Water on Mars

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Mars has always held a special interest because of the possibility that life may have existed there, and its water history is crucial to understanding its geology, climatology, and biology. Moreover, recent studies in molecular phylogeny suggest that volcanic hot springs, which may have been common in early Mars, are also the most likely point of origin for life on Earth. In this book, Dr. Carr explores the history of water on Mars, including evidence that liquid water was once abundant at the planet's surface; ways in which the climate might have changed to accommodate liquid water; and what an abundance of water implies for the formation of Mars and other planets, including Earth. The book's argument rests on interpretation of data acquired on Viking missions, and on information from meteorites, found on Earth, that almost certainly originated on Mars. Because liquid water is universally regarded as essential for life, the water story has particular biological significance, with important implications for the future exploration of the planet, and should be a valuable study for geologists and planetary scientists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Carr discusses estimates of Mars's original endowment of volatiles, the mechanisms of degassing, mechanisms of their loss to space or incorporation into the soil. . . .Carr is critical of some pet hypotheses but objective in his evaluations. . . . Very surprisingly, a plausible and well-documented case is made by Carr for survival during space transport and possible natural contamination of Earth by Mars life as the result of giant impacts on Mars. Did you know that Archea have been cultured from the interior of a salt crystal 200 million years old? I sure didn't."--Science

"In the past, several books concentrated on the views of fluvial features from orbital height and their interpretations; this volume is a welcome change and will be useful primarily to college graduates and those going further, as well as to a general audience of earth and planetary scientists because of its useful summaries of related fields."--Science Books & Films

". . . Carr's excellent summary of what is known about water on Mars and frank exposition of the gaps in our current knowledge will provide thought-provoking reading for those engaged in planning the next Mars missions and a useful addition to the libraries of students of planetary geology and exobiology." --GSA Today

"The author takes the reader on a Martian geological field trip from the valley networks, volcanic areas, polar caps and fields of desert." --Space News

"Michael Carr, an astrogeologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, is the reigning expert on the evidence that Mars once had sizable seas. His latest book, Water on Mars, is for the reader who wants to know all the details."--Mercury

"The book summarises the issues and problems concerning the reconciliation of the observational data with evolutionary models." --Geo Abstracts

"Water on Mars is a comprehensive book and it very favorably presents the problem expressed by the title."--Pure Applied Geophysics

"This is an extremely interesting book. It is well written and easy to understand, well referenced, and beautifully illustrated." --The Leading Edge

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195099386
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/11/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

U.S. Geological Survey, California
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Water Cycle and Stability Relations
3. Outflow Channels
4. Valley Networks
5. Ground Ice
6. Climate Change
7. Planetary Accretion and Evolution
8. Implications for Life
9. Future Mars Exploration
10. Summary and Conclusions

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