Found traces of a major disaster on Mars: there were similar ones on Earth

A team of researchers led by Steve Ruff of the Arizona School of Earth and Space Exploration

State University analyzeddata from several Martian missions. Scientists have found that the mysterious olivine-rich bedrock in and around Gusev and Ezero craters may be ignimbrite. It is both igneous and sedimentary rock, which is formed as a result of catastrophic explosive eruptions from huge volcanic calderas.

New research helps to better understand natureolivine-rich bedrock in other regions on Mars, as well as point to a type of volcanism more common in the early history of the Red Planet. The results of their study were recently published in Icarus.

“There are many ideas about the origin of olivine-richbedrock that covers most of the region called Nili Fosse, which includes the Lake Jezero crater, explains the author of the study. “This is a debate that has been going on for almost 20 years.”

Olivine is a common silicate mineralwhich is formed from magma formed in the mantle of Mars (the same process occurs on Earth). So some kind of volcanic process is a reasonable explanation for the origin of olivine-rich rocks. But different scenarios of their appearance appeared before.

The scientists tried to test the leading hypothesis aboutash that was “neatly” deposited from volcanic plumes. But their observations revealed a much more "violent" story. They studied several breeds with unusual textures. Geologists realized they were looking at ignimbrites, which are formed by flows of pyroclastic ash and pumice from the largest volcanic explosions known on Earth. Scientists have come to the conclusion that these rocks appeared as a result of a similar disaster on Mars.

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