New research has suggested that water was flowing across the surface of Mars some 200,000 years ago. The nature of rock formations in a Mars crater suggests the sediment deposits and channels it contained were formed by ‘recent’ flowing water.
Swedish scientists from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Gothenburg identified “Very young …and well-preserved deposits of water bearing debris flows in a mid-latitude crater on Mars,” according to the study published in the journal Icarus.
It was previously estimated that liquid water flowed across the Red Planet during its last ‘ice-age’, some 400,000 years ago. However, the young age of the crater means the features signifying water must have appeared since.
The scientists drew comparisons between the geomorphological land formations and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. The crater had features of areas on earth where debris flow had caused material to be deposited by fast-flowing water.
“Our fieldwork on Svalbard confirmed our interpretation of the Martian deposits,” stated Andreas Johnsson, a spokesperson for the research team.