Mars valleys were created by run-off rainwater, claims new study
Contours seen on Mars may have been created by run-off rainwater, say scientists who found that branching angles of the valleys on the red planet were very similar to those found in arid landscapes on Earth. The surface of Mars bears imprints of structures that resemble fluvial steam networks on Earth. Scientists therefore assume that there must have been once enough water on the red planet to feed water streams that incised their path into the soil.
For years, however, scientists have been debating the source from which this water must have originated. A study, published in Science Advances, suggests that the branching structure of the former river networks on Mars has striking similarities with terrestrial arid landscapes. Using statistics from all mapped river valleys on Mars, researchers conclude that the contours still visible today must have been created by superficial run-off of rainwater.
Consequently, the influence of groundwater seepage from the soil can be excluded as a dominant process for shaping these features. The distribution of the branching angles of the valleys on Mars is very similar to those found in arid landscapes on Earth. This implies that there must have been a similar hydrological environment with sporadic heavy rainfall events …read more