Mars Mission
01- Canals
02- Mariners
03- Riverbeds
04- Sub-surface Ice
05- Fleet
06- Martian Ice
07- Slope Streaks
08- Water Found
09- Phyllocian Era
10- Theikian Era
11- Siderikan Era
12- Martian Regions
13- Obliquity
14- Martian Tectonics
15- Topographic Morph
16- Crustal Magnetism
17- Original Impact
18- Polar Regions
19- Hydrated Minerals
20- Theikian Warming
21- New Phoenix Snow
22- Equatorial Glaciers
23- Ancient Ice
24- Continental Snow Drift

3 - Riverbeds

Valles Marineris


The Viking photographs showed gullies and deep valleys, appearing to have been carved by running water. There were giant volcanoes, one of which, Olympus Mons, rises 15 miles above the planet's surface, and the solar system's largest canyon, Valles Marineris, which stretches 2,050 miles. But these dramatic features were natural - alas, the artificial 'canals' observed by Lowell's generation had been an optical illusion, created by the limitations of their 19th century telescopes.

The absence of sufficient atmosphere to sustain water now suggested that these valleys and canyons had been formed in the planet's distant past, when the amosphre was thicker, but with little geological signs of erosion this meant in the tens of thousands of years, not millions.

Note: The lower gravity and the absence of tectonic motion enabled the proportions of Martian volcanoes to far exceed those on the Earth. This absence of tectonic crustal movement is crucial to my secondary hypothesis and I will return to it later in this section.

  Alan Lambert 2009