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Proceedings Paper

Red soils on Earth and their significance for Mars
Author(s): Roland R. Paepe; Elfi S.P. Van Overloop; Richard B. Hoover; Sophia Nassopoulou; Peter D. Kafumu; Deqian Wang
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2003
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 4859, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457317
Show Author Affiliations
Roland R. Paepe, Geobound International Ltd. (Belgium)
Elfi S.P. Van Overloop, Geobound International Ltd. (Belgium)
Richard B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Sophia Nassopoulou, Athens Environmental Institute (Greece)
Peter D. Kafumu, Geological Survey of Tanzania (Tanzania)
Deqian Wang, Shaanxi Bureau of Land and Resources (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4859:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology V
Richard B. Hoover; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Roland R. Paepe, Editor(s)

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