The March 15, 2019 Phys.org article A NASA spacecraft may have explored the edges of an early Mars sea in 1997 shows a stylized map of an area on Mars where the Mars Pathfinder landed and uses colors to indicate where bodies of surface water might have once existed.

They are labeled as

  • Northern ocean
  • Inland Sea

and I noticed they are capitalized. Do these reflect proper nouns and names of possible bodies of water that are recognized by planetary scientists or Martian cartographers (or should I have said Mars cartographers?)? Do these possible bodies of water have other names as well?

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1 Answer 1


According to the Wikipedia article on the Mars ocean hypothesis, the ocean is sometimes called the Paleo-Ocean, and sometimes called "Oceanus Borealis" (a.k.a. "Northern Ocean" for those who feel that quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur.)

The inland sea in the article is located in the Simud Interior Basin (part of the Simud Valles). The Nature article describing the findings (Rodriguez et al. 2019) doesn't appear to give the sea a name, although it does use the term "SIB sea" at one point.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I noticed in the Nature article the term "Late Hesperian northern ocean". Would that count as a name? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 19:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh - "Late Hesperian" refers to a period of the Martian geological history. I'd say that term works in much the same way as "Cretaceous North America" - not really a separate name. $\endgroup$
    – user24157
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 19:03

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