Methane bursts as a trigger for intermittent lake-forming climates on post-Noachian Mars

  title={Methane bursts as a trigger for intermittent lake-forming climates on post-Noachian Mars},
  author={Edwin S. Kite and Peter Gao and Colin Goldblatt and Michael A. Mischna and David P. Mayer and Yuk L. Yung},
  journal={Nature Geoscience},
Lakes existed on Mars later than 3.6 billion years ago, according to sedimentary evidence for deltaic deposition. The observed fluvio-lacustrine deposits suggest that individual lake-forming climates persisted for at least several thousand years (assuming dilute flow). But the lake watersheds’ little weathered soils indicate a largely dry climate history, with intermittent runoff events. Here we show that these observational constraints, while inconsistent with many previously-proposed triggers… 

The geological and climatological case for a warmer and wetter early Mars

The climate of early Mars remains a topic of intense debate. Ancient terrains preserve landscapes consistent with stream channels, lake basins and possibly even oceans, and thus the presence of

Background levels of methane in Mars’ atmosphere show strong seasonal variations

In situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover show large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes that are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.

Radiolytic H2 production on Noachian Mars: Implications for habitability and atmospheric warming

Chemical weathering over hundreds of millions of years of greenhouse conditions on Mars

  • B. YeJ. Michalski
  • Geology, Environmental Science
    Communications Earth & Environment
  • 2022
Chemical weathering profiles on Mars which consist of an upper Al clay-rich, Fe-poor layer and lower Fe/Mg clay-rich layer are believed to have formed due to precipitation-driven top down leaching

Geologic Constraints on Early Mars Climate

  • E. Kite
  • Geology, Environmental Science
    Space Science Reviews
  • 2019
Early Mars climate research has well-defined goals (MEPAG 2018). Achieving these goals requires geologists and climate modelers to coordinate. Coordination is easier if results are expressed in terms



Localized precipitation and runoff on Mars

[1] We use the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) to simulate lake storms on Mars, finding that intense localized precipitation will occur for lake size ≥103 km2. Mars has a

Atmospheric conditions on early Mars and the missing layered carbonates

Widespread, massive layered sediments, studied by surface rovers and Mars‐orbiting spectrometers, are found to be rich in sulfates. No similarly massive carbonates have been detected. We present the

Low Hesperian PCO2 constrained from in situ mineralogical analysis at Gale Crater, Mars

Estimating the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 coinciding with a long-lived lake system in Gale Crater at ∼3.5 Ga offers a ground-based reference point for the evolution of martian atmospheric CO2 and implies that other mechanisms of warming Hesperian Mars, or processes that allowed for confined hydrological activity under cold conditions, must be sought.

Hesperian equatorial thermokarst lakes in Ares Vallis as evidence for transient warm conditions on Mars

On Earth, permafrost thawing is linked to climate warming. Similarly, on Mars, permafrost degradation, described from mid-latitude and equatorial settings, is likely linked to global or regional

Formation of methane on Mars by fluid‐rock interaction in the crust

Recent spectroscopic detections of CH4 in the atmosphere of Mars are the first definitive observations of an organic compound on that planet. The relatively short photochemical lifetime of CH4 (∼300

Asynchronous formation of Hesperian and Amazonian‐aged deltas on Mars and implications for climate

Most fluvial and lacustrine landforms on Mars are thought to be old and have formed more than ~3.8 Gyr ago, in the Noachian period. After a major climatic transition, surface liquid water became less