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Martin-Torres, JavierORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6479-2236
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Publications (10 of 174) Show all publications
Navarro‐González, R., Navarro, K. F., Coll, P., McKay, C. P., Stern, J. C., Sutter, B., . . . Vasavada, A. R. (2019). Abiotic Input of Fixed Nitrogen by Bolide Impacts to Gale Crater During the Hesperian: Insights From the Mars Science Laboratory. Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, 124(1), 94-113
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Abiotic Input of Fixed Nitrogen by Bolide Impacts to Gale Crater During the Hesperian: Insights From the Mars Science Laboratory
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, ISSN 2169-9097, E-ISSN 2169-9100, Vol. 124, no 1, p. 94-113Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Molecular hydrogen (H2) from volcanic emissions is suggested to warm the Martian surface when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels dropped from the Noachian (4100 to 3700 Myr) to the Hesperian (3700 to 3000 Myr). Its presence is expected to shift the conversion of molecular nitrogen (N2) into different forms of fixed nitrogen (N). Here we present experimental data and theoretical calculations that investigate the efficiency of nitrogen fixation by bolide impacts in CO2‐N2 atmospheres with or without H2. Surprisingly, nitric oxide (NO) was produced more efficiently in 20% H2 in spite of being a reducing agent and not likely to increase the rate of nitrogen oxidation. Nevertheless, its presence led to a faster cooling of the shock wave raising the freeze‐out temperature of NO resulting in an enhanced yield. We estimate that the nitrogen fixation rate by bolide impacts varied from 7 × 10−4 to 2 × 10−3 g N·Myr−1·cm−2 and could imply fluvial concentration to explain the nitrogen (1.4 ± 0.7 g N·Myr−1·cm−2) detected as nitrite (NO2−) and nitrate (NO3−) by Curiosity at Yellowknife Bay. One possible explanation is that the nitrogen detected in the lacustrine sediments at Gale was deposited entirely on the crater's surface and was subsequently dissolved and transported by superficial and ground waters to the lake during favorable wet climatic conditions. The nitrogen content sharply decreases in younger sediments of the Murray formation suggesting a decline of H2 in the atmosphere and the rise of oxidizing conditions causing a shortage in the supply to putative microbial life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Keywords
Mars, nitrogen fixation, nitrates, bolide impacts, Gale crater, Curiosity
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73031 (URN)10.1029/2018JE005852 (DOI)000459245700006 ()2-s2.0-85059967560 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-02-27 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-02-27 Created: 2019-02-27 Last updated: 2019-03-11Bibliographically approved
Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Are Slope Streaks Indicative of Global‐Scale Aqueous Processes on Contemporary Mars?. Reviews of geophysics, 57(1), 48-77
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are Slope Streaks Indicative of Global‐Scale Aqueous Processes on Contemporary Mars?
2019 (English)In: Reviews of geophysics, ISSN 8755-1209, E-ISSN 1944-9208, Vol. 57, no 1, p. 48-77Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Slope streaks are prevalent and intriguing dark albedo surface features on contemporary Mars.Slope streaks are readily observed in the equatorial and subequatorial dusty regolith regions with lowthermal inertia. They gradually fade over decadal timescales. The proposed mechanisms for their formationvary widely based on several physicochemical and geomorphological explanations. The scientificcommunity is divided in proposing both dry and wet mechanisms for the formation of slope streaks. Here weperform a systematic evaluation of the literature for these wet and dry mechanisms. We discuss theprobable constraints on the various proposed mechanisms and provide perspectives on the plausible processdriving global‐scale slope streak formation on contemporary Mars. Although per our understanding, athorough consideration of the global distribution of slope streaks, their morphology and topography,flowcharacteristics, physicochemical and atmospheric coincidences, and terrestrial analogies weighs more infavor of several wet mechanisms, we acknowledge that such wet mechanisms cannot explain all the reportedmorphological and terrain variations of slope streaks. Thus, we suggest that explanations consideringboth dry and wet processes can more holistically describe all the observed morphological variations amongslope streaks. We further acknowledge the constraints on the resolutions of remote sensing data and on ourunderstanding of the Martian mineralogy, climate, and atmosphere and recommend continuousinvestigations in this direction using future remote sensing acquisitions and simulations. In this regard,finding more wet and dry terrestrial analogs for Martian slope streaks and studying them at highspatiotemporal resolutions can greatly improve our understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019
Keywords
slope streaks, water activity, Mars, formation mechanism, deliquescence
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72506 (URN)10.1029/2018RG000617 (DOI)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-04-12 (oliekm)

Available from: 2019-01-09 Created: 2019-01-09 Last updated: 2019-04-12Bibliographically approved
Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Are Slope Streaks Indicative of Global‐Scale Aqueous Processes on Contemporary Mars?. Reviews of geophysics, 57(1), 48-77
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are Slope Streaks Indicative of Global‐Scale Aqueous Processes on Contemporary Mars?
2019 (English)In: Reviews of geophysics, ISSN 8755-1209, E-ISSN 1944-9208, Vol. 57, no 1, p. 48-77Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Slope streaks are prevalent and intriguing dark albedo surface features on contemporary Mars. Slope streaks are readily observed in the equatorial and subequatorial dusty regolith regions with low thermal inertia. They gradually fade over decadal timescales. The proposed mechanisms for their formation vary widely based on several physicochemical and geomorphological explanations. The scientific community is divided in proposing both dry and wet mechanisms for the formation of slope streaks. Here we perform a systematic evaluation of the literature for these wet and dry mechanisms. We discuss the probable constraints on the various proposed mechanisms and provide perspectives on the plausible process driving global‐scale slope streak formation on contemporary Mars. Although per our understanding, a thorough consideration of the global distribution of slope streaks, their morphology and topography, flow characteristics, physicochemical and atmospheric coincidences, and terrestrial analogies weighs more in favor of several wet mechanisms, we acknowledge that such wet mechanisms cannot explain all the reported morphological and terrain variations of slope streaks. Thus, we suggest that explanations considering both dry and wet processes can more holistically describe all the observed morphological variations among slope streaks. We further acknowledge the constraints on the resolutions of remote sensing data and on our understanding of the Martian mineralogy, climate, and atmosphere and recommend continuous investigations in this direction using future remote sensing acquisitions and simulations. In this regard, finding more wet and dry terrestrial analogs for Martian slope streaks and studying them at high spatiotemporal resolutions can greatly improve our understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019
Keywords
slope streaks, water activity, Mars, formation mechanism, deliquescence
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73724 (URN)10.1029/2018RG000617 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-04-23 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-04-23
Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Discovery of recurring slope lineae candidates in Mawrth Vallis, Mars. Scientific Reports, 9, Article ID 2040.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discovery of recurring slope lineae candidates in Mawrth Vallis, Mars
2019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 2040Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

utside of established RSL regions and further prompt the inclusion of a new geographical region within the RSL candidate group. Our inferences on the RSL candidates are based on several morphological and geophysical evidences and analogies: (i) the dimensions of the RSL candidates are consistent with confirmed mid-latitude RSL; (ii) albedo and thermal inertia values are comparable to those of other mid-latitude RSL sites; and (iii) features are found in a summer season image and on the steep and warmest slopes. These results denote the plausible presence of transient liquid brines close to the previously proposed landing ellipse of the ExoMars rover, rendering this site particularly relevant to the search of life. Further investigations of Mawrth Vallis carried out at higher spatial and temporal resolutions are needed to identify more of such features at local scales to maximize the scientific return from the future Mars rovers, to prevent probable biological contamination during rover operations, to evade damage to rover components as brines can be highly corrosive, and to quantify the ability of the regolith at mid-latitudes to capture atmospheric water which is relevant for in-situ-resource utilization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2019
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72894 (URN)10.1038/s41598-019-39599-z (DOI)000458619600040 ()2-s2.0-85061571667 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-02-27 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-02-27Bibliographically approved
Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Distribution and Morphologies of Transverse Aeolian Ridges in ExoMars 2020 Rover Landing Site. Remote Sensing, 11, Article ID 912.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distribution and Morphologies of Transverse Aeolian Ridges in ExoMars 2020 Rover Landing Site
2019 (English)In: Remote Sensing, ISSN 2072-4292, E-ISSN 2072-4292, Vol. 11, article id 912Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Switzerland: MDPI, 2019
National Category
Physical Sciences Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73660 (URN)10.3390/rs11080912 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-04-15 Created: 2019-04-15 Last updated: 2019-04-15
Guzewich, S. D., Lemmon, M., Smith, C., Martínez, G., de Vicente‐Retortillo, Á., Newman, C. E., . . . Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Mars Science Laboratory Observations of the 2018/Mars Year 34 Global Dust Storm. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(1), 71-79
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mars Science Laboratory Observations of the 2018/Mars Year 34 Global Dust Storm
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2019 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 71-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover observations of the 2018/Mars year 34 global/planet‐encircling dust storm represent the first in situ measurements of a global dust storm with dedicated meteorological sensors since the Viking Landers. The Mars Science Laboratory team planned and executed a science campaign lasting approximately 100 Martian sols to study the storm involving an enhanced cadence of environmental monitoring using the rover's meteorological sensors, cameras, and spectrometers. Mast Camera 880‐nm optical depth reached 8.5, and Rover Environmental Monitoring Station measurements indicated a 97% reduction in incident total ultraviolet solar radiation at the surface, 30K reduction in diurnal range of air temperature, and an increase in the semidiurnal pressure tide amplitude to 40 Pa. No active dust‐lifting sites were detected within Gale Crater, and global and local atmospheric dynamics were drastically altered during the storm. This work presents an overview of the mission's storm observations and initial results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72745 (URN)10.1029/2018GL080839 (DOI)000456938600009 ()2-s2.0-85059536242 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-01-31 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-01-31 Created: 2019-01-31 Last updated: 2019-02-22Bibliographically approved
Vandaele, A. C., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter [Letter to the editor]. Nature
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Martian dust storm impact on atmospheric H2O and D/H observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
2019 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 1476-4687Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Global dust storms on Mars are rare1,2 but can affect the Martian atmosphere for several months. They can cause changes in atmospheric dynamics and inflation of the atmosphere3, primarily owing to solar heating of the dust3. In turn, changes in atmospheric dynamics can affect the distribution of atmospheric water vapour, with potential implications for the atmospheric photochemistry and climate on Mars4. Recent observations of the water vapour abundance in the Martian atmosphere during dust storm conditions revealed a high-altitude increase in atmospheric water vapour that was more pronounced at high northern latitudes5,6, as well as a decrease in the water column at low latitudes7,8. Here we present concurrent, high-resolution measurements of dust, water and semiheavy water (HDO) at the onset of a global dust storm, obtained by the NOMAD and ACS instruments onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. We report the vertical distribution of the HDO/H2O ratio (D/H) from the planetary boundary layer up to an altitude of 80 kilometres. Our findings suggest that before the onset of the dust storm, HDO abundances were reduced to levels below detectability at altitudes above 40 kilometres. This decrease in HDO coincided with the presence of water-ice clouds. During the storm, an increase in the abundance of H2O and HDO was observed at altitudes between 40 and 80 kilometres. We propose that these increased abundances may be the result of warmer temperatures during the dust storm causing stronger atmospheric circulation and preventing ice cloud formation, which may confine water vapour to lower altitudes through gravitational fall and subsequent sublimation of ice crystals3. The observed changes in H2O and HDO abundance occurred within a few days during the development of the dust storm, suggesting a fast impact of dust storms on the Martian atmosphere.

Keywords
Martian dust, H2O, D/H. Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73607 (URN)10.1038/s41586-019-1097-3 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-04-15
Korablev, O., Martin-Torres, J. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). No detection of methane on Mars from early ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter observations [Letter to the editor]. Nature
Open this publication in new window or tab >>No detection of methane on Mars from early ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter observations
2019 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The detection of methane on Mars has been interpreted as indicating that geochemical or biotic activities could persist on Mars today1. A number of different measurements of methane show evidence of transient, locally elevated methane concentrations and seasonal variations in background methane concentrations2,3,4,5. These measurements, however, are difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of the chemistry and physics of the Martian atmosphere6,7, which—given methane’s lifetime of several centuries—predicts an even, well mixed distribution of methane1,6,8. Here we report highly sensitive measurements of the atmosphere of Mars in an attempt to detect methane, using the ACS and NOMAD instruments onboard the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter from April to August 2018. We did not detect any methane over a range of latitudes in both hemispheres, obtaining an upper limit for methane of about 0.05 parts per billion by volume, which is 10 to 100 times lower than previously reported positive detections2,4. We suggest that reconciliation between the present findings and the background methane concentrations found in the Gale crater4 would require an unknown process that can rapidly remove or sequester methane from the lower atmosphere before it spreads globally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2019
Keywords
detection, methane, Mars, ExoMars mission, Trace Gars Orbiter
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73581 (URN)10.1038/s41586-019-1096-4 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-04-11 Created: 2019-04-11 Last updated: 2019-04-15
Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martín-Torres, F. J. & Zorzano, M.-P. (2019). Revisiting enigmatic Martian slope streaks. Earth Space and Science News - Editors Vox, 100
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Revisiting enigmatic Martian slope streaks
2019 (English)In: Earth Space and Science News - Editors Vox, Vol. 100Article in journal, News item (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72563 (URN)10.1029/2019EO113611 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-01-15 Created: 2019-01-15 Last updated: 2019-02-28Bibliographically approved
Cockell, C. S., Martin-Torres, J., Zorzano, M.-P., Bhardwaj, A., Soria-Salinas, Á., Mathanla, T., . . . Suckling, B. (2019). Subsurface scientific exploration of extraterrestrial environments (MINAR 5): analogue science, technology and education in the Boulby Mine, UK. International Journal of Astrobiology, 18(2), 157-182
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subsurface scientific exploration of extraterrestrial environments (MINAR 5): analogue science, technology and education in the Boulby Mine, UK
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Astrobiology, ISSN 1473-5504, E-ISSN 1475-3006, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 157-182Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridges Institutes Press, 2019
National Category
Geochemistry Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70069 (URN)10.1017/S1473550418000186 (DOI)000463227400006 ()
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-04-12 (johcin)

Available from: 2018-07-04 Created: 2018-07-04 Last updated: 2019-04-17Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6479-2236

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