A new research shows that earlier studies on the formation of oceans on Mars may have been wrong.

Recent estimates now show that Mars may have formed oceans 4 billion years ago. Seemingly, this latest discovery would blow previous estimates away by more than 300 million years.

Oceans have been shown to form around the time of significant volcanic activity.

Tharsis Volcano Impact

Geophysicists at the University of California, Berkeley are suggesting that the formation of the Red Planet's volcanic system, Tharsis, may be responsible for creating the conditions that led to the formation of the planet's oceans 4 billion years ago.

Researchers have used widespread evidence on Mars, showing that it once had an ancient ocean.

New models for the formation of the oceans suggest the formation occurred at the same time or before Tharsis came into existence. Tharsis formed 3.7 billion years ago.

Tharsis was smaller at the time, so, it hadn't affected the surface of the planet. It is presumed that the plains covering northern hemisphere of Mars served as the seabed for the ancient ocean.

As this part of the planet has been untouched by the Tharsis system, it is presumed that the ocean present at the time would have been shallower. Scientists argue that the Tharsis system formed at the same time the ancient ocean's formation.

The paper further argues that Mars's atmosphere created a greenhouse effect that resulted in liquid water on the planet. Tharsis's eruptions also created underground channels that let water reach the surface.

Effects On The Ancient Shoreline

Scientists previously concluded that because proposed shorelines on Mars were not level like the shorelines found on Earth, it wasn't possible for the planet to have had an ocean at some point. In this paper, scientists explain the possibility of the irregular shoreline by proposing an ancient ocean existed before Tharsis came into being.

Scientists also propose that the ancient ocean, Arabia, existed during the first 20 percent of the formation of Tharsis. The formation of Tharsis would have affected the existing shoreline that transformed it.

They also use the same explanation for the shoreline of a second ocean called Deuteronilus that formed during the last 17 percent of Tharsis's growth about 3.6 billion years ago.

The Tharsis volcanic system contains the largest volcanoes found in the solar system. Volcanic systems on Earth do not resemble anything close to the Tharsis system.

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