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No. 16: Summer 1981

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Long, sinuous depressions called "outflow channels" are concentrated in the equatorial regions of Mars. They clearly resemble terrestrial stream beds and have been attributed to water action. The ancient Spokane Flood that carved our Washington State's channeled scablands is seen as an apt terrestrial analogy. The Martian channels, however, are much larger than the water-eroded terrestrial analogs. The authors of the subject paper suggest that ice rather than water created the Martian channels, pointing out that terrestrial ice-stream and glacier landforms are much closer to the Martian features in terms of scale.

(Lucchitta, Baerbel K., et al; "Did Ice Streams Carve Martian Outflow Channels?" Nature, 290:759, 1981.)

Comment. This suggests the possibility that earth and Mars may have had synchronous Ice Ages due to solar variations or, perhaps, the envelopment of the entire solar system by a huge cloud of absorbing matter.

From Science Frontiers #16, Summer 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987