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Zorzano Mier, María-PazORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4492-9650
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 69) 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
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 1944-9208Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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)
Available from: 2019-01-09 Created: 2019-01-09 Last updated: 2019-02-01
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
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
Mompeán, C., Marín-Yaseli, M., Espigares, P., González-Toril, E., Zorzano Mier, M.-P. & Ruiz-Bermejo, M. (2019). Prebiotic chemistry in neutral/reduced-alkaline gas-liquid interfaces. Scientific Reports, 9(1), Article ID 1916.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prebiotic chemistry in neutral/reduced-alkaline gas-liquid interfaces
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2019 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 1916Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The conditions for the potential abiotic formation of organic compounds from inorganic precursors have great implications for our understanding of the origin of life on Earth and for its possible detection in other environments of the Solar System. It is known that aerosol-interfaces are effective at enhancing prebiotic chemical reactions, but the roles of salinity and pH have been poorly investigated to date. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the uniqueness of alkaline aerosols as prebiotic reactors that produce an undifferentiated accumulation of a variety of multi-carbon biomolecules resulting from high-energy processes (in our case, electrical discharges). Using simulation experiments, we demonstrate that the detection of important biomolecules in tholins increases when plausible and particular local planetary environmental conditions are simulated. A greater diversity in amino acids, carboxylic acids, N-heterocycles, and ketoacids, such as glyoxylic and pyruvic acid, was identified in tholins synthetized from reduced and neutral atmospheres in the presence of alkaline aqueous aerosols than that from the same atmospheres but using neutral or acidic aqueous aerosols.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2019
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73002 (URN)10.1038/s41598-018-36579-7 (DOI)30760732 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85061491143 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-02-26 (svasva)

Available from: 2019-02-26 Created: 2019-02-26 Last updated: 2019-02-26Bibliographically approved
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
Beaty, D., Fernández-Remolar, D. & Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2019). The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 54(3), 667-671
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample return
2019 (English)In: Meteoritics and Planetary Science, ISSN 1086-9379, E-ISSN 1945-5100, Vol. 54, no 3, p. 667-671Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science; Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73132 (URN)10.1111/maps.13232 (DOI)2-s2.0-85062835211 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-03-25Bibliographically approved
Webster, C. R., Martin-Torres, J., Zorzano, M.-P. & Vasavada, A. R. (2018). Background levels of methane in Mars' atmosphere show strong seasonal variations. Science, 360(6393), 1093-1096
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Background levels of methane in Mars' atmosphere show strong seasonal variations
2018 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 360, no 6393, p. 1093-1096Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Variable levels of methane in the martian atmosphere have eluded explanation partly because the measurements are not repeatable in time or location. We report in situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover. The background levels of methane have a mean value 0.41 ± 0.16 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) (95% confidence interval) and exhibit a strong, repeatable seasonal variation (0.24 to 0.65 ppbv). This variation is greater than that predicted from either ultraviolet degradation of impact-delivered organics on the surface or from the annual surface pressure cycle. The large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes (~7 ppbv) are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69292 (URN)10.1126/science.aaq0131 (DOI)000434635500039 ()29880682 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85048593070 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-11 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-06-11 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
Lasue, J., Cousin, A., Meslin, P., Mangold, N., Wiens, R., Berger, G., . . . Zorzano Mier, M.-P. (2018). Martian Eolian Dust Probed by ChemCam. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(20), 10968-10977
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Martian Eolian Dust Probed by ChemCam
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2018 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 45, no 20, p. 10968-10977Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ubiquitous eolian dust on Mars plays important roles in the current sedimentary and atmospheric processes of the planet. The ChemCam instrument retrieves a consistent eolian dust composition at the submillimeter scale from every first laser shot on Mars targets. Its composition presents significant differences with the Aeolis Palus soils and the Bagnold dunes as it contains lower CaO and higher SiO2. The dust FeO and TiO2contents are also higher, probably associated with nanophase oxide components. The dust spectra show the presence of volatile elements (S and Cl), and the hydrogen content is similar to Bagnold sands but lower than Aeolis Palus soils. Consequently, the dust may be a contributor to the amorphous component of soils, but differences in composition indicate that the two materials are not equivalent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2018
Keywords
Mars, dust, ChemCam
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71898 (URN)10.1029/2018GL079210 (DOI)000451510500020 ()2-s2.0-85054722874 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-12-05 (johcin)

Available from: 2018-12-05 Created: 2018-12-05 Last updated: 2019-01-14Bibliographically approved
Fonseca, R., Zorzano Mier, M.-P. & Martín-Torres, J. (2018). Planetary Boundary Layer and Circulation Dynamics at Gale Crater, Mars. Icarus (New York, N.Y. 1962), 302, 537-559
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planetary Boundary Layer and Circulation Dynamics at Gale Crater, Mars
2018 (English)In: Icarus (New York, N.Y. 1962), ISSN 0019-1035, E-ISSN 1090-2643, Vol. 302, p. 537-559Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Mars implementation of the Planet Weather Research and Forecasting (PlanetWRF) model, MarsWRF, is used here to simulate the atmospheric conditions at Gale Crater for different seasons during a period coincident with the Curiosity rover operations. The model is first evaluated with the existing single-point observations from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), and is then used to provide a larger scale interpretation of these unique measurements as well as to give complementary information where there are gaps in the measurements.

The variability of the planetary boundary layer depth may be a driver of the changes in the local dust and trace gas content within the crater. Our results show that the average time when the PBL height is deeper than the crater rim increases and decreases with the same rate and pattern as Curiosity's observations of the line-of-sight of dust within the crater and that the season when maximal (minimal) mixing is produced is Ls 225°-315° (Ls 90°-110°). Thus the diurnal and seasonal variability of the PBL depth seems to be the driver of the changes in the local dust content within the crater. A comparison with the available methane measurements suggests that changes in the PBL depth may also be one of the factors that accounts for the observed variability, with the model results pointing towards a local source to the north of the MSL site.

The interaction between regional and local flows at Gale crater is also investigated assuming that the meridional wind, the dynamically important component of the horizontal wind at Gale, anomalies with respect to the daily mean can be approximated by a sinusoidal function as they typically oscillate between positive (south to north) and negative (north to south) values that correspond to upslope/downslope or downslope/upslope regimes along the crater rim and Mount Sharp slopes and the dichotomy boundary. The smallest magnitudes are found in the northern crater floor in a region that comprises Bradbury Landing, in particular at Ls 90° when they are less than 1 m s−1, indicating very little lateral mixing with outside air. The largest amplitudes occur in the south-western portions of the crater where they can exceed 20 m s−1. Should the slope flows along the crater rims interact with the dichotomy boundary flow, which is more likely at Ls 270° and very unlikely at Ls 90°, they are likely to interact constructively for a few hours from late evening to nighttime (∼17-23 LMST) and from pre-dawn early morning (∼5-11 LMST) hours at the norther crater rim and destructively at night (∼22-23 LMST) and in the morning (∼10-11 LMST) at the southern crater rim.

We conclude that a better understanding of the PBL and circulation dynamics has important implications for the variability of the concentration of dust, non-condensable and trace gases at the bottom of other craters on Mars as mixing with outside air can be achieved vertically, through changes in the PBL depth, and laterally, by the transport of air into and out of the crater.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67009 (URN)10.1016/j.icarus.2017.11.036 (DOI)000423779600038 ()2-s2.0-85037838111 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2017-12-21 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-4492-9650

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