Chemical andsedimentary processes in acidic salinelakes andtheir significancefor Martiangeology - Research Paper Example

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Name and Number of the Course Date CHEMICAL AND SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES IN ACIDIC SALINE LAKES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE FOR MARTIAN GEOLOGY Abstract The chemistry of lake sediments help in identifying the ancient history of the lake environment, and the chemical and physical processes that the sediments have undergone over a period of several millennia…
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Chemical andsedimentary processes in acidic salinelakes andtheir significancefor Martiangeology
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Download file to see previous pages Rover missions sent to Mars and consequent investigations of the evidence found from the planet, have revealed extensive geochemical evidence regarding the presence of standing bodies of water early in the history of Mars. Geochemical archives in lake sediments provide information that aligns with the geological features of Mars. Various acidic saline lakes in Australia, the United States and other countries are analogous with the rocks and soil qualities of planet Mars. The conditions of regional acid saline lakes will be discussed, and terrestrial hematite concretions will be compared with those found on earth. Amino acids are the key to terrestrial biochemistry, widely prevalent in terrestrial life, and easlily identified by means of advanced instruments and technology. For this reason, amino acids are ideal as a biomolecular class, to use for planetary exploration. How chemical biosignatures in amino acids can help to indicate life in Mars will be examined. Introduction “Understanding lake chemistry is critical for correctly interpreting the geochemical archives of lake deposits” (Cohen 69). The presence of elements and isotopes in lakes are closely associated with external climatic and watershed processes. The concentrations of solutes determine the distribution of organisms, and the precipitation or dissolution of mineral phases. Sedimentary archives develop from both fossils and minerals, and interpreting aspects of ancient water chemistry from these records may enable the reconstruction of paleoclimate or activity prior to the presence of human life around the lake. Similarly, the interpretation of isotopic records require a preliminary understanding of their behavior in lakes, and its relationship with external factors such as rainfall or nutrient discharge. Paleolimnology is the study of past conditions or processes of ancient lakes, and of the sediments and history of existing lakes It is recognized that lakes probably existed on Mars and on other planets of the solar system. This invites the next generation of paleolimnologists with tremendous opportunities “to apply terrestrially gained knowledge of how ‘small’ water bodies record their histories through their sedimentary records” (Cohen 398). Planetary geologists would require the paleolimnological literature to help them interpret these records. However, geologists should be proactive in suggesting the ways in which such deposits should be explored. They are also required to devise analog studies of lake histories from extreme terrestrial environments that replicate those of other planets like Mars. Research that specifically target lakes increase the signals of interest, providing the most highly resolved temporal records possible. Rapid advances in the accuracy of dating lake sediments is expected to play a critical role in advancing paleolimnology, permitting an increasing refinement in the interpretation of time series data and to use those data to test quantitative model predictions. Cohen (p.398) asserts that the swiftly developing field of paleolimnology works towards making exciting discoveries. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate chemical and sedimentary processes in acidic saline lakes and their significance for Martian geology. Evidence of the Presence of Water in the Early History of Mars “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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