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Mars, Like Earth, Sculpted by Super Eruptions and Epic Floods

Kenneth Tanaka, an astrogeologist at USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona, led a research team that spotted parts missing from the rim of a giant basin on Mars. The scientists think the material was stripped away when nearby volcanoes erupted, releasing surges of carbon dioxide and perhaps water. As lava welled up from below, it pressurized the carbon dioxide, creating a situation akin to a shaken soda, Tanaka told SPACE.com. USGS researchers Jeffrey Kargel, David MacKinnon, and Trent Hare also worked on the study, as did Nick Hoffman from the University of Melbourne in Australia. The researchers used topography data provided by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor.

More: Space.com - Mars, Like Earth, Sculpted by Super Eruptions and Epic Floods

Link: USGS Astro - Mars Global Surveyor, status reports, news, and more about this science mapping mission