Early Volcanic Activity May Have Triggered Martian River Formation

November 19, 2014 2:45 AM

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We already know that fresh water had once flowed on Mars. The traces are quite visible in the planet’s geography. However, the planet is now mostly a frozen desert, so how was that possible? Scientists from Brown University gave a potential, yet compelling explanation in a study published in Nature Geoscience.

The argument says that volcanic activity may have kept the planet warm enough for water to flow. But the process only lasted for couple of decades or hundreds of years at a time. Moreover, volcanoes ejected sulfur dioxide, a chemical that greatly increase the greenhouse effect. That mattered because...

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