Going by some stunning photos, there is a large canyon on the Red planet. It is similar to the Grand Canyon on Earth, but it is also ten times longer than it. Its name is the Valles Marineris, and it runs along the Mar’s equator for more than 2500 miles, equivalent to 4000 km. Its span is almost a quarter of Martian circumference. In addition to being ten times longer than the Grand Canyon, its depth is thrice that of the Earth’s canyon. This size makes it the largest of its kind as far as the solar system is concerned. The University of Arizona (UA), Tucson, is researching it, and it has deduced that it is quite mysterious.
The shots come from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter thanks to the fact that it has a high-resolution camera High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). This shooting started in 2006. As a result of the high-resolution camera, the existence and look of the Valles Marineris are crystal clear. However, its formation remains a mystery to everyone, including scientists.
It is no secret that Grand Canyon was due to water flowing at a relatively high speed for more than a billion years. Nevertheless, that may not be the Valles Marineris case since Mars is too dry and hot. It reduces the chances of a large river flowing on its surface up to a time when it would form such a canyon. However, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of flowing water deepening, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). As a matter of fact, according to the ESA, evidence shows that there has been water flowing in the canyon’s channels for a hundred million years. Therefore, as much as that may not have been why it formed, there are high chances why the Valles Marineris is that deep.
Though not confirmed, there is a possibility that the formation took place billions of years ago. According to ESA, most probably the canyon was due to a massive group of volcanoes in the Tharsis region. After all, it is around that time that the volcanoes were erupting from beneath the planet’s soil. One of the volcanoes, Olympus Mons, is the largest in the entire solar system means that it can be possible. So as its magma and that of the rest of the volcanoes erupted, it may have stretched Martian crust leading to rippings. Eventually, the crust may have collapsed, forming many valleys and troughs and then the Valles Marineris in the end. After the formation, enlargement and deepening continued. Some of the contributors were ancient rivers, magma flows, and landslides. However, only a further study of the images can help know its formation beyond any reasonable doubt.