Study suggests ancient Mars climate was altered by supervolcanoes

10/2/2013 | NBC News · National Geographic News

A study suggesting that some deep craters on Mars are the remnants of giant volcanoes that blasted the planet's surface and possibly changed its climate more than 3 million years ago has stirred debate in the geological community. "It makes sense that supervolcanoes might have been more common on ancient Mars, particularly if the ancient crust was thinner than it is now," said study author Joseph Michalski of Tucson's Planetary Science Institute. "This would allow magma to rise to the surface more quickly, before it could release gases within the crust. [If true,] it would completely change estimates of how the atmosphere formed from volcanic gases, how sediments formed from volcanic ash and how habitable the surface might have been."

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NBC News · National Geographic News

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