The Red Planet may still be alive! After a gigantic “marsquake” in May 2022, scientists here on Earth are now saying that Mars could still have layers of molten rock under the surface — revealing ongoing volcanic activity.
It’s that volcanic activity, from an “active mantle plume,” which is pushing lava to the surface and causing earthquakes as it cracks open the planet’s rocky crust, according to researchers from the University of Arizona.
“The heyday of Martian volcanism ended over three billion years ago, and for most of the time humans have been exploring Mars, we have thought of it as geologically dead,” explains Hank Green of YouTube channel SciShow in the video below. “But in 2018, NASA’s InSight mission delivered a seismometer to the planet’s surface. And at least in the region known as Elysium Planitia, the ground has spent the past four years quaking… Maybe mantle plumes are to blame.”
A team from UCLA says the May 2022 marsquake lasted four hours and also exposed layering in the planet’s crust that may reveal a meteoroid impact long ago. The 4.7 magnitude quake released five times more energy than any previously recorded by humans monitoring the Red Planet.