Dark Streaks on Martian Slopes May Signal Active Water
Salty water driven by hot magma from Mars’ deep interior may be forming some of the mysterious dark slope streaks visible near the Red Planet’s equator, according to researchers in Arizona. They have determined the dark slope streaks generally occur in areas of long-lived hydrothermal activity, magma-ground-ice interactions, and volcanic activity. Some of the dark slope streaks are brand new?they have formed after the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft began detailed mapping of the planet in April 1999. Others have been observed to fade away on decadal time scales. Their findings support the hypothesis that Mars remains hydrologically active and that water could be shaping the planet’s landscape today.