Massive tsunamis might contain shaped the ancient Martian landscape -

Massive tsunamis might contain shaped the ancient Martian landscape

While various Astronmer  agree that Mars, the now arid Red Planet, was once covered in bodies of water, there is little evidence of shorelines left on its surface. Surely, if there were oceans, there were coasts. So where did they all go?
Well, a new study suggests that these coastal markings are hard to spot because giant tsunamis damaged them some 3.4 billion years before.

According to the US-based team, which was led by Alexis Rodriguez from the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, big meteor impacts sent tremendous waves across the Martian landscape billions of years ago. These waves had the power to wash away the geological markings that researchers typically associate with coastlines by covering them with sediment and debris.

These waves were of an unimaginable size, too. As Thomas Sumner reports for Science News, meteor impacts on Mars were strong enough to generate 120-metre (393-foot) waves, which could flood up to one million square kilometres (386,000 square miles) of area. That’s about the combined size of Texas and California!
To make matters worse, these huge tsunamis probably happened roughly every 2.7 million years, based off of the rate the planet was struck with big meteors.
Massive tsunamis might contain shaped the ancient Martian landscape
Using satellite data to examine displaced sediment on the Martian surface, the team was able to analyse two of these suspected tsunamis that happened roughly 3.4 billion years ago.
The first one was able to carry off giant boulders into weird areas where they do not belong on the surface. The second, which the satellite images suggest happened a few million years after the first, occurred after Mars’ climate cooled. This means that it sent water flying into odd places where it then froze, creating strange formations.
Mostly, the Martian landscape doesn’t make a lot of sense to Scientists because things are often out of place. There are boulders where there shouldn’t be boulders and sediment is strewn all about. The team says tsunamis are the only way these characteristics could have formed.

"So, we think this is going to remove a lot of the uncertainty that surrounds the ocean hypothesis," Rodriguez told BBC’s Jonathan Amos. "Features that have in the past been interpreted as relating to an ocean have been controversial; they can be explained by several, alternative processes. But the features we are describing - such as up-slope flows including huge boulders - can only be explained in terms of tsunami waves."

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