Did Mars have a cold and icy climate in the past?

 

The climate of the Red Planet in the ancient times is an ever continuing debate. Some feel that it had a warm and wet environment while others think that it had cold and icy weather. New findings say that the weather for the Red Planet was freezing and icy. 

Mars is full of valley networks, too many lake deposits and deltas as well. This shows at some point of time it must have had an abundance of water. Such a condition might be around 4 billion years ago. But the climatic conditions of the planet’s past situations have not been warm enough to produce liquid water to fill up these places. 

According to Briony Horgan, who is an assistant professor of earth, atmospheric as well as planetary sciences at the University of Purdue has said that some of the people are trying to analyse the ancient climate of Mars in similar lines as what was done in case of Earth. In trying to do so, they are facing a lot of trouble. It is very critical to create a warm Mars because Sun was a lot fainter at that time. In fact, the entire solar system was a bit cooler at that time. He further added that many of the researchers are working on the ancient climatic model of Mars, but Horgan and his team is trying to identify the climatic condition of the Red Planet by studying the records about the volcanic eruption in Mars.

Presence of volcanoes and their eruptions can be traced way back. Volcanoes can be found out in some of the most studied regions of the Red Planet. However, there is a region which has a low and smooth topography located at the southern parts of the planet and is known as Sisyphi Planum. In this region, there are close to hundred flat-topped mounds which are known as Sisyphi Montes. Experts feel that this region could be highly prone to volcanic eruptions. 

According to the experts, when volcanoes tend to explode underneath the ice sheets as well as the glaciers on Earth, then heat as well as the meltwater, combine to create flat-topped and steep-sided mountains which are known as the “tuyas” or popularly known as the table mountains. In situations when the sub-glacial explosions don’t hit the top of the surface of the ice, then the tops of the mountains become cone-shaped in place of flat shaped.

In other words, the mineralogy which is created during such events is one of its kinds because of the interactions between the hot lava as well as the cold glacier meltdown.