26 February 2003 Red soils on Earth and their significance for Mars
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Abstract
Soils and landscapes form the carpet of the earth’s surface which is in permanent geodynamic evolution and almost uninterruptedly be followed over the last 65 million Earth years since the Tertiary. The present geo-morphological traverse is composed of landscapes which over the last 2.4 million years of the Quaternary Epoch developed in harmony with the prevailing climatic belt along the parallels of latitude. Landscapes occur at the boundary of lithosphere and atmosphere and depend from the perennial changing geochemistry of the atmosphere. The sea and the oceans as well as the lakes are part of these landscapes and change also accordingly. Soils form today and formed in the geological past on top of these landscapes and represent an important habitat of life. Red Soils on Earth are bound today to the tropical belt. With changing geochemistry of the atmosphere the red soils covered some 7-10 Million years ago also the surface of the Earth till 73°N and S Latitude in a continuously ambient tropoid environment shaping planation surfaces. Earth from this point of view, was a Red Planet of which relicts are found from Lapland till Antarctica. The red cover occurring on the surface of Mars between the poles may then be a similar stage of the past.
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Roland R. Paepe, Elfi S.P. Van Overloop, Richard B. Hoover, Sophia Nassopoulou, Peter D. Kafumu, Deqian Wang, "Red soils on Earth and their significance for Mars", Proc. SPIE 4859, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457317; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.457317
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