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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mars Geography

Who wants to see a map of Terraformed Mars and learn about it's geography?

So we start you off with the the first and definitely not final Map of Mars (click to enlarge).

Not final Image

The Empty Ocean & Beachlands

The initial terraforming focused on raising the surface temperature of the planet. This was a multi-step process involving orbital mirrors used to focus heat onto the ice caps and redirecting asteroids to impact on Mars surface. The asteroid impacts delivered direct heat and CO2 to the planet while simultaneously releasing ground water and evaporating the water released from the ice caps. 

After a decade and several dozen asteroid impacts the planet was warm enough to jump start the water cycle, and it rained on Mars for the first time in millions of years.

 Soon water began to build up in the northern region and slowly build up into a massive ocean. The ocean grows deeper every year as the terraforming process continues and has been dubbed the Empty Ocean, presumably until it becomes filled.
The areas known as the Beachlands are open plains that become flooded as the Empty Ocean grows in size, and are expected to be completely underwater once Mars is 50% terraformed. 

Valles Marineris

The Valles Marineris is a canyon located on the planet's equator, and is one of the largest canyons in the solar system. It stretches over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) long and is more then 4 miles (7 km) deep. As rains returned to Mars the Valles began to fill with water and will eventually empty out into the Empty Ocean

The Mons

On Mars there are a number of large mountains, known as Mons, caused by shield volcanoes. These kinds of mountains are generally much wider than they are tall, but on Mars they have some of the tallest ones we've ever seen. The areas around the Mons are the only smooth plains on Mars, the previous volcanic activity having erased all craters in the area.
  • Olympus Mons (Latin for Mount Olympus) is the largest, having three-times the height of Mount Everest and stretching 370 miles (600 km) wide.
  • Elysium Mons is much smaller, only 150 miles (240 km) wide. It is located in the Empty Ocean
  • The Tharsis Mountes are a set of three Mons spaced about 430 miles (700 km) apart in a straight line from peak to peak. 

Crater lakes and seas

As the rains returned to Mars it wasn't long before the the craters that pock Mars surface began to fill. Soon crater lakes appeared all over mars and the two largest craters, Argyre and Hellas, began to form seas.

The Argyre Sea is over 700 miles (1,100 km) wide and 2 miles (3.2 km) deep.
The Hellas Sea is even larger at 1,400 miles (2,300 km) wide and over 4 miles (7 km) deep.

Unlike the Empty Ocean,the Argyre and Hellas seas were artificially filled. Settlers brought with them millions of gallons of water from earth and a few comet mining operations have a contract with Sycamore Interplanetary to bring as much water to Mars as possible.

Terraformed Mars

Not Final Image

Most of Mars' population, and all of it's human population, lives in the region known as Terraformed Mars. This area of Mars has the most water, the most stable temperatures (being just south of the equator) and the largest growth of algee and other genetically modified plants.
The three largest settlements, Roswell, Janestown, and New Phoenix, is where most of Mars' population lives although more than a dozen smaller settlements have started up in the region.

Roswell is the unofficial capitol city of Mars and has an active space elevator for quick access to the orbital space station. High speed magnetic levitation rails connect Roswell to Janestown and New Phoenix, allowing you to reach the next city over in just a few hours.

More and more settlements appear on Mars every month, and if you back The Robotic Age: Mars  at the Mayor level or higher, you will get to name and place a martian settlement somewhere in this area. Start planning now, 

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