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Groundwater formation of martian valleys

Nature

By:
,
DOI: 10.1038/17551

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Abstract

The martian surface shows large outflow channels, widely accepted as having been formed by gigantic floods that could have occurred under climatic conditions like those seen today. Also present are branching valley networks that commonly have tributaries. These valleys are much smaller than the outflow channels and their origins and ages have been controversial. For example, they might have formed through slow erosion by water running across the surface, either early or late in Mars' history, possibly protected from harsh conditions by ice cover. Alternatively, they might have formed through groundwater or ground-ice processes that undermine the surface and cause collapse, again either early or late in Mars' history. Long-duration surface runoff would imply climatic conditions quite different from the present environment. Here we present high-resolution images of martian valleys that support the view that ground water played an important role in their formation, although we are unable as yet to establish when this occurred.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Groundwater formation of martian valleys
Series title:
Nature
DOI:
10.1038/17551
Volume
397
Issue:
6720
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Nature
First page:
589
Last page:
591
Number of Pages:
3