The area believed to exist in the North Ocean also contains so-called fingerprint areas found on the landside of these suspected ancient shorelines. These areas may have been devastated by the chaotic and violent flow of water following the mega tsunami. But which craters have been linked to the effects of these mega tsunamis has long been a mystery.
In 2017, a team led by François Costard, a planetary geomorphologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, used computer modeling to reproduce the effects mega-tsunamis most likely have caused such fingerprints. This resulted in a handful of impact craters.
Also its edge is about as high as the estimated depth of the ocean. Crucially, it physically resembles the oceanic craters of the earth, suggesting that it originated in a shallow ocean, if not definitely.
Another clue is the hole in the southern part of the crater. The plains there are inclined to the southern highlands. It is possible that the ocean displaced by the impact would have most aggressively fallen back from that direction and breached the southern edge of the crater.
Alexis Rodriguez, Mars geomorphologist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. and co-author of the new study, say that the remnants of this Martian ocean could be a good target in finding evidence of life on the red p lanet.
The ocean may have been fed by catastrophic flooding from underground caches of liquid water. In this case, sediments in the north could "be a window into the subterranean habitability of Mars," Dr. Rodriguez. If they contain geochemical signatures of ancient microbiology, the liquid aquifers suspected beneath the Martian surface may still be reservoirs for life today.
Of course, all of this depends on whether there actually exists a North Ocean – a conclusion that has been questioned by studies of the old climate of the red P lanet. Dr. Rodriguez calls this one of the "core paradoxes" of Mars planet science.
Paul Byrne, a planetary geologist at North Carolina State University who was not involved in the study, agreed: I still do not fully understand the history of the Martian climate, and certainly the climate models we use will continue to improve. "
Despite convincing geological evidence scientists still have no clear evidence of a northern ocean. "The climate models could not be wrong," he added – but more data is needed to indicate one direction or the other.