Electric Morphology

Olympus Mons is called the largest volcano in the Solar System. But is it a volcano? Credit: NASA/JPL.

Nov 25, 2019

Mars exhibits regions that are wrenched and twisted with deep fissures, yet no rocky debris.

In previous Picture of the Day articles about Martian morphology, powerful electric arcs were shown to create most of the features on the surface. Rilles, craters, intersecting gullies, giant mesas, and steep-sided ravines are evidence for that activity.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with the HiRise camera onboard was launched in 2005. Among its first discoveries were outcrops of layered rock extending for hundreds of kilometers through the Schiaparelli Basin.

Erosion is thought by planetary scientists to cause layering in the rock strata, similar to how geography on Earth is eroded. Since Earth is supposed to be eroded by wind and water, they surmise that such processes must have occurred on Mars.

For decades there has been hope that Mars could be a cradle for life forms that evolved in a different ecology. As the overall theory states, Mars went through a stage when oceans of liquid water once existed. This implies that Mars might have retained an atmosphere dense enough for life to respire in the open.

However, there is disagreement in the scientific community about whether such volumes of water could ever have existed on Mars. Some of what they interpret as water-based erosion on Mars could have come from “dry avalanches” of dirt. There are serious doubts about whether observations demonstrate any effects caused by liquid water.

Some readers may remember that, in 2007, Allan Treiman, a geologist from Houston’s Lunar and Planetary Institute wrote: “The idea of it being liquid water was a very reasonable hypothesis to start with. From my standpoint liquid water hasn’t been proved at all.”

A major premise of Electric Universe theory is that electric current passing over a solid body can erode material from it, or deposit material. The pits or craters left by electric arcs are usually elongated circles because the arcs strike at right angles while they move. Material in the bottom of a crater will probably be electrically heated, burned, and melted.

If a surface is positively charged, an arc will tend to stick in one place, resulting in increased melting, while the electrical forces lift the surface to form a “lightning blister,” or fulgamite. Fulgamites appear as “domes” on Venus. On Mars, an even larger scale example is Olympus Mons. On the other hand, If a surface is negatively charged, electric arcs tend to move rapidly, striking and carving out craters. Small craters on the rims of larger ones are signs of this effect. Sometimes, as electric arcs travel, they cut chains of craters. If the craters overlap, the result is a steep-sided trench with scalloped edges.

When electricity passes through a plasma, field-aligned currents twist into a helical pattern as the forces attempt to balance themselves within the magnetic turbulence that is created by the interaction. Mars has a weak magnetic field, only .00125 that of Earth, and it is almost directly exposed to intense positive charges coming from the Sun.

As the Electric Universe theory argues, at some point in the past the intensity of those forces increased and traveled across the planet from pole-to-pole in a powerful electric circuit. That formidable event excavated billions of tons of material from the north polar region, while at the same time layering a similar volume of material on the south pole, resulting in the “fossils” of planetary electric vorticies at both poles.

Stephen Smith

The Thunderbolts Picture of the Day is generously supported by the Mainwaring Archive Foundation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email