Experts have recently claimed that deep canyons and valleys on Mars may have been formed as the result of warming periods that stretched for up to 10 million years, melting the glaciers that covered its surface. This theory, as what authorities believes it, could potentially solve the mystery of Mars' water-carved features, which formed roughly 3.8 billion years ago during a period many believe the planet was frozen.
What Does The Findings Mean?
According to reports revealed by Daily Mail, researchers have allegedly explained that the build-up of greenhouse gases in the planet's thick atmosphere may have spurred dramatic climate cycles, allowing for liquid water to emerge and later refreeze in another ice age. It has been noted that previous studies have already suggested that Mars' warming was brought on by asteroid impacts, creating steam atmospheres that led to rain.
Meanwhile, in one of her statements reported by World Breaking News, Natasha Batalha, a graduate student of astronomy and astrophysics said that through the cycling hypothesis, you get these long periods of warmth that give you sufficient time to form all the different Martian valley networks. Hence, warming cycles could be responsible.
Furthermore, researchers have also claimed that the valleys on Mars are similar in width to the Grand Canyon which is thought to have been carved over 16 million years by the Colorado as it swelled with seasonal snow melts. Study co-author Jim Kasting, an Evan Pugh Professor of geosciences adds that Mars had to be warm for millions to tens of millions of years, and the impact hypothesis can keep it warm for thousands of years.
It was also found that excess CO2 in the atmosphere would have resulted in acid rain, which in turn would have dissolved carbonate rocks at the surface and deposited them further down. Thus, experts are convinced that if the next Mars mission was able to dig down deeper, you might be able to uncover these different carbonates.