Sulfuric Acid Floods Created Martian "Grand Canyon"

Unusual fan-shaped features cut into the Martian surface were caused by sulfuric acid "water" exploding from underground and sweeping across the surface of the planet. Yesterday a team of European and US scientists announced this finding, which is based on satellite data from a European Space Agency satellite in orbit around the Red Planet. Want to see the gullies dug by the sulfuric acid up close?

This is the "fan" filled with stair-like formations:

Sulfuric Acid Floods Created Martian "Grand Canyon"

The scientists figured out that it was caused by gushing liquid by setting up an experiment on Earth where they recreated the "gushing water" conditions in a sand bed and observed the structures the water carved out. Here's the Earth experiment:

Sulfuric Acid Floods Created Martian "Grand Canyon"

Images via ESA, NY Times, and Reuters.

Research Explains Origin of Martian Fans
[NY Times]