March 9, 2009
Mars volcano may supply water clues
U.S. scientists say the 15-mile-high Olympus Mons volcano on Mars might answer the question of whether that planet ever had, or still has, water.
Rice University Assistant Professor Patrick McGovern and Associate Professor Julia Morgan used an algorithm to analyze the volcano's structure. They determined that only the presence of ancient clay sediments could account for the volcano's asymmetric shape -- and the presence of sediment indicates water was, or is, involved.
Their research is detailed in the journal Geology.