After a lengthy quest to find water on Mars, astronomers finally managed to identify some evidence that the Red Planet was once a lot wetter than now. However, plenty of mysteries remained unsolved. They wanted to see where all the water had disappeared, so they kept investigating, and discovered that lava-produced crusts were the culprits. These basaltic formations had probably absorbed all the water.
Where did all the water on Mars go?
At first, astronomers came up with all kinds of crazy theories to explain the disappearance of water on Mars. They first blamed the solar winds for blowing it all away, or said the disruptions in the magnetic field might have caused everything. Then, they said the only water on Mars was still preserved in the ice layers from within the planet’s core.
However, after many studies and investigations, researchers suggested that the Red Planet’s geology must have influenced the disappearance of water. They actually thought about all the liquid being absorbed during a simple interaction between the rocks, but they have never tested it until now.
Iron-rich silicates in the crust absorbed all the water on Mars
They identified some palpable evidence that this process took place. However, for this to have happened, some other reaction must have occurred, and it involved iron. The Martian surface is rich in silicates, which contain a lot of iron. This means that, similar to a rusting process, all these compounds were able to interact with water and produce minerals.
To understand how everything must have occurred, researchers used our own planet as a comparison. They looked at the composition of different rocks from our planet, and tried to establish how much water similar rocks on Mars could have sucked up. Also, after a close geological analysis of all the rocks on Mars, they found the only place where water could have gone was within the minerals on the crust.