Apr 232002

MARS—A flood one and a quarter times the size of Lake Erie poured over the surface of Mars relatively recently, according to a paper written by University of Arizona scientists. The flood from deep within the planet could have been as much as 600 cubic kilometers of water. That’s four times as much water as in Lake Tahoe and 65 times as much water as in California’s Salton Sea.

“This is a completely different water release mechanism than previously studied on Mars,” said Devon Burr, a UA doctoral candidate in geosciences. She and UA planetary scientist Alfred S. McEwen analyzed new Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) images near a series of fissures that stretch more than 600 miles across the lava-covered Cerberus Plains just north of the Martian equator.

Burr also added, “It’s very exciting—this find. If Mars is ever colonized, this would be an ideal place for a trailer park.”

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