|Mars (Valles Marineris on the centre)|
Past geological activity
Mars has the largest shield volcanoes in the solar system and has a wide range of other volcanic features. These include large volcanic cones, mare-like volcanic plains etc. However, volcanic features are not common, there are less than 20 named volcanoes on Mars. As mentioned before, volcanic activity had an important role in the formation of the planet.
|Evidence for plate tectonics (Valles Marineris)|
There is no definitive proof of marsquakes, but it is thought that they occur every million years due to the slow movement of the tectonics and the lack of thermal energy.
All mars is massively eroded. When volcanic eruptions occurred, water was released together with gases and lava. This water swept the rocks and sand while creating channels and basins. Lava, wind and ice have also eroded Mars, but the effect is not as huge as past current of water.
Photos of Mars have shown thick layers of rock within craters and other depressions, this evidence indicate that they may have formed in lakes or shallow seas. There have also been found some sedimentary structures on Mars that are very similar to those formed by microbes on Earth.
Large areas of magnetic materials have been found on Mars, which indicates that there once was a magnetic field on Mars.
Present geological activity
Nowadays, all the volcanoes on Mars are dormant, but there may be volcanic activity again in the future.
If the conclusions about plate tectonics were real, this would mean that with time the plates would move faster and the sell of Mars could break more creating more tectonic activity.
There are still some factors like wind and ice that can erode Mars, but as all water is frozen, the massive erosion generated by water on Mars in the past is no longer a reality. But some evidence for small salty water flows have been found recently.
Mars probably had a magnetic field but in the present, the magnetic field has disappeared.
By Sergio Alberca, Juan Carlos Blanco, Daniel Hernanz and Javier Verde.