Oceans in the past history of Mars: Tests for their presence using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data

  title={Oceans in the past history of Mars: Tests for their presence using Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data},
  author={James W. Head and Mikhail A. Kreslavsky and Harald Hiesinger and Mikhail A. Ivanov and Stephen F. Pratt and N. M. Seibert and David E. Smith and Maria T. Zuber},
  journal={Geophysical Research Letters},
An ancient north polar ocean on Mars has been proposed [Parker et al., 1989] and we use MOLA data to test the hypothesis. Of the two proposed contacts/shorelines, the younger Contact 2 shows the closest approximation to an equipotential surface; vertical variations along this surface occur in areas with post‐contact‐formation geological activity or suspected changes in the position of an equipotential surface (e.g., Tharsis) with time. The surface of Mars is smoother at all scales below Contact… 

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