(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found evidence that the soil of the Utopia Plain on Mars consists of several subsurface layers.
In their Nature paper, the group describes studying radar data from the Zhurong rover.
China’s National Space Administration landed a rover on the Red Planet in May 2021. Since then, he has been moving around the Utopia plain, studying the terrain and soil.
To date, the rover has traveled approximately 1,171 meters. Zhurong is equipped with a ground-penetrating radar that allows researchers to create a map for depths from 3 to 10 meters.
The rover also has a device that can send low-frequency radio waves to depths of up to 100 meters, although its resolution is much lower than that of radar.
The researchers found that there are at least two layers of material underneath the pool, neither of which is believed to be water.
One of the layers is approximately at a depth of 10 to 30 meters, and the other is at a depth of 30 to 80 meters.
The researchers suggest that the deeper and older layer resulted from the fact that small stones settled on larger ones during a flood about 3 billion years ago.
The formation, which scientists have found, could have formed if the flood was fast and powerful enough to carry large stones.
The researchers suggest that the second layer may have formed in a similar fashion approximately 1.6 billion years ago.
They note that previous studies have shown that there was a lot of glacial activity during this time period.
The scientists also note that they have not found any evidence of volcanic activity that could lead to the creation of any of the layers.
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