2005 Annual Science Report

University of California, Berkeley Reporting  |  JUL 2004 – JUN 2005

Executive Summary

Research and education/outreach efforts of our team center around the question of life detection on Mars. Thus, we have analyzed when and where habitable environments may have formed over Mars’ history. This has included atmospheric chemical studies that have revealed that organic aerosols may have had a larger influence on the climate than previously estimated early in Mars history. Through study of the interaction between Martian geodynamic and hydrologic processes and via modeling, we deduce that features mapped as potential shorelines up to 2 km high could indeed be paleoshorelines from large, vanished oceans. We conclude that Martian landslides in Valles Marineris were probably dry and propose that at least some of the Martian outburst floods were triggered by large impacts. Examination of several terrestrial channels that share features with channels on Mars has ruled out channel formation by groundwater discharge alone. These analyses ... Continue reading.

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