Mud volcanoes on Mars may be the remnants of ancient lava flows. Hundreds of kilometers long and tens of kilometers wide, these winding canyons extend far across the red landscape of the planet.
These features remained after massive floods that occurred thousands of years ago. When the water settled in the Martian crust, it (naturally) formed dirt. A new study shows that rapid freezing could lead to eruptions of dirt in some places – in fact, Martian volcanoes spewed out dirt, not lava.
“Tens of thousands of volcano-like remains have been found in the northern lowlands and other areas with dense deposits on Mars. There is evidence that it was the movements of dirt on the surface of the Red Planet that created the unusual relief that we see today, ”say the leading authors.
The results are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.