NASA scientists confirmed recently that the northern region of Mars, called Arabia Terra, had witnessed thousands of gigantic volcanic eruptions that may have changed the planet’s climatic conditions for years.
Mars underwent massive volcanic eruptions over a period of 500 million years, were documented by NASA scientists and recently featured in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters. Although some volcanoes release toxic gases and dust into the atmosphere, this may be one of the reasons for the dramatic climatic conditions on Mars for years, according to the study.
A study led by NASA Geologist Pat Whelley of the topography and mineral composition of the Arabia Terra region in northern Mars led the team to conclude that the red planet has experienced massive volcanic eruptions equivalent to 400 million Olympic-size swimming pools. “Each of these eruptions would have severely impacted the climate – perhaps the released gas made the atmosphere thicker or blocked the Sun, which made the atmosphere colder,” Whelley said.
In addition, researchers have pointed out that the enormous amount of ash in the air would have even blocked the Sun, resulting in drastic climate changes. NASA scientists discovered that the Arabia Terra region of Mars had several massive calderas (a giant hole on the surface), one of the first clues driving this research. Calderas on the Earth are quite prominent, but the massive ones found on Mars confirm a study indicating that the red planet has experienced enormous volcanic eruptions in the past.