Le Mont Sharp, dans le Cratère Gale, photographié par le rover Curiosity. © Nasa

An explosive volcanic eruption on Mars created this rare mineral!

In 2016, the Curiosity rover found a mineral called tridymite in sediments observed inside the Gale crater in which it landed exactly 10 years ago. According to some researchers, this mineral was formed by fractional crystallization in a magmatic reservoir, before being thrown into the air during an explosive eruption to finally fall and sediment to the bottom of the lake which was then present in this crater. It would thus testify to an explosive eruption on Mars where volcanism is mainly effusive…

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[EN VIDÉO] Zoom on the Curiosity landing site
Animation made with real images from 2 orbiters showing the descent of the Curiosity rover into the Gale crater, then, at the end, the elements of the lander.

NASA had chosen that Curiosity lands in Gale Crater, as it was likely to have contained water liquid in the past, thus promoting the search for traces of life on this planetwhich is the main objective of this rover. The presence of liquid water at the bottom of this impact crater about 150 km in diameter, probably formed following the impact of a small celestial body about 3.7 billion years ago, was quickly confirmedin particular by observing sedimentary rocks in this location. It is also in a “mudstone”, a rock with a very fine grain size corresponding to particles
It is a particle whose dimension is less than 4 micrometers and this, whatever its mineralogical nature.
Clay is a mineral (more exactly a family…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/9/f/2/9f290687c7_50034255_argile-epimetheus-flickr- by-20.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/geologie-argile-1053/” data-more=”Read more”>clays or to solidified mud, that tridymite has been noticed, concentrated in a layer of this rock.

A rare mineral on Earth

This mineralrather rare on our Planet, is associated with the Volcano: what is the difference between lava and magma?
The morphologies created…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/9/e/0/9e09305935_113602_volcanisme.jpg” data-url=”https://news .google.com/planete/definitions/volcanologie-volcanisme-972/” data-more=”Read more”>volcanism said conjugate acid and base
To any acid corresponds a conjugate base…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/b/2/8/b28a48dafa_50034238_acide-base-fs.jpg” data- url=”https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/chemistry-acid-750/” data-more=”Read more”>acidfrom Magma Formation
It forms at high temperature and under high pressure…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/6/1/2/612232a1f7_50034213_gabro-piotr-sosnowski-wikipedia .jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/structure-terre-magma-461/” data-more=”Read more”>puddles which have undergone a long deep cooling. The latter leads to the formation of crystals, whose chemical elements that constitute them are depleted over time in the magma. Conversely, the other elements will concentrate there, such as silicon for example, a major element of magma and the main responsible for the It is expressed by a coefficient representing the shear stress necessary to produce a velocity gradient of flow of a unit in matter.
The simple…” data-url=”https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/physics-viscosity-2018/” data-more=”Read more”>viscosity of this one.

Thus, a magma which remains only for a very short time in the magmatic reservoirs of a The study of volcanoes is volcanology or vulcanology. Volcanic activity is one of…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/d/c/f/dcfcbbf72e_125167_volcan-arenal-costa-rica. jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/volcanologie-volcano-3537/” data-more=”Read more”>volcano only crystallizes very little: it therefore remains basic and is quite low in silicon (about 50% all the same). It is therefore not very viscous and generates volcanism basaltmostly effusive, forming streams that spread out very far from the mouths eruptive. It is this type of volcanism which is predominant on Mars and which has notably built the enormous shield volcanoes found on this planet: Olympus Monsfor example, which is 22.5 km high, or Alba Mons whose diameter at the base measures 1,600 km!

Conversely, if a magma remains in the reservoir of a volcano for a long time, it crystallizes and becomes rich in silicon: it becomes acidic. Consequently, it becomes more and more viscous and generates an often highly explosive volcanism. It is in these Among the main acid rocks, we can mention:
granites; microgranites; porphyries; pumices; aplites…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/8/e/c/8ec9ac65ed_50034276_rhyolite-saperaud -public-domain.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/geologie-roche-acide-1390/” data-more=”Read the definition”>acid rocks, rhyolites and obsidians, which tridymite is found on Earth. It is a polymorph of Silica is a component of many minerals. It is thus found in certain complete foods, in bones and cartilage, for example. Bonded to other atoms (aluminum, magnesium, calcium, etc.), the…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/0/2/9 /029e94324a_93543_silice.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/geologie-silice-15955/” data-more=”Read more”>silicaof formula SiO2 : it is therefore only made up of silicon and oxygen.

How would this mineral then have found itself concentrated at the bottom of Crater Lake Gale?

Valérie Payré and her collaborators thus propose that a magma would have remained longer than normal in a magmatic reservoir, allowing the fractional crystallization to settle for a while. The silicon enrichment of the magma would then have allowed the formation of tridymite before the fate of the volcanic plume in the atmosphere
Two…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/d/0/e/d0e0749588_45757_def-eruption-explosive-nasa-wiki-dp.jpg” data- url=”https://news.google.com/planet/definitions/structure-earth-explosive-eruption-13949/” data-more=”Read more”>explosive eruption of the volcano. The ashes produced during this would have fallen around, then the rivers would have brought these ashes into the lake where they would have sedimented, forming this layer that the rover sampled.

If this scenario turns out to be correct, it would be proof of explosive volcanism on the planet Mars, which would complement the observation of ash deposits and buildings that suggest The stratovolcano is a volcano in the Explosive volcanism, which is characterized by very steep slopes, and…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/c/0/6/c0649ceef1_50034404_stratovolcan.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/volcanologie-strato-volcano-2481/” data-more=”Read more”>stratovolcanoesBiology
The cones are the color receptive elements of the retina. There are three types to capture radiation (or stimuli) corresponding to orange-red,…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/2/3 /1/231492cdce_50034630_retine-documentation-flypix-info-02.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine-cone-4127/” data-more=”Read more” >cones of Scoria in geology
A scoria corresponds to a fragment of lava which has solidified in the air during an explosive volcanic eruption. Measuring about ten centimeters in diameter, the scoria exhibits a…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/9/e/3/9e3eeb4533_50084137_scoria-macro-digon- jonathanzander-wikimediacc-25-02.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/structure-terre-scorie-13179/” data-more=”Read more”>slag or cones of tuff… Here’s why Kirsten Siebach, a mission specialist on NASA’s Curiosity team, thinks it ” suggests that Mars might have a volcanic history more complex and intriguing than we would have imagined before Curiosity “.

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