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#26 2007-11-21 15:46:38

RickSmith
Banned
From: Vancouver B.C.
Registered: 2007-02-17
Posts: 244

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Hi Everyone,
  I've been playing around with an idea for warming Martian guts using a mohole.   It also gets rid of some of the iron on Mars surface (which is likely at a high enough a concentration to be a nuisance).  Let us say that you dig (using successive small asteroid impacts or some future mining technology) a mohole that is a few km deep.

  You place some tungsten tear drop shaped bodies at the bottom of the hole & fill them with nuclear wastes & neutron reflectors to make them hot.

  Then you start filling up the Mohole with iron.  Any metallic garbage, iron taken from the red dust, scrap iron from asteroids, etc.  Gradually fill this puppy up.

  Most of the heat in terrestrial planets comes from iron sinking to the core of the planet.  (Converting potential energy into heat.) This column of iron will be so heavy that it would crush the rock under it and would start sinking thru the crust.  The normal mantle rock would be fragmented and float upwards as the iron oozes down.  Locally, you might get a small volcano out gassing volatiles released from the rocks.

  With a bit of fission biproducts softening the rock just below our artificial iron mascon, it may be able to reach right down to the core.

  When one volcano freezes shut, start another elsewhere.

  This is obviously a far future plan but I don't see anything impossible about it and it accomplishes three positive improvements for terraformers.  Namely:
1) Reduce iron on surface of the planet.
2) Add volatiles to the atmosphere.
3) Cause volcanoes which often concentrate useful ores.

  Any comments would be welcome, warm regards, Rick

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#27 2008-05-03 23:08:36

RickSmith
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From: Vancouver B.C.
Registered: 2007-02-17
Posts: 244

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

...nuclear blasts or comet impacts on the poles would kick up dust onto the poles.  likewise soot factories placed near the poles would darken them without having to truck dirt all over the place.

Hi everyone, kippy.
  I reread "New Earths" by Oberg a little while ago and indexed it.  One thing he was talking about was albedos.

Current albedo of Mars: 15%
albedo of liquid water (if deep):  3%
albedo of new snow: 90%
albedo of old snow: 50%

Now the albedo of old snow was mentioned in passing and he did not define what 'old snow' is.  I have seen snow that has laid around for a while and it is less white.  Areas that have melted and refrozen are darker, as the snow and ice gets rougher it has more shadows and light reflects down into the dips and can be trapped there.  No doubt there is some dust on the snow even tho it is not visible. 

I do not know how long the snow must remain on Mars before it gets 'old' but likely it is longer than on Earth.

I had thought that as we start to get a hydrological cycle going on Mars we would get snow and this would be a major set back to the heat budget.  But if the snow gets 'old' at any reasonable rate, it might not be as bad as I first feared.  We still will be reflecting more than 4 times the energy than we would on the non-snowy Mars but that is an improvement over more than 6 times for fresh snow.

Now Mars has lots of very fine dust.  It will start to clump together as we free up water.  But by the time there is a lot of water the planet will be 40 C warmer than it is now with a lot thicker atmosphere.  This will allow the winds to move larger dust grains.  So with time we should get dust on and in the snow which might make it DARKER than the 50% value given above.


Anyway, I've given my few facts and realize that there are a lot of questions.  I welcome posts from anyone who has better data.

Warm regards, Rick.

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#28 2008-05-05 09:21:41

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

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

But as the atmosphere gets thicker, it will hold more water clouds, water clouds reflect sunlight, and rain will wash out the dust from the atmosphere.

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#29 2008-05-05 10:26:50

Midoshi
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-07-14
Posts: 157

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Two words: Dust Bowl.

The American Great Plains is only a semi-arid steppe, meaning it receives about 20 inches of rain a year, but during the 1930s it produced intense dust storms chillingly similar to the kind we routinely see on Mars.

Yes, part of the reason for the Dust Bowl was a drought, but measurements and simulations indicate this was only a 10% drop down to 18 in/yr at worst. The major cause was improper soil management by farmers, i.e. the topsoil was not held together by plant roots and could not retain moisture.

Until a terraformed Mars is covered with plants, similar soil conditions will prevail there. 18 inches of precipitation a year is a practically infinite increase over what the wettest parts of Mars currently receive, and yet we have devastating proof that it still allows violent dust storms. Unless you are talking about a constant tropical rainforest type deluge, there's no fear about dust quickly "raining out" of the atmosphere on Mars.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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#30 2008-05-05 11:05:23

nickname
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 354

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

I don't think the dust will form dust bowl on Mars with rain cleaning up the dust from the atmosphere to decrease the dust quantity.
Simply because it won't rain at first.

On Mars long before it rains it will snow.
Blowing snow and falling snow will lock away most of the dust on Mars.
Mars might become a very cloudy place with decreasing fine dust before we can make it rain, making it even more difficult to get to the rain stage.

The first melt of that snow when the atmosphere and temperatures are right for a melt will cause most of the fine particles of dust to be layered into the Martian soil.

Something like a swamp drying into a cake of hard mud.
Very little of the original fine dust will be available.
We are sure to get very arid places on Mars like we have on Earth that allow some dust storms, but nothing like Mars has now.


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#31 2008-05-05 17:01:21

Midoshi
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2007-07-14
Posts: 157

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

nickname, your reasoning makes sense, but keep these things in mind:

First, the freezing point of water at the surface is NOT the 0°C it was up in the air when the snow began precipitating. The Martian surface is chock-full of soluble compounds, and, like a salted Maine road in winter, will liquify incident precipitation al low as several tens of degrees below 0°C.

Secondly, even when it begins to snow it's still going to be a desert. You need a good couple inches of snow to make sure it doesn't all melt over a single +0°C afternoon. That's as much snow as some cold deserts on Earth get in a year. By the time Mars is warm enough to crank out precipitation fast enough for ice to permanently accumulate aross the globe, it'll be warm enough that it won't be snow that's falling.

Thirdly, even if only some portions of Mars remain dusty, that dust can travel global distances. On Earth dust storms from the Gobi often carry particles around the world to effect weather in Canada and the United States. On Mars this means that even if snow does somehow accumulate across portions of the surface, it will have its albedo lowered by mixing or being coated with dust transported from other areas. This would raise the local temperature and make melting more likely.

Lastly, remember how precipitation occurs: rising moist air. Since it only has one pair of Hadley Cells, Mars' precipitation will be even more focused at the equator than it is on Earth. This means that if you use local terraforming techniques to get it to rain 10 inches/year at the equator (lower limit of semi-arid) at the very most it's only going to be snowing about 1 inch/year at mid-latitudes.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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#32 2008-05-06 12:05:33

nickname
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 354

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Hi Midoshi,
Thanks smile

Good points on the freeze point of water on the surface, the amount of snow and dust.
To begin with i think you are correct, the snow amounts won't be drastic or make a big impact on temperatures globally.

I guess it all comes down to how much of the poles is water ice as to how Mars will react.

I don't expect much of any precipitation until the equator is above the melt point and triple point of water.
Snow will always fall first so i expect we will get snow on the equator first, rain later as it becomes warm enough.
Then we could have a rapid melt in the temperate regions following the equator melt as the atmosphere thickens quickly.

The poles are the key to what happens on Mars from that point on.
If they are mostly water then  they will begin to melt after the temperate regions, Mars will begin to decrease the dust amounts and increase cloud amounts quickly.
The thickening cloud cooling will probably cause snow to fall that was rain earlier.
We could have pretty deep snow if most of the poles melt and are returned as snow all over the place.
Then we are stuck with thick clouds and a partially white surface of Mars.
A difficult prospect to escape from without a huge energy input.

I think Mars is going to be trouble to control after the first rain stars to fall, from that point Mars will do pretty much what it wants and we will just observe it with little input.
With luck it will do what we want. smile

We probably could use a huge quick input of super greenhouse gas as soon as it rains to avoid it hovering around the melt/snow point of Mars.
For sure that super greenhouse gas input will be needed if the poles melt and Mars remains a close to snowy place or a cloudy place.

Without doubt it's difficult to model what Mars might do as we thicken the atmosphere that raises temperature.

So many chemicals locked into Mars might alter everything, how it snows will be a big factor, how cloudy it gets, how dusty the clouds can stay, how the weather patterns change with a thicker atmosphere, what the poles are made of etc etc.

Fun to think about though smile


Science facts are only as good as knowledge.
Knowledge is only as good as the facts.
New knowledge is only as good as the ones that don't respect the first two.

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#33 2012-05-28 00:48:11

sanman
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Registered: 2012-02-23
Posts: 27

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Why import nitrogen from Titan? Just grab those ammonia chunks that make up Saturn's rings and keep hurling them at Mars

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#34 2013-12-23 11:18:07

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 4,817

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

I decided not to start a new topic, maybe this is an OK place.

Calalyst

http://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-proj … water-fuel

I am wondering if it might be possible to find a catalyst that would operate with U.V. energy, that could be dropped as a dust onto certain locations of the Martian polar ice caps, to produce greenhouse gasses.  The "Dust" perhaps would need to be hollow so as to be likely to "float" on the surface of the ice cap when it evaporates, and not to sink into it.

If such could be created, it might persist at the location deposited, and work multiple times before degrading.

I am not compentent in chemestry, but I know what I would like, a cheep pathway actually to terraformation.  I am thinking Methane from CO2 and evaporated water, with the catalyst actived by U.V. light.

The application would not require a soft landing, but rather entry to the atmosphere without damage to the cargo, and then an atmospheric dispersal to the icy surfaces.

Last edited by Void (2013-12-23 11:19:37)


Done.

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#35 2013-12-23 15:42:35

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Well it's certainly not impossible.  Methane is a strong greenhouse gas and would only be needed in the ppm range to have a significant effect upon the martian environment.  We might actually be able to simply set up a large-ish Sabatier reactor to get the methane quantities in the atmosphere up to meaningful levels.


-Josh

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#36 2013-12-23 19:15:33

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,347

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Material researched on dust bowl size.

From 1934 to 1940 severe drought ravaged an area twice the size of Pennsylvania ( Area - 46,058 square miles )covering parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. By 1935, winds reaching 60 miles per hour whipped the dirt into gigantic clouds as high as 1,000 feet blocking the sun. Dust reached the president's desk in Washington and even reported by ships 500 miles out to sea.

The Dust bowl history was interesting and the fact that so little rain caused it means that we would need to generate at least that amount of rain for the entire square miles that mars has for the seasons of mars.

So 18 inches per year that covered 92,116 square miles which amounts to a daily amount to 0.05 inches covering the area. 

If we had 18 storms that dumped an 1 inch per storm on 1 square mile or (2.6 square kilometers) is 17.38 million gallons or (65.78 million liters) for a very tiny area in comparison to the dust bowl let alone mars.

Mars Surface area 55,907,000 mi² or 144,798,500 km2. The band that needs the highest level of rain would be simular to the temperate area on earth which is 45 degrees either side of the equator but I am not sure what that is for mars. The case I am looking at is how much water is need and that is with no oceans, river, streams or pond....

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#37 2013-12-23 20:34:01

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Well I don't think that the Dust bowl is a good comparison to make here.  The issue with the dust bowl wasn't the amount of rain, per se, but rather the sudden change, and the fact that it occurred in a heavy farming area.  If we terraform I would still expect modern farming techniques to be in use, which would mean that Martian farmland would be very productive and not all that much high-rain area would be needed to prevent significant issues.


-Josh

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#38 2022-09-23 02:46:11

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,330

Re: Methods of terraforming - How to go from bone dry & lifeless

Could We Terraform Mars?
https://www.worldatlas.com/space/could- … -mars.html
It is currently impossible for human life to survive on Mars without technology

Elon Musk Envisions a Human Colony on Mars With Terraforming, Vegan Diets
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/3 … -diets.htm

Ex-Nasa boss reveals plan to ‘terraform’ Mars for human colony using giant space umbrella
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5099979/ex … an-colony/

Planetary engineering on Mars. The scifi speculation of "Earth-shaping" of a planet, moon, we assume it can be done, Mega Volcanoes and Asteroid impacts changed Earth for the worse killing off certain species, we assume it will be done on Mars as we already change our own world with pollutants so maybe other world's can be changed for the better. Change Mars not just with little domes and require more livable area, farm land, more habitable real estate.  Altering the planet's full scale composition via the chemical geography, the changing the climate of the land and air, and making changes to the atmosphere.

But in a far future if you were a Interstellar civilization or type ii Kardashev scale civilization perhaps you would simply restart the core, or if you are going this far why not start building your own Moon or Little Planet?

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