Plate Tectonics on Mars


On Earth we have a variety of geological features which arise due to tectonic activity on the planet’s surface. These features include mountain ranges and deep sea trenches, but tectonic activity is also responsible for earthquakes and some volcanic activity. For quite some time, it was believed that Earth was the only place in our solar system that experienced this type of activity. However, new research has provided evidence that Mars may be in the very early stages of tectonic activity. This article tells how scientists have found evidence of fault lines (like those found in California) from satellite images and the lead researcher, An Yin has suggested the possibility of seismic activity, or “Marsquakes.” One last thing that I found interesting in this piece is that Mars seems to have fewer tectonic plates than the Earth. This is partially due to the smaller total surface area, but Yin suggests that it may also have to do with Mars’ relatively inactive core. Because Mars’ center is cooler and not experiencing the same currents as Earth’s mantle, there is less force acting upon the surface plates.