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Mega-tsunamis Likely Altered Martian Landscape

 Left: Color-coded digital elevation model of the study area showing the two proposed shoreline levels of an early Mars ocean that existed approximately 3.4 billion years ago. Right: Areas covered by the documented tsunami events extending from these shorelines. Lead author Alexis Rodriguez created this figure.
alexis fig. 1
Visible light images showing older tsunami lobate upper reaches (white arrows) that embay local highland hills. The image below reveals the deposit’s bouldery substrate. Up is towards the bottom right of the images.  These images are part of Fig. S3.  Lead author Alexis Rodriguez created this figure.
alexis fig. 2
Thermal image showing ice-rich lobes (outlined by yellow line), which we interpret to be the remnants of tsunami waves that transitioned into slurry ice-rich flows as they propagated under extremely cold climatic conditions. Upslope direction of flow indicated by white arrow.  The lobe is about 250 km in length, or the distance between Baltimore and New York City. Lead author Alexis Rodriguez created this figure.
*In May 2013, the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency filmed an ice surge in the Codette Reservoir near Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada. The surge comprises a spectacular terrestrial analog of rarely observed catastrophic slurry ice-rich flows leading to the emplacement of enormous lobate fronts, which are strikingly similar to those shown in this image; video link:

alexis fig. 3

Each of the two mapped tsunami deposits has a surface area close to 1 million km2. The image shows the equivalent area over western United States, covering the entire States of California, Nevada and Oregon. Lead author Alexis Rodriguez created this figure. 

boulder-rich surface

View of a boulder-rich surface (yellow bars are 10 m) deposited by the older tsunami, and then eroded by channels produced as the tsunami water returned to the ocean elevation level. Lead author Alexis Rodriguez created this figure.

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