As much as a third of Mars could have been underwater, UA scientists say
An international team of scientists who analyzed data from the Gamma Ray Spectrometer onboard NASA's Mars Odyssey reports new evidence for the controversial idea that oceans once covered about a third of ancient Mars.
"We compared Gamma Ray Spectrometer data on potassium, thorium and iron above and below a shoreline believed to mark an ancient ocean that covered a third of Mars' surface, and an inner shoreline believed to mark a younger, smaller ocean," said University of Arizona planetary geologist James M. Dohm, who led the international investigation.
"The GRS adds key information to the long-standing oceans-on-Mars controversy," Dohm said. "But the debate is likely to continue well into the future, perhaps even when scientists can finally walk the Martian surface with instruments in hand, with a network of smarter spaceborne, airborne and ground-based robotic systems in their midst."