New Map Shows ‘Marsquakes’ Shook Wet Valles Marineris Sand, NASA Says

Mars today is a planet that appears to be mostly shaped by wind, but that wasn’t always the case. A new map adds information to the hypothesis that “marsquakes” affected at least a part of the planet’s vast canyon, Valles Marineris, while the area contained spring-filled lakes.

When the damp sand got shaken up, it deposited itself in hills. NASA says the new map, based on observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (which you can see below), adds credence to the theory that it was water that made these deposits.

“The conditions under which sedimentary deposits in it formed have been an open issue for decades,” NASA wrote in a press release. “Possibilities proposed have included accumulation in lakebeds, volcanic eruptions under glaciers within the canyons, and accumulation of wind-blown sand and dust.”

The map you see below was created by the U.S. Geological Survey, which has more extensive information on the findings at this website. The observations also produced a suite of research in recent years, such as this 2009 paper led by Scott Murchie at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Research Laboratory.

Part of a map of Candor Chasma (part of Mars' Valles Marineris) based on observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Green is knobby terrain, pink is lobate deposits (ridged material) and blue "stair-stepped morphology" of hills and mesas. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Part of a map of Candor Chasma (part of Mars’ Valles Marineris) based on observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Green is knobby terrain, pink is lobate deposits (ridged material) and blue “stair-stepped morphology” of hills and mesas. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

12 Replies to “New Map Shows ‘Marsquakes’ Shook Wet Valles Marineris Sand, NASA Says”

  1. The caption for the first image is incorrect. That was not taken by either Voyager 1 or 2. Maybe Viking 1 or 2 orbiters? Not sure. Maybe they were taken by MRO, Odyssey, or even Mars Global Surveyor; which is now dead.

  2. During my present cycling trip, I traveled down state road 250 through Hollister. That town is famous for its frequent quakes. The San Andreas runs right through town and also alongside 250. The following link is a still frame from a video I took of a slumped hillside right on the great fault. It was a remarkable site. Not uncommon at all around the Earth and the San Andreas but this one I just recently passed by. Consider this to the “Voyager” – err – Viking Mars image (that will get fixed… great writer’s minor error). https://www.dropbox.com/s/oiacar05dksdjar/SlumpingHillside-nearHollister-SanAndreas.jpg

  3. No, this is a serious mistake of interpretation. The said features appeared in the transition from Lumanian to Preatlantean times, when catastrophic cosmic events were witnessed by a long-forgotten race. See a full explanation in my forthcoming chronicles in three plasticbound tomes, surely a future triple worldwide bestseller. UniverseToday is in charge of their publication and will send them to anyone who can answer the following question: “Wo sind die kosmiken Unterrugelen abend in der Tur mit werkstageln zu ganztuftz, oder flug Zahn?”

    1. Daniel, I am German and your final question makes absolutely no sense. It ended like my hamster played with some Scabble blocks.

      1. Mein lieber Herr Theodor ab Hohenheim, that’s not German, it’s Pennsylvania Dutch. It has a built-in hex that falls on any Teutonic meddlers who would dare mess around with my valuable explanations.

  4. Although no Marsquakes have been detected on the ground as yet, they are sure to happen sooner or later? from either an asteroid/cometary body impact or even subsurface magma activity?

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