Ref: SCART-2022-0117

Effects of Meteorite Impacts on the Atmospheric Evolution of Mars

Pham, Le Binh San ; Karatekin, Ozgür ; Dehant, Veronique

published in Astrobiology, 9 issue 1, pp. 45-54 (2009)

Abstract: Early in its history, Mars probably had a denser atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to sustain the presence of stable liquid water at the surface. Impacts by asteroids and comets would have played a significant role in the evolution of the martian atmosphere, not only by causing atmospheric erosion but also by delivering material and volatiles to the planet. We investigate the atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles with an analytical model that takes into account the impact simulation results and the flux of impactors given in the literature. The atmospheric loss and the delivery of volatiles are calculated to obtain the atmospheric pressure evolution. Our results suggest that the impacts alone cannot satisfactorily explain the loss of significant atmospheric mass since the Late Noachian (∼3.7–4 Ga). A period with intense bombardment of meteorites could have increased the atmospheric loss; but to explain the loss of a speculative massive atmosphere in the Late Noachian, other factors of atmospheric erosion and replenishment also need to be taken into account. Astrobiology 9, 45–54.

Keyword(s): Mars ; Astrobiology ; Impact ; Asteroid
DOI: 10.1089/ast.2008.0242
Links: link

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Reference Systems & Planetology
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles

 Record created 2022-12-14, last modified 2022-12-14