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Kneeknocker
2004-Aug-05, 06:52 PM
Mars appears to have been volcanically active more recently than previously supposed, according to growing evidence from Europe's Mars Express orbiter.
New estimates suggest volcanoes could have been active between one million years ago and 20 million years ago, but more work is needed to refine the dates


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3535498.stm

antoniseb
2004-Aug-05, 10:48 PM
I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I had been going with some other studies that indicated the volcanos must be less than 100 million years old. This was also based on cratering rates on the cones and calderas.

My point is that the volcanos appear only on a fairly small area of Mars, near the giant canyon, and opposite a giant basin. I am guessing that the volcanos are a result of a giant impact, and not because Mars has active volcanism from a liquid core, or active mantle. I'm also guessing that Mars had a lot more water ice before the impact, and went through a period of liquid water on the surface for a while as the thermal energy from the collision dissipated.

alfchemist
2004-Aug-06, 04:51 AM
Hola, senior antoniseb! I guess it would help your cause if you give us more details about possible origin of volcanoes, plate tectonics( if there is/was), etc. on Mars. Does it follow from your theory that Mars did not have volcanic activity on other parts of that planet even from the time when the planet was formed till the creation of those localized volcanoes?

SpockJim
2004-Aug-06, 04:57 AM
Interesting article there!! I really think there was water on Mars at one time. But did it support actual living plants? Maybe we will find evidence of this with our two Rovers.

antoniseb
2004-Aug-06, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by alfchemist@Aug 6 2004, 04:51 AM
Does it follow from your theory that Mars did not have volcanic activity on other parts of that planet even from the time when the planet was formed till the creation of those localized volcanoes?
Mars must have had a surface of hot liquified rocks during the bombardment era, and this surface must have hardened from the surface toward the center in. I suspect that there was volcanism of some sort going on from the earliest days, but that this stopped when Mars became geologically dormant [perhaps 3 billion years ago]. Oddly, there are no obvious other signs of volcanos on mars, from any epoch. All there are are these few giant cinder cones in one smallish area of the planet.

There is some thought that the Deccan Traps in India may have formed [at least partly] from the energy of the impact of the Chicxulub event. Perhaps a similar event happened on Mars. We won't know till some kind of isotope dating equipment examines Martian rocks from some specific places.

I don't know if this theory is correct, but I'd like to hear any other rational explanation for why there is only evidence for one recent period of volcanism on Mars, and why the volcanos are all gigantic, and clumped together near the big canyon.

VanderL
2004-Aug-06, 10:49 AM
I don't know if this theory is correct, but I'd like to hear any other rational explanation for why there is only evidence for one recent period of volcanism on Mars, and why the volcanos are all gigantic, and clumped together near the big canyon.

Basically your reasoning is, imo (for what it's worth) correct, with the remark that if the EU people are correct, there was no impact; the canyon and the "volcanoes" were formed during the same cataclysmic event within the last 10.000 years. They even have an explanation for the mysterious aureolus (not sure if I spelled it correctly) and the shape of the caldera.
For details see www.thunderbolts.info

Cheers.

antoniseb
2004-Aug-06, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 6 2004, 10:49 AM
the canyon and the "volcanoes" were formed during the same cataclysmic event within the last 10.000 years.
Well, there are some craters in the calderas and in the canyon, and so the age of these things would have to be over a few million years. Ten thousand is extemely short to explain the cratering observed. None-the-less, I'd be interested in hearing from their explanation why Mars sat dormant for billions of years, and then suddenly developed these volcanic monsters.

Note, also, that the web-site you pointed to does not have an obvious place where these things are explained. Perhaps it is mentioned in the book someplace.

VanderL
2004-Aug-06, 02:46 PM
Thanks Antoniseb I'll check the site, I thought I linked to the "Picture Of the Day" gallery, but apparently I didn't.


This one (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod-archive-04/tpod-rampart-craters.htm) and this one (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod-archive-04/tpod-olympus-mons.htm)



The extreme youth of the cataclysm is of course speculative at the moment, paramount to that possibility is the notion that most craters we see are not impact craters, but the result of electrical activity. This means that all the cratered surfaces could have been created recently. In their scenario Mars, Venus and Earth were satellites of Saturn as recorded in ancient mythology (that part is what the book is mostly about). Maybe if you could fill in more details on why you think Mars was hit recently and how Valles Marineris and the big volcanoes fit in.

Cheers.

antoniseb
2004-Aug-06, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 6 2004, 02:46 PM
This one (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod-archive-04/tpod-rampart-craters.htm) and this one (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod-archive-04/tpod-olympus-mons.htm)
The first one is an upside down image of one of the big volcanos. This is no pedestal or blister. Also it doesn't have 'a moat'. That is the edge of the cinder cone.

None-the-less, this second one does explain their position. Aparantly, they believe that Mars passed near an oppositely charged body, and they two of them exchanged electrons at a prodigeous rate, which caused these volcanos over the course of a few minutes [and, one presumes] mostly neutralizing Mars's alleged charge.

Interesting theory, but I am far from convinced that it is a possibility.

VanderL
2004-Aug-06, 03:42 PM
The first one is an upside down image of one of the big volcanos. This is no pedestal or blister. Also it doesn't have 'a moat'. That is the edge of the cinder cone.

I don't see what you mean, the way I interpret the picture is an elevation (not the edge of a deposit but more like the cliff edge also apparent at Olympus Mons, the one I referred to earlier) starting at the blue arrow and a second elevation that rises less abruptly (outflow material?).


Interesting theory, but I am far from convinced that it is a possibility.

Agreed, although I might be a lttle less far from convinced, I've been reading their newsletter and visited their websites for the past 3 years and I've been discussing it here since september last year.
I think it is an interesting model that could possibly tie a lot of strange stuff together. In particular there is an article by Anthony Peratt in the plasma journal of the IEEE that shows how ancient peoples of the world witnessed an "enhanced aurora" and recorded them (in petroglyphs and stone monoments). These strange but consistently reproduced petroglyphs have been found all over the world and show how the aurora must have looked from different perspectives. They must have lasted hundreds of years and they indicate a much more electrically active past. I was impressed by the article, unfortunately there is no pdf available on the web, but if you like I could ask if the copy I have may be sent to you by mail.


Cheers.

antoniseb
2004-Aug-06, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 6 2004, 03:42 PM
if you like I could ask if the copy I have may be sent to you by mail.
Thanks for the offer. I will decline for now, as I am about to start a new job, and don't think I'll have the imte to sufficiently focus on this. Eventually, I'll track down a copy of their book, and various articles, and give them a read-through, but that can't be before December.

VanderL
2004-Aug-06, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the offer. I will decline for now

Never worry, if it really is as important as I think it is, it will be followed by several more articles and maybe it will hit the news then. It would make for some really nice TV I'm sure (tons of pictures to be compared to laboratory and modelled plasma effects).

Cheers.

Duane
2004-Aug-12, 09:41 AM
Just a couple of comments to some questions posed here.


Mars must have had a surface of hot liquified rocks during the bombardment era, and this surface must have hardened from the surface toward the center in. I suspect that there was volcanism of some sort going on from the earliest days, but that this stopped when Mars became geologically dormant [perhaps 3 billion years ago]. Oddly, there are no obvious other signs of volcanos on mars, from any epoch. All there are are these few giant cinder cones in one smallish area of the planet.


If our current theories of plantary formation are correct, Mars was melted throughout and differentiated some 4.5 Gy ago. The melted core and upper mantle cooled much quicker than Earth because of Mars' smaller mass, but there is speculation that the core of Mars remains melted to this day. The difference is that the mantle is solid to a much deeper depth than Earth, so the liquidy lower mantle can (likely) no longer penetrate the upper mantle.

There are several signs of periodic volcanism on Mars, and there are several volcanic looking cones and calderas all over the surface, albeit they are mostly concentrated in three areas: Tharsis, Elysium and near the Hellas basin. While there are some 20 known volcanoes, only 5 have been officially named.

The large shield volcanoes in the Tharsis and Elysium regions show clear signs of episotic volcanism, consisting mostly of multiple collapsed calderas and lava overlow. These probably relate to magma chambers below the caldera, where magma penetrates the chamber, erupts, then retreats, allowing the dome to collapse into the evacuated chamber. It seems that the periods of volcanism were progressively smaller as the planet aged. The age of these eruptions is uncertain, as the smaller volcanoes give a smaller target for impacts, and these are the only way to estimate the age of the eruptions right now. As such, the eruptions may be recent (geologically speaking) and there is no way to determine when it stopped on the planet as a whole.

The idea of an impact of any size causing these giant volcanoes seems very remote to me. Hellas crater is gigantic and penetrated the surface to a depth of some 7 Km while leaving a 2000 Km wide crater, yet there is no apparent volcanism associated with the impact. Furthermore, why would the impact cause shields to form? More likely, an impact of that size would simply melt a large area, which would then cool into a jagged, broken up area, such as is seen on Mimas or Mercury.

Finally, there is evidence of small scale tectonic activity on Mars, again suggesting that magma was once closer to the surface than it is now.

I strongly challenge the notion that these volcanoes formed quickly. There is clear evidence that the shield areas are the result of multiple eruptions over a fairly long period--some 1.5 to 2 Gy in total.

antoniseb
2004-Aug-12, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by Duane@Aug 12 2004, 09:41 AM
The idea of an impact of any size causing these giant volcanoes seems very remote to me.
Hi Duane,

You make some good points. My argument has been that these giant volcanos formed on the opposite side of the planet from the impact [Hellas Basin]. Yes, Hellas Basin simply melted, but it was big enough to cause some plate tectonics leading to a collision of plates on the opposite side of the planet.

Perhaps this is a very simplistic idea that misses some real geophysics. Unlike most things that I post on this forum, this one has no numbers to back it up. I welcome your input, and effort to refute the idea.

VanderL
2004-Aug-12, 12:22 PM
Hi Duane,

Does that mean that in your opinion the article referred to in the first post holds no water?

As you must be aware by now, from the "electric" point of view craters are almost never impact craters which would render the whole idea of telling the age by counting the craters void. Of course this is a pretty strong challenge that needs examples and data to back it up, but as it happened to me, once you "see" what these people mean you can see the evidence everywhere. It's like the whole surface of Mars has been remodelled recently. Of course for every single feature there is an explanation that doesn't need electrical input, however the whole thing together makes sense to me and can even be tested. So I think the story that there was recent volcanism is not strange and Antoniseb's idea that an impactor could have created a bulge and volcanism on the other side of Mars is not without merit (btw didn't Tom van Flandern or Graham Hancock support this view).

Cheers.

Duane
2004-Aug-12, 06:55 PM
On the contrary VanderL, I think the article linked at the start of this thread clkearly supports the notion of episotic volcanism over an extended period of time. Recent geologically means a period of millions, even tens or hundreds of millions of years. This would also seem to blow the idea of some "sudden" electric/magnetic event causing them out of the water.

As for craters, I simply do not agree with the interpretation of the "electric universe" proponants that the craters are anything but craters. The theory is so full of half-truths and conjecture that it is hardly worth the effort others have taken in debunking it.

Many many craters on Mars and other bodies throughout the solar system show ray characteristics that fade with the age of the crater. The whole idea that the multitudes of craters on solar system bodies could form from electrical strikes is, IMHO, insanely stupid. We have seen what happens when a body strikes a planet. We have never seen anything remotely close to an electrical discharge of any size anywhere in the solar system other than planetary atmospheres. That you choose to champion the idea, even with disclaimers that you're keeping an open mind, is your choice, but I would (again) refer you to Tim's websites about the subject. I think the idea is thoroughly discredited and has moved into the "face on mars" realm of pseudo-science.

I disagree that the whole surface of Mars has been remodelled recently, even in geologic terms. The ancient highlands seem to clearly have arisen eons ago, before the formation of the Tharsis and other shield volcano areas. Of course, this is based on crater counts, which the EU people claim can't be counted on. Even so, how can you explain the flow features around the volcanoes making up the bulges?

An impact crater would not cause a bulge and periotic volcanism, regardless of the size of the impacter. If the impacter was big enough, it could melt the whole planet, merging with it, and that could cause volcanism. Mimas and Mercury are prime examples. In both cases, they were struck by impactors large enough that they were almost disrupted by them. Both bodies show evidence of "jumbled" terrain on the opposite side of the strike--yet nothing resembling volcanism of any type. Even the Deccan Traps in India, which might be associated with the Chixchulub impact, are areas of fissures, not "volcanism" in the classical sense. And they most certainly did not give rise to shield volcanoes.

As a final thought, I would point out that the Tharsis bulge is not on the exact opposite side of the planet from the Helles basin, it is offset by a few degrees (when you look at the dead centre). Even if the Tharsis area is associated with the Hellas basin, how would you explain Elysium?

VanderL
2004-Aug-12, 07:38 PM
The whole idea that the multitudes of craters on solar system bodies could form from electrical strikes is, IMHO, insanely stupid. We have seen what happens when a body strikes a planet. We have never seen anything remotely close to an electrical discharge of any size anywhere in the solar system other than planetary atmospheres. That you choose to champion the idea, even with disclaimers that you're keeping an open mind, is your choice, but I would (again) refer you to Tim's websites about the subject. I think the idea is thoroughly discredited and has moved into the "face on mars" realm of pseudo-science.

Could you please refrain from using words like "insanely stupid', it is offensive to me, I know that the idea that craters could be anything than impactors is not broadly accepted (to understate). I'm trying to show examples of what I mean, and to be commented on. I try to discuss the possibility of an alternative explanation, just tell me where it is factually wrong. We see enough electrical activity in the solar system, not just in planetary atmospheres. How do you explain the bright spots on comet Wild 2 that were expected when the jets are formed "electrically", but have no other explanation that I could find (see Stardust topic in Space Exploration).


I disagree that the whole surface of Mars has been remodelled recently, even in geologic terms. The ancient highlands seem to clearly have arisen eons ago, before the formation of the Tharsis and other shield volcano areas. Of course, this is based on crater counts, which the EU people claim can't be counted on. Even so, how can you explain the flow features around the volcanoes making up the bulges?

I understand you disagree, but how can you be so sure, what made the "ancient highlands" rise eons ago, the whole planet looks like 2 different halves glued together; half forming a "highland" and the other half a "lowland". The bulges around the craters is what happens when enormous discharges create the volcano, they are "lifted" as well seehere (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod-archive-04/tpod-olympus-mons.htm).

I think the other questions are better answered by Antoniseb, since impactors are not assumed in the electric model. In general you argue that Mars has seen all kinds of activity in the remote past, I don't have an issue with that, it is just that there is also evidence of some more recent catastrophe, this would not be blown by anything happening before that.

Cheers.

Duane
2004-Aug-13, 03:41 AM
using words like "insanely stupid', it is offensive to me,

Sorry VanderL, I do not direct this to you, rather I direct it to the idea that somehow they could cause craters. The energy of a lightning strike goes into the soil, and I have seen a multitude of examples where this occurs, including my in-laws farm near Edmonton Alberta. The energy does not "explode" outwards to form a crater, it goes in a straight line through the soil leaving a clear path or fulgerite. The idea that they could somehow "explode" to create a crater is, to me, insane. Energy from a lightning strike simply does not work that way.

Where it is factually wrong is the statement that it causes an explosion. Electrical energy does not stop and expand, it flows--it follows the path of least resistance. The wattage required for it to explode even a small amount of soil outwards to form a crater of 10 inch diameter is well beyond terratrial strtikes.


I understand you disagree, but how can you be so sure, what made the "ancient highlands" rise eons ago, the whole planet looks like 2 different halves glued together; half forming a "highland" and the other half a "lowland". The bulges around the craters is what happens when enormous discharges create the volcano, they are "lifted" as well seehere.


Come on! They are showing an uplift of a few grams of material and trying to compare it to the uplift of a volcano that is 3 times the size of Mount Everest! No comparison, none. Further, how do they account for flows that show multiple events? You are talking about discharges that would rival the sun's total output for its entire life! Sorry, but I don't think so.

Greg
2004-Aug-13, 04:27 AM
I'll throw my two cents in on this one. There is no active plate tectonic system on Mars or any other planet in the solar system presently (since Venus may have had it until several hundred million years ago) since none of them have free flowing liquid oceans like Earth does. Without Earth's oceans, plate tectonics would not be possible. Such is the case on Mars. The type of model that these Mars volcanoes appears to fit is that of a geologic "hot spot" an example of which is the Hawaiian islands. It is widely believed that the process building these volcanoes is a mantle plume originating from deep within the mantle or even the outer core of the Earth. The plume remains in a constant position while the plates move over it generating shield volcanoes such as we see on Mars (as opposed to the cinder like cones of the Cascade Range on the Pacific coast). If there were no plate movement there would be one huge volcano where Oahu is now (comparable in size to Olympus Mons) rather than a series of large volcanoes we see now. Since there is no plate movement over this prospective plume from deep within the interior of Mars, the hot spots there result in Volcanoes of relatively massive size. What might be generating these plumes on Mars is as much a mystery as what is generating them on Earth. Unfortunately it is harder to get a probe down there intact than it is to get one to Pluto intact, much harder in fact.
One other thing I can add is that you do not necessarily need to invoke a collision on the other side of the planet to allow for these plumes (although the idea is an intriguing one to explain why they occured one one side rather than the other) since on the moon massive eruptions occurred on only one half of the surface and not the other (facing away from the Earth) and there is no comparable impact crater on the that side of the moon.

VanderL
2004-Aug-13, 07:44 AM
Electrical energy does not stop and expand, it flows--it follows the path of least resistance.

Exactly! Precisely what we see when channels or "rivers" are formed, and also the extremely short tributaries are formed in that process.



The wattage required for it to explode even a small amount of soil outwards to form a crater of 10 inch diameter is well beyond terratrial strtikes.

Of course, do they claim that lightning strikes of the terrestrial sort created craters or volcanoes? They claim one-off events (just like giant impacts are one-off events) created the cratering on a large part of solar system bodies. Lightning on Earth is also capable of excavating soil, there are examples from all over the world.
The laboratory examples (how else do you approach this when you can't reproduce planetary scale discharges?) only show how it could work in priciple and it does work like that, the strikes can jump around creating more than one crater (even crater chains) depending on the composition of the surface. Everything strange we see on Mars' surface has a counter example in laboratory experiments. And the excavated material is really gone, it is "etched" away leaving no debris close by.
And calling the ideas "insane" is still unnecessary, telling they are wrong and why is sufficient and telling me that you don't believe them is also sufficient.
I'll repeat this statement again:

"If it is impossible it didn't happen, if it happened it wasn't impossible"

Seeking evidence to confirm theories is a good thing, but you need alternative theories (especially when all we have to collect data is remote sensing, or building models), otherwise you'll get an endless "cramming" of evidence into their alotted slots even if the fit isn't perfect. Learning starts with opening your mind to the possibilities, not believing that everything is "known".

And Greg, your scenario is equally possible but it also needs verification by probing deeper and looking for evidence of the magma chambers and/or tectonic plates.

Cheers.

Duane
2004-Aug-13, 09:42 PM
There is no active plate tectonic system on Mars or any other planet in the solar system presently (since Venus may have had it until several hundred million years ago) since none of them have free flowing liquid oceans like Earth does. Without Earth's oceans, plate tectonics would not be possible.

Sorry Greg, but that is incorrect. Plate tectonics are driven by the Earth's internal heat, not the oceans. While the oceans play a major role in the formation of black smokers and the removal and concentration of heavy metals like gold, they are not associated with the magma convection cells thought responsible for the active tectonics on Earth.

Further, Mars has signs of small-scale tectonic activity, although this has likely ceased. Ganymede also seems to have some activity, although this may be associated with ocean convection cells, not hot mantle. Jury's out on that one. Venus also has many volcanoes and long rift-like features that seem similar to the deep ocean trenches. The new mission to Venus may give us more info on that.



Lightning on Earth is also capable of excavating soil, there are examples from all over the world.


Baloney VanderL! Show me an example of a lightning excavation 1 mile long by 20 meters wide anywhere on the planet. You are talking about Martian features that are hundreds of miles long! Further lightning tends to go into the ground, not along it.

VanderL
2004-Aug-13, 11:16 PM
Baloney VanderL! Show me an example of a lightning excavation 1 mile long by 20 meters wide anywhere on the planet. You are talking about Martian features that are hundreds of miles long! Further lightning tends to go into the ground, not along it.

Ok Duane,

I'll take you up on that, what would you say if there are scars on Earth that are hundreds of miles long and half a mile deep? Look and read carefully what is shown and explained here on
this page (http://www.holoscience.com/views/view_mars.htm).

Don't be put off by the scale of the evidence and try to avoid an automatic dismissal because of all the "Electric" implications. I think the line of reasoning here goes against many firmly held ideas, but please try to look at the pictures and maybe you see what they mean.

One more point, lightning doesn't just go into the ground, it spreads most often, seeking the route of least resistance. And if the National Geographic picture on the website of an ordinary lightning strike can carve a furrow, don't you think that planetary-scale dischages are able to create canyons?
There are some laboratory pictures of lightning that snakes along the surface, I'll try to find them.

Cheers.

Tinaa
2004-Aug-13, 11:37 PM
Can you give us a site not run by the EU crowd?

VanderL
2004-Aug-14, 09:31 AM
Can you give us a site not run by the EU crowd?

Do you mean are there any other people trying to show that some of the geological features we ascribe to the concerted erosional actions by wind, ice, water, lava and earthquakes are maybe caused by planetary-scale discharges?
If there are, I haven't seen them, and what exactly is the problem here? The first person who noted these features (on Moon & Mars) and the possible connection to discharge effects, was plasma enigineer Ralph Juergens during the 60's and 70's (there was no EU then). Other people have expanded on this electrical explanation (btw did you see the Stardust topic and possible evidence for electric activity on comets?) and that's where these webpages stem from.

Tinaa, what do you think of the examples shown on the webpage, do they make any sense to you?
IMO they show a coherent picture and I consider this evidence pointing towards the possibility of giant lightning bolts periodically shaping planetary surfaces. You can disagree with the view that these large-scale effects ever happened but that should be based on better explanations for the observations not on dismissing it as "EU crowd" stuff.
I agree that the EU people play the "why are scientists ignoring the evidence" angle a lot, but hey, half a century of presenting examples since Alfvén's first plasma model does tend to test one's patience.


And once again: "If it is impossible it didn't happen, if it happened it wasn't impossible"

Cheers.

VanderL
2004-Aug-14, 07:14 PM
There are some laboratory pictures of lightning that snakes along the surface, I'll try to find them.

I found the lab pictures and guess what Tinaa, they were on the Holoscience website again :D (although they were created in Bondarenko's lab).
You need to get halfway down this webpage (http://www.holoscience.com/news/wateronmars.html) to see the way lightning can "snake" over (and just below) the ground. What lightning basically does is ripping electrons from the ground, giant lightning would take the ground with it.


Cheers.