As time passes, we become more and more convinced that there were vast natural reservoirs of water on Mars in ancient times. This is indicated by the latest news, which refers to the finding of probable traces of earlier floods on the Red Planet by the Chinese rover Zhurong.
The scientists made such a conclusion based on the results of the analysis of the data obtained by the radar installed on the device. Through the mentioned tool, we are given the opportunity to study the area deep within the surface of our neighboring celestial body.
In particular, Zhurong’s radar provides information on the area surrounding the region known as the Utopia Plain. Its waves reach a depth of up to 100 meters, and with the reflected signals, we learn a lot about the area and its composition.
The tool did not detect water within the studied 80 meters, however, it found 2 horizontal layers, in which the rock formations below the stones were revealed. The first and youngest of them is located at a depth of 10-30 meters, and the second (older and thicker) – at 30-80 meters.
They may be sediments brought together by floods that took a similar shape. According to scientists, the layer near the surface was formed by a flood that occurred 1.6 billion years ago, and the second one – about 3 billion years ago.
Specialists say that since the traces of these structures were detected only by radar and they were not physically examined, they cannot say anything for sure. There is a chance that these layers are of volcanic origin and have nothing to do with sedimentation.
The authors’ work was published in Nature.