The networks of deep canals carved into the ground on Mars were caused by rain raging through the once dense atmosphere of the planet. But the big question is: where is the water going? ( ESA / DLR / FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO )
Heavy rain showers have often broken through the early climate of Mars, as shown by the complex network of valleys winding through the valley [1
The research relies on previous studies that show similar geographic structures on Earth that show the terrestrial channels were caused by huge rainwater streams.
Channel Networks on Mars
Scientists have long known that Mars has a complicated network of deep valleys, some of which are up to 12 miles long, nearly 3,000 feet deep. These valleys branch out, similar to the tributaries of a large river that branches off from the main channel.
The discovery led experts to believe that Mars had enough water to form valleys in the Martian soil. However, where the water from which these channels originated, has remained a mystery.
Some theories point to a large body of water like a lake that once must have been there while others believe it could be water from the water bottom. However, other scientists believe that it could come from the melting ice in the Marsh Highlands caused by the heat of the volcanoes.
A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Chicago says heavy rain has erupted for 3.6 to 3.8 billion years
Precipitation on Mars
In a new study published on the Open Access website Science Advances was published, researchers used similar structures on Earth as a model to study the network of branch valleys on Mars
Based on two data sets used by other researchers to study the marching valleys Researchers concluded that the dryness of a region provides many clues as to how the canals were formed. Even in areas with a severe, dry climate like the deserts of Arizona, the researchers found that the networks of valleys are caused by rain were forming waterways in the ground. The branches in these channels are marked by a low angle.
On the other hand, valley systems caused by water leaking from the ground, like those in Florida, have wider angles between their branches.
The canals on Mars are similar to the narrow valleys on Earth, meaning that they were created by rainwater that created pathways into the ground through which it can flow.
The results led the scientists to conclude that there must have been a lot of rain falling on the Martian soil in the early days of the planet. They also assume that Mars has a much denser atmosphere than today.
"Recent studies show that much more water must have been on Mars than previously thought," says physicist Hansjörg Seybold, first author of the study.
When heavy rain pattered on the surface of the planet, increasing amounts of rainwater cut deeper into the ground to reach the actual depths of the canals.
Mars must have an active water cycle
The study also assumes that Mars must have had a very active water cycle. One theory states that one third of the entire Martian territory was covered by a large body of water.
Heat that was consumed by active volcanoes near the theoretical mars cape made large amounts of water become vapor that later fell
. Of course, this also raises the question: where did all the water go?
"It's likely that most of it has evaporated into space," says Seybold. "But it could still be found near Mars."
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