Press Release

Terrestrial Analogy to Ancient Martian Ocean?

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2014
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Terrestrial Analogy to Ancient Martian Ocean?

 Boulder, Colorado, USA – In the February issue of GSA Today, Lorena Moscardelli of the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences documents evidence in support for the existence of a martian ocean during the late Hesperian–early Amazonian by showcasing a new terrestrial, deep-water analogy.

Although the existence of an ancient martian ocean based on alleged paleoshorelines has been heavily contested, Moscardelli describes boulder-size rocks on the northern plains of Mars that are similar to boulder- and kilometer-scale blocks transported to many terrestrial deep-water environments by subaqueous mass-transport events. According to Moscardelli, the comparison supports the existence of an ocean on Mars and a catastrophic mass-transport origin for the boulders not unlike events documented along continental margins on Earth.

Boulders of the Vastitas Borealis Formation: Potential Origin and Implications for an Ancient Martian Ocean
Lorena Moscardelli, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin; now at Statoil North America–Research, Development and Innovation in Austin, Texas, USA. Pages 4–10; doi: 10.1130/GSATG197A.1.

GSA Today articles are open access online; for a print copy, please contact Kea Giles. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before publishing stories on their work, and please make reference to GSA Today in articles published. 

SpaceRef staff editor.