A large number of crater-like shapes are visible from afar on the surface of Mars. In a study, researchers have found that the Arabia Terra region, the northern part of Mars, had witnessed volcanic eruptions for 500 million years. From this, it was also revealed that there have been thousands of giant explosions on Mars. These explosions were so powerful that they prevented sunlight from reaching this entire planet in such a way that permanent changes occurred in the Red Planet. Researchers have found this out by studying the geomorphology and mineral composition of this area.
This research, published in Geophysical Research Letters, says that explosive volcanic calderas have been observed west of the Arabia Terra region of Mars, producing thousands of super-eruptions for 500 million years in the history of Mars. Geologist Patrick Whaley, who led this research, said that each eruption strongly affected the climate. It may be that the gas released from the explosion has thickened the atmosphere so much that sunlight must have stopped coming, which would have cooled the atmosphere.
Researchers found evidence of the presence of volcanic calderas on the surface. These large holes extend for several dozen miles, and this type of structure is also seen on Earth. These pools were formed by volcanic eruptions large enough to fill 400 million Olympic-sized swimming pools with molten rocks and gases. In Arabia Terra, researchers have observed seven such collections which have the potential to have massive eruptions.
This basin was believed to be the site of the collision of a giant asteroid on the planet. But in the year 2013, it was said for the first time that this basin may have been formed due to the activities of giant volcanoes. Due to which not only this area but also the atmosphere and climate of Mars Gale would have changed because of it. The team used data from NASA‘s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) for this study and focused on the ashes on the surface of the northern region of Mars. The researchers also used the MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars to identify minerals from the volcanic crater to the surfaces and walls of canyons and craters hundreds to thousands of miles away.
Researchers found that water converted volcanic minerals into clay, including montmorillonite, imogolite and liofen. After this, using images from MRO cameras, the researchers made a three-dimensional map of the landforms of the area of Arabia Terra. The researchers of the proposal given in 2013 also calculated how much material would have erupted from the volcanoes based on the volume of each of these pools. The team had even calculated the number of eruptions, which came out in thousands.
It is not unusual to find such massive volcanic eruptions on Mars because similar places are seen only on Earth, or the truth is that on Mars, such troughs are found on Earth. The volcanoes are like pools. Earth’s largest volcano Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system, a hundred times the volume of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa. The first giant eruption on Earth was seen 76,000 years ago in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Where Earth’s volcanoes are scattered, researchers found that super-erupted volcanoes on Mars are around the same place. So far, evidence of such volcanoes on Mars has been seen only in Arabia Terra. Researchers believe that giant erupting volcanoes used to be concentrated in one place on Earth. But they got physical and chemical erosion, or they moved along tectonic plates.