Martian tsunamis may be related to impact craters, according to new research.
A team of scientists claimed that an ancient asteroid caused the formation of 150m-high waves when it hit the ocean which is believed to have existed on Mars three billion years ago. In the northern plains of the Red Planet appeared the Lomonosov crater which seems to fit the prediction of scientists due to the tsunami deposits which were spotted on the surface.
Astronomers believe that Mars’s northern area from three billion years ago featured an ocean.
Martian tsunamis are believed to have covered the lowland area of the Red Planet.
They found lobate deposits which indicate the existence of tsunamis.
The new findings were presented during the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Even if this idea of ancient Martian tsunami lost its reliability in recent times, some researchers still claim that many billion years ago an ocean may have filled the vast lowland region of Mars’ northern parts.
To strengthen this hypothesis, specialists tried to determine some evidence that Martian tsunamis affected the northern lowlands and the southern highlands. Francois Costard and Steve Clifford together with their colleagues have established and mapped the sediment’s distribution which seems to have originated in the northern lowlands and flowed towards the south, onto a possible ancient shoreline.
Dr. Costard at the Universite Paris-Sud argued that they revealed traditional tsunami deposits somewhere between the southern hemisphere and the northern one of the Red Planet. Experts claim that back then, there existed a northern ocean. Dr. Clifford from the Lunar and Planetary Institute stated that a lobate flow deposit is a particular feature which was identified on the dichotomy boundary.
He also argued that these lobate deposits disseminate from the northern lowlands towards the high regions, this being associated with a presumably palaeo-shoreline. The predictions regarding the numerical models made by Dr. Costard have stopped being so convincing when it comes to the existence of an ancient ocean.
Nevertheless, there also exists another set of landforms which are called thumbprint terrain, being found along the coastline. The tsunamis’ reflection from the coast and their interrelation with another set of tsunami waves, would have indicated sediment deposition. Previously, this area was interpreted as having formed due to glaciers, mud volcanoes and mud flows.
The Martian tsunami is said to have traveled 150 km inland, even reaching heights of 100 m. Clifford noted that if they find evidence which attests the existence of a tsunami, then they need to prove that there was an ocean in the northern area.