The next speaker for the Department of Ecology & Environmental Science Seminar Series will be Dr Eriita Jones from the University of South Australia with a seminar entitled “Searching For Hidden Liquid Water Environments In The Solar System”
Title: Searching For Hidden Liquid Water Environments In The Solar System
When: 12:10pm, Friday Septermber 9, 2016
Where: Lecture Theatre G10, Benham Building, University of Adelaide
The identification and characterisation of extra-terrestrial liquid water environments are of high scientific interest. Such environments have the potential to support microbial life, and to develop our understanding of the habitability of planets and moons beyond Earth. The surface of Mars is predominately cold and dry, with any liquid water exposed to the
atmosphere vaporising or freezing on timescales of hours to days. Despite this, both modelling and the recent orbital detection of flowing brines indicate that the subsurface regolith of Mars can support liquid water and environments potentially hospitable to life. Remote sensing–radar, gamma ray spectrometry, thermal infrared and hyperspectral– provides information on near-surface water ice on Mars, however our current understanding of deeper ice and groundwater systems is severely limited. In this talk I will discuss some of the remote sensing methodologies utilised to constrain the presence and extent of subsurface water on Mars, with an emphasis on my recent research results. Some of these approaches can also be applied to Earth, providing innovative new methods for the identification and characterisation of groundwater systems in arid environments. A brief overview of a current project to apply these techniques to groundwater in the Lake Eyre Basin will be provided.