Many Martian Volcanoes May Be Mudflows | The Institute for Creation Research
Many Martian Volcanoes May Be Mudflows
Tens of thousands of volcano-looking features exist across the northern lowlands and other areas across Mars.1 In the past, these volcanoes were thought to be caused by lava flows from the planet’s interior. However, a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience has postulated that many of these “volcanoes” may have actually flowed mud, not lava.1

Petr Brož from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague and colleagues from several institutions across Europe conducted 21 mudflow experiments. Many of their experiments used subfreezing temperatures and atmospheric pressures less than that of Earth in an attempt to simulate the conditions on Mars.1

The results surprised the scientists. Brož explained,

Before our experiments, we believed that the entire flow would freeze in seconds and it would stop moving. But once you build a crust, the mud is not exposed to the atmosphere anymore and the mud can remain liquid and move under the protection of the crust.2

They compared their mudflows to the way pahoehoe lava flows behave on Hawaii.

We found that low viscosity mud under Martian conditions propagates differently from that on Earth, because of a rapid freezing and the formation of an icy crust. Instead, the experimental mud flows propagate like terrestrial pahoehoe lava flows, with liquid mud spilling from ruptures in the frozen crust, and then refreezing to form a new flow lobe.1

The authors concluded that mud volcanism can explain many of the volcanic landforms across Mars and that only ground-checking will allow scientists to know for certain.1

The science team also speculated on the source of this mud and, in particular, the origin of the water under the surface to explain these mud volcanoes.

Large outflow channels on ancient terrains of Mars have been interpreted as the products of catastrophic flood events. The rapid burial of water-rich sediments after such flooding could have led to sedimentary volcanism, in which mixtures of sediment and water (mud) erupt to the surface.1

Secular scientists continue to employ surface water flooding on Mars to explain many landforms, even without direct physical evidence of any water flow. In contrast, here on Earth many landforms were caused by the runoff of the global Flood that we can see and touch and even raft through. Jake Hebert recently reminded us of this irony using the uniformitarian interpretation for canyons on Mars.

It is also striking that uniformitarian geologists think canyons on Mars were carved extremely rapidly by water. Even though scientists have observed water rapidly carve canyons here on Earth, and even though the field evidence strongly favors a rapid origin for the Grand Canyon, secular scientists insist on claiming that the Grand Canyon was slowly carved out over millions of years!3

Although Mars has no liquid surface water today, these canyons indicate there may have been catastrophic water flow in the past. Yet, uniformitarian scientists remain blinded to the obvious evidence of catastrophic flooding of our Earth, a planet that is still covered by over 70% water.

Stage image: A possible mud volcano on Mars.
Stage image credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL/University of Arizona, NASA
. Copyright © 2020. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

1. Brož, P., et al. Experimental evidence for lava-like mud flows under Martian surface conditions. Nature Geoscience. Posted on May 18, 2020, accessed May 26, 2020.
2. Crane, L. 2020. Mars may be covered in mud volcanoes disguised as lava flows. NewScientist. Posted on May 18, 2020, accessed May 22, 2020.
3. Hebert, J. Ancient Rivers on Mars. Creation Science Update. Posted on May 16, 2020, accessed May 22, 2020

*Dr. Clarey is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in geology from Western Michigan University.
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