It has been discovered that the surface of Mars which is barren today was teeming with water eons ago. The interesting thing is that the water remained extant for a long time before disappearing forever.
The surface of Mars probably had flowing water on it for a longer time than was previously held to be the case by scientists. A study on the matter was published in the journal Nature.
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A team of experts hailing from the United States, France and Senegal employed computer simulations of Mars to gather lots of information about the physico-chemical processes that occurred on its surface eons ago.
Mars’ surface was tilted to an angle of 20 degrees on the computer screen. This was supposed to be a ditto copy of what happened 3.2 billion years ago due to centripetal forces that were operational at that time.
Thus the Tharsis region was located on the equator. This happens to be the largest volcanic area on Mars. It is 2500 miles in length and as high as 6 miles. It has a total tally of twelve volcanoes. Three of these are huge.
The volcanoes found in this special region are more than a hundred times larger than the geological outgrowths found on earth. This area’s formation took place some 3.7 billion years ago when Mars was a wet world with flowing water.
Scientists postulated that river valley systems formed long after the genesis of Tharsis. The lava eruptions from the Tharsis region caused the increase in height of the volcanoes.
The valleys also formed thanks to this scheme of things. Thus the water flowed from the peaks of the volcanoes down into the valleys. Now however the valleys are dry and bear an uncanny resemblance to abandoned river valleys on our own planet.
After the mathematical computer models were used by the scientists to remove the very presence of Tharsis, the rivers grooves were seen to be extant.
Therefore it becomes apparent that the processes were not the result of volcanic activity. The valleys either formed before Tharsis or at the same time.
These rivers seemed to have flowed from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Thus the earlier formation of the valleys and the flowing nature of the water along the river grooves is a possibility.
When the volcanoes erupted, they released greenhouse gases which caused the polar icecaps to melt leading to the abundance of water at that particular time in the history of Mars.
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