Monday, July 18, 2011

Let's go to Mars

Today, the Mathisen Corollary blog visits the planet Mars to investigate features on its surface that appear to have been carved by powerful flows of liquid water. Scientists are still at a loss to explain how liquid water could have been present on Mars.

The image above shows the mighty Ma'adim Vallis, one of the largest canyons on Mars, over 435 miles long and almost 1.25 miles wide in places. Most scientists agree that it was formed by powerful flows of liquid water, although there is considerable disagreement as to how this could have taken place. Mars is extremely cold, colder than any place on earth (including Antarctica in the winter), averaging 80o F below zero. As we would expect from such conditions, water on Mars is typically only found in frozen form (including as wispy frozen cloud vapors).

Additionally, the lower pressure on Mars means that water freezes at higher temperatures than it does on earth. Thus, conventional scientists are forced to come up with theories to explain some kind of massive "climate change" on Mars which resulted in the massive drops in pressure and temperature from a postulated ancient past in which Mars had more atmospheric pressure and warmer temperatures to support liquid water -- a difficult task!

This NASA website, for example, explains that "geologic features provide ample evidence that billions of years ago liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars" (this is clear from the image above and the image below, among thousands of others from Mars which could also illustrate the obvious presence of liquid water in the past).

The image below, from the Mariner 9 mission (1971 - 1972) shows a multi-braided channel whose "character indicates it might have been eroded by fluids," according to H.E. Holt of NASA in Mars as Viewed by Mariner 9 (1974). Note the "teardrop-shaped" islands which geologists recognize as characteristic of very powerful flow of water or other liquid, with the blunt end upstream and the pointed end downstream. This particular channel is 28 miles wide, indicating a massive volume was required to create these features.

As the NASA site above indicates, scientists agree that the liquid in question was probably water (other candidates being absent on Mars, which does have water in the form of ice at the pole caps and in the atmosphere, as well as in frozen form in the surface). They just don't have a good theory for how it could have flowed upon the surface in such volume. Following the NASA page further, we read that:
scientists who studied images from the Viking orbiters kept encountering features that appeared to be formed by flowing water - among them deep channels and canyons, and even features that appeared to be ancient lake shorelines. Added to this were more recent observations by Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor which suggested widespread flowing water in the planet's past. Some scientists identified features which they believe appear to be carved by torrents of water with the force of 10,000 Mississippi Rivers.

There is no general agreement, however, on what form water took on the early Mars. Two competing views are currently popular in the science community. According to one theory, Mars was once much warmer and wetter, with a thicker atmosphere; it may well have boasted lakes or oceans, rivers and rain. According to the other theory, Mars was always cold, but water trapped as underground ice was periodically released when heating caused ice to melt and gush forth onto the surface.

In either case, the question of what happened to the water remains a mystery. Most scentists do not feel that Mars' climate change was necessarily caused by a cataclysmic event such as an asteroid impact that, perhaps, disturbed the planet's polar orientation or orbit. Many believe that the demise of flowing water on the surface could have resulted from gradual climate change over many millennia as the planet lost its atmosphere.

Beyond the fact that these theories are speculative and lack a clear mechanism to explain what took place beyond hazy generalizations, the features themselves do not indicate the kind of geological shaping that would have taken place on a Mars with more abundant water and thicker atmosphere on which water flowed for centuries or millennia before disappearing due to some unknown "gradual climate change [. . .] as the planet lost its atmosphere."

In a 1980 article entitled "Geologists theorize floods carved out Martian landscape" published in the Arizona Republic and written by Grant E. Smith, NASA chief of planetary geology Joseph Boyce is quoted as saying that while "water is probably the center for all the studies" attempting to explain the geology of Mars, studies of the features indicate that water appears to have acted once with great force over a very limited time in each instance. "Each channel has run only once," Professor Boyce said ("Geologists theorize floods carved out Martian landscape," Arizona Republic, January 16, 1980).

Another problem for those who believe in a theory of climate change on Mars (above and beyond the incredible scope of the climate change in question) is the fact that the source of the water does not appear to have been from rainfall or precipitation out of the atmosphere. "If it was atmospheric, such as the rain here on Earth," Dr. Boyce says, "there should be a lot of tributaries flowing into the channels. There aren't. Oh, there are a few, but not nearly as many as there should be."

Instead, the evidence points to some sort of massive water release causing rapid flooding, Dr. Boyce is quoted as saying in the article. "We've studied the mechanics, and it's possible there was a tremendous, catastrophic release of the water from some structure there, such as possibly a glacier. It would be like an artesian well," he said.

It just so happens that, just as it explains the phenomenon of the cratering pattern found on our own moon, the hydroplate theory provides a scientific and coherent explanation that is far more satisfactory for explaining the geological features found on Mars than are the vague speculations of those who argue for a hypothetical warm and moist Mars of billions of years ago which somehow lost its atmosphere over the millennia.

The hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown argues that the event which produced a worldwide flood on earth was violent enough to launch tons of debris and water from earth into space. This debris and water ended up (in frozen form) as comets and asteroids, and some of it ended up on the moon and on Mars as well.

On this page of his website (a website which contains the entire text of his book for anyone to access free of charge), Dr. Brown explains:

Icy asteroids and comets bombarding Mars released liquid water, which often pooled inside craters or flowed downhill and eroded the planet’s surface. (Most liquid water soaked into the soil and froze.) Each impact was like the bursting of a large dam here on Earth. Brief periods of intense, hot rain and localized flash floods followed. These Martian hydrodynamic cycles quickly “ran out of steam,” because Mars receives relatively little heat from the Sun. While the consequences were large for Mars, the total water was small by Earth’s standards—about twice the water in Lake Michigan.
He notes that this process would explain the distinctive erosion channels that are found high on the crater walls of craters on Mars, where water that was frozen at the surface of Mars from previous impacts (especially from those which took place right after the flood on earth and which soaked into the Martian surface and froze) melted from the impact of a meteorite and then flowed down into the huge crater that was now scooped out below the surface.

The gullies appear to originate in large amounts at the level of the former Martian surface (on the edge of the crater rim) and flow downward into the new gully until the water runs out in smaller and smaller gulleys, exactly the opposite of what happens on earth where rain causes smaller gulleys in mountains and ridges, which then join together into larger and larger streams, carving larger and larger channels.

Dr. Brown notes that this evidence also appears to discredit the other speculative theory quoted above from the NASA site, which states that rather than having a warm climate with rain in the past, Mars has always been cold and arid but that subsurface water which had been "trapped underground as ice" somehow worked its way up to the surface and "gushed forth." As Dr. Brown explains, any water trying to migrate upwards from deep within Mars would freeze miles below the surface.

Further, if the water's source was deep below, we would not expect to find the erosion channels that originate from water that was at the rim of the crater alone (with no water deeper down), which is exactly what is found on the craters of Mars (see the images in Figure 171 of this previously-referenced page in Dr. Brown's site). The evidence supports Dr. Brown's explanation that water came from above at some point in the past and soaked into the topsoil of Mars in certain places, where it froze. When a later impact of enough violence melts this water, it cascades down the sides of the crater, beginning at the rim and then petering out. Such features could not have been created by conventional rainfall (as in the wet-warm Mars theory) or by subterranean gushing (as in the dry-cold Mars theory).

Furthermore, such features are still being formed today, as comparisons of images taken by successive Mars missions over the past four decades have proven! The 2006 article "Present-Day Impact Cratering Rate and Contemporary Gully Activity on Mars" published in the journal Science by Michael C. Malin, Kenneth S. Edgett, Liliya V. Posiolova, Shawn M. McColley, and Eldar Z. Noe Dobrea explains that "new gully deposits, formed since August 1999, are light toned and exhibit attributes expected from emplacement aided by a fluid with the properties of liquid water: relatively long, extended, digitate distal and marginal branches, diversion around obstacles, and low relief." The authors conclude that "The observations suggest that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars during the past decade." This information should effectively silence the arguments that Martian geological features were carved billions of years ago during a hypothetical "warm-moist" Mars that underwent speculative "climate change."

The striking features of Mars clearly support the details of the hydroplate theory, which explains their existence far better than any other theory (even the authors of the article just mentioned cannot explain their findings by any conventional theory: they say that an "as-yet unrecognized processes of denudation must be operating"). The surface of Mars is just another piece of evidence in a long line of such evidence which supports the hydroplate theory.

Interestingly enough (and not surprisingly), the hydroplate theory which explains so many geological mysteries both on earth and on Mars also explains many mysteries of human history related to the pyramids, Stonehenge, and other controversial subjects from mankind's ancient past. These are discussed in the Mathisen Corollary book, the first work to apply this groundbreaking theory of a catastrophic global flood to the evidence that mankind's past was far different from what we are taught in school.