Description: We use TOUGH+/GasH2O to study the effects of a heat sourceburied in the Martian permafrost to evaluate the possibility ofestablishing a wet zone of liquid water, in which terrestrialmicroorganisms could survive and multiply. Analysis of the problemindicates that (1) only a limited permafrost volume (not exceeding 0.35 min radius) is affected, (2) a "wet" zone with limited amounts of liquidwater de-velops (not exceeding 8 and 0.7 kg for a 250 W and a 62.5 Wsource, respectively), (3) the wet zone per-sists for a long time,becomes practically stationary after t = 20 sols because of venting intothe Martian atmosphere, and its thickness is limited and decreases slowlyover time, (4) a "dry" zone (where SG>0.9) evolves, continues toexpand (albeit slowly) with time, but its extent remains limited, and (5)the ice front surrounding the wet zone is self-sharpening. For a range ofinitial conditions investigated, evolution of the liquid water massoccurs at approximately the same rate, reaches roughly the same maximum,and occurs at about the same time (10 to 20 sols; 1 sol = 24.39hours).
Date: May 12, 2006
Creator: Moridis, George J. & Pruess, Karsten
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