Researchers from Arizona State University have identified ignimbrite, an igneous and sedimentary rock formed during cataclysmic explosive eruptions from huge volcanic calderas.
Those findings were recently published in the journal Icarus. The bedrock is considered to contain potentially volatile volcanic reserves, but the nature of their explosion is severely restricted, limiting the understanding of what might have been a wide-spread volcanic event on early Mars.
This study analyzed data from NASA’s Spirit rover, which is close to 16 years old, and the Perseverance rover, which continues to operate today. Both of these rovers are located at the highest concentration of olivine on Mars.
Oliveria is a silicate mineral that forms from magma in Mars’ mantle, similar to the way it does on Earth. “There are numerous hypotheses for the source of the olivine-rich bedrock that contains large areas called Nili Fossae” Steve Ruff of Arizona State University’s stated
The Mars rover Spirit’s Microscopic Imager provided Ruff with mosaics of images showing rocks with unusual textures. The photos were of ignimbrite, which shapes as an outcome of flows of pyroclastic ash, pumice, and blocks from the world’s largest volcanoes.
In Yellowstone National Park in the western United States, ignimbrites dating back 2.1 million years have been found. The recent research says how violent ground churnings formed the planet we see today, and the observations could pave the way for the implementation of our planetary neighbours.