GPR used on Mars

north pole on moonScience News has just revealed that scientists previously felt a natural force had recently carved pinwheel shaped troughs and a canyon near the north pole on Mars. This theory could not be tested beyond what they could see on the surface of this planet. That is until now.

The origin of this spiral canyon was recently revealed to have been formed over an extended period of time with the use of ground penetrating radar. GPR technology, carried by 2 Mars orbiters, was used to take images and revealed the layers within the walls to assess the extended time it took to form the canyon.

The scientists took 2-D cross-section GPR images of the troughs which revealed the layers in the walls showing the history of the canyon formation. GPR also traced reflective markers following the geometry of these underground formations to build a 3-D sense of the layers.

Although the GPR study didn’t answer the question of what changes in the atmosphere on Mars were responsible for the formation of the canyon and spiral troughs it did give the scientists an understanding of the timing of this process. This information may lead to more evidence based climate models for the red planet.

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