Martian Seashores

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Science  10 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5447, pp. 2042
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5447.2042a

Previous studies have suggested that early Mars experienced a warmer and wetter climate, and that liquid water may have been abundant. Head et al. (p. 2134) have analyzed Mars Global Surveyor altimeter data to refine the detailed topography of the martian surface and present evidence that a large ocean existed in the northern lowlands. Their analysis suggests a possible shoreline with smooth topography within the shoreline boundaries, the termination of six outflow channels at the elevation of the shoreline, and the presence of several terraces that may be related to shoreline recession. The estimated volume of water that would have filled this proposed ocean is consistent with estimates of Mars' water budget.

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