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Jun 07, 2005
“Collapse Pits” of Arsia Mons

As high-tech capabilities have returned the most extraordinary images of the planet Mars, the “explanations” become increasingly far-fetched.

We might have titled this one, “From the Implausible to the Preposterous”.  The European Space Agency’s Mars Express took the above picture of the chaotically cratered region on the edge of Arsia Mons. Like Olympus Mons to the northwest, Arsia Mons lies on the equatorial Tharsis Bulge. Geologists call both Olympus Mons and Arsia Mons “shield volcanoes”, an interpretation that the contributors to this page vigorously dispute. For reference we have placed a picture of Arsia Mons here.  The region displayed is just to the southwest of the mount. Note the now familiar shallow flat-bottomed crater on the summit, virtually identical to the crater formed atop an electrical blister created in a laboratory by Electric Universe theorist Wallace Thornhill.

The ESA summary echoes the customary explanation.  “The pits probably formed when lava erupted from the side of Arsia Mons. When lava, or molten rock, finds its way to the surface, it produces several veins and chambers. These slowly empty as the lava erupts and runs down the volcano flanks. Some of the lava reaching the surface cools down and becomes solid, often building a roof over the emptied chamber. The resulting voids collapse due to the weight of the overlying material”.

A closer look here discredits this explanation. The floors of these pits are clean and their edges are smooth. Collapsed roofs leave rubble on the floor and broken edges around the walls. The collapse of lava tubes on Earth produces irregular holes with debris heaped in the bottoms. Compare the pits of Arsia Mons with the famous “Big Tubes” area in New Mexico, here.

In scale there is simply is no comparison between such features on Mars and collapsed lava tubes or lava chambers on Earth.  The region in the picture above covers an area 38 kilometers by 53 kilometers. Some of the individual “collapse pits” have a depth of two kilometers. That depth is more than half the length of the longest lava tube on Earth.  The depth of a collapse pit will not exceed the depth of the original chamber. Therefore, we are asked to imagine a highly fluid lava flow at least two kilometers deep. Yet despite these improbable dimensions of the imagined sub-surface “empty chamber”, we see no evidence of surface layers being fractured by depression, or segments tilting into a region of “collapse”. Every depression is cleanly cut.

We proclaim that no geologic process known to science has ever created anything comparable to the field of “pits, scoops, and gougesseen in this region of Arsia Mons (a region with numerous counterparts on Mars). We proclaim that a heretofore-unrecognized process does produce such features. That process is electric discharge machining, or EDM. We’ve place an electron microscope image of an electrically machined surface here.  To appreciate the point of the comparison, one must remember that plasma and electrical phenomena are scalable.  Essentially the same patterns and behavior are observed from microscopic to galactic scales.

In electric discharge machining an arc excavates material evenly and cleanly from a surface. That, we claim, is exactly what has occurred, from pole to pole, on the surface of Mars. But this explanation, which makes sense of the features that are anomalies in other theories, is excluded at the outset by baseless suppositions within the theoretical sciences. The specialists take for granted that the ancient environment of our solar system differed little from the environment today. And they know almost nothing of the powerful electric force in the heavens. It does not occur to them that in the evolution of the solar system, electricity could achieve routinely and quickly the very things that they now struggle mightily to comprehend.


David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
Amy Acheson
  CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Mel Acheson, Michael Armstrong, Dwardu Cardona,
Ev Cochrane, C.J. Ransom, Don Scott, Rens van der Sluijs, Ian Tresman
  WEBMASTER: Michael Armstrong

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