Possible Intravalley Paleolake in Shalbatana Vallis. Image credit: HiRISE/ASU PSP_010316_1830

Possible Intravalley Paleolake in Shalbatana Vallis. Image credit: HiRISE/ASU PSP_010316_1830

Good morning, Earthlings!

Let us dive right in to what is one of the most discussed debates in the Martian community- water on Mars! Not just if there is present water on this dusty red planet, but rather how much water would there have been in the planet's dynamic past?

Well, we have some geologic clues...One of which are paleolakes!

Paleolakes, as the name suggests, are ancient, dried, flat plains that have clues about once having some sort of water interaction. But these are not little ponds, but rather larger standing bodies of water. 

The hypothesis goes that the northern latitude has large lowland plains and basin-like features, enough to house plentiful water. On a timescale though, this may have been relevant over 3.7 million years ago!

The existence of seas or lakes is supported by a large variety of morphologic landforms, including ridges and coastal cliffs. Some of these morphologies appear along two global “paleoshorelines” that represent the two most continuous contacts on Mars. 

If interested, here is a 2014 blog post from Dr. Erkeling with more information about paleolakes on Mars! Great read! https://planetarygeomorphology.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/paleolakes-on-mars/

 Paleolake candidate on Mars. Image credit: HiRISE/ASU ESP_012541_1600

Paleolake candidate on Mars. Image credit: HiRISE/ASU ESP_012541_1600

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look into cloud systems on Titan!