storms

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient Mars

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient mars
New research from The University of Texas at Austin has used dry Martian lake beds to determine how much precipitation was present on the planet billions of years ago. Credit: Gaia Stucky de Quay

A new study from The University of Texas at Austin is helping scientists piece together the ancient climate of Mars by revealing how much rainfall and snowmelt filled its lake beds and river valleys 3.5 billion to 4 billion years ago.


The study, published in Geology, represents the first time that researchers have quantified the precipitation that must have been present across the planet, and it comes out as the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is making its way to the red planet to land in one of the lake beds crucial to this new research.

The ancient climate of Mars is something of an enigma to scientists. To geologists, the existence of riverbeds and paleolakes—eons-old lake

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