IMAGE: This composite, false-color image of Mount Sharp inside Gale crater on Mars shows geologists a changing planetary environment. On Mars, the sky is not blue, but the image was made to resemble Earth so that scientists could distinguish stratification layers. CREDIT: NASA/JPL
Mars is making news again. I mean, when isn’t Mars making news these days? This time, field geologists have analyzed data taken from Curiosity at Gale Crater and determined that a megaflood occurred in ancient Martian history.
In a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers explain how this megaflood left behind familiar ripple structures in the crater that match ones we have on Earth. The flood was likely set off by a large meteor impact four billion years ago that unleashed massive amounts of ice stored in the subsurface of the red planet.
According to lead author Ezat Heydari: This case includes the occurrence of giant wave-shaped features in sedimentary layers of Gale crater, often called “megaripples” or antidunes that are about 30-feet high and spaced about 450 feet apart.
These features match antidunes formed by melting ice here on Earth around two million years ago. Per the press release: The most likely cause of the ...