When I did a course in Astrophysics the only place that plate tectonics existed was the earth. This it was said was one of the reasons life existed on Earth and if it was to exist elsewhere plate tectonics would be needed.
A scientist has now found that plate tectonics exist on Mars. A tectonically active planet’s surface is broken up into large parts which move around. When these plates touch, mountains, sometimes volcanic, are created and in the short-term earthquakes occur.
Mars exists in an early state of tectonics development and movement. He gives a glimpse of how the earth looked some time ago. The discovery was found by comparing images from a NASA spacecraft known as THEMIS (Time history of events and macro scale interactions during sub storms!) And HIRISE (high resolution imaging science experiment) on NASA’s Mars reconnaissance orbiter. About 100 satellite images were compared 12 indicating plate tectonics.
Smooth, flat sides of canyon walls could be seen which could only be generated by a fault and a steep cliff which is comparable to cliffs in California’s death Valley. These features are not seen anywhere else on other planets in our solar system other than earth and Mars (yet).
This brings about questions about the Valles Marineris which is the longest and deepest canyon in our solar system. This was thought to be a crack but could be due to plate tectonics.
Mars quakes are a very real probability so lets hope the martians have built quake resistant habitation.