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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This image of the Martian surface shows large valleys called Northwestern sloped valleys (NSV's) that were created by cataclysmic flooding in the distant past.
Courtesy of NASA

The Largest Valley System in the Solar System
News story originally written on August 8, 2001

Scientists have found the largest known valleys in the solar system -- on Mars! These valleys lie under a covering of dust, ash, and lava, but they could still be seen by a satellite that uses lasers to look below the surface of the planet.

These giant valleys were formed as large amounts of water flowed through them, just like the Grand Canyon was formed on Earth. In order to form valleys the size of the ones on Mars, the water flow through them would have been 50,000 times that of the Amazon River!

Sometime in the past when Mars was warmer, there was running water on Mars. Now the water is frozen. But, someday Mars may have oceans and lakes on its surface again.

Last modified August 10, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA