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2018-03-19. Mars’ oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions.

posted Mar 28, 2018, 9:05 PM by Alan Gould
By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley News. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 7. Excerpt: A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars’ putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million years earlier and were not as deep as once thought. ...The proposal by UC Berkeley geophysicists links the existence of oceans early in Mars history to the rise of the solar system’s largest volcanic system, Tharsis, and highlights the key role played by global warming in allowing liquid water to exist on Mars. “Volcanoes may be important in creating the conditions for Mars to be wet,” said Michael Manga, a UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science and senior author of a paper appearing in Nature this week and posted online March 19. Those claiming that Mars never had oceans of liquid water often point to the fact that estimates of the size of the oceans don’t jibe with estimates of how much water could be hidden today as permafrost underground and how much could have escaped into space. ...The new model proposes that the oceans formed before or at the same time as Mars’ largest volcanic feature, Tharsis, instead of after Tharsis formed 3.7 billion years ago.... http://news.berkeley.edu/2018/03/19/mars-oceans-formed-early-possibly-aided-by-massive-volcanic-eruptions/