thinner layer of the original materials.  This might be lower cost, then manufacturing coverings of another kind.  And of course a lot of solar power doing that.

I am not going to obsess over the temperature of the water, except where it is desired to store heat in a thermal salt pond.

So, you just start at a spot, and start melting the ice.  You keep expanding the perimeter of the footprint of the modified surface.  Modified by reducing the soil thickness, and also placing solar collection devices.  Eventually you expand to fill the entirety of a ice slab, possibly the perimeter of that being also limited by getting to a very high latitude.

If the rate of expansion is at a proper value, then the water loss from human activities should be sufficiently low that the reservoir will not dry up, before terraforming would allow for snow falls, and temporary streams.  At that point the sea would be renewable.

In this version of the notions, I would think to prefer that the ice layer remain thick.  Then the hydrostatic pressure even at the top of the water would be well within the range of human tolerance, and also, the sea would probably be more stabilized.

I would think that direct human activity in the water would be kept to a minimum.  Most activity would be done with telepresence robotics, and in some cases with autonomous robots.

I would think that any suited humans operating in the water would have a "Hard Suit" similar to those used in the deep sea oil drilling operations.  One option would be a 1/3 Oxygen atmosphere inside the suit, to avoid problems with the bends.  So usually these suits would have a lower pressure than the environment outside them.  This should be no problem as hard suits used on Earth do similar, at very high water pressures.  However a 1 bar Nitrogen/Oxygen interior might be an option, provided there is a good track record of not getting the bends.

Some pictures:
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=de … BasicHover

For the seas that I am thinking of though, I think your pressures in the liquid water would be something like ~1/3 bar to 2 bar typically, so the suits do not have to be that extreme.  You could have gloved hands very likely.

You can query for "Ice Slabs on Mars", and get something that can suggest the dimensions of a ice body.

Here is one, there are many of them, seemingly similar in depth: (We have seen this one before).
https://www.space.com/30502-mars-giant- … y-mro.html
Here is it's footprint:
Quote:

A giant slab of ice as big as California and Texas combined lurks just beneath the surface of Mars between its equator and north pole, researchers say.
This ice may be the result of snowfall tens of millions of years ago on Mars, scientists added.

The ice the scientists found measures 130 feet (40 m) thick and lies just beneath the dirt, or regolith, or Mars.
"It extends down to latitudes of 38 degrees. This would be like someone in Kansas digging in their backyard and finding ice as thick as a 13-story building that covers an area the size of Texas and California combined," Bramson said.

There are others that may be thicker.  That is enough weight to provide in excess of ~1 bar of pressure on Mars, I believe.

As said before, I am interested in minerals along with the other features.  Survey subs could use instruments to hope to detect indications of any such mineral deposits.  Mining them under a ~bar pressure fluid column may be easier in many ways than doing so on the surface elsewhere.

And you can potentially get some minerals from the salts in the water.

This could be a useful reference: (Brine Mining)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brine_mining

It may also be possible to drill down to aquifers and get a different kind of brine, and maybe even geothermal energy.

Minerals of some importance could be Uranium, and Boron, which can be taken from some brines.  Lately I have seen a new method to extract Uranium, with efficiency, I think.  Boron is important for some activities.  A new one that may appear within 10 years or so would be Boron/Hydrogen Fusion, which is harder to do, but much less radioactive.
Here is a reference to it:
https://asiatimes.com/2020/05/meet-the- … n-reactor/

When the sea is melted to a broad footprint, you can have underwater transport of materials, which is, on Earth, the most efficient.
These seas may be as large as a couple of American states, or perhaps European countries.

If we were to leave the seas frozen, then access to minerals, and efficient transport may be impeded.

And then finally back to biospheres.  As you know I am a fan of chemosynthesis.  But as many times have been stated, with a little work, it should be possible to have lighting by some method on the sea floors, and then aquatic crops.  We do not at this time have an abundance of domesticated crops of those sorts, but we would have plants from Earth and genetic engineering available I would expect.

So, lots of pressurized farmland.  And the waste heat from lighting and biological/chemical activity will go into the seas.

Just from a quick look, some edible sea plants:
https://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutriti … ea-plants/   

-----

Here is the article that got me started on all of this this morning:
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-unorthodo … lobal.html
Quote:

Unorthodox desalination method could transform global water management

You could call me "Water Boy", if you like.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-26 10:49:25)


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#2 2020-06-26 11:12:32

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Alright let me do this post again. 

In reference to the previous post.  For the naysayers who say "We need to solve the Earth's problems first":

Cheerfully continuing after a cleanup:

I would say, lets solve for several worlds, including Earth.

If Boron/Hydrogen fusion is successful, then farm parts of the continental shelves, from the equator, possibly to the poles.  Take some of the burden off of marginal farm land, let it go to wild and parks.  It is a tradeoff.

Or we could let people farm very marginal farmland, damaging it even more, and people could go hungry/starve.

Farmland on the Moon? Farmland on Mercury?  Well, maybe under ice at the poles.  Possibly more effort needed to prevent the evaporation of ice surfaces.  Not enough ice, then perhaps bring it in from comets.

And of course locations in the outer solar system.

Done

Last edited by Void (2020-06-26 11:20:52)


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#3 2020-06-26 15:30:48

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,827

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

For Void re new topic ...

Thanks for bringing this link to display on the forum!

"Zero-liquid discharge is the last frontier of desalination," says Ngai Yin Yip, an assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering who led the study. "Evaporating and condensing the water is the current practice for ZLD but it's very energy intensive and prohibitively costly. We were able to achieve ZLD without boiling the water off—this is a major advance for desalinating the ultrahigh salinity brines that demonstrates how our TSSE technique can be a transformative technology for the global water industry."

As you have indicated in your post, this is a ** very ** interesting development!

I would expect to find most brine on Mars is this severe!

(th)

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#4 2020-06-26 16:11:13

SpaceNut
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Posts: 18,863

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

The cooling of water to ice is in a couple of topics from structural homes to covering of a lake to provide under water radiation protection to a crew on mars.
Water needs to be contained and pressurized by either a film or dome of some sort to keep it from subliming away before we can make use of the water to perform the many tricks that are possible with that water.

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#5 2020-06-26 17:21:00

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Well, ice apparently can remain unevaporated with a layer of soil over it.  It is a bit of a mystery, but for now I can go with it.
If more is needed, then indeed a manufactured structure.  If you want to consume the time, I can give you a few.

But my reasoning at this time is that for the ice slabs, the soil cover is ~3-30 feet.  And that seems to maintain the integrity of the ice for possibly millions of years in the Martian environment.


The day situation:
While I can speculate on more expensive covers, I, for now will go with perhaps a 3 foot soil layer, and over that solar panels.  It is more or less certain that the solar panels will cause the soil layer to be even colder than what is natural.  That is because they will extract some of the energy to electricity.  Also, some solar energy will be reflected into the sky.  The rest will be emitted as infrared.  That infrared if emitted to the sky is gone.  If emitted to the ground will mostly reflect off of it.

The night situation:  The solar panels will to some degree interfere with the soil layer radiating to the night sky, but not too bad.  Although convection is not very good with such a thin atmosphere, still it exists.  Furthermore to a degree the solar collectors may serve as radiators.
It would be a smaller function, unless you intentionally used active cooling, which I do not intend to do.

There are many variables in the notion of an ice covered body of water on Mars.  I, in this case will choose the easiest.

To prove that there can be ice covered lakes or seas on Mars.  This we all know of:
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/ … for%20life.
Granted, the ice is very thick for that one.

So, if I have a slab of ice the size of Texas + California in area, with a depth of 180 feet, would allow for a layer of ice remnant of 1/2 of that floating on 1/2 of the melted ice.  So maybe 70 feet of ice, and 65 feet of water.

On top of the ice will be perhaps as much as 3 feet of soil if it can be proven that that will remain stable, and also the solar panels which wil have weight also.  If that is unstable, then a different covering.  Perhaps a thinner layer of soil or soil mixed with Styrofoam.

So, now the ice alone is speculated to be a nominal 70 feet thick.  On Mars approximately 100 feet of water in the Martian gravitational field, imposes a pressure of ~1000 mb.  For ice you need approximately 110 feet of ice to impose approximately 1000 mb of pressure.

So a calculation of 70/110 = 63.6% of ~1000 mb.  So quite easily about 636 mb.  That is quite enough to keep 0 degC or 32 degF water as a fluid.

I have said that their can be many variables in such lakes/seas.

It is probable that the water under the ice will be less than the freezing point in temperature and still be fluid, provided salt is added.

This is quite true for Antarctic Dry Valley lakes.  The vapor pressure for water at -10 degC will be well below the boiling point of water at the typical ambient pressure on Mars.

But if it were on the surface, it would evaporate, as it would be exposed to the atmosphere.  But this water will not be exposed to the atmosphere.

And although -10 degC sounds ugly, with salt layers it would be quite possible to have a temperature of +20 at the bottom of the body of water.

So, I am afraid I will need dismiss your complaint.

Done

Last edited by Void (2020-06-26 17:43:20)


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#6 2020-06-26 17:57:24

SpaceNut
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Posts: 18,863

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

As soon as the soil is enter to the ice layer the subliming and evaporation factors will take place and will continue until the barrier is created to stop it from being open to the mars atmosphere as the soil seal is broken.
For earth the water equals earth pressure at is surface at a depth of 33 feet.
ClassroomatseaNetPressure_depth.jpg

https://engineeringunits.com/pressure-a … alculator/

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#7 2020-06-26 18:07:53

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

This is absolute not guaranteed.  It is in the shade, Mars is cold.

The ice slabs exist under soil for millions of years without evaporating.

And as I have said, if that is not sufficient.  A vapor barrier, and layer of Styrofoam over that and soil over that will do just fine.  I just don't what to go to that much trouble. 

Two ways for ice to evaporate will be to go above the triple point which it will not, since it has a covering which is in the shade of solar collectors, and does not do so with a soil layer now.  The other is to expose the ice to wind, and even worse wind while it is in the sunlight.  That would be evaporation.  But there are protective coverings to protect that.

I have been talking about this stuff for years.  What's going on with you Spacenut?

------

Exposed ice in the mid latitudes can last for weeks.
https://mars.nasa.gov/news/372/mro-sees … r-impacts/

Protected ice should be lasting much longer.  And of course there is no point in doing it unless the ice is properly protected.  I think it stipulated that that would be the intention.  I was just using the least costly version to try.  As a matter of fact in previous years, it was a recommendation from one of our best members.  (That's not me).


Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-26 18:19:15)


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#8 2020-06-26 18:46:32

SpaceNut
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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

The night to day atmosphere pressure is enough to the have air saturate (100% humidity) at night, but undersaturated during the day as it warms. Air pressure rises during the day and falls at night releasing the ice into moisture in the air. Its the phase transition is a function of pressure not temperature.

https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/com … mperature/
.

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#9 2020-06-26 18:50:14

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

And yet there are ice slabs in the "Temperate" zones with a covering of from 3-33 feet of soil.

That was not expected by the science.  It is supposed that it persisted for millions of years, which the scientists completely did not expect.  And yet it is there.

Now the two methods to evaporate/sublimate water ice are dry wind and sunlight/being at a temperature above the vapor pressure of water ice.  The protective methods that in part emulate a 3 foot layer of soil, and in addition to that solar panels shading the soil.

On Mars, of course temperature for evaporation is less the air and more the sunshine.  The sunshine is intercepted by the shading solar panels.  The winds which usually will be cold (But dry), will be prevented from contacting the ice by a 3 foot layer of soil.  (Or if needed a manufactured vapor barrier + insulation).

So, what may be the ambient temperature of the soil on top of the ice?

I am searching....Dummies are playing hard to get.  I see an average temperature of Mars of -80 degF.  I will continue searching, you can ponder what is the vapor pressure of water ice at those temperatures.

There is this:
https://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/Al … lman.shtml
Quote:

"218 K (-55 °C)"

Conversion to F = -67  We can go with that.

What is the vapor pressure of ice @ -55 degC?

This may do:
https://www.lyotechnology.com/vapor-pre … %20stopper.

So, we have 1.84 to 2.38 PA.  I think in mb.  So they have a conversion factor. (-54 to -56 degC)

It is 1Pa = 0.01 mbar.  I will try to change from mb to mbar.  That's better.

So, 1.84 * 0.01 = 0.0184 mbar.  The mean pressure of Mars is ~5.5 mbar.
So, 2.38 * 0.01 = 0.0238 mbar.  The mean pressure of Mars is ~5.5 mbar.

So, per the triple point of water, we are extremely shielded.

And these temperatures for Mars, presume that sunlight will touch the soil in normal strength.  I have stipulated that there will be solar panels over the soil to block the summer and day sun to a large degree.  But air flow might not be impeded (That is a choice).  So, the underground temperatures should be even lower.

So, I am not worried about rising above the triple point, as the soil is shaded, and also the 3 foot soil layer has thermal inertia, so that even if a summer day were to get above freezing, (Unlikely in the temperate zones), it would not be significantly able to alter the temperature of the subsurface soil at 3 feet.  Thermal inertia of the soil and ice would inhibit that.

And yet 70 feet of ice is a good thermal insulator, so liquid water could exist under it, without unduly warming the surface ice.

And if that somehow did not work, we can put insulators under the ice, and also a vapor barrier between the soil and ice, similar to how walls in houses have vapor barriers.

There is the potential that water ice vapor could exit from the surface of the ice in very small quantities.  The quantities would be very small, as the temperatures are quite low.  Perhaps the soil could wick that to the surface where winds could evaporate it by it being dissolved into the airs void spaces.  The rate would be very slow.  And if it were a problem, then spend the expense for a vapor barrier between the soil and ice.

In my model, I have planned for a slow loss of water from the sea.  I estimate that it will be so slow, if necessary technology were employed, that we could live with the sea loosing 10 feet of depth, until terraforming will cause snowfalls, and temporary melt streams.

To get that snowfall, and temporary melt streams, we only need to double the air pressure of Mars from where it is now.  The polar ice caps have enough CO2 to accomplish that.

A set of large seas could generate oodles of Methane, as a byproduct of the biology inside of it.

Done.

Now I must shower, clean the bath tub, and wash cloths.  A picnic tomorrow smile

Last edited by Void (2020-06-26 19:27:55)


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#10 2020-06-26 20:00:40

SpaceNut
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Posts: 18,863

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Not trying to be arguementative only trying to find data to support if possible the mars application.

Even earth like mars will as we increase depth have an increase of temperature with depth, called the geothermal gradient
The cores of Earths and while mars core is cooler it still will pass heat from it outward.

Temperature_schematic_of_inner_Earth.jpg

https://www.reddit.com/r/Mars/comments/ … n_mars_so/

Mars has an atmosphere roughly equivalent to Earth's at 30,000m, IIRC. So air pressure at the bottom of a 30km deep hole would be roughly equivalent to Earth's at sea level. Seeing as how the deepest hole ever drilled on Earth was only 12,262m,

Mars thermal gradient is about 1/3 to 1/4 that of the Earth (25C per km of depth), so Mars should be 8-6 degrees per km of depth. So at 39km you'd get positively hot (180-260C)

We will not try for that deep for sure...seems that mars warming with depth is much less as to why Ice still exists...


Pheonix saw clouds in the cold of mars atmosphere
Ice_Clouds_in_Martian_Arctic.gif

Day time we can see the moisture in the soil

PIA17944-MarsCuriosityRover-AfterCrossingDingoGapSanddune-20140209.jpg

So its that pressure of the soils mass that is keeping the ice at depth from going away. Here is for earth but wish I could find it for mars....
https://www.reference.com/science/much- … 02c5101291


83wKn.gif

There is no doubt that shading from panels will keep the soil colder but to what depth?
How fast does that soils temperature rise with depth?

I did find this in my search
https://www.centauri-dreams.org/2020/05 … -for-mars/


Have a great day tomorrow with the picnic...

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#11 2020-06-27 08:12:45

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Very enjoyable Spacenut.

Quote from your posts link:

Korolev is an ice-filled impact crater in the Mare Boreum quadrangle of Mars, located at 73° north latitude and 165° east longitude (Fig. 1). It is 81.4 kilometers in diameter and contains about 2,200 cubic kilometers of water ice, similar in volume to Great Bear Lake in northern Canada. Why not use a nuclear reactor to melt the water under the ice to create a huge ice-covered lake?

If we can get Boron/Hydrogen fusion, then radioactive contamination dangers are almost nil.

If we use fission.  Then I would modify it to be individual pools in a ring around the rim at first, very similar to the article.

My reason is that if you get a radioactive leak into a pool, you may keep it isolated, and may be able to let it freeze shut to the bottom to keep the problem isolated.  And then you would just create another pool(s) further out, so that you could have a ring of pools continuous.

That craters situation may be ideal, as the weather conditions seem to hold the moisture into the crater, so this could be a situation where you could have clear ice, unprotected by mechanical means.  That is a hope.  I recently encountered a article that indicates that indeed, ice blocks at least some UV, but lets in visible light.  So, if proved true, then that is where we can get a biosphere which is most like Earth, where you do not need greenhouses over it and you may have an aquaculture of some kind.  Very exciting!

It is not inconceivable to also put plastic bubbles under the ice, where you could grow vegetables.  Although for various reasons, I would prefer a diet not including the flesh of animals, that too could occur.

In the case of fish, we could do a real cheat.  We could up the Oxygen level in the water.  Assuming it was in the range of a fishes tolerance, this would augment the value of fish as a farm animal.  While it is already efficient for usually being cold blooded, reducing the number of times the fish would breath would also reduce the amount of biological energy it would consume, so that could be even more efficient.   But this would be dependent on Henry's laws, where you need a thick enough ice window, to allow sufficient dissolved air/Oxygen.  A thick layer would attenuate the light.

But there could be tricks for that.  If you had a thinner ice window for the plankton to grow, then you could have a thicker area, with side and bottom enclosure where you then conduct the plankton bearing water into the chamber.  Then you degas then you may extract Oxygen from the outside water, that is still outside, and you inject it into the chamber where the fish are.

It is relatively humane, beyond the harvest of them, which is something we do here.  The fish have food and Oxygen, and some light from the thick window.

A danger of putting a lake over a deep ice could be that the water being heavier than ice, that ice layer could calf upwards, and really disrupt things.

So, it could be wise to line the bottom of a lake with an insulator, to make sure water does not creep down cracks, and facilitate the emergence of that danger.

I have thought of Styrofoam tiles.  You would simply "Glue" them to the lake bottom by placing them there with a weight, and wait until the tiles are frozen to the ice.  But I fear waterlogging of the tiles, and there could be toxins which would leach into the water.  Good chances, some microbe would simply metabolize those toxins, if there were water in the lake.  But we should be able to come up with something better than just plain old Styrofoam.

As for the transparency of the ice windows, we may have the problem of gas bubbles, and dust.  I find it hard to believe that global dust storms do not deposit dust onto the ice.  So, some cleaning method needed for that.  As for gas bubbles which would damage the transparency of the ice, we have the advantage that the atmospheric pressure is so low.  So maybe a Zamboni like machine which can elevate the pressure under it to allow melting of the ice to the triple point of water.  Then to remove dirty ice.  Then put cleaned water over it at just enough pressure as to not boil.  Then let it freeze.  That is just an attempt.  But it would be a robot, continuously cleaning the surface of the lake, and moving around to do it.  We probably want to have some better inventive methods added.  That's a wish anyway.

Salts in lakes?  That is with a neckless of lakes we could make them different in that regard.  Salt stratification in the water column allows even tropical temperatures in the bottom waters while allowing the water under the ice to be quite cold, as we would want it to be.

I have also considered laser transmission of power to such lakes from orbit.  Somewhat tricky.  One trial balloon is to have the power station in L1.  That crater would only be in line of site part of the year.  L1 seems good to me because I do not want a death ray to point at a lake, I want a beam(s) that will spread before encountering the ice.  To tame things a little more, then I would also what to vary the pointing similar to how a electron beam paints a raster on the phosphorous of a vacuum tube T.V.   But orbital versions of this might be possible as well.  Those could have many targets on the surface of the planet, both North Pole and south pole.  In some cases for lower latitudes for instance, they could also point at solar power farms.

I think that's quite a lot.  Good clean fun smile

Done

Last edited by Void (2020-06-27 08:48:04)


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#12 2020-06-28 09:44:08

Void
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Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I have been enjoying reading the other members posts this morning.  Also, have had a Segway which I think may possibly amount to something, a Segway from materials previous to this post.

It sort of has to do with turning the polar ice caps into solar collectors that might also during the summer support a microbial biosphere.
It is debatable if this would eventually become real seas, or if we would want them to.  That would be determined by practicality, and the desires of the Martians.

It may be a new terraform method.

Previous terraform methods, have for instance had thinking of making the polar ice caps darker.  Just this morning I was thinking of an alternate to that where greenhouse towers could be built in mass, to intercept the suns rays, and those reflected off from the ice deposits.
As always, this involves massive construction, in a extremely difficult environment.  I always have trouble conceiving that these methods will be practical.

But per the orbital lasers that were previously mentioned in this topic, I have come up with the idea of altering the nature of the ice of the ice caps remotely from orbit by way of lasers.  It will also perhaps fit into a highly adaptable Mars wide power grid, requiring far less conductive materials such as Aluminum and Copper.

Obviously with a horrendous effort, and an impractical scope, we may think to put enough energy collection devices in orbit of Mars, to liquify, and perhaps even sillier, vaporize the ice caps.

But I am rather hoping to simply alter the nature of the surface ice to make it more transparent.  Where it seems now to be reflective, and in some terraform techniques, we might want to scatter dust upon it to hope to darken it, transparency at the surface, and indeed darkening below, would be the best method to collect the energy of the sun.  But the Martian environment currently makes reflective deposits.

That seems to be the natural state of the ice caps at this time.  Although we don't see it directly, we can presume that within that ice will be dust particles.  They are typically covered with reflective frost.

I do believe that I have seen situations mentioned for Antarctica, where, there are small pockets of water that form inside of ice bodies under the influence of the sun of summer.  Also in snow sometimes.  For Mars, there have been speculations that actually, there are always some of these potential habitats.  Here I am not speaking of ice covered lakes.  I am speaking of small water pockets in the ice, which in the case of Mars, could retain pressurization in part by the weight of overlying ice, but also by physical containment within the physical containment of the ice itself, the strength of the ice as a "Bottle".

For Mars, relative to Earth, solar power in orbit is not a thing to avoid.  We have a planet whose low gravity and thin atmosphere, make launches of Starship SSTO practical.  We also have Phobos and Demos, should orbital manufacture become more practical than manufacture on Mars itself.  And we may see the option where manufacture of such equipment in the Earth/Moon system, may be the more practical, shipping the devices to Mars, using something like a solar wind sail.

So, we have three main options to establish such solar power systems in orbit.

Laser technology, is becoming more mature, and there is no reason to think that it will not continue to greater and greater capabilities over time.

OK, so we might hope to establish massive amounts of mini-microbial habitats just below the surface ice of Mars.  I would hope that the Laser beams of various kinds might be used to "Groom" the ice.  Make it more transparent.  It would be possible as an extreme method, to hope to add light to the ice by the lasers, but that would be energy intensive.  Indeed some energy would be added by the process.  But mostly the idea is to manufacture remotely the ice characteristics that are desired.  And then hope that the sunlight itself in the summer would do the balance of work to make the ice habitable to microbes.

Infrared wavelengths would probably not be very useful.  They will tend to reflect off of the ice.  U.V. wavelengths in some instances will be absorbed in the ice.  If the ice is transparent to a degree, or translucent, then visible wavelengths, may penetrate to some depth.  This will depend on how the ice is groomed, and what impurities are within the ice.  Dust, microbes, more or less.  Blue I think would have the potential to go the deepest, but may not be the most nourishing for microbes encases in tiny pockets of ice.

We may hope to upgrade the situation by several methods.  Add more dust, decide what is optimal.  Add salt. microbes can do OK at lower temperatures, say a fair amount below the triple point of fresh water.  We have those microbes available to us.  Some of them have various tolerances to salt levels.  We only need take a look at what grows in the North polar ice pack, in brine tubes in the ice.

If we create the conditions for salty brine tubes, that then makes it much more improbable that the vapor pressures inside of the brine tubes will be elevated above the ambient pressure of Martian air above the polar ice caps.

We can start with these organisms to look for such things:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychroph … deep%20sea.
Quote:

Habitat[edit]
The cold environments that psychrophiles inhabit are ubiquitous on Earth, as a large fraction of our planetary surface experiences temperatures lower than 15 °C. They are present in permafrost, polar ice, glaciers, snowfields and deep ocean waters. These organisms can also be found in pockets of sea ice with high salinity content.[3] Microbial activity has been measured in soils frozen below −39 °C.[4] In addition to their temperature limit, psychrophiles must also adapt to other extreme environmental constraints that may arise as a result of their habitat. These constraints include high pressure in the deep sea, and high salt concentration on some sea ice.[5][3]

So, we have a zoo for it.

Another factor is "Other terraforming methods", in particular, I am thinking of greenhouse gasses.  Modifying Mars, to include those, should only help the polar terraform method.

To pay for it on the fly, I mentioned power distribution methods.  That is you may point the lasers at solar collectors where need an opportunity apply, using them both for this terraform method, and potentially accessing most points on Mars to distribute power to wants and needs.  So, not just something that you pump effort into, but also something that generates more immediate wealth.

I actually don't so much want to melt the polar ice caps into Pools of water.  Doing that, you would have heat escaping to space year around.  In this method, there should be no problem if the ice caps are not heated to liquid pockets most of the Martian year.  If you had liquid pockets, perhaps they would exist about ~8.66 months of the Martian year.  Of course there are two ice caps, so you would have one active one, for most of the Martian year, except during global dust storms.

------

In the case where we would resort to Elon Musks orbital nuclear flash explosions, we may blend the methods.  Perhaps, you might do a flash, periodically, utilizing the groomed ice to capture more of the flash, and also, perhaps helping to groom the ice.  This would be different from flashing the reflective ice that we currently have.  The flashes might be a challenge to the microbes.  Can't say to what degree.  But being surrounded by a heat sink, and the probability that ice will absorb much U.V., could help them to survive enough to recover.

------

I would expect that biosphere created and maintained this way to slowly "Breath".  Very good chances it would release the greenhouse gasses from biology, into the atmosphere, which would likely serve our desires. 

------

Where it ice caps proper, shine white, we also have "Laminated Polar Terrain".

This surrounds the polar caps proper.  We seem to have ice under a layer of dirt.  Our polar lander indicated evidence of that.
I believe this is it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(spacecraft)

So, if it is successful to do the ice caps proper, it may be possible to expand the perimeter of the ice lens outward from there, perhaps by getting the soil to drop below the ice, exposing ice.

If this is all successful, then we would have two very significant biospheres on Mars, long before we made the surface of the planet significantly habitable to microbes.

------

One last thought, if we add salt to the surface layer of the ice, we of course would want to add nutrients, to make the habit for the microbes optimal.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-28 10:37:40)


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#13 2020-06-28 11:04:51

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

And indeed, if we should go to so much trouble to make a microbial garden for each polar area, why not make life easier for the microbes.

Sunscreen.

Titanium Dioxide:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_dioxide
Quote:

Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania /taɪˈteɪniə/, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO
2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6), or CI 77891. Generally, it is sourced from ilmenite, rutile, and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, including paint, sunscreen, and food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171. World production in 2014 exceeded 9 million tonnes.[4][5][6] It has been estimated that titanium dioxide is used in two-thirds of all pigments, and pigments based on the oxide have been valued at $13.2 billion.[7]

I believe that it is also a catalyst that works well with U.V..  It has to be "Stretched" to work with visible light, as I recall.

So, some of the dust added to the polar ice cap surface could be Titanium Dioxide.  There is no point in making the microbes struggle to fix damage, when they could instead be manufacturing greenhouse gasses.

And if the Titanium Dioxide does indeed serve as a catalyst, then that adds food and Oxygen for the Microbes.

I believe that the Sand dunes have Iron, Chromium, and Titanium in them.

To be more transparent/translucent it is best if the particles of Titanium Dioxide be very small.

This additive to the process, may make it more acceptable to use Elon Musk's flash nuclear bombs, to raise up the temperatures to those suitable for microbes.  It may protect them from some of the extremes of the flash.

Perhaps by adding mass to the bombs, the flash can be time prolonged as well.  Materials from Phobos and Demos, perhaps.  A less extreme peak of the flash, but a longer time lingering.  I would hope that.

Done.

Not done.

A parabolic reflector, which would reflect the portion of the flash destined to go to the universe back to Mars.  Of course it would vaporize quickly, but even those vapors, and plasma would still tend to reflect the flash back to the planet.  That would be a hope anyway.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-28 11:16:29)


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#14 2020-06-29 08:51:34

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Just taking a moment to attach some supporting documents for "Solid State Greenhouse" on Mars:

The query phrase used to get these was "Temporary liquid water in upper snow/ice sub-surfaces on Mar?".

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … es_on_Mars

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 3509004539

This one has links to other interesting articles:
https://core.ac.uk/display/30990910

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 … 012-9278-1

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … nated_snow

Query phrase: "life under co2 under water ice on Mars".

This is also interesting, for the notion of terraforming, and also supports the idea that periodically Mars may be even more hostile to life than it is now.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topst … ar-BBZxR8r
Quote:

As time has gone on, the changing climate of the Red Planet has meant that not all the CO2 ice was sublimed each time, stacking up successive layers of CO2 ice and water ice. The models show this process changing the atmospheric pressure – from between one-quarter to two times the level that it is today – just as Leighton and Murray predicted in the 1960s.
This has been going on for some 510,000 years, the scientists suggest – since the last period of extreme solar sunlight, when all the CO2 would have been sublimed into the Martian atmosphere.

So, the planet is periodically more habitable, for microbes at least.  And we should have expected that at those times, temporary streams, and I would speculate, ice covered lakes and ponds may have existed in places.

On the other hand, when the pressure is only on average 1/4 of what it is now, the planet probably was very hostile to life.  The aquafers if they exist, would also likely have been hostile to life in at least most cases.  Certainly under those conditions I would not expect life that used sunlight to prosper at all. 

I think it probable that Mars from time to time has had life transported from Earth during the good periods, and perhaps repeating extinctions in the bad times.  If so, we might find the remnants, but perhaps no life now.





https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 7798001665

So better than I have considered lakes it would seem, quite a time ago.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-29 09:54:56)


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#15 2020-06-29 09:59:06

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I might be wrong about periodic extinctions:
https://core.ac.uk/display/216159545?source=3

This "Thin films" thing, I am wondering if particles embedded in ice could provide the thin films in a sort of extreme "Solid State Greenhouse", where although there would not be significant water, but still allowing for the thin film method for microbes to survive.

I have been trying to think about how things might be in the various extremes.  I am starting to think that the polar ice caps might not be so high, when the atmospheric pressure were down to 1/4 of the current ambient.  I am speculating that they might spread out, and cover more area in that case. 

My reason is that with a pressure of 1.375 mbar, altitude will make a difference.  This I think would be when the poles have an axis approaching 0.

My reasoning is that the poles would be at their most cold, because of that axis, and also because of the low pressure.

But perhaps more of the suns spectrum gets through.  If I understand it, under those circumstances there would be no seasons, just a day night presentation of the polar ice caps to the sun.

Any protrusion of elevation at the exact pole, would experience sunlight not coming somewhat from above, but more from the sides.  Maybe that would tend to evaporate it.  of course the winds would be very good at evaporating the ice where they flowed down hill and warmed up.

Of course the ice caps would not be actually flat, due to the curvature of the planet, but I am thinking about sunlight sort of coming in sideways more to the edges of the polar ice caps than is experienced now.

So, I am wondering is if the edges of the caps would be where you might have the greatest solid state greenhouse effect.  And might small voids in the ice, provide sufficient warming and humidity inside of them for that "Thin film" method of survival?

Obviously I am not very qualified to do much more than speculate.  But I will suppose that little cavities in the edges of the ice caps, might be where this might possibly exist.  Little dry cavities with little or no liquid water, but just possibly allowing for the thin films.  But the pressure would be low, unless these cavities periodically pressurized as containers.  Perhaps being stimulated to pressurization from CO2 Ice, and maybe water ice evaporation.

That's about as far as I can get with that.

I am presuming that these ice caps would be thinner, and also spread a bit towards lower latitudes.  I am presuming again that at such a low Martian air pressure, any increase in altitude is going to penalize elevated ice, where it may evaporate more readily.  And I am as I speculated thinking that perhaps more U.V. would get through the atmosphere, and that that might more easily evaporate elevated ice.

At the edges of the ice cap, sunlight would impinge directly, so at lower elevations there would be a balance of power.  Perhaps condensation in the night of a Martian day, and of course evaporation, and perhaps a solid state greenhouse effect.  Maybe some kind of life could be adaptable to that.

-----

During the other extreme, before the polar ice deposits have entirely evaporated, and when average pressure might be about 11 mbar, I wonder if there would be the potential for ice aquafers such as for Greenland.

This speaks of a Greenland aquifer, contained in ice.
https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/en … ice-sheet/

If it were somehow, possible, then before the ice caps would evaporate entirely, and migrate to other locations, such as the Equator, and alpine areas, perhaps their would be artesian wells with springs flowing out of the roots of the ice caps.  Perhaps filling ice covered lakes.

Later on, when the ice had all migrated towards the low latitudes, might daily warming and a solid state greenhouse effect do similar for ice caps at lower latitudes?

Clearly I don't know, but it may be possible that there could be a habitable space on Mars somewhere, most of the time.

Time will tell.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-29 10:26:35)


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#16 2020-06-29 10:51:21

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

The idea, of CO2 pressurized bottles, with masses of water ice inside of them where a solid greenhouse effect could occur.

I am not the originator of this at all.

But the Spiders on Mars.


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#17 2020-06-29 14:21:14

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I think I will have another stab at this.  (Big surprise).

OK, so my thinking has evolved beyond just ice covered lakes and seas.  Not that I am against them, but it has become apparent, that there can be a even more extreme and frugal biome we might encourage, which would be potentially productive.

I am thinking that I would like to "Pancake" the ice caps.  That is we do not particularly need tall ice caps, but rather the ice spread to cover more area.

So, where are the chances to do that?

So, any form of adding extra heat to the high areas may help.  Natural sunlight, manipulating the albedo of the surface.  In this case the preference is to have dark materials somewhat under the ice.  Laser, perhaps.  A modification of Elon Musk's flash nuclear bombs.  I would try to modify them so that they may more preferentially direct their light as efficiently as possible to the elevated areas.

I do not then so much want the moisture to go to the opposite pole, at it's high elevations.

But we may have a tool we could use in conjunction with Elon Musk's flash bombs.  Cloud seeding might help.  I will start with the notion that a flash bomb will induct lots of water moisture into the high skies, and if we want to pancake the ice cap, we want snow to drop down adjacent to the polar ice cap but not so much on it.

Time of year of action may be very important.  Often on Mars, snow does not reach the ground.  It evaporates prior to contacting the ground.  It would be desired to choreograph the thing for the optimal time of year, and be ready to really seed the moisture.

We do have such biological areas on Earth, but I am going to guess that they are nutrient poor.  So, if we have the option, we seed the clouds with useful nutrients as a preference.

------

I am going to guess that the above would be done in conjunction with other terraforming methods.  Magnetic field, intentionally created special greenhouse gasses, and whatever else may be within reach.

Eventually perhaps the pancaked ice caps, might be converted to ice covered bodies of water, but for now a fertilized ice field that has some internal melting for biology, would be the most efficient.  That way it would not be leaking so much heat out, when it was not possible for it to be biologically active.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-29 14:34:29)


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#18 2020-06-29 18:17:48

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

If it does become possible to create a biome where critters live in the ice and snow, that will be of little benefit to humans unless it generates greenhouse gasses.  I am thinking of Methane in particular.

I think I am with Dr. Zubrin on the Korolev crater.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korolev_(Martian_crater)

Perhaps a moat all the way around the edge of the crater for buoyant transportation.  And connected to that a series of lakes, where nuclear energy would directly heat them.  The moat would then be heated from the lakes.  If it were fission, and some kind of a leak into a lake, then isolate that lake.

-----

I am thinking of what could be done with the rest of the ice surface.  As I have said, if it does not serve needs, such as generating Methane, creating a biome may be a burden rather than an asset.  I think Dr. Zubrin is correct that we don't want to melt the entire body of ice.  It would take too long, and may not be all that useful.

I am thinking along the lines of Aerogel, protected by glass, placed on the surface.  Not too much of it.  Not too much greenhouse.  Like the tundra, we want the summer thaws to only go down maybe a few inches, maybe as much as a few feet.  Meters, and whatever for non-barbarians.

The Aerogel has to be kept dry.  So, kind of like kitchenware, a bottom piece, transparent, and a lid, transparent.  Then Aerogel inside.  Ventilation to the atmosphere to keep it dry inside.  So, and expense, but repeatable instances, so mass production may reduce costs.

The idea is to have whatever photo organisms as can grow.  They will produce Oxygen and biomass.  But the trick would be to let much of the Oxygen leak out, and for dead biomass to hope that in a relative absence of Oxygen, the critters that would consume the biomass would generate Methane, and that there would be relatively few opportunities of microbes that Oxidize Methane to be able to do so.

So, to a degree these devices have to breath with the atmosphere.  I would think that with high and low pressures oscillating that opportunity would exist.  Some kind of a small passage method to allow it.

-----

Of course the above has to be more effective than simply manufacturing Methane non-biologically.

But it would be an option to explore.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-29 18:25:35)


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#19 2020-06-30 08:16:02

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I have been thinking about my last post, and hope to improve on it.

Where I think Spacenut indicated that Dr. Zubrin is pondering a limited use of lake like structures in Korolev crater near the rim area, I am wondering if there can be hope to establish a biome further in the interior.  It would be hoped that it could support microbial life at least.  Phytoplankton, and maybe some Zooplankton.

I am thinking Arctic brine channels as the first resort, and also think to draw from Antarctic sources as well for the examples, and the prospective organisms to attempt transplantation of.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korolev_(Martian_crater)
Quote:

Ice formation[edit]
The ice is permanently stable because the crater acts as a natural cold trap. The thin Martian air above the crater ice is colder than air surrounding the crater; the colder local atmosphere is also heavier so it sinks to form a protective layer, insulating the ice, shielding it from melting and evaporation.[2][3] Recent research indicates that the ice deposit formed in place within the crater and was not previously part of a once-larger polar ice sheet.[4] The ice in the crater is part of the vast water resources at Mars poles.[3]

I would hope to be able to alter the surface ice in the interior of the crater, and yet not disrupt the natural protection that the structure of the crater offers to retain ice/moisture.

I think that adding salts and nutrients could do that, modify the situation, but I hope that it would not then overwhelm, the protection I mentioned above.

In this case I do not want to melt a lake.  Rather I want a layer of salty ice to lay on top of the presumably fresh ice below.  Something like tundra, to freeze completely during the Martian winter.  Creatures that live in brine channels, may be able in some cases, restart each spring.  Some of them may simply be able to remain dormant, while encased in brine, but that seems a long shot.  Many organisms have methods of spores and such, so probably a restart from that.

Many polar organisms that live in brine channels have the needed tolerances for strong brine, cold temperatures, and to a degree U.V.

However the ice should provide some protection from U.V.  The beauty of brine channels, is that they may be able to get near the surface of the ice, and so sunshine may not be strongly attenuated.  If U.V. is a problem, then perhaps add Titanium Dioxide, (Sunscreen).

Some advantages of Mars over Earth are a much longer summer, and curiously, U.V.  If it is true, that ice will absorb U.V. then it should help warm the ice.  But as said before there may need some protection added as well.

So, there is a very long summer, with relatively short nights for a prolonged period.  I cannot say, how well the surface ice will warm.  The solution of it would be modified by salts, which will depress the melting point.  The organisms that I would hope could grow, could manage in temperatures significantly below the triple point of fresh water.  The organisms themselves, with supplied nutrients should darken the ice, change the albedo.

As for the brine channels, it seems reasonable that in some cases they can build internal pressures by physical containment.  A solid state greenhouse.

But to a certain point this is a bit of wishful thinking.  I have attempted to do the best with the least, and hope for useful results.  It may be necessary to also cover these things with domes.  For the heat needs at least.  Maybe not for pressure needs.  Such "Domes" could be skimpy of materials requirements perhaps.

In the last post I offered something like this as a potential terraform tool.  I would also like to see if it could be biologically useful.  Could biomass come from this.  For the moment, I am thinking some kind of a vascular system under it and connected to it.  But this needs more thinking.

-----

Here is something else you may ponder, if you wish:
https://www.bing.com/search?q=condition … 7D2B65E202
https://www.livescience.com/25032-ancie … found.html
Quote:

Life finds a way

The brine ranges from yellow to orange in color due to iron-laced compounds within it. The investigators found the temperature of the water was about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 degrees Celsius) — its saltiness, about five to six times greater than average ocean water, keeps it from freezing like freshwater or seawater would. It is also completely depleted of oxygen and mildly acidic.

So, the vapor pressure at about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 degrees Celsius), would be rather low, and yet life can live in it.

About the same article I think:
https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/ … alien-life

I think what I am after is a "Photo-Biological Solar Collector".

Perhaps like a plant it could be vascularized, with the surface ice as leaf's, and tubes connected to flow fluids through.

------

Well, if a vascular system managed, perhaps feeding plankton into the lakes, to increase biological productivity.


That's it for now.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 08:43:57)


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#20 2020-06-30 10:01:09

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

So, it pretty much comes down to this;
1) Hard shell pressurized volumes, perhaps Starship as a start.
2) Perennial Lakes, ice covered, maybe requiring a hard shell protection most places, maybe not for Korolev crater.
3) Annual solar ice habitats.  It is very important for these, that the average temperature for the deep subsurface be below the melting point of the ices that exist there.

As per Korolev, perhaps too optimistic, I think we hope to develop a plenum somewhere in the deeps of Martian summer.

Plenum:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenum#:~ … tems...%20

Since we are likely to have a nuclear ability, preferably Boron/Hydrogen fusion, but presumably also available fission methods, it may be possible to stimulate the early seasonal emergence of such.

A vascular system where the output of photo life could be focused into human needs.  Not entirely vastly comfortable with that, but we are not yet things that live off of Hydrogen and Oxygen, or are we yet purely electrical.  (Silly notions of such creatures, what would be their motivation of purpose of existence?).  Not my problem, their presumed problems.  They can solve for that.  We, for better or worse, eat other living organisms.  Try to not be that.  Cold, hard truth.

So, perhaps we etch leaves into the ices of Korolev, and then plenums to serve as a circulatory system.  And as the climate of Mars is upgraded, perhaps to do similar to other ice fields.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 10:11:50)


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#21 2020-06-30 11:48:36

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

OK, from childhood, I seem to remember 6 feet is required to keep fish alive during the winter in the northern temperate.

In the case of shallow waterways, we do want them to freeze shut during the long winter.  If they are salt water, it may take more moderation.  However, the Martian winters will be long and very cold.

Unfortunately I would expect these things to heave up upon freezing, so that would have to be factored in for any structures to associate with these.

To line the bottoms of these, I am thinking of tailings from boring company boreholes.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-06-30 11:49:14)


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#22 2020-07-02 10:55:01

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Well, someone was nice and put this on www.phys.org

In itself it is worth something, but the view, stimulates me to speculate, which is typical.
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-video-fli … -mars.html

You can run a video from the page.  Shows a lot of detail.  Revealed features I was not aware of an elevated ice slab.

That far up in latitude, I don't know how much fun it would be to winter over.  It looks like it could be great in the long summer though.

I really think Martians should be thinking about a life style where they are snowbirds, migrating seasonally from pole to pole.  At least most of them.  That then solves for lack of solar power in the winters to a degree.  Of course then it requires more energy expended into dual habitats.  But I think pressurize habitat may be cheaper later on than we fear.

I think the topic of ice dammed lakes can apply here.
https://www.livescience.com/31810-big-freeze-flood.html
http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_ … /mod13.htm

We are not going to have a tropical or temperate climate Mars any time soon.

Here are some nice still pictures of similar views.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 … lev-crater

This setup appears to have many of the things that would be helpful.

Unlike the ice dammed reservoirs that we had in North America, in the ice age, there is no where for the water to flood out to, if you had Dr. Zubrins, moat lake.  Also, it appears, that the slab is elevated, so that a lower down moat lake would not be able to get under the ice slab and lift it up.

So, then Dr. Zubrin correct, I think a fresh water ring-moat lake after all.  Just warm enough to not be frozen water.  The ice above the lake, if evaporating, should stay in the crater, and condense as ice on the slab.  So, very likely no mechanical cover over the ice.

I am not anti-nuclear.  Just want sensible safe nuclear, not something like where they pollute the surroundings if they go bad.  I would prefer Fusion, but fission is also a good option.  Problem is how do you get the fuels for that?  Well eventually you do, I presume, but not immediately, most likely.  Unless it would be some kind of heavy water fusion.

So, I would imagine an early settlement would be granted kilopower units since they probably would have to winter over at first.  But a solar economy, with migration options, and year around stored thermal energy should work out just fine.

It is fairly obvious that the big ice slab is also a giant light reflector.  So, solar power could involve light from the sun, and light reflected off of the ice.  That could be a little bit of a payday.

So as to not undermine the ice from melting under it to fill the moat, the method i would like would see a machine(s) placed at the edge of the ice slab, so that it can hold air pressure, and then shine a laser to carve very long tunnels through the ice slab.  Of course the result of the carving could be liquid water to fill the moat lake.

A byproduct would be tunnels which would eventually poke up through the ice slab, and perhaps offer easier access to the ice slab surface.
If it is desired to use the tunnel in that manner, perhaps you brace it up.  One possibility could be to make a stone tube our of boring company blocks, bricks from the tailings of tunnels bored.  A sort of a roman arch concept.

If equipment were to be stored during the winter, this is a possibility.

I am now going to think solar power for the crater.  For that I think we also have to be aware that it may need protection from the winter environment, obviously seasonally.  But that is roughly 2 Earth years, and so, not as bothersome as it seems.  CO2 snow and ice deposits maybe being a real challenge.

Perhaps someone will see a reason to challenge what I am going to say next.  It will concern power collection and redistribution.  I think I see great potential for solar power collection.  The ice slab is a reflector, and a ~vertical rotating solar panel might work nicely, on the ice slab.  We also have the south facing crater rim, which might also get reflected light from the ice slab.  So, perhaps more bang for your solar panel bucks.

For main power distribution methods, can we entertain laser, and perhaps even better microwave transmission to rectenna's?

That way greatly reducing the need for standard methods used on Earth involving electrical conductors.

And now the crater walls themselves.  Probably a tunnel system in the rock.

Salt water lakes?  I guess carved impoundments in the crater walls, perhaps dams.  These would be lakes with a stratified water column.  Making possible temperatures at the bottom of room temperature or even above.

Although the ring moat is ice covered, there is some potential to transport bulk items in it's water.  More complicated than a temperate river on Earth though.

Tundra ponds on the ice slab?  Well just line a depression with an insulator tile.  Then condition the surface ice to be clear.  It would be possible to add a pinch of salt also to depress the freezing point, and to create brine channels in the ice.  If you need extra heat, use solar power which I have already suggested could be on the ice slab.

If you really want to get fancy, build "Hover Domes".  This would be a rotating greenhouse.  Transparent in the "Front", and and reflective inside on the "Back".  These would rotate on a U shaped circular track, and could be slightly pressurized.  The pressure lifts the dome, and also helps to keep the surface ice stable from sublimation.  The rotating dome would be sun following.  I suppose aerogel could be involved, if you really want to get fancy.  These would need some method of protection from the winter environment, at least until the planet is terraformed to not have CO2 snow/ice.  Seasonal ponds would be energy efficient, as you would not be heating them during the dark times.

I guess that is a lot.

We would want something like this in the southern latitudes I think.  That may require more effort.  But for power beaming another crater might be a good thing.

Another trick for wintering over at that place would be big storage tanks of Methane and Oxygen.  Over the winter boil off should not be that much of a problem.  You just consume it as it boils off.   Probably good to have it for a global dust storm as well, even if you have nuclear power.

Any ideas from others?

Done

Last edited by Void (2020-07-02 12:11:23)


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#23 2020-07-02 19:16:09

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

I feel like talking about this a bit more.

Particularly the pseudo tundra ponds.

I think it would be wise to help them thaw with electrical energy.  Don't even know that without a aerogel cover they would thaw in the summer anyway, at Korolev certainly it would be good to thaw them early, so as to use the sunlight.

This may not be a big problem, if solar electric collector panels were near by, as I suggested they could be.  Melting the ponds would be rather low level priority.  Most of the energy might be sent to the crater rim by microwaves.

While domes that help the ponds warm would probably work, they would also consume human effort to construct, and might be damaged or destroyed by CO2 snow in the winter.

So, applying the K.I.S.S principle, we might go for an ice window, and electric thaw assistance as mentioned above.

A little salt may help them to be more useful.  It would allow the liquid temperature to be lower than freezing fresh water.  However it would also cause problems with potential melting of the pond floor.  Perhaps some kind of a liner needed.

These so called ponds in that case could be very long, or very broad, and might cover a large area if that is what is desired.

A larger installation would make more practical extraction of biomass if that was desired.  Of course the water would need nutrients.

Microbes might not be the only thing that could grow in the water.  I believe tundra pond moss could as well, (Maybe).

If there was water loss from the ponds over time, then a reverse of what would be done for the ring lake could be done.  Instead of liquifying ice in a diagonal tunnel and letting it flow down, instead, a diagonal tunnel from the top could be drilled down.  In this case the water would be vaporized.  While it might freeze back to the tunnel walls, a vacuum applied along with the heat of the laser would prevent that.  The water vapor pumped out and compressed into liquid, then added to the pond.

------

There could be a different use for the ponds.  Martian atmosphere added, photosynthesis producing oxygen and biomass.  The Oxygen and Nitrogen, ect. extracted for use.

Later in the summer as less sunlight, the ice getting thicker, then if possible the waters rendered anoxic, other microbes might digest the biomass and produce Methane that could be extracted.  Then finally into the winter, the pond freezes to the bottom.

I believe the Karolev crater is 50 miles across or so.  That is a lot of square miles of pond.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-02 19:58:30)


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#24 2020-07-03 11:28:27

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Posts: 3,348

Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Well, today, I am mulling over two things;
1) Giant space ships/cycling aspects.  (Not going there now, think I might be disruptive in it, and maybe don't have a proper grasp),  If I ever did or will.

2) Ice as a transparent/translucent method to offer sheltering plant life.

#1, I leave for another day, if ever.

#2, I think I am ready for a try.

Everything we might build on Mars will have a shelf life.  That is, it cannot persist without corrective maintenance forever.

I have become interested in the relative offering of water at Korolev crater and in fact the poles.

Granted, they are brutal environments.  I am not at all convinced that you can build a greenhouse in those locations, and expect it to self heat.  So probably such must have supplemental heating.  Either from additional solar electric or nuclear electric.

But we have some problems related to transparent materials.  Robert Dyck has been the best source so far, to me it seems.

But glass and Fluorine containing materials, while very desirable, are also likely to be expensive and hard to come by.

I have already suggested cold ice ponds where if necessary you could replace sublimated materials, and this, what I will say, could also apply to them.

But it could be desired to have more that that.

So, now I am going to suggest conductive metal frameworks, domes, that would have sublimated ice continuously replaced by electrostatic deposition of steam to ice, probably from the outside.

As I said earlier, everything that we might construct on Mars will have a time limit.  It cannot last forever without maintenance.

Fluorine for Mars, I think will be a real challenge.  Glass, a considerable amount of work.

In some places on Mars, there is a natural tendency to accumulate water as ice.  Korovev crater and the poles of Mars are such places.

If you had a structure like a metal mesh dome, you could perhaps charge it to an electrical potential, and then create steam from ice, at a opposite charge potential, and I think you could electrostatically continually renew an ice shell for the dome.  Bacteria are not generally round but cylindrical.  So maybe the structure should resemble the proportions of a bacteria.

The purpose of the structure would primarily be radiation protection, U.V. in particular.  So, if necessary to achieve the best results, perhaps a sprinkling of Titanium Dioxide dust, in addition to the deposited ice.

While you might pressurize this structure to a degree, I would rather put a plastic balloon inside for pressure needs.  Here I want to avoid the need for Fluorine in the plastic.  The hope would be to have a relatively benign environment, so that that need does not have to be satisfied by the plastic bubble.  Over time the plastic pressure bubble would likely degrade anyway, so eventually it would likely be recycled into solid plastic parts for some purpose.

Under the plastic bubble perhaps a layer of brick with air gaps in the hopes that even with a thin atmosphere, melting of the underlying ice can be prevented.

-----

People from the south, I think have some problem thinking about layering.  They import what works where they live.  So, they generally want one wall to do all.

Here, I am thinking about layering.

But as I said before, I would not expect such enclosures to self heat properly, without supplemental heat.  So additional solar panels to give the needed extra heat or nuclear.

Is such going to be giving a reasonable payoff?  That requires ground truth, as someone else might say.

But so far I see only a few reasonable transparent methods available.  Glass in a frame, Plastics containing Fluorine, Aerogel (Very fragile, and maybe expensive), and metal frame ice structures with continual renewal of ice by electrostatic deposition as the method.  Plastic pressure bubbles also required.

Time will tell what wins the contest.  Needs satisfied for a reasonable price being the judge, I would think.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-03 11:53:36)


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#25 2020-07-03 16:36:02

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Re: Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resouces.

Per the previous post, a few more attempts to improve plausibility.

For radiation protection by primarily by an ice wall, then more is better.  To keep the outside surface which will tend to sublimate, then more is also better to keep it cold.  But too much insulation would cause the inside of the wall to perhaps melt, so that needs to be kept in control.  Probably the pressure held by the ice should be at least 10 mbar.  That is just to help stabilize the interior ice.

What more could we try with electrostatics?  Although I believe I have never got a reply, I have thought about having electrostatic fields to create a more habitable surface.  I will diverge on that for a bit.

For instance I have imagined a bubble in space, which could hold a very tiny air pressure, and yet have a significant electrostatic film pressure.  I have also speculated on that possibly actually existing in the Martian environment on the surface of rocks and particles.  Perhaps I don't know my science well enough, but I believe that there can be such a thing as electrostatic condensation.  Things electrostatic are very powerful at a short distance.  Mars is harsh in so many ways that I don't think that we have any evidence of a vascular plant that could create an electrostatic bubble around itself so as to make liquid water more possible, but I can imagine that such an evolution could occur if the life form was competitive enough in its environment to do it.

Bacteria seed clouds on Earth.  Probably that is by molecular structure, but I wonder.  Lichen of some sorts can grab water from what seems dry air, (Maybe there are super cooled droplets it absorbs, or some kind of chemical method).

But back to the ice domes.  I might hope that since my intention is to continuously replenish any sublimated ice with electrostatically charged water vapor, perhaps sublimation itself could be reduced by imposing a differential electrostatic film on the exposed surface of the ice.  Experimentation would be required, I am sure.

------

To make the setup more adaptive, I think that instead of the base below the bubble being spaced ceramic materials (Bricks), also a sheet of some material could be on top of that, and above that something like a sheet of Styrofoam.

I hope then air convection and also radiative cooling could keep the base bricks from melting.

If we should go to such trouble, I am hoping that the gardens inside of the plastic bubbles could be in a temperate condition, to be proper farm crops.

There are a few places on Mars where water wants to come back to.  That is pretty much the poles, where you have virtually unlimited water resources, and renewable water resources.  The sunlight of summer is fairly constant.  You just have to add more heat, I think.

You can get "More Heat" from solar devices or nuclear.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-03 16:56:00)


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