Evidence of Liquid Water on the Surface of Mars?? All You need to know

By Srikanto Mandal 30 April, 2023

Photo: Zhurong rover/Instagram

The China's Zhurong rover has found evidence of liquid water on dune surfaces on modern Mars.

Photo: Zhurong rover/Instagram

This provides key observational evidence of liquid water at low Martian latitudes, which is more suitable for life than at high latitudes.

Photo: Zhurong rover/Instagram

The landing site is located at the southern edge of the Utopia Planitia (UP) Plain, where the northern lowlands unit is located.

Morphological features on the dune surfaces include crusts, cracks, granulation, polygonal ridges, and a strip-like trace.

The surficial dune layer is rich in hydrated sulfates, hydrated silica (especially opal-CT), trivalent iron oxide minerals (especially ferrihydrite), and possibly chlorides.

Salts in dunes cause frost/snow to melt at low temperatures to form salty liquid water.

The estimated age of the dunes is about 0.4-1.4 million years.

The transfer of water vapor from the polar ice sheet towards the equator during the large obliquity stages of Mars's late Amazonian period led to repeated humid environments at low latitudes.

The findings are important for understanding the evolutionary history of the Martian climate and providing clues for the future search for life.