According to the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, an international team of scientists from France, Spain and Australia have come to the conclusion that about three billion years ago the red planet was under the influence of a powerful cataclysm, the main culprit of which was water. A huge wave height of a ten-storey house is swept at a speed of 60 meters per second for almost the entire area of the planet. What happened to this after that, almost all the water on Mars gone?
Despite the fact that currently the bulk of all liquid on the planet is concentrated under the poles of Mars, in the past the planet was even more comfortable for life than Earth. According to the latest data, ancient Mars had vast ocean, exceeding in size the Arctic ocean. The depth of this water reservoir has reached 2 kilometers, and its reserves of water would be enough to cover the entire surface of the planet layer 130 meters.
The mystery of the disappearance of such a large amount of water is still highly relevant for scientists from all over the world. But a new study may shed the truth on such a mysterious phenomenon, linking together two completely different witness of ancient events on a planetary scale: the surviving traces of the ancient ocean and the Lomonosov crater, the diameter of which exceeds 150 kilometers.
As stated in the study, the age of the crater coincides with the age of the Martian basins similar to those which arise on the Earth by the impact of a tsunami. In addition, the asteroid that caused the appearance of giant waves, had to fall to the bottom of the ocean, as evidenced by the preserved form of the crater.
Most likely, Martian tsunami could have a reddish tint due to large amounts of dust that existed on Mars in distant time.
Ancient Mars contained even more water than Earth
It is very difficult to answer the question of how and why the red planet has large reserves of water in the past. This harsh and dusty world gets a third less solar heat than the Earth, and the weak Martian gravity would not have any significant reserves of water in liquid form. The only thing that could find a hypothetical researchers on such a planet would be ice. However, according to the latest models, the researchers found that with high probability, ancient Mars could have a hydrogen atmosphere, which would allow him to maintain water in the liquid phase because of the rather favorable climate on the surface.
To date, Mars has lost most of its water resources. Remnants of the old wealth in our days exist only in the form of several underground lakes, and on the surface of the planet’s water in liquid form appears only sporadically.