Rain may have shaped Mars surface

Heavy rain on Mars may have reshaped the Red planet’s impact craters and carved out river-like channels on its surface billions of years ago, a new study has found.

Changes in the Martian atmosphere made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet’s surface as seen on Earth, scientists said. The fourth planet from the Sun, Mars has geological features like the Earth and the Moon, such as craters and valleys, many of which were formed through rainfall. Although there is a growing body of evidence that there was once water on Mars, it does not rain there today.

Evidence of run-off

In the new study, Robert Craddock and Ralph Lorenz from Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. show that there was rainfall in the past — and that it was heavy enough to change the planet’s surface.

Valley networks on Mars show evidence for surface run-off driven by rainfall.

The study was published in the journal Icarus .