Limitations of asteroid crater lakes as climate archives

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Drill core from borehole taken in 1981 from the Nördlinger Ries. There are disti
Drill core from borehole taken in 1981 from the Nördlinger Ries. There are distinctive layers of light-coloured dolomite between fine-layered dark sediments of the former crater lake. Photo: Gernot Arp, Göttingen University

Researchers led by Göttingen University determine factors for chemical development in crater lakes on Earth

In southern Germany just north of the Danube, there lies a large circular depression between the hilly surroundings: the Nördlinger Ries. Almost 15 million years ago, an asteroid struck this spot. Today, the impact crater is one of the most useful analogues for asteroid craters on early Mars. Studying the deposits of the former lake that formed in the crater is particularly informative. These deposits have been of great interest ever since NASA began exploring Martian craters for signs of water and life on Mars. However, the chemical development of the former crater lake and its habitable areas is only partially understood. ...

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