Mars Science

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... And check out our white paper on Mars Deep Access. 

Below in "Further Reading" you can find general 
geodynamics/outgassing work relevant for Mars.

NEW: Oxygen and the Potential for Aerobic Life on Mars
Due to the scarcity of O2 in the modern Martian atmosphere, Mars has been assumed to be incapable of producing environments with sufficiently large concentrations of O2 to support aerobic respiration. Here, we present a thermodynamic framework for the solubility of O2 in brines under Martian near-surface conditions. We find that modern Mars can support liquid environments with dissolved O2 values ranging from ~2.5×10−6 mol m−3 to 2 mol m−3 across the planet, with particularly high concentrations in polar regions because of lower temperatures at higher latitudes promoting O2 entry into brines. General circulation model simulations show that Oconcentrations in near-surface environments vary both spatially and with time—the latter associated with secular changes in obliquity, or axial tilt. Even at the limits of the uncertainties, our findings suggest that there can be near-surface environments on Mars with sufficient O2 available for aerobic microbes to breathe. Our findings may help to explain the formation of highly oxidized phases in Martian rocks observed with Mars rovers, and imply that opportunities for aerobic life may exist on modern Mars and on other planetary bodies with sources of O2 independent of photosynthesis.

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Mars Heartbeat in 4D
A rocky planet, from deep interior to atmosphere has the potential to generate essential nutrients and redox gradients critical for the emergence and the evolution of life. For Mars, I study how water flows across time within the planet’s underground, and how this flowing water interacts with rocks and creates for hydrogen, oxygen, and methane.

Further Reading

  • Stamenković, V., Ward, L. M., Mischna, M., Fischer, W. W., 2018. O2 solubility in martian near-surface environments and implications for aerobic life, Nature Geoscience, published online Oct 22 2018.
  • Stamenković, V., Höink, T., Lenardic, T., 2016. The importance of temporal stress variation for the initiation of plate tectonics. JGR Planets, 121, 1–20, doi:10.1002/2016JE004994.
  • Stamenković, V., Seager, S., 2016. Emerging possibilities and insuperable limitations of exogeodynamics: the example of plate tectonics. The Astrophysical Journal, 825, 78-95. Stamenković, V., Breuer, D., 2014. The tectonic mode of rocky planets, Part 1: driving factors, models & parameters. Icarus 234, 174-193.
  • Stamenković, V., Noack, L., Breuer, D., Spohn, T., 2012. The influence of pressure-dependent viscosity on the thermal evolution of super-Earths. The Astrophysical Journal, 748, 41-63.
  • Stamenković, V., Breuer, D., Spohn, T., 2011. Thermal and transport properties of mantle rock at high pressure: applications to super-Earths. Icarus, 216, 572–596.
  • Stamenković, V., Frank, S., 2011 & 2015. Rheology of planetary interiors. In: Gargaud, M., et al., (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Part 19. Springer, 1452-1455.
  • Stamenković, V., 2011, 2015. Serpentinization. In: Gargaud, M., et al., (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Part 19. Springer, 1505-1506.
  • Zsom, A., Seager, S., De Wit, J., Stamenković, V., 2013. Towards the minimum inner edge distance of the habitable zone. The Astrophysical Journal, 778, 109-126.
  • Bourrier, V., de Wit, J., Bolmont, E., Stamenković, V., + 12 co-authors, 2017. Temporal Evolution of the High-energy Irradiation and Water Content of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets. The Astronomical Journal, 154, 121-137.