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Contact: Kea Giles
Geological Society of America

GSA Today: Terrestrial analogy to ancient martian ocean?

February 2014 GSA Today now online

Boulder, Colorado, USA – In the February issue of GSA Today, Lorena Moscardelli of the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences documents evidence in support for the existence of a martian ocean during the late Hesperian–early Amazonian by showcasing a new terrestrial, deep-water analogy.

Although the existence of an ancient martian ocean based on alleged paleoshorelines has been heavily contested, Moscardelli describes boulder-size rocks on the northern plains of Mars that are similar to boulder- and kilometer-scale blocks transported to many terrestrial deep-water environments by subaqueous mass-transport events. According to Moscardelli, the comparison supports the existence of an ocean on Mars and a catastrophic mass-transport origin for the boulders not unlike events documented along continental margins on Earth.



Boulders of the Vastitas Borealis Formation: Potential Origin and Implications for an Ancient Martian Ocean

Lorena Moscardelli, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin; now at Statoil North America–Research, Development and Innovation in Austin, Texas, USA; lorena.moscardelli@gmail.com. Pages 4–10 doi: 10.1130/GSATG197A.1.

GSA Today articles are open access online; for a print copy, please contact Kea Giles. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before publishing stories on their work, and please make reference to GSA Today in articles published.

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