Magmatic chamber could be formed under the South pole of the red planet 300 thousand years ago.
Scientists from the University of Arizona has stated that the ice of the lake, which was discovered under the South pole of Mars in the summer of 2018, can only exist under the condition of volcanic activity on the red planet. As reported by the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to zn.ua approximately 300 thousand years ago under the southern pole of the planet appeared magmatic chamber, which is located above the melted ice.
In the study, researchers built a model that explained how much of the internal heat of the planet to melt water, and enough one salt to trigger the process. Salt lowers the melting point of ice, so it was thought that the perchlorates of magnesium, calcium and sodium, which in the past found at the North pole, could contribute to the melting of frozen water at the base of the ice cap at the South pole.
The researchers found that the temperature of Mars at the latitudes where there is ice lake, is only 162 Kelvin, and its fluctuations throughout the year does not exceed 0.2 degree. Regardless of whether the lake is full of salt water or from salty water and soil heat flux falling on the southern plateau will still be enough to melt the ice even under the most favorable conditions.
According to the researchers, for the emergence of a subglacial lake requires additional heat source, which may be volcanic activity. In their work they considered the theory that about 300 thousand years ago, the magma began to ascend from the bowels of Mars and formed the volcanic hearth. Instead of breaking through the surface, he stayed inside, forming a magma chamber. As the cooling of molten rock gave the heat so the ice beneath the South pole has melted. In addition, the researchers suggest that the lava “bubble” should warm the inner layers today to maintain the lake in a liquid state.
It is believed that the volcanic activity of Mars extinguished millions of years ago. However, new evidence suggests that some processes can happen on the red planet today.