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NATS Article Project #3

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

Article TitleFossilized remains of underground cracks suggest water flowed beneath martian surfacestSource Brown University Astronomy Magazine January 31 2013URL httpwwwastronomycomlinkaspxidd97607eb493347da9f26b4241c138feb In prior research narrow ridges found within impact craters on Mars have been noted Although they have been noticed their actual source of being and how they were formed was unknownUsing NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter researchers from Brown University Rhode Island conducted research on Mars surface The research was led by Lee Saper a recent graduate and Jack Mustard professor of Geological Studies Their hypothesis before actually setting out to test it was that the ridges may have started out as faults and fractures which formed due to impact events having rattled the planets crust They also believed that if there had been water in the subsurface it would have circulated through the cracks and slowly filled them with mineral deposits making them harder than the surrounding rocks As the rocks eroded over the duration of millions of years the material of hardened minerals would remain and result in the visual of the ridges we see today This was the hypothesis prior to the research having been conducted They studied two regions on Mars packed with craters Nili Fossae and Nilsyrtis mapping more than 4000 of the craters ridgesUsing the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter they obtained Hiresolution images The researchers used the images to study the craters ridges and surrounding rocks as well as the fossils within themBased upon studying and collecting data on the ridges the researchers thought of two possibilities behind the ridges formation One hypothesis is that the ridges could have been sheets of volcanic magma passing into surrounding rock This however seems unlikely The other hypothesis is that the ridges began due to an event of pressure or collision starting out as fractures There were different observations made at the two craterpacked areas At Nili Fossae
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