Space News: Lava Flows on MarsMars may not be volcanically dead. Lava may have flowed over its surface just a few tens of millions of years ago. This is surprising news since scientists thought that Mars was geology dead for billions of years. Geologists say this is so recent that they cannot rule out the possibility that the Red Planet may burst into life again. They say that to settle the issue a lander will be required to visit the sites and analyse the surface rocks.
A team of US scientists have identified young lava flows on the sides of two of Mars' largest, thought to be extinct, volcanoes. These flows are a mere 20 million years old.
Elysium Mons is one of three large volcanoes on Elysium Planitia, the second largest volcanic region on Mars. It is 1,700 by 2,400 km in size.
The researchers have also found evidence for flows less than 100 million years old on the slopes of Olympus Mons, the Solar System's largest volcano, thought to be long extinct.
|This page last modified: December 16, 2000|