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Terraforming: Peat bogs Arable soil from regolith.

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Presentation on theme: "Terraforming: Peat bogs Arable soil from regolith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Terraforming: Peat bogs Arable soil from regolith

2 Organics Regolith: finely ground rock No organics, no carbon No soil nitrogen found so far Low potassium, high iron How do we convert vast fields of regolith to arable soil?

3 Acid breaks down feldspar Hydrochloric acid dissolves anorthite & bytownite Strong acid breaks down most minerals Sphagnum produces phenolic acid, pH 3-4.5 leach nutrients from rock: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium Leave hydrated mineral: clay, gypsum, crandallite Cyanobacteria grows in symbiosis fixes nitrogen from air generates oxygen

4 Circulation pumps Rapid conversion of rock to hydrated minerals requires moving strong acid through finely ground rock. Mars “soil” is already fines, finer than dust. Pump to raise water from bedrock to surface Slow sand filter will keep fines out of pump Solar powered, each pump Slow water flow, don’t disturb the peat Peat requires stagnant water

5 Pioneer plant Sphagnum prefers sand in clean water no alkali water must be 0-3” (0-7.6cm) from surface Creates microenvironment to keep stalks humid O 2 from cyanobacteria also in microenvironment doesn’t require oxygen atmosphere Holds rainwater, doesn’t require irrigation Creates environment for other plants

6 Mature bog plastic to contain O 2 holes to drain rain into soil high PP O 2, but leaks O 2 sedges, forbes, willows Berries: blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, saskatoon berry, cranberry, huckleberry, sarsaparilla (root beer), lingonberry, and cloudberry Black spruce trees

7 Boreal Forest Black spruce: pH 3.5-7 Sphagnum: pH 3-4.5 Forest in bog: pH 3.5-4.5 Forest: serious oxygen generation Lumber Environment for animals

8 Animals Wood Bison largest animal in North America adult males 350-1000kg native to boreal forest Muskox native to islands of high arctic ideal for colder areas of Mars Barren-ground Caribou taiga forests & tundra Woodland Caribou, Moose, Elk

9 Prairie & Farmland Lime soil to neutralize pH limestone or wood ash Convert deep organic soil into farmland Slightly acid soil is good for crops continue to leach nutrients from rock Interconnected roots of grass prevent soil erosion further work is just farming

10 Terraforming in Manitoba Purpose: form soil from rock Method: blast rock, grid into rock flour, grow peat bog

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