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Images of Silver Patterns on Mars Are the Best Spot to Find Signs of Life, Suggest Flood Sites

Feb 17, 2017 02:22 PM EST

More evidence that suggests Mars was once wet continues to surface. Recently, a study conducted by researchers from the Trinity College Dublin discovered silver patterns on the surface of the red planet, which could be remnants of an ancient flooded valley.

The silver pattern could mean that the planet was once flooded by water. This discovery will help future space missions in identifying target locations on the surface of Mars to search for signs of any life forms. The result of the study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"On Earth, desert dunefields are periodically flooded by water in areas of fluctuating groundwater, and where lakes, rivers and coasts are found in proximity. These periodic floods leave tell-tale patterns behind them," Dr. Mary Bourke from the University of Oxford said in a statement. 

The researchers used remote sensing at the Namib Desert as a model for the study. The coastal dune site is somewhat similar to what could be found on Mars, according to a report

The process revealed the arcuate striations between moving sand dunes. Based on the study, the striations were caused by dune sediments that were geochemically cemented by salts left by groundwater that evaporated. These formations were left behind as the sand dunes migrated.

"These periodic floods leave tell-tale patterns behind them," Dr. Mary Bourke said in a press release.

The findings are considered vital since it could prove that water once existed near the Martian equator and it presented scientists with a new target region to focus the search for signs of life on Mars.


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