More than 200 of these "paleolakes" have drainage canals tens of hundreds of kilometers long and several kilometers wide shed…
Water overflowing from ancient lakes on Mars created catastrophic floods that quickly carved canyons On the red planet three billion years ago, a study has been found. The findings suggest that disastrous geological processes could have played a major role in shaping Mars and other worlds with flat tectonics, “said Tim Goudge, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas, Austin, USA. “These broken lakes are quite common and some of them are quite large, some as big as the Caspian Sea,” says Goudge, senior author of the study published in the journal Geology.
“So, we think this kind of catastrophic flooding flood and rapid cuts of outlet plans were probably quite important on early March,” he said. From studying rock formations from satellite imagery, scientists know that hundreds of craters across Mars’s surface were once filled with water. More than 200 of these “paleolakes” have outlet cannons tens of hundreds of kilometers long and several kilometers wide chopped by water flowing from the ancient lakes.
However, it was not known whether the canyons were gradually chopped over millions of years or quickly cut through individual floods. Using high resolution images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite, researchers examined the topography of the outflow and crater rims and found a correlation between the size of the outlet and the volume of water expected to be released during a major flood event. If, instead, the outlet had gradually been cut off over time, the ratio of water volume to outlet size would probably not hold, Goudge said.
In total, the researchers reviewed 24 paleolakes and their outlet cannons over the Red Planet. One of the paleolakes investigated in the study, Jezero Crater, is a potential landing site for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission to look for signs of past lives. Researchers suggested crater as a landing site based on previous studies that found that it held water for long periods in March’s past. While massive floods flowing from marbles can sound like a scene in a science fiction novel, a similar process occurs on Earth when lakes dammed by glaciers break through their odd barriers. They found that the similarity is more than shallow. As long as the gravity is reported, floods create drains of similar shapes, whether they are on Earth or Mars.
Although large floods on Mars and Earth are controlled by the same mechanics, they fit into different geological paradigms. On earth, the slow and evenest movement of tectonic plates dramatically changes the planet’s surface over millions of years. In contrast, the lack of flat tonics on Mars means that catastrophic events ̵
1; such as floods and asteroid effects – quickly create changes that can result in near permanent changes in the landscape. “The landscape on Earth does not preserve large lakes for a very long time,” said NASA researcher Caleb Fassett. “But on Mars, these canyons have been there for 3.7 billion years, and it gives us an insight into what the surface of the deep-time surface was like on Mars,” says Fassett.