The NASA Curiosity Rover is currently conducting scientific operations on the surface of the red planet in the scabbing crater. Scientists have long believed that this crater was once an old lake and a lot of the curiosity of the rolling rocks were once sediments at the bottom of this lake. A new study has been published this week that contributes to adding to the understanding of where the rock file has preserved or destroyed the proof of a wet past on the surface of the March and the potential signs of old life.
Tom Bristow, principal researcher and principal chief of the new research paper, said that scientists used to think that the layers of the clay minerals were formed at the bottom of a lake in the crater and remained in this way, preserving the moment they were created. However, the team has now noticed that salt brine later broke the clay minerals in some areas and reset the rock folder. The large amount of non-disturbed rock layers is a specific reason that the scab’s crater has been chosen as a landing site for curiosity.
The team was surprised to find that in an area, about half of the clay minerals should be discovered were missing. Rather than these clay minerals, researchers have discovered Mudstone rich in iron oxide. The iron oxide is what gives March its iconic red color. The researchers knew that the sampled mudstone was about the same age and started at about the same time and was loaded with clay.
The curiosity exploring sedimentary clay deposits along the crater, the scientists wondered why the patches of these clay minerals and the evidence they had disappeared. Scientists knew that the diagenesis occurred on Mars, which is a process in which some pockets of Mudstone present different conditions and processes due to the interaction with water that changes their mineralogy. Diagenesis can erase the previous history recorded in the floor and write a new one.
The advantage of the disappearance of rock recording is that the process of diagenesis on earth can create unique habitats in which microbes thrive, called deep biospheres. If scientists can find similarly similar biospheric biosphers on Mars, they potentially hold signs of past microbial life.