Martian glaciers were slowed by rapid drainage and weak gravity

Mars may now be a planet desiccated by icy conditions, but once upon a time, it was supposed to have been (almost) another Earth, with flowing water that froze into massive mountains of ice.

Because glaciers and ice sheets up Earth they tend to slip and slide, creep across the earth, and carve out sharp geophysical features such as linear grooves, ridges, and inverted hills. Scientists previously believed that the glaciers on Mars remained frozen in time due to the lack of similar features on the Red Planet. Planetologist Anna Grau Galofre of the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géosciences at the University of Nantes in France led a study (opens in new tab) found glaciers on Mars are moving — they just happen to be extremely slow.

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