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Extreme volcanic eruptions could explain mysterious rock formation on Mars

Extreme volcanic eruptions could explain mysterious rock formation on MarsCould a volcanic eruption be the key to unlocking the mysterious geological history of Mars? Back in the 1960s, NASA's Mariner spacecraft discovered an extremely large and unusually soft rock formation. The makeup of the mass, now known as the Medusa Fossae formation, stumped researchers for decades because they were never able to determine how it got there.  SEE ALSO: Tiny NASA satellite bound for Mars snaps photo of Earth from thousands of miles away But now, new research seems to answer that question — and maybe many others.  More than 3 billion years ago, extreme volcanic eruptions on Mars dropped the huge deposit near the Martian equator, according to the new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. A 13-kilometer (8-mile) diameter crater being infilled by the Medusae Fossae Formation.Image: High Resolution Stereo Camera/European Space AgencyThe Medusa Fossae is about one fifth the size of the United States.  “This is a massive deposit, not only on a Martian scale, but also in terms of the solar system, because we do not know of any other deposit that is like this,” planetary scientist Lujendra Ojha, the lead author of the new study, said in a statement. Ojha and his colleagues used gravity data from spacecraft orbiting Mars to measure the formation density. Through this, they were able to determine that the rock was unusually porous, allowing them to rule out other potential compositions like ice.  On a basic level, the formation is a bunch of hills and mounds of sedimentary rock but because much of Mars’s history is shrouded in mystery, a finding like this is huge.  An isolated hill in the Medusae Fossae Formation. The effect of wind erosion on this hill is evident by its streamlined shape.Image: High Resolution Stereo Camera/European Space Agency.Eruptions of the magnitude suggested by the study would also have an enormous impact on the planet's climate as well. A considerable amount of “climate-altering” gases like hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide accompany

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/extreme-volcanic-eruptions-could-explain-172348638.html

Rising seas could flood 300,000 US homes and make coastal communities ‘unviable’

Rising seas could flood 300,000 US homes and make coastal communities ‘unviable’Hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States could face persistent flooding as climate change pushes sea levels higher, according to a new report. Sea level rise is expected to be one of the most tangible effects of a changing climate, as accumulating greenhouse gases fuel a steady rise in global temperatures that in turn raise the level of oceans - threatening low-lying and coastal areas. A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists quantified the risk by comparing areas already known to be at high flood risk against data from the real estate website Zillow.


Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/rising-seas-could-flood-300-161700078.html



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