August 25, 2006

Killer Lakes

Apparently, Geysers spewing sand and dust hundreds of feet into the "air" have been discovered on Mars. Images from a camera orbiting Mars on the Mars Odyssey probe have shown the 100mph jets of carbon dioxide erupt through ice at the planet's south pole.The geyser debris leaves dark spots, fan-like markings and spider-shaped features on the ice cap. The scientists said geysers erupted when sunlight warming the ice turned frozen carbon dioxide underground into high-pressure gas.

(In a bizzare coincidence, I saw a documentary on Science Channel yesterday on the 'killer lakes' of Africa - where a huge cloud of CO2 emanated from the bottom of the lake and killed 1800+ people around Lake Nyos in Cameroon in 1986. Had never heard of this huge tragedy before and moreso also that such a thing was possible on earth! Interesting how scientists went about deciphering what happened and also how to degass the lakes to prevent future disasters - although p
er this 2005 article, efforts to prevent the release of deadly clouds of toxic gas from two African lakes appear to be failing.)

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