Mud Volcanoes on Mars

A new paper is out in Nature Geoscience about how sediment flows from mud volcanoes that might have been erupted in the frigid conditions on Mars would morphologically resemble pahoehoe basalt lava flows on Earth. This laboratory result helps to explain some features observed on the northern lowlands of Mars. The authors don’t cite my paper but I had a paper published in 2005 that described how pitted cones in the Acidalia Planitia region were most likely mud volcanoes.

Mars missions in jeopardy

Space news write extraordinaire Leonard David has a piece in Scientific American detailing how the Trump administration budget for NASA takes the ax to a number of really scientifically productive Mars programs including the Curiosity rover and shutting down altogether the long-lived (and vital for communications with surface rovers) Mars Odyssey orbiter. As a team member of the late, great Spirit and Opportunity rovers, we relied on Mars Odyssey for getting information to and from the rovers.

We’ve accomplished so much in our efforts to understand the early geologic history of Mars and the role that water has played in moulding its surface. To retreat from that now would be a terrible mistake.