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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Was there ever water on Mars! Seminar

photo of Victor Baker
19:30 - 20:45
10 October 2012
Lecture Theatre A (room 1041), Shackleton Building 44.

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sarah Dack on +44(0)23 8059 2522 or email .

Event details

The first 2012/13 Seminar Series Geography and Environmen lecture held in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society by Professor Victor R Baker.

Recent advances in astronomy hold the prospect for discovery of a great many Earth-like planets, rich in both water and possible habitats for life, thereby greatly expanding from the current sample of one. Nevertheless, until it proves possible to do geology for these numerous potential exo-Earths, we can greatly advance the geological science of Earth-like planets by study of Mars. The early geological histories of both Mars and Earth are closely tied to the role of water, extending from the nature of planetary accretion to the origin of a physically coupled atmosphere and ocean, the prospects for initiating plate tectonics, and historical records of punctuated greenhouse-to-icehouse climatic transitions. Recent discoveries from Mars missions such as Curiosity reveal the extensive role of water in generating sedimentary rocks, active and relict glacial and periglacial features, aqueous weathering products (clays minerals and sulfates), alluvial fans and deltas, the extensive development of palaeolakes and even a transient ocean, thought to be formed by megafloods.

Refreshments from 6.45pm onwards, lecture starts at 7.30pm followed by post lecture drinks reception.

Entry to this seminar is by ticket only. For more information and RSVP please contact:
Sarah Dack,



Speaker information

Professor Victor R Baker, The University of Arizona. Victor R. Baker is Regents’ Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources, Professor of Geosciences, and Professor of Planetary Sciences at The University of Arizona. A past president of The Geological Society of America, he was the 2010 recipient of The Distinguished Career Award from that society’s Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division. His 360 research articles and 16 books deal with the geology and palaeohydrology of Mars, Quaternary palaeohydrology and geology, flood geomorphology, and the history/philosophy of the earth and planetary sciences. His honors include Foreign Membership in the Polish Academy of Sciences, Honorary Fellowship in the European Union of Geosciences, the David Linton Award of the British Society for Geomorphology, a Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Fellowship, and an Indo-American Fellowship. His work on megafloods has been featured on multiple television documentaries for PBS, BBC, and the National Geographic, Discovery and History Channels, including the 2005 NOVA production “Mystery of the Megaflood.”

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