STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers indicate that when the dinosaurs went extinct here on Earth, a Mars volcano was dying out at the same time. Approximately 50 million years ago, planet Earth faced the Cretaceous-Paleogene period when a numerous species had vanished. However, up there on Mars, a volcano which took billions of years to be molded was confronting the same fate as dinosaurs did at about the same time.
A Mars volcano vanished at the same time dinosaurs did
This discovery comes forth after NASA developed a research, analyzing the Mars volcano called Arsia Mons. Scientists wanted to establish the activity of the Martian volcano over its entire lifespan. Thus, they examined the caldera of the volcano, studying its features. Researchers needed high-resolution imaging, and decided to use the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s camera.
After observing the volcano, they found out that Arsia Mons generated a new lava flow every 1 to 3 million years during the peak of its activity. Arsia Mons is located south of the Red Planet’s equator, being the southernmost member of a trio of volcanoes known as Tharsis Montes. Researchers identified about 29 volcanic vents in its caldera.
Scientists developed an analysis to establish when the volcano was active
Apparently, the last trace of activity is believed to have been triggered 50 million years ago. The outcomes of the research were published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Jacob Richardson, a postdoctoral researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, foretold the discovery at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 21.
Richardson claimed that their estimates indicate that the peak activity of the volcano may have occurred 150 million years ago when our planet was in the late Jurassic period. The volcano might have died out at the same time as dinosaurs on Earth did. He also claimed that the last vents from the caldera of Arsia Mons might have been active during the last 50 million years.
The team of scientists decided to map the limits of the lava flows from each volcanic vent, establishing the layering of the flows. They also used a technique known as crater counting to estimate the ages of the flows. These two types of data were mixed to establish the activity of the Martian volcano’s 29 vents.
Many specialists are still wondering whether there is any connection between the extinction of dinosaurs and the disappearance of the Martian volcano.
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