The climate of Mars 3 billion years ago was similar to the weather conditions of modern Iceland

The upcoming colonization of Mars requires reliableknowledge not only about the present, but also about the past history of the Red Planet, the dynamics of climate development and its features. All this, ultimately, will help future researchers in finding the resources necessary for the development of the planet.

Huge scientific material obtained by the roverCuriosity, when studying the slopes of Gale Crater, allowed scientists to put forward several hypotheses about the past of Mars, create an assumed picture of climate change and prove the existence of water in a liquid or crystalline state. The problem was solved by comparing the structure of sedimentary rocks of Mars with similar deposits on Earth in the Iceland region.

There is disagreement among earthly scientists onmodeling of the ancient climate of Mars, which, as the data obtained with Curiosity showed, allows accumulation of multilayer sedimentary rocks at the bottom of Gale Crater and along the slopes of Mount Sharp. It is the chemical and mineralogical indicators of sedimentary rocks that cause a lot of controversy, since there are rocks with a small fraction in their structure, which are usually washed out by running waters.

Therefore, the researchers put forward the theory thaton ancient Mars, as on Earth, there was a change of seasons and a period of frost, when the water turned into ice, was replaced by a thaw, when slow streams and rivers transported sedimentary rocks over short distances. The search for a similar climate on Earth led scientists to Iceland, where there are basaltic rocks similar to Martian sedimentary deposits, while the average annual temperature is only 3 degrees Celsius. Similar sedimentary rocks, formed on Mars 3 billion years ago and in modern Iceland, suggest that at that time the climate of the Red Planet was balancing between permafrost and short thaws, as can be seen today in the "ice country" on Earth.

Source: onlinelibrary