A thorough analysis of the surface and atmosphere of planet Mars suggests that Mars could have hosted water. Scientists even believe that, around 3.8 billion years ago, there was enough liquid water on Mars to form an ocean. The ocean must have been so big that it occupied more than half of its northern hemisphere.
On Saturday, the researchers published their study in the Journal of Geophysical Research. They did not only argue in favor of the vast ocean on the planet’s northern hemisphere. They presumed that certain areas of the planet could have experienced tsunamis. Thus, they identified a crater which was presumably made by an asteroid which led to tsunamis.
Mars could have hosted liquid water in large quantities
The Lomonosov crater is over 90 miles wide and it is located in the northern Martian plains. They suggest that an asteroid hit the previous ocean three billion years ago, thus forming the crater. Also, the impact with the water created tsunami waves which must have been almost 500 feet tall.
The researchers admit that their hypothesis is a bit controversial, but it might lead to one of the biggest discoveries on planet Mars.
“The possibility that a large ocean once occupied the Martian northern plains is one of the most important and controversial hypotheses to have originated from the exploration of Mars. We mapped lobate deposits, which appear and are potential tsunami deposits associated with the existence of a former ocean. We identified the most probable crater sources of the proposed tsunami deposits from a numerical modeling.”
Evidence to support the tsunami hypothesis
Other scientists have previously suggested that tsunamis might have occurred on the surface of Mars, but this is the first study that plunges deeply into the issue and links the occurrence with an impact crater.
Moreover, the researchers identified some lobate flow deposits at the boundary between the two hemispheres. This can work as evidence in favor of the tsunamis, which must have pushed water waves from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
As mentioned before, there were other studies which looked for evidence of the presence of water on Mars. A study from last May which appeared in Nature Scientific Reports, scientists argued that two big tsunamis had wiped out the ocean from the northern hemisphere.
Thus, a potential existence of an ocean on Mars might be one of the most daring and controversial theories, but it might change the way in which we look at the Red Planet.
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