October 8, 2019

Traces of ancient salty ponds at the bottom of Gale Crater on Mars

An article published in the journal “Nature Geoscience” reports the results of an analysis of data collected by the Mars Rover Curiosity in a section of sedimentary rocks of Gale Crater on Mars called Sutton Island where salt was detected in the form of mineral salt in the sediments. A team of researchers led by William Rapin of Caltech interpreted that presence as evidence that about 3.5 billion years ago there were salty ponds that went through episodes of overflow and drying. The deposits show the history of climatic fluctuations in the period in which the Martian environment passed from wet and similar to the Earth to today’s dry desert.