By studying the plateau of Thaumasia on Mars, a group of specialists under the leadership of don Hood from Louisiana state University came to the conclusion that this portion of the surface of the planet could be inhabited by living beings. Examining the plateau, in terms of geography and Mineralogy and chemistry, experts found out how it was formed and also found indirect evidence that the region is potentially habitable.
The researchers used data previously collected by the gamma-spectrometer on Board launched to Mars in 2001 spacecraft Mars Odyssey Orbiter. In result we found out that the most likely reason for the formation of the plateau is the chain of volcanoes. Also managed to find that the chemical composition of the surface of the plateau is heterogeneous — in the northwestern part contains more silica and water, but less potassium than in the Southeast. The researchers also found a considerable amount of sulfur, which in the past, in all probability, was a volcanic ash. Experts say that in many aspects the plateau of Thaumasia resembles certain regions of Hawaii on Earth.
According to the researchers, the results of their analysis help to better understand the geological history of Mars and to provide a more accurate idea about what kind of role in the formation of its topography played a volcanic eruption. In addition, it is reported, the data obtained indicate that the conditions studied by scientists of the plateau can be suitable for living organisms, however, to confirm this assumption will require additional research.
Six months ago, another group of scientists have found that volcanic activity played a key role in the formation of the Mars as it is known to us today. According to the researchers, 3.7 billion years ago on Mars the eruption of the volcano called the Dome of Tharsis, a thousand times more powerful than any known planet in the Solar system. This, in particular, has changed the axis of rotation of Mars is about 25 degrees.