The water that melts under the glacial ice , and not by free-flowing rivers as previously thought, was what carved out the large number of valley networks that traverse the surface of Mars. Researches has found that earlier Mars was originally covered with ice.
This is suggested by a new study from the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Canada, published this Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience .
According to the conclusions of this new study, then, in the origins of Mars there were no rivers, rains and oceans. It was not a hot and humid place. According to the lead author, Anna Grau Galofre , a former doctoral student in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences:
For the past 40 years, since the valleys of Mars were discovered, rivers were supposed to once flow over Mars, eroding and originating all of these valleys. But there are hundreds of valleys on Mars, and they are very different from each other. If you look at Earth from a satellite, you see many valleys: some made by rivers, others by glaciers, others by other processes, and each type has a distinctive shape. Mars is similar in that the valleys look very different from each other, suggesting that many processes were in play to carve them. According to data earlier Mars was originally covered with ice and water in huge amount.
To reach this conclusion, new techniques have been developed to examine thousands of Martian valleys. Martian valleys were also compared to subglacial channels in the Canadian Arctic archipelago and discovered striking similarities. In total, the researchers analyzed more than 10,000 Martian valleys , using a new algorithm to infer their underlying erosion processes
Valleys would have formed 3.8 billion years ago on a planet that is further from the sun than Earth, during a time when the sun was less intense.