Scientists find evidence of volcanic activity 200 meters below the surface of Mars

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An international group of researchers published this November 23 in the journal Nature Communications a study in which they claim to have detected ancient dry lava flows about 200 meters deep in the Martian soil, which would help reconstruct the volcanic past of the red planet.

Mars is home to Mount Olympus, volcano, and mountain largest known in the solar system, with a diameter of 610 kilometers and an elevation of 22 kilometers, more than double that of Mount Everest.

However, relatively little is known about the volcanic history of that planet, although new technologies and exploration missions in recent years have allowed astronomers to make important discoveries.

The authors of the recent study used the InSight Mars Lander (a mission launched by NASA in 2018) and a method called Rayleigh waves, the same ones often used on Earth to reveal details about what’s below the surface through which they move, as they detect the vibrations of the ground caused by natural factors.

On our planet, these vibrations originate from the activity of the oceans and from humanity itself, but on Mars they are generated by the action of the winds.

In this way, the scientists were able to draw a map that extended to a depth of 200 meters and that revealed several layers of dry lava and sedimentary rock, evidence of ancient volcanic activity.

The researchers conclude that a more detailed analysis of the Martian soil and the rocky remains that it contains could help better understand the volcanic history of the red planet, and it would even allow a timeline to be drawn to know when the last eruptions occurred.

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