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Stability of liquid saline water on present day Mars
Centro de Astrobiología Torrejón de Ardoz .
Centro de Astrobiología Torrejón de Ardoz .
Centro de Astrobiología Torrejón de Ardoz .
Centro de Astrobiología Torrejón de Ardoz .
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2009 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 36, no 20, L20201Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Perchlorate salts (mostly magnesium and sodium perchlorate) have been detected on Mars' arctic soil by the Phoenix lander, furthermore chloride salts have been found on the Meridiani and Gusev sites and on widespread deposits on the southern Martian hemisphere. The presence of these salts on the surface is not only relevant because of their ability to lower the freezing point of water, but also because they can absorb water vapor and form a liquid solution (deliquesce). We show experimentally that small amounts of sodium perchlorate (∼ 1 mg), at Mars atmospheric conditions, spontaneously absorb moisture and melt into a liquid solution growing into ∼ 1 mm liquid spheroids at temperatures as low as 225 K. Also mixtures of water ice and sodium perchlorate melt into a liquid at this temperature. Our results indicate that salty environments make liquid water to be locally and sporadically stable on present day Mars.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 36, no 20, L20201
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-64497DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040315OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-64497DiVA: diva2:1115073
Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Zorzano, María Paz
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