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Artist's impression of ancient water on Mars theory

Water on Mars is a subject of interest in theorizing the geomorphology of observed land masses, and for the interest of hypothesizing scenarios to sustain life on Mars.

Drainage channelsEdit

It is widely accepted that liquid water once flowed on Mars. This belief was supported by the discovery by the Mariner 9 mission[1] of numerous drainage channels whose form is consistent with formation by water (as opposed to lava channels, which have also been found in some areas). Fluvial processes can yield roughly symmetrical relief, such as the teardrop-shaped islands observed in many Martian stream beds.[2]

Acidalia Planitia Edit

There is a hypothesis that the basin north of Cydonia called Acidalia Planitia was once a shallow sea.[3] There are features in the study area that are suggestive of lacustrine erosion, such as small craters with a "smudged" appearance that may at one time have been submerged and subject to shallow wave action. There are also some curvilinear features suggestive of lacustrine deposition.[2]

This would would also place the area of Cydonia Mensae under study near the former shoreline. Small craters in this area appear to have been modified by water erosion, perhaps by shallow wave action. This would match the observations of recent researchers that linear features in this area may be lacustrine deposits resulting from shallow wave action at the edge of an ancient sea.[3] The nearby D&M Pyramid, however, bears no resemblance to fluvial processes, as sharp edged multi-faceted symmetrical shapes are not characteristic of fluvial landforms.[2]

References Edit

  1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 'Mars as Viewed by Mariner 9' (NASA SP-329), Scientific and Technical Information Office, Washington, D.C. (1976).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The D&M Pyramid of Mars (1996), by Erol Torun
  3. 3.0 3.1 T.J. Parker, D.S. Gorsline, R.S. Saunders, D.C. Pieri, and D.M. Schneeberger, 'Coastal Geomorphology of the Martian Northern Plains', J. Geophys. Res., 82, No. E6, 11,061-11,078 (1993).