Many large outflow channels terminate in the low-lying northern plains. If the outflow channels formed by running water, as appears likely, then standing bodies of water must have accumulated at the ends of the channels. Most of the observed channels, and hence the bodies of water, are post-Noachian. They formed after the period for which we have the most abundant evidence of climate change. While it has been speculated that the post-Noachian period has experienced large, episodic, climatic excursions, this paper takes the more conservative view that the climatic conditions on Mars, at least from mid-Hesperian onward, were mostly similar to the climatic conditions that prevail in the present epoch. Thus obliquity variations are taken into account, but massive climate changes induced by the floods are considered so improbable that they are ignored.
Martian Northern Plains: Sedimentological, Periglacial, and Paleoclimatic Evolution
- Pub Date:
- Climate Change;
- Mars Environment;
- Lunar and Planetary Exploration