A NASA spacecraft may have explored the edges of an early Mars sea in 1997

A NASA spacecraft may have explored the edges of an early Mars sea in 1997
Left: View of the Sojourner rover from the Pathfinder lander. According to our paper, a large proportion of the rocks could have been eroded from the sea’s margin by spillover floods. Credit:NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Right: Approximately 3.4 billion years ago Mars experienced huge catastrophic floods. This panel shows a paleogeographic reconstruction of the circum-Chryse region, which at that time included the flood-produced inland sea and part of the northern plains ocean. The Pathfinder landing site (crosshair symbol) is located on an enormous spillway that connected the inland sea and the northern ocean. The base map is a MOLA digital elevation model (460 m/pixel) centered at 5°31'17"N, 30°51'24"W. Credit: MOLA Science Team, MSS, JPL, NASA

NASA's first rover mission to Mars, the Pathfinder, imaged an extraterrestrial marine spillover landscape 22 years ago, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Alexis Rodriguez.

The is on the spillway of an ancient sea that experienced catastrophic floods released from the planet's subsurface and its sediments. This could potentially yield evidence of Martian habitability, said Rodriguez, lead author on "The 1997 Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Landing Site: Spillover Deposits from an Early Mars Inland Sea," which appears in Nature Scientific Reports.

Nearly half a century ago the Mariner 9 spacecraft returned images of some of the largest channels in the Solar System. Orbital observations of the gigantic channels suggested they were formed approximately 3.4 billion years ago by cataclysmic floods, much larger than any known to have occurred on Earth. The prospect that abundant flowing water once sculptured the Martian landscape ignited renewed interest in the possibility that life may have once thrived on the planet.

To test the Martian mega-flood hypothesis, NASA deployed its first Martian rover; the Sojourner, on board the 1997 Mars Pathfinder spacecraft that journeyed to the red planet. NASA spent a total of $280 million on the mission, including the launch vehicle and mission operations. The terrain within the rover's visual range includes potential fluvial features suggestive of regionally extensive flooding. However, those features suggest floods that were at least 10 times shallower than those estimated using images obtained from orbit. Hence, the mission was not able to exclude still disputed alternative views sustaining that debris or lavas flows could have in fact dominated the channels' formational history without significant water discharges.

"Our paper shows a basin, with roughly the surface area of California, that separates most of the gigantic Martian channels from the Pathfinder landing site. Debris or lava flows would have filled the basin before reaching the Pathfinder landing site. The very existence of the basin requires cataclysmic floods as the channels' primary formational mechanism" said Rodriguez.

"The basin is covered by with a distribution that precisely matches the inferred extent of inundation from potential catastrophic floods, which would have formed an inland sea," Rodriguez said. "This sea is approximately 250 kilometers upstream from the Pathfinder landing site, an observation that reframes its paleo-geographic setting as part of a marine spillway, which formed a land barrier separating the inland sea and a northern ocean.

"Our simulation shows that the presence of the sea would have attenuated cataclysmic floods, leading to shallow spillovers that reached the Pathfinder landing site and produced the bedforms detected by the spacecraft," Rodriguez said.

The team's results indicate that marine spillover deposits contributed to the landscape that the spacecraft detected nearly 22 years ago, and reconcile the mission's in situ geologic observations and decades of remote-sensing outflow channel investigations.

The sea bears an uncanny resemblance to the Aral Sea on Earth in that in both instances they lack distinct shoreline terraces. Its rapid regression over shallow submerged slopes resulted in rates of shoreline front retreat too fast for the terraces to form. The same process could partly account for the long-recognized lack of northern plains shorelines.

"Our indicate that the sea rapidly became ice-covered and disappeared within a few thousand years due to its rapid evaporation and sublimation. During this time, however, it remained liquid below its ice cover," said PSI Senior Scientist Bryan Travis, a co-author in the paper.

"Unlike on Earth, this sea was likely groundwater fed. If the ancient source aquifers hosted life, the proposed marine sedimentary materials at the Pathfinder landing site might contain a record of that life, a location easily accessible by future missions," Rodriguez said.

"An exciting observation is that the inland sea and the previously proposed northern plains ocean share a maximum paleo-shoreline elevation, implying a subsurface connection, perhaps through conduits, between the two marine bodies soon after they formed. This elevation match forms a new powerful observation that strongly favors the northern ocean hypothesis," said PSI Senior Scientist Dan Berman, a co-author in the paper.


Explore further

Regional, not global, processes led to huge Martian floods

More information: J. A. P. Rodriguez et al. The 1997 Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Landing Site: Spillover Deposits from an Early Mars Inland Sea, Scientific Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39632-1
Journal information: Scientific Reports

Citation: A NASA spacecraft may have explored the edges of an early Mars sea in 1997 (2019, March 15) retrieved 19 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-nasa-spacecraft-explored-edges-early.html
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Mar 15, 2019
Mars does not have hydrogen on the surface or in the atmosphere.
"On September 19, 2013, NASA scientists, from further measurements by Curiosity, reported no detection of atmospheric methane with a measured value of 0.18±0.67 ppbv corresponding to an upper limit of only 1.3 ppbv (95% confidence limit) and, as a result, conclude that the probability of current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars is reduced."
The geological composition of the Mars surface: The plagioclase feldspar NaAlSi3O8 to CaAl2Si2O8; pyroxenes are silicon-aluminium oxides with Ca, Na, Fe, Mg, Zn, Mn, Li replaced with Si and Al; hematite Fe2O3, olivine (Mg+2, Fe+2)2SiO4; Fe3O4 .

Mar 15, 2019
Mars does not have hydrogen on the surface or in the atmosphere.


Where does it say anything about hydrogen? Anyway, if it did have any it evaporated into space with the rest of the atmosphere.

Mar 15, 2019
Mars does not have hydrogen on the surface or in the atmosphere.


Where does it say anything about hydrogen?


"The landing site is on the spillway of an ancient sea that experienced catastrophic floods released from the planet's subsurface and its sediments."
ancient sea = water = H2 + O = two hydrogen and one oxygen atom..
Indeed not mentioned. Only foolishness is mentioned without the known official evidence. Food for readers with no desire to examining the evidence. who only worship "the great wisdom" inconsiderate scientists (liars).

Mar 15, 2019
"The landing site is on the spillway of an ancient sea that experienced catastrophic floods released from the planet's subsurface and its sediments."
ancient sea = water = H2 + O = two hydrogen and one oxygen atom..
Indeed not mentioned. Only foolishness is mentioned without the known official evidence. Food for readers with no desire to examining the evidence. who only worship "the great wisdom" inconsiderate scientists (liars).


Another crank who thinks scientists have nothing better to do than lie. What a fool. The Phoenix lander uncovered ice, you idiot.

H2O at the Phoenix Landing Site
Smith, P. H. et al.
http://science.sc.../5936/58

Its presence is strongly inferred from Gamma -ray spectrometry of H;

Distribution of Hydrogen in the Near Surface of Mars: Evidence for Subsurface Ice Deposits
Boynton, W. V. et al.
http://science.sc.../5578/81

Now, go away and get an education, you troll.

Mar 15, 2019
There is evidence that supports the presence of hydrated channels on Mars.
https://www.natur...ngeo2546

Mar 16, 2019
@ Castrogiovanni
Another crank who thinks scientists have nothing better to do than lie. What a fool. The Phoenix lander uncovered not ice, you idiot, you see white mice.
Science 03 Jul 2009: The soil was alkaline (pH = 7.7) and contained CaCO3, aqueous minerals, and salts up to several weight percent in the indurated surface soil
Science 05 Jul 2002: Using the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer on the Mars Odyssey, we have identified two regions near the poles that are enriched in hydrogen. We suggest that the host of the hydrogen in the subsurface layer is ice.
https://science.s...d-fly-by "Sea of oil seen on Titan / DS1 Asteriod fly-by"
http://www.scienc...ook-like
http://www.spaced...999.html
https://mars.jpl....why.html Mars, Water and Life


Mar 16, 2019
Another crank who thinks scientists have nothing better to do than lie. What a fool. The Phoenix lander uncovered not ice, you idiot, you see white mice.


Idiot. Can't read, can you? Let's post the partd that you so dishonestly left out, in your crankery;

A shallow ice table was uncovered by the robotic arm in a nearby polygon's edge and center at depths of 5-15 cm. In late summer snowfall and frost blanket the surface at night; water ice and vapor constantly interact with the soil. Analysis reveals an alkaline Ph with CaCO3, aqueous minerals, and salts making up several wt% of the soil; liquid water is implicated as
having been important in creating these components.


Liar, as well as an idiot.


Mar 16, 2019
The question is why duckass would think that, out of all the planets and moons in the solar system, mars would be the only one without water?

"It seems there are few places in the solar systems without some amount of water, whether liquid or solid. There's even a small amount of water vapor on Venus, something like 20 parts-per-million."

-Or conversely, why wouldn't mars have water when its next door neighbor is awash in oceans full of it, and it is subject to the same bombardments of icy comets?

Why would water be everywhere else BUT on mars duckass?

Mar 16, 2019
Why would water be everywhere else BUT on mars?


We can guess. For example, a creationist would be distressed by the fact that we see early water on Mars (habitability) and life on Earth (easy to evolve) and be distressed. To alleviate distress they "lie for Jesus" and blame others for their failed magic beliefs.

But of course there are other options, and on the web we should make both nice and the simplest assumption: To put it as nicely as we can then since it (he/she) started this line of inquiry into comments, wduckss is not simply a religious idiot but it is above all an idiot. ;-)

Mar 16, 2019
No one has to lie for Jesus. He would have known all about Mars, but chose not to say to locals for fear of causing problems among the superstitious. He knew people were given souls by other soul carriers on their great mission 13,000 years ago. Jews know this too. It is in the Kabballa and is on record alluded to in Book of Enoch which is not in holy roller Bibles all of which worship 'King James', an English tyrant. Jesus lived his earthly life an Orthodox Jew, and taught and preached in Synagogues. His brother James carried on after him as an Ebionite, sometimes called an 'Essene', and worked with his followers to write down the Torah and Haftera at Qumran on the Dead Sea before the Romans could destroy the Israeli people and their faith as well. Pilate wanted to create a cult of the Roman Emperor Tiberias in Israel to supplant Judaism. It was Pilato, not Caiphus the high Jewish Priest that wanted Jesus gone. John's gospel lied. 2000 years old lie, but a lie still.

Mar 16, 2019
"There's even a small amount of water vapor on Venus, something like 20 parts-per-million."

Of course, of these your amount, you are charging an ancient sea.
You look at Pluto's rings, faces, channels and pyramids on Mars, crush oil on Titan ..
No one speaks about water traces of 0,00 ..%.
Let's go: Pluto has 0.05-0.075% (2015) CO, no water, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus: water trace, Jupiter 0.0004% ± 0.0004% water (H2O), Titan moon H2 0.2% (no water ), .. Common for all: no oxygen or just squares.
Common to the inner planets: no hydrogen only traces (except Earth ~ 1% water, (H2 0.53 ppm)). ..
Http://www.global...OGEN.pdf

Mar 16, 2019
@Osiris1
In your comentar has more truth than all the others, or is minimally equally.

Mar 16, 2019
Notice how duckass decends into incomprehensibility when confronted with his own nonsense?

"No one has to lie for Jesus. He would have known all about Mars, but chose not to say to locals for fear of causing problems among the superstitious Yeah I guess that's why he chose to name it after a roman god :P

Hey torbjorn I would be rating more of your posts but I cant on this android device :P

Mar 16, 2019
I cant edit posts any more either which is why my last one has to remain garbled :P

Mar 17, 2019
From the new article, soon: Sunce i plinoviti planeti su sačinjeni (gornji slojevi koji se uspijevaju mjeriti) uglavnom od vodika i helija ( atmosphere by volume: Jupiter, 89% ± 2.0% hydrogen (H2 (molekularni vodik), 10% ± 2.0% helium (He); Saturn, 96.3 ± 2.4% hydrogen (H2), 3.25 ± 2.4% helium (He); Uranus, 83 ± 3% hydrogen (H2), 15 ± 3% helium (He); Neptune, 80% ± 3.2% of hydrogen (H2), 19% ± 3.2% helium (He), Sun, He 24,85 % , H 73,46% (atomni vodik). Ostala tijela gotovo da nemaju vodika u atmosferi, helij se registrira samo u tragovima ( Titan H2 0,2%, Zemlja H2 0,53 ppm, Venera nema H2, Merkurova atmosfera je samo trag, Mars nema vodika molekularnog niti u spojevima, nema vodika ni na površini, Ceres nema atmosferu, Pluton nema H2. H2 nemaju ni ostala manja tijela (Mjesec, Jupiterovi mjeseci itd).
Na Zemlji je vidljivo da postoje procesi koji staraju velike količine vodika kroz postojanje spojeva na bazi vodika: H2O, CH4, drugi ugljikovodici (nafta, plin), NH3 itd).

Mar 17, 2019
Duckass is so upset he cant even speak english any more haha molecular vodka wass dat??

Mar 17, 2019
The article is on the translation, that's the reason. The theme is (happily) covered with the end of the article.
I do not speak English, still I argue with you. What bothers you a second language?

Mar 17, 2019
From the new article, soon: Sunce i plinoviti planeti su saÄŤinjeni (gornji slojevi koji se uspijevaju mjeriti) uglavnom od vodika i helija ( atmosphere by volume: Jupiter, 89% ± 2.0% hydrogen (H2 (molekularni vodik), 10% ± 2.0% helium (He); Saturn, 96.3 ± 2.4% hydrogen (H2), 3.25 ± 2.4% helium (He); Uranus, 83 ± 3% hydrogen (H2), 15 ± 3% helium (He); Neptune, 80% ± 3.2% of hydrogen (H2), 19% ± 3.2% helium (He), Sun, He 24,85 % , H 73,46% (atomni vodik). Ostala tijela gotovo da nemaju vodika u atmosferi, helij se registrira samo u tragovima ( Titan H2 0,2%, Zemlja H2 0,53 ppm, Venera nema H2, Merkurova atmosfera je samo trag, Mars nema vodika molekularnog niti u spojevima, nema vodika ni na povrĹ�ini, Ceres nema atmosferu, Pluton nema H2. H2 nemaju ni ostala manja tijela (Mjesec, Jupiterovi mjeseci itd).
Na Zemlji je vidljivo da postoje procesi koji staraju velike koliÄŤine vodika kroz postojanje...


In English, please. Thanks

Mar 17, 2019
No one has to lie for Jesus. He would have known all about Mars, but chose not to say to locals for fear of causing problems among the superstitious. He knew people were given souls by other soul carriers on their great mission 13,000 years ago. Jews know this too. It is in the Kabballa and is on record alluded to in Book of Enoch which is not in holy roller Bibles all of which worship 'King James', an English tyrant. Jesus lived his earthly life an Orthodox Jew, and taught and preached in Synagogues..
says Osiris

Torbjorn brings up religion, followed by Osiris. Therefore:
Jesus (Yahashuah) is not God, although Evangelicals will argue that He is. He was a Holy Angel who transmuted into the flesh and blood of a baby, born unto a virgin. The whole purpose of the existence of the Jewish/Hebrew people was to be the ancestors of Yahashuah, who was to teach them God's Way. The Jews rejected this angelic teacher, but still believe that they are God's chosen people.

Mar 17, 2019
Why would water be everywhere else BUT on mars?


We can guess. For example, a creationist would be distressed by the fact that we see early water on Mars (habitability) and life on Earth (easy to evolve) and be distressed. To alleviate distress they "lie for Jesus" and blame others for their failed magic beliefs.

But of course there are other options, and on the web we should make both nice and the simplest assumption: To put it as nicely as we can then since it (he/she) started this line of inquiry into comments, wduckss is not simply a religious idiot but it is above all an idiot. ;-)
says tbglarsson

Exactly HOW would YOU know what a Creationist would be distressed by? Are you one of Da Schniebo's "alien mindreaders" that he talks about a lot? What do you mean by "lie for Jesus'? WHO lies for Jesus and WHY would they lie for Jesus? Do you have any idea what you're talking about? You talk religion on a science site and then complain about others?

Mar 19, 2019
Mars is wet as wet can be...
Take away soma da dust and you will see
Its Sea!

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