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Mars Ancient Shorelines Destroyed By Mega Tsunamis, Scientists Say

First Posted: May 23, 2016 05:50 AM EDT
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Mars used to have ancient shorelines until they were wiped out by two mega tsunamis, a new report says. According to scientists In Arizona, they have strong reasons to believe this, and that the tsunamis occurred millions of years apart.

Based on the new published paper, which can be found in the Nature Scientific Reports by Planetary Science Institute, there is a valid reason why scientists have long been struggling to identify shoreline features in Mars.

Senior scientist J. Alexi Palmero Rodriguez said that there is a high possibility that some kind of bolide impact triggered the enormous waves that wiped the shoreline features out. 

"For more than a quarter century, failure to identify shoreline features consistently distributed along a constant elevation has been regarded as inconsistent with the hypothesis that a vast ocean existed on Mars approximately 3.4 billion years ago," Rodriguez said. 

"Our discovery offers a simple solution to this problem; widespread tsunami deposits distributed within a wide range of elevations likely characterize the shorelines of early Martian oceans," he added.

Not only did the tsunamis might have occurred million of years apart, the researchers also claimed that it is possible that between the two tsunamis, the ocean receded, which made Mars' climate a lot cooler. 

The scientists also claimed the existence of evidence for this theory. They said that if they will be able to sample the areas, they can definitely find some frozen ancient ocean water brines that have "much of the originally emplaced materials, which could be informative of the ocean's primary composition." 

The scientists believe that the Mars Pathfinder might already be able to test these materials.

The report is quite timely. These speculations followed NASA's discovery of flowing liquid on the Red Planet on September 2015. 

This is not the first study to say that Mars possessed oceans. Scientists would not devote so much time to study shorelines if they are sure there are no oceans. Moreover, sedimentary deposits discovered in the Martian north by radar in 2012 make for strong evidence that there are Martian oceans.

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