Mars Was Once Troubled by Rainstorms: New Study Reveals Incredible Amount of Liquid Water

ancient mars

Rain once fell on Mars’ ground, but that was billion of years ago. A new study on the planet’s now-empty lakes indicates a considerable amount of liquid water must have dropped from the skies approximately 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. And it was just enough to form several lake basins and sculpt river-like channels. 

Simulating what the Red Planet’s climate was like all those years ago is challenging, but research on the chemistry and geomorphology of the planet shows it had once water. Here is what you need to know.

Rainstorms on Mars: Significant Features and Other Details

A new study claims that Mars was once troubled by rainstorms. Scientists don’t know precisely how long these downpours occurred or whether the weather was drizzle, torrential, or a mix, but some traces on the Martian ground indicate there were heavy enough to leave some traces. 

Scientists used topography and satellite images and examined 96 lakes basins on the Red Planet from billions of years ago. According to the study, there were two basins.

The open ones had been cracked by overflowing water, while the others, the closed basins, remained intact. Measuring them and their watersheds, scientists can show how much rainfall and snowmelt would have been required to fill the intact reservoirs without breaching them, while simultaneously overflowing the open basins. 

So, in cases where the same river filled an open and closed basin, scientists could forecast the minimum and maximum rainfall that might have dropped in a single event. In only one rainstorm, for instance, that could have lasted for up to thousands of years or just a few days, scientists predict precipitation on Mars fell somewhere between 4 and 159 meters. 

“The inlet valleys’ large erosional volumes require cumulative water volumes that generally exceed lake basin volumes, thus suggesting repeated runoff episodes,” explained the authors of the study. 

Understanding the Red Planet’s climate evolution will undoubtedly be significant in assessing its potential for harboring life. That’s why the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is now trying to reach the planet. 

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