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May 11 2013

Deep Lakes and Catastrophic Floods of Mars


Eroded channels and chasms from catastrophic floods between martian basins are the strongest evidence yet that there were once large, deep bodies of water on early Mars, according to a new study using the latest imagery and topographic data.

The outflow channels of Mars have been a puzzle ever since they were first spotted in images from the Viking spacecraft four decades ago. In that time every sort of mechanism has been called on to carve them -- among them winds, lava and carbon dioxide-powered debris flows. But none has settled the issue.

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