Ancient Mars was home to giant volcanoes


A NASA image shows the site of a possible ancient super-volcano on Mars. (NASA Via Associated Press)
October 8, 2013

Scientists have discovered ancient super-volcanoes on Mars similar to the collapsed volcano that sits under Yellowstone National Park.

Volcanoes previously have been spotted on Mars, which is known to have been volcanically active billions of years ago.

This super-volcano network was found in the Martian northern highlands, a place not known to be active.

Studying images from several spacecraft orbiting Mars, researchers at London’s Natural History Museum and NASA found a massive volcano and evidence for several others that spewed lava and ash clouds.

The finding described in the journal Nature suggests that early Mars was more active than previously realized and that such eruptions might have affected the Red Planet’s climate and atmosphere.

Scientists say super-volcanoes erupt with about 1,000 times the force of typical volcanoes on Earth, such as Mount St. Helens in Washington state.

Wire reports

Continue reading
Show Comments