Flood on Mars Carved Instant Grand Canyon, Researchers Say

Water roaring out of an overfilled lake carved an instant Grand Canyon _ a valley more than mile (1.6 kilometers) deep _ on the surface of Mars some 3.5 billion years ago, according to a new analysis of pictures taken by spacecraft. Researchers at the National Air and Space Museum said the flood of water originated from a huge lake _ large enough to flood both Texas and California _ that overflowed into a nearby impact crater. When that crater filled up, said geologist Ross Irwin, the water eroded away a ridge-like barrier and was sent rampaging across a plain. Within a short time, a deep and wide gully called Ma’adim Vallis was carved from the Martian surface.