It is true that it happened millions of years ago. However, a group of researchers managed to trace its history. They claim to have located the exact spot where a meteorite crashed on Mars. The consequences were catastrophic. Even something similar to what happened on Earth more than 66 million years ago. This is the story of the tsunami that devastated Mars.
The study analyzes the area where NASA’s Viking 1 probe landed in 1976. The intention of that mission was to study a channel. It is presumed to have been formed by catastrophic river flooding. The research team was led by Alex Rodriguez of the Arizona Planetary Science Institute. It determined something that happened 3.4 billion years ago. A meteorite between three and nine kilometers long crashed on Mars. This caused a tsunami with waves over 250 meters high.
The crater is located near the Chryse Planitia plain. It was named Phol. It has a diameter of 111 kilometers wide, no less.
“Our simulations show that the tsunami that swept over Mars was devastating. And it reached, initially, about 250 meters in wave height. It inundated coastal areas located at least 2,000 kilometers from the impact crater. These coastal areas include a huge basin where the wave. There it could have formed an inland sea in the tropics of the planet,” said Mario Zarroca. He is one of the authors of the study, published on December 1 in the journal Scientific Reports.
The analysis of the crater will help to have “a geological record detailing the evolution of the ocean. From its formation to its freezing”. This, according to Rodriguez, reinforces the hypothesis that there was microbiological life on Mars. Especially in the area near where Viking 1 landed.
In 2019, researchers had already determined something similar. Another asteroid triggered a tsunami millions of years after the one that generated the Pohl crater.