Monday, August 22, 2011

Ancient Martian Channels Formed by Lava Not Water?

From The Daily Galaxy is an article stating that the Martian structures resembling ancient riverbeds may have been made by huge fast moving rivers of lava instead of the more commonly accepted water theory.

David Leverington, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech, employing high-resolution photographs, has determined that the Martian channels only superficially resemble channels on Earth that formed by floods. However, unlike Earth’s water-formed channels, the Martian structures lack the delta-like, sediment-laden deltas that exsist at the mouths of Earth's major tributaries but instead terminate in vast plains composed of volcanic basalt.

This is supported by abundant evidence of past eruptions of lava at the heads of these large systems, very similar to what is seen on the moon and on Venus.

The image is the Kasei Valles, a circum-Chryse outflow channel, which flowed into the Chryse Planitia. Credit: NASA/Texas Tech.

Complete Daily Galaxy article here

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