Abstract

The appearance of many streamlike features on Mars indicates the formation of channels through erosion by liquid water. We suggest that streams originating at meteorite crater boundaries are the result of impact which released subsurface water trapped below the Martian surface by a layer of permafrost. Features indicating surface erosion are the presence of alluvial plains at the downstream ends of channels, an increase in stream width with distance from the meteorite craters, and a direct correlation among several examples between crater diameter and stream length. Water released from the subsurface is preferred over rainfall as a mechanism for the origin of stream channels originating from craters on Mars.

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