New Delhi: Rewriting the early history of the Red Planet, a new research has suggested that clay minerals on Mars could have formed during the creation of the Martian crust itself, long before any water flowed on the planet.

“One of the complications that comes up in Mars evolution is that we can’t create a scenario where surface weathering had the capacity to produce the extent of mineral alteration that we see,” said Jack Mustard, Professor at Brown University in the US and study co-author.

Evidence of ancient phyllosilicates, or clays, on the Martian surface has been discovered.

Caused by the interaction of water with volcanic rock, the formation of phyllosilicates has led many scientists to conclude that there must have been sustained surface water, groundwater or active hydrothermal systems at some point in Martian history.

But the new scenario, presented in the journal Nature, offers a means of creating widespread clay deposits that does not require a warm and wet climate or…

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