A team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong was able to determine that volcanic eruptions occurred on Mars about 3.5 billion years ago. The results of the large-scale analysis were published in the international journal Nature Astronomy.
Data from the InSight probe, which recorded a six-hour Mars earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 in March 2022, helped determine the approximate date of the last eruption. Scientists have found that tremors still occur beneath the surface on Mars. This indicates tectonic shifts that could potentially lead to new eruptions and indicate that lava was already reaching the surface of the planet.
The research team was led by associate professor at the University of Hong Kong Joseph Michalski. The authors of the article used information obtained by orbital missions – the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor. It turned out that in the Martian region of Eridania there are about 63 evidence of volcanic activity – mountains, volcanic domes, caldera complexes, pyroclastic shields, as well as stratovolcanoes.
The listed objects suggest that volcanic eruptions occurred with some regularity on Mars approximately 3.5 billion years ago, scientists conclude.
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