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No. 45: May-Jun 1986

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The Martian Great Lakes

P. Lowell hasn't been vindicated by the discovery of sedimentary formations on Mars, but his spirit must be pleased. Lowell's geometrical network of artificial canals have been superceded by great arroyos, flood-created deposits, and now evidence that Mars was once host to ice-covered lakes up to 3 miles deep and as large as Lake Superior. Photos from the Viking spacecraft reveal sedimentary layers up to 250 feet thick that seem to have been laid down by liquid water. The source of the sediments and mode of deposition are unknown.

(Anonymous; "Great Lakes on Mars," Science 86, 7:13, April 1986.)

Comment. The scientists reporting these findings, S. Squyres and S. Nedell, called attention to this type of Martian stratigraphy in Valles Marineris back in 1984. See SF#37.

Reference. Martain layered deposits are cataloged at AME19 in the catalog The Moon and the Planets. To order, visit: here.

Viking photo of probable sedimentary rock on Mars Viking photo of probable sedimentary strata along the side of a Martian ridge.

From Science Frontiers #45, MAY-JUN 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss