What is the problem/issue being addressed?
The aim of this project is to reconstruct paleo-hydrological conditions on Mars and to recreate the hydrogeological cycle that created the complex channel systems found on Mars’ surface. To determine the lithological and fluid characteristics and their possible related deposits, water source triggering mechanisms, and if their origin is by impact or spin axis / obliquity changes.
Why is it important for society?
Such a study is vital, for it addresses key questions about past Martian habitability and potential landing site of future robotic/human missions and climate. The interdisciplinary aspects of this study, such as close integration of surface geology from satellite imagery, analog modelling, and numerical modelling studies, will provide significant new knowledge of Mars environment. Understanding water on Mars is vital to assess the planet’s potential for the emergence of life and for providing usable resources for future human exploration, which is planned for 2030s. Space exploration is a sector of strategic political importance for the EU and a hallmark of international cooperation. The Commission supports several research activities related to space exploration through Horizon 2020.
What are the overall objectives?
This project focus on characterization, modelling and analysis of several Martian channels systems, first detected on Mars in NASA CTX and HiRISE images. This project investigates ‘under the telescope’ of imagery and model ‘under the microscope’ the triggering mechanism of water source released, the environmental conditions, the lithology, hydrology and the possible related deposits. The overall objective of this project is to resolve outstanding questions about triggers, mechanisms and resulting geology of fluid water events on Mars, which may change our views on astrobiological potential and exploration. The main objectives are to identify fluid dynamics/processes and related deposits of Mars channel systems in the northern and southern hemispheres and to determine the trigger mechanism, to model Martian channel systems dynamic/processes depending on physical parameters and fluid dynamics such as lithology, clastic sediments (gravel, sand, silt), fluvial flows.
Type of action: MSCA-IF-EF-ST (Standard EF)
Proposal number: 795192
Proposal acronym: WET MARS