I am researching the process of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ancient Mars atmosphere being sequestered into stable mineral carbonate. Such carbonate minerals have been observed by satellite, rovers, landers and in meteorites from Mars that have landed on Earth. I examine these sources and attempt to resolve the mineralogy and reaction pathways involved. There is a lot of advanced microscope work of Mars fragments, which I love. I also conduct laboratory experiments in pressure vessels that mimic early Mars hydrothermal systems.
We can utilise the same reactions in rock formations on Earth to store atmospheric carbon dioxide as minerals. A method much more stable than other current carbon capture and storage methods. I am also working with Engineers in Space Glasgow to build a new prototype rover tool that uses ultrasonic grinding to expose a smooth rock surface, so that rock reactions can be observed more clearly.
I write weekly for the Huffington Post and run the public outreach project 'Science Hooker': Check it out.
Apr 04, 2016 15:55 pm UTC| Science
The surface of Mars is a cold desert. Scars in the landscape point to a history of flowing rivers, standing lakes and possibly even planetary oceans. Yet the current Martian atmosphere has a density thats around 0.6% of...