Why is Turkey’s Salda Lake called ‘Mars on Earth’?

The scientists are looking for the signs of ancient life on the Red Planet with the help of data gathered by the NASA’s rover Perseverance which is exploring the surface of Mars. Scientists find that the data collected on the mission is much closer to home at the Salda lake located in southwest Turkey.

Highlights

The American space agency, NASA, stated that the minerals and rock deposits at Salda lake are the nearest match on earth with the deposits on the Jezero Crater where the spacecraft landed. The Jezero Crater is believed to be once flooded with water. The Information which was gathered from Lake Salda would help the scientists to search for the fossilised traces of microbial life which is preserved in the sediment which were deposited around the delta and the long-vanished lake. Scientists are of the view that, these sediments around the lake were eroded from large mounds which are formed with the help of microbes and are called as microbialites.

Lake Salda

It is a mid-size crater lake which is located in southwestern Turkey. It lies within the boundaries of Yeşilova district in Burdur Province. The lake is located at the distance of about fifty kilometres in the west from Burdur. The lake is included in Turkish Lakes Region which is extended across the inner western to southern Anatolia.  It has the area of 4,370 hectares and a depth of 196 meters.

Jezero crater

The crater is located on Mars in Syrtis Major quadrangle. The lake is having the diameter of about 49.0 km. This crater is believed to be once flooded with water. It comprises of the fan-delta deposit rich in clays. From a study of the delta and channels, the scientists had concluded that the lake inside crater was formed during the period when there was continuous surface runoff.

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