CofC professor receives NASA grant to study Mars volcanoes

Charleston County News

Professor John Chadwick
Via CofC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A College of Charleston (CofC) geology professor has been selected to participate in a NASA funded project studying volcanic activity on Mars.

John Chadwick, along with researchers from Pomona College in California and the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, will spend the next three years examining Mars’s four largest volcanoes, which Chadwick says are massive.

“If they were on Earth, each of the volcanoes would cover all of the state of South Carolina, along with half of Georgia and North Carolina.”

Professor John Chadwick

Chadwick and his fellow researchers will “examine the evolution of” the volcanoes, and “determine their eruptive history and the impact they had on the Mars environment.”

To study the volcanoes, researchers will use topographic data gathered by NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars to examine “the volume of gabbro rock inside these volcanoes.”

The goal of the study is to learn more about the decline in volcanic activity — which scientists believe began about 250 million years ago — and how that decline has impacted life on Mars.

Students at CofC will be able to participate in the research.

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