- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: Martian Mud Volcanoes
5 April 2011 3:04 pm
Mars-orbiting probes have spied hundreds of mounds, some up to 500 meters across and dozens of meters tall, inside an ancient crater near the planet's equator. In the 15 April issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, researchers make the case that these enigmatic features (depicted in blue in the main image) are mud volcanoes. For one thing, the near-circular mounds weren't formed by molten-rock volcanoes because there are no deposits of volcanic ash or lava nearby. Instead, the mounds contain boulders and other chunks of material apparently stripped from underlying layers of sediments (depicted in yellow-green), which range from 200 to 500 meters thick. Also, most of the mounds inside the 90-kilometer-wide Firsoff crater (inset) are found on slopes inside the crater rim and were likely created when mud under high pressure—which likely formed during a warmer, wetter phase on the Red Planet—oozed to the surface through a network of cracks there. Other teams have claimed finding mud volcanoes elsewhere on Mars, but the researchers contend that the new finds are the first that definitively link material in the mounds to underlying sediments.
See more ScienceShots.