Purported Evidence of Water on Ancient Mars


For the third time in as many weeks, we’re reporting on purported evidence of water on ancient Mars.

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This week, the news comes from a team at the University of Colorado–Boulder that studied what they consider Martian “deltas,” which they use (as is meant on Earth) to describe the piles of sediment deposited at the downstream end of a river. According to the scientists, those Martian deltas mark what was once sea level on Mars.

Part of their evidence is the uniform elevation of some of these deltas, even though they are distributed across the entire planet. Of 52 Martian deltas, 17 are within 177 meters of a mean elevation they consider the former sea level. Much of what has been identified as former shoreline on Mars also fits in this range. According to the team, the evidence points to the erstwhile elevation of the planet’s ancient ocean.

University of Virginia–Charlottesville fluvial geologist Alan Howard, although cautious about the team’s conclusion, concedes that the data “does suggest . . . something in the way of a large body of water.” Others are more skeptical, however, arguing that the existence of valleys that lie well below the supposed sea level contradicts the argument.

The debate over the amount and distribution of water in Mars’s past is far from settled, and this research is only the latest development in that 0onversation. Meanwhile, other researchers recently proposed a “frozen water cycle” for ancient Mars.1 Of course, while most of the Mars research is prompted by intriguing evidence, much of it is guided by evolutionary views about the existence of Martian life. Also, we have pointed out before the contradiction that secular scientists are seemingly eager to find evidence of a massive amount of water on ancient Mars, yet they ignore evidence of a worldwide Flood on the ancient Earth.

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  1. Adam Mann, “ScienceShot: Mars’s Frozen Water Cycle,” Science, June 11, 2010, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2010/06/scienceshot-marss-frozen-water-cycle.


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